JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
Duties and Responsibilities
Justice of the Peace Courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters of Misdemeanor Class C cases punishable by fine only and such other jurisdiction as may be provided by law. Original jurisdiction is the authority to accept a case at its inception, try it and pass judgment based upon the laws and facts. This is distinguished from appellate jurisdiction which is jurisdiction to review a court’s action.
The Justice of the Peace performs and conducts administrative and magistrate hearings, arraignments, bail settings, and driver’s license suspensions. The court functions and has jurisdiction where the amount in controversy does not exceed $20,000, such as Small Claims, Debt Claims, and Repair and Remedy cases. The court may issue warrants for search and arrest, conduct preliminary hearings, administers oaths, perform marriages and serve as coroner in counties where there is no provision for a medical examiner. The court can also deal with matters concerning foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property.
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