Justice Of The Peace Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Justice Of The Peace, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Justice Of The Peace?

They are appointed officers who maintains peace and sanity and punishes who breaches them with having the powers of lowest levels in judicial section. They are also the judge who presides on the trials of small matters like traffic voilation, small theft, minor domestic problems, petty claimsetc.

History and Meaning of Justice Of The Peace

The term "Justice of the Peace" dates back to 12th century England, where they acted as the main judicial officer in the country. Initially, they were responsible for ensuring that local landowners were not disturbing the peace, and they could punish those who did. Over the years, their role has expanded, and they now handle minor legal matters such as traffic violations, small claims, and minor criminal offenses. In the US, JPs are appointed by state governors or courts and serve four-year terms.

Examples of Justice Of The Peace

  1. A Justice of the Peace in Arizona may preside over a small claims court with jurisdiction over claims up to $3,500.
  2. In Massachusetts, a JP can solemnize marriages.
  3. A Justice of the Peace in Texas can issue arrest warrants.
  4. In Australia, a JP oversees oaths and affirmations and certifies copies of official documents.
  5. A JP in New Zealand can perform many of the same functions as a notary public.

Legal Terms Similar to Justice Of The Peace

  1. Magistrate - A judicial officer who has the power to enforce the law, conduct hearings, and render judgments in cases brought before the court. Magistrates generally preside over trials for misdemeanors, traffic violations, and low-level criminal offenses.
  2. Notary Public - An appointed official who can witness the signing of legal documents and administer oaths and affirmations.
  3. Clerk of Court - A court official responsible for maintaining court records, filing documents, and issuing summons and subpoenas.
  4. Bailiff - A court officer responsible for maintaining order in the courtroom, ensuring that witnesses appear when summoned, and escorting prisoners as needed.