Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
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.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:18 pm