An abbreviation for Justice of the Peace, a minor ranking judicial officer with limited statutory jurisdiction over preservation of the peace, civil cases, and lesser criminal offenses.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

justice of the peace (J.P.)

n. a judge who handles minor legal matters such as misdemeanors, small claims actions, and traffic matters in "justice courts." Dating back to early English Common Law, "JPs" were very common up to the 1950s, but they now exist primarily in rural "justice districts" from which it is unreasonable for the public to travel to the county seat for trials of minor matters. In Nevada Justices of the Peace are lucrative jobs since they perform many of the marriages of elopers from other states, as Nevada has no waiting period from license to wedding. A justice of the peace is usually an attorney, but some states still allow laypersons to qualify by taking a test.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Here, at any rate, lived and stopped at home Squire Brown, J.P. for the county of Berks, in a village near the foot of the White Horse range.
"Old Trevor was evidently a man of some wealth and consideration, a J.P., and a landed proprietor.
An advisory from Makati City Hall said that traffic rerouting would be implemented in parts of J.P. Rizal Avenue and A.P.
Gomez Street (From J.P. Rizal Street to Zamora Street)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management has announced it has enhanced its Portfolio Insights tool, which allows advisors to compare ETFs and Mutual Fund products to help guide decisions on investment selection, the company said.
NEW YORK: J.P. Morgan Asset Management launched the JPMorgan Municipal ETF (JMUB), an actively managed intermediate municipal ETF that aims to preserve capital while providing income free from federal income taxes.
J.P. Cullen & Sons is moving its office in Brookfieldinto new, rehabbed digs in downtown Milwaukee this week.<br />The company isplacing some 75 employees into a 14,000-square-foot spacefor the six-story Milwaukee Fortress Building, 100 E.
In a statement issued yesterday, the city government said the stretch of Makati Avenue from J.P. Rizal street to Kalayaan Avenue will be closed to traffic from 1 a.m.
Two J.P. Morgan wealth management subsidiaries have agreed to pay $267 million and admit wrongdoing to settle charges that they failed to disclose conflicts of interest to clients, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.
Atlanta, GA, October 08, 2014 --(PR.com)-- J.P. Turner employees volunteered their time helping The Homeless Pets Foundation host another successful adoption day for animals in need of a good home.
J.P. Morgan Chase has agreed to settle for $22.1 million class action lawsuits involving force-placed flood insurance imposed on homeowners in California and New York.