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 Justices 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 elected official has been narrowed so that in 1988 the role of the Justice of the Peace is limited to certain grants of authority enumerated by statute. Justices of the Peace may
- Join persons in marriage (CGS 46b-22)
- Take acknowledgments (CGS 1-29)
- Take depositions (CGS 52-148c)
- Perform other duties
There are also many statutory grants of power regarding specific documents.