Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Legal Dictionary Home

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small
Justice Of The Peace (Jp)
An official who handles minor legal matters such as misdemeanors, small claims actions, marriages, and traffic matters. Dating back to early English Common Law, "JPs" were very common up to the 1950s, but are now primarily found in rural areas from which it is unreasonable for the public to travel to the county seat for minor matters.