justice of the peace
: a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer summary justice in minor cases, to commit for trial, and to administer oaths and perform marriages
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justice of the peace (Concise Encyclopedia)
In Anglo-American legal systems, a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer justice in minor cases. In the U.S., justices of the peace are elected or appointed and hear minor civil matters and petty criminal cases. They may also officiate at weddings, issue arrest warrants, deal with traffic offenses, and hold inquests.
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