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justice of the peace

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a local magistrate with limited powers

Etymologies

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