American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A magistrate of the lowest level of certain state court systems, having authority to act upon minor offenses, commit cases to a higher court for trial, perform marriages, and administer oaths.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Law) a judicial officer or subordinate magistrate appointed for the conservation of the peace in a specified district, with other incidental powers specified in his commission. In the United States a justice of the peace has jurisdiction to adjudicate certain minor cases, commit offenders, officiate at marriages, etc.; abbreviated JP.
- n. See under Justice.
- n. a local magistrate with limited powers
“It so happened that one Ambrose Benett, a barrister at law and a justice of the peace for that county, riding through the town that morning on his way to Aylesbury, was by some ill-disposed person or other informed that there was a Quaker to be buried there that day, and that most of the Quakers in the country were come thither to the burial.”
““Landed money, in Parliament for Paglesham, justice of the peace and, God help us, a Militia Colonel.””
“For a justice of the peace in this county, who was called Sir Dennis Hampson, of Taplow, breaking in with a party of horse upon a little meeting near Wooburn, in his neighbourhood, the 1st of the fifth month,”
“They were married by a justice of the peace in Hyattsville, with Beverly's mother and six assorted hippies in attendance.”
“The authenticity of this bill of sale is attested by N. Harrington, a justice of the peace of the state of Maryland, and for the county of Talbot, dated same day as above.”
“Miserable is the life of a justice of the peace in Ireland the day after a fair, especially if he resides near a small town.”
“Our mittimus was examined, when lo and behold! the justice of the peace who issued it, had, either accidentally or on purpose, left out of the writ the initials of his office "J. P.," and without those magic letters, it was as harmless as a lion with his head cut off.”
“We found a justice of the peace in the small town at the foot of Whiteface and reserved cabins for excited friends and family.”
“In 1790 he was elected by his countrymen justice of the peace of the canton of Martignac.”
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