“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).
American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More
Problem-Solving Courts – also known as Accountability Courts – are programs developed by many court systems to impose treatment plans and other forms of rehabilitation on some criminal offenders who would otherwise face jail time and the stigma of a criminal record. They reduce the judicial system caseload and the prison population while helping offenders with drug, mental health, and similar problems. We covered Mental Health Courts in April 2008, Drug Courts in October 2008, and Veterans Courts in January 2011.
Family Dependency Treatment Courts are another type of Accountability Court, and they’re different in that their treatment plans include … Read More
Few people have ever heard the term “conflict defender” and fewer still could guess what it means. But it can be an important term for some criminal defendants who cannot afford a lawyer.
Last month we discussed Public Defenders, who provide criminal defense services to indigent defendants. Anyone facing possible loss of liberty is entitled to a free court-appointed lawyer if he or she can’t afford to hire one. A Public Defender’s Office is often the source of the court-appointed lawyer. However, the Public Defender’s Office may not be able to take the case if it presents a conflict … Read More
Judicial foreclosure exists in nearly every state in the United States. Generally, a lender initiates a foreclosure action when the property owner/borrower has failed to make mortgage payments. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender must go through the court system, filing a complaint and serving the borrower. In most states, the court will then either find for the borrower or for the lender. If the court finds that the borrower has indeed defaulted on his or her loan a judgement will be entered for the lender. The lender can then hold a sheriff’s sale of the property in order to … Read More
State court systems are stepping in to help minimize the damage from the residential mortgage foreclosure crisis. Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Ohio are among those that have implemented statewide foreclosure mediation programs. A number of other states are currently considering legislation to create foreclosure mediation programs, and many cities and courts have put in place local programs.
All 88 Ohio counties now use foreclosure mediation in handling foreclosure cases on their dockets. Through these programs, a neutral mediator works with homeowners and lenders to resolve the mortgage problem by mutual agreement. Such mediation can … Read More
According to many sources, the divorce rate in America is approximately 50%. It is a staggering number, especially when you consider that many of these cases, there is often a correlated draining legal component. While the length of a divorce proceeding will vary from case to case and state-to-state, one constant nagging portion of the divorce procedure is the splitting of property. One of the most controversial property division laws occurs in community property states. States that follow these laws include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
Two important words to understand in the division … Read More