What is a Justice of the Peace?


What's the big deal? Don't Justices of the Peace just marry people?
 

No, much more than that!

Although Justices of the Peace can perform civil marriage ceremonies, their responsibilities are much larger in scope and duty.

The position of Justice of the Peace has different responsibilities in different states (and even countries), however in Arkansas it is very similar to a city councilperson (or Alderman), yet on the county level.

The Pulaski County Quorum Court is the county legislative body that oversees a $53 million dollar budget that is taken mainly from property taxes.

For example: Arkansas law gives the counties in Arkansas the responsibility for keeping a jail. Little Rock is 12th in crime rate in the country. Part of the reason for this is the fact that we cannot incarcerate people who need to be in jail. This is because county money is spent frivolously.

From Wikipedia:

 

"A Justice of the Peace is an elected official equivalent to a county commissioner or county supervisor. Arkansas JPs sit on a county quorum court, composed of 9, 11, 13 or 15 JPs. The quorum court is a part-time body, elected from single-member districts, that has overall responsibility for county affairs. Among their responsibilities are passing the budget, creating new ordinances (at the misdemeanor level), setting property tax millage levels, and working with other elected officials. The full-time elected county administrator, who presides over the quorum court, is the county judge. Neither JPs nor the county judge has any judicial authority, other than the right to preside over civil marriages. Justices of the Peace are elected every two years to these partisan offices."
 

Basically, JPs debate and vote on fiscal, tax, and ordinance issues at the county level.

It is an important position that represents your district within your county, so make sure to vote for someone who represents you.

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