Duties of a Connecticut Justice of the Peace

Connecticut Justice of the Peace
Ernest Adams   —   (860) 543-2334

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FAQs   >>   Duties of a Connecticut Justice of the Peace

Connecticut Justices of the Peace are appointed in each of the 169 cities and towns of Connecticut. A Connecticut Justice of the Peace may perform weddings and other acts anywhere within Connecticut.

Officiating at weddings

Marrying people is a joy-filled Justice of the Peace duty for me! Not all Justices of the Peace are willing to travel. Being a mobile Justice of the Peace, I am happy to go where I'm needed, whether you want to get married in Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, have your handfasting at Mystic Seaport, or have your wedding at home! (In fact, you can visit my Elizabeth Park Rose Garden Weddings Page, Mystic Seaport Weddings Page, and Home Weddings Page to see some of the couples I've married in those places.)

The following two paragraphs are taken directly from the Connecticut Justice of the Peace Manual. (The Justice of the Peace Manual is sometimes called the Justice of the Peace Handbook.)

"The office of Justice of the Peace originated in England and was brought to this country by the early colonists. The office existed in Connecticut in some form from the beginning of the colony.

"At one time when this State had a multi-tiered Court system with substantial judicial business being conducted by municipal and city Court judges, the elected Justice of the Peace had substantial authority with respect to the administration of minor Courts in this State. Over the years the scope of authority of this official has been narrowed so that in 1988 the role of the Justice of the Peace was limited to certain grants of authority enumerated by statute. Justices of the Peace have general oath giving powers (Conn. Gen. Stat. [section mark] 1-24), may take acknowledgments (Conn. Gen. Stat. [section mark] 1-29), may join persons in marriage (Conn. Gen. Stat. [section mark] 46b-22), and may take depositions (Conn. Gen. Stat. [section mark] 52-148c). There are also many statutory grants of power regarding specific documents...."

Administering oaths

In general, these days Justices of the Peace in Connecticut are considered Wedding Officiants and administer oaths. Please see the Disclaimer if you are looking for legal advice.

There are no Connecticut classes for Justices of the Peace, unfortunately. It has been an honor to be invited to make presentations to the Justice of the Peace Association, and to contribute to several wedding officiants' forums online. It is always a pleasure to give back to the community.

Some Connecticut Justices of the Peace appear to be reluctant to marry same-sex couples. I am happy to join any loving couple in marriage. That is why there is a Gay Wedding Questions Page in addition to the general Wedding Questions Page. You are always welcome to call me at (860) 543-2334 with your questions!

The Manual also states

"Both Justices of the Peace and Notaries Public are given general oath giving powers under Conn. Gen. Stat. [section mark] 1-24. However a Justice of the Peace does not have a seal. If a document requiring an affidavit requires a seal, the Justice of the Peace would be advised not to take the affidavit in this instance. In addition, some other jurisdictions may not recognize an affidavit taken by a Justice of the Peace. Therefore, in this, as in other matters where a legal question arises, the Justice of the Peace should consult an attorney."

Notarizing signatures

Because I am also a Connecticut Mobile Notary Public (WWW.NutmegMobileNotary.Com), I can notarize your signatures on affidavits (and other documents) and use my Notary Public seal as part of my Notary Public Duties. Even though Connecticut does not require Notaries Public to use an embossing seal, it has been my experience that most people expect to see an embossed seal on a notarized document. In fact, recently a gentleman had a financial services company reject a notarization because there was not an ink stamp impression in addition to the embossed seal on a document. That company clearly did not understand Connecticut law. Of course I was happy to notarize his signature and use both my stamp and seal.

Having your signature notarized by a Notary Public (as opposed to having a Justice of the Peace take your affidavit) also is likely to avoid any issues you might have outside of Connecticut. As with any legal matter, please see the Disclaimer if you are looking for legal advice.

If you have questions about the duties and responsibilities of Connecticut Justices of the Peace please feel free to call me at (860) 543-2334! If you prefer, please visit the Connecticut Secretary of State's Web Site (WWW.sots.ct.gov/sots/site/) to download the Justice of the Peace Manual in PDF format.

By the way, "Justices of the Peace" is the correct plural of "Justice of the Peace". Like "Attorneys General" and "Notaries Public", the noun comes before the adjective, and therefore the noun has the "s" added.

"Justice of the Peaces" has the "s" misplaced. "Justice of the Piece" is a misspelling.

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Some Justice of the Peace duties are a joy!

Lorrien and Kevin had their wedding and reception at WoodWinds in Branford, Connecticut. The WoodWinds features fountains, ponds, and gazebos for your outdoor wedding, and large ballrooms, marble floors, and sweeping staircases for your indoor wedding. You can visit the WoodWinds Web Site at WWW.TheWoodWinds.Com.


Please note that I am not an attorney. I am a Connecticut Justice of the Peace and Connecticut Notary Public. I cannot give legal advice. The information given here was derived from information publicly available, especially the Connecticut Justice of the Peace Manual cited above. You are encouraged to do your own research. Please check with your Town Clerk or Town Attorney's Office; they will help you if they can. Otherwise, you must consult an attorney authorized to practice law in Connecticut.

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Version 6.00   10 September 2013