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Justice of the Peace (JP)

Definition - What does Justice of the Peace (JP) mean?

A justice of the peace is a judicial officer who is not a police officer, yet who has a responsibility to uphold the peace. Justices of the peace often have duties such as hearing minor civil cases, dealing with minor criminal complaints, and upholding the peace in other significant ways.

Justipedia explains Justice of the Peace (JP)

Justices of the peace often have the authority to do things such as solemnize marriages, administer oaths, and other similar things.

Justices of the peace are typically only used in situations that involve matters of small legal significance. For example, a justice of the peace would not hear a criminal case that involved a murder accusation. However, they can be very helpful for unburdening superior courts because they can handle minor issues.

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