Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What is a Justice of the Peace?

What is the difference between a "Justice of the Peace" and an "officiant?"

Generally speaking, the authority to pronounce someone wed for a JP would be the government, whereas an officiant's pronouncement authority would come from a religious organization with appropriate government registration.

In the In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the terms "officiant" and "Justice of the Peace" (or "JP", "JOP") are often used interchangably, but many officiants are not actually JP's, and many JP's are not also Ordained Wedding Ministers.

A "Justice of the Peace" is often a person appointed by the Massachusetts Governor, with consultation from the Massachusetts Office of Governor's Council.

JP appointments are initially for seven-year terms, with the number of JP appointments allowed by town in relation to population.

Click here for a Massachusetts Justice of the Peace Summary of Duties.

Click here for more information on starting your own professional practice as a wedding officiant!

David Barrett, Esq.
Massachusetts Justice of the Peace
Toll Free - 1-877-473-7852