A justice of the peace is a type of judge. They preside in courts with
In the U.S., justices of the peace preside in courts or in administrative
positions. "They work in the people's court with civil matters and small claims
lawsuits," explains Pat Garcia, a court administrator in Texas.
The exact duties of a JP may vary from state to state. In some areas, a
justice of the peace may try only misdemeanors. Others may be able to try
In general, justices of the peace also perform many civic duties. They
handle inquests, make death pronouncements and perform marriages.
"We hear everything from assault charges to dog tickets and wildlife violations,"
says Larry Cole, a justice of the peace in Oregon.
American justices of the peace can either be elected or appointed, depending
on the state. Some states do not have justice of the peace courts.
JPs work in courthouses and justice centers, in an office or in a courtroom
setting. But they can be called on to work outside regular office hours. "Depending
what they have on their calendar, they can work evenings and weekends," says
Travel can be required.
Like other judges, justices of the peace must be honest, impartial and
fair in their dealings. A justice of the peace must also enjoy dealing with
all types of people.
This is a job that can be done by the physically challenged.