“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
Yes, it does seem like there’s an app for everything. What about court calendars and other case information? Although some courts don’t have that information online, many do – and a few are providing apps to make that same information available on mobile devices.
There are many apps available to track important cases, mostly U.S. Supreme Court cases. There are also many apps that provide access to state and federal laws and court rules. So far, these are commercial products available at the app store, but neither available from nor sanctioned by court systems.
Some appellate-level courts, such as the … Read More
We last discussed eviction procedures in our post about Landlord Tenant Laws back in April, 2008. Now for a brief update:
As noted in the original post, most eviction cases are heard by courts of general jurisdiction, such as Superior Courts or District Courts. Of course specific courts’ jurisdiction varies from state to state, depending on the structure of each state’s judicial system. In a few states, evictions may be handled by local courts of limited jurisdiction.
As if finding which court handles evictions in a given state weren’t difficult enough, the process of kicking out a tenant isn’t even … Read More
With the upcoming presidential election, it is more important than ever to register to vote. Traditionally, registering to vote required a paper application, either mailed or delivered to the County Courthouse. However, a number of states are now offering online voter registration.
On September 19, 2012, the State of California launched a new online voter registration system. According to the September 20, 2012, article by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, there are 6.5 million California residents that are eligible to vote but have not registered. The California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen hopes that the new system will ensure greater … Read More
Every court has specific rules that must be followed by all parties. Lawyers who regularly practice in a given court are very familiar with the rules of that court. They often know the rules so well that they don’t have to look them up. But you have to look them up. Even if you are representing yourself in court – known as appearing pro se (Latin for “for oneself”) – you will be expected to follow those rules. That means you’ll first have to find them. Fortunately, most court rules can be found online.
State court systems have statewide rules … Read More
As you know, real estate values have declined in recent years. Are you wondering about the value of the homes in your neighborhood? One way to check the value of your property or the property down the street is to review the “assessed value.” Although the assessed value of property is not the same as the appraised value or market value, it can be useful for comparison purposes.
All states have a system for establishing the value of land and buildings referred to as the “assessed value.” The “assessed value” is used for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Property … Read More
Online payments for traffic and other minor offenses are being adopted by more and more courts and government entities. We’ve previously reviewed online payment systems for traffic citations and other court fines in general and in North Carolina, and for parking tickets.
Red light camera tickets may also be paid online in some jurisdictions. Where red light cameras are used, the evidence that a driver ran a red light is a photograph or video. No police testimony is required, so most online red light camera ticket payment systems allow the driver to view the evidence before paying the … Read More
Are you researching your ancestors? Do you need to find historic birth, death or marriage certificates? There are many sites available to search such records. However, do you only have general information such as the State rather than the specific County? Or approximate date rather than the exact birth date, date of death or wedding date?
Many states offer online searches of vital records statewide rather than by individual counties saving you hours of time spent searching individual counties one-by-one. You can access available links to all of the states by using “Vital Statistics Records Resources.” Each State … Read More
Most citizens’ encounters with the legal system take place at the local level, often as a result of a traffic ticket. If you don’t live in the area and don’t know where to find the courthouse or court clerk’s office, how do you find it? What if the information was on that traffic ticket that you misplaced?
CourtReference can help. We provide contact information for all levels of trial courts, from the county’s highest trial court that hears capital murder and complex commercial cases to the village municipal court that hears speeding and town ordinance violations.
Some states include municipal … Read More