justice of the peace

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justice of the peace,

official presiding over a type of police courtpolice court,
court with jurisdiction limited to minor offenses, chiefly the least grave misdemeanors and breaches of municipal ordinances. In practice the trial is usually held before a judge sitting without a jury.
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. In some states of the United States the justices, who are usually elected, have jurisdiction over petty civil and criminal cases as well as having such duties as the issuing of search warrants and the performance of marriage services. The justice of the peace was formerly of greater importance than he is at present. The establishment of the office throughout England in 1360 represented a further extension of royal authority to local government, especially to rural areas. The justices, selected from the gentry, enjoyed extensive administrative and police authority, and they had judicial power over most crimes. The office was established also in the American colonies, but by the latter part of the 19th cent. it had been relegated to a much less central role, especially in administrative areas, in both England and the United States.

justice of the peace

1. (in Britain) a lay magistrate, appointed by the crown or acting ex officio, whose function is to preserve the peace in his area, try summarily such cases as are within his jurisdiction, and perform miscellaneous administrative duties
2. (in Australia and New Zealand) a person authorised to administer oaths, attest instruments, and take declarations
References in periodicals archive ?
Religious freedom hawks and gay rights activists are also at odds about the rights of judges and justices of the peace to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
we are going to take Jamaica back from the hands of criminals and as Justices of the Peace, you all have a role to play .
the belief that he could remove the justices of the peace.
The county's two other elected justices of the peace have complained to Oregon's governor that the Lane County Board of Commissioners illegally installed a county administration employee as a pro tem replacement judge at Central Lane Justice Court in Springfield.
The four Justices of the Peace will be taking up roles on the magistrate's bench in South Tyneside after a special swearing-in ceremony.
The 30-year-old is due to go on trial at the Justices of the Peace Court in Annan next month.
His duties will include hosting and accompanying all Royal visits to the region and leading the local magistracy by chairing the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace.
The Special Constabulary was formed in 1831 as part of the Special Constables Act, which gave Justices of the Peace the power to conscript men as special constables to combat riots and social unrest.
Shannon told the justices of the peace the renovation could take three years.
It also means their right to preach and teach their beliefs related to marriage; the right of religious schools to hire staff who respect their doctrines and practices; the right of justices of the peace and civil marriage commissioners to refuse to solemnize marriages not in accordance with their beliefs; and the right of churches to maintain their charitable status.
Much of the material which follows comes from the recognizances to appear, issued by the Westminster Justices of the Peace.
Another change is the increased use of court adjuncts like Masters in Chambers and Justices of the Peace.