CHAPTER 877

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Table of Contents

Sec. 51-95. Qualification and certification of nominated justices of the peace.

Sec. 51-95a. (Formerly Sec. 51-193a). Justice of the peace not to transact judicial business.

Sec. 51-95b. Qualification and certification of appointed justices of the peace.

Secs. 51-96 to 51-104. Justice court, generally.

Sec. 51-105. Former justice may perfect records; copies.

Sec. 51-106. Judgments of justices of the peace may be recorded.

Sec. 51-107. Attested copies of judgments legal evidence.

Sec. 51-108. Files and minutes admissible as evidence.

Secs. 51-109 and 51-110. Justice not reelected; pending matters. Compensation of justices.


Sec. 51-95. Qualification and certification of nominated justices of the peace. (a) Each person nominated to be a justice of the peace shall take the official oath on or before the first Monday of January following his nomination or, if nominated to fill a vacancy, within ten days thereafter. If the first Monday of January falls on a legal holiday, the oath shall be taken on or before the first Tuesday of January. Unless the official oath is administered by the town clerk, the officer who administers it shall transmit a certificate of the taking of the oath to the clerk of the town in which the justice of the peace was nominated.

(b) Each such justice of the peace, after taking the official oath, shall furnish his signature to such town clerk upon a form prescribed and provided by the Secretary of the State. The form shall be delivered or sent by the clerk to each nominated justice of the peace within the town.

(c) If a person nominated to be a justice of the peace fails to take the oath or to furnish his signature to the town clerk on or before the first Monday in January following his nomination, or the first Tuesday in January if the first Monday in January following the nomination is a legal holiday, the office to which he was nominated shall be deemed vacant.

(d) The town clerk of each town shall keep a record of the names of such qualified justices of the peace.

(e) On or before the fifteenth day of January following the nomination of justices of the peace or, if nominated to fill a vacancy, within ten days after the nomination, the town clerk shall make a certificate upon a form to be prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of the State, stating the names of such qualified justices of the peace in the town, which names shall be set forth as on the registry list of electors in the town. The town clerk shall transmit the certificate to the Secretary of the State.

(f) The certificate shall be sufficient authority upon receipt for the Secretary of the State to certify that the justices of the peace were duly nominated and qualified. Town clerks may also certify to the nomination and qualification of justices of the peace in their respective towns.

(g) Within thirty days after the fifteenth day of January following the nomination of any justice of the peace, and provided the signature form has been received by the town clerk, the town clerk shall issue to each such qualified justice of the peace a certificate of qualification setting forth his name, address, term of office and a statement that he is qualified to act as a justice of the peace.

(h) Each such justice of the peace shall cause the certificate of qualification to be displayed to any person who seeks his service as a justice of the peace.

(1949 Rev., S. 7548; 1953, S. 3093d; 1957, P.A. 224; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 97; 1963, P.A. 532; February, 1965, P.A. 75; 1971, P.A. 443; 1972, P.A. 165, S. 13; June, 1972, P.A. 1, S. 20; P.A. 74-109, S. 9, 11; P.A. 76-71, S. 2, 3; P.A. 78-153, S. 3, 32; P.A. 82-248, S. 79; P.A. 91-24, S. 5, 8; P.A. 94-230, S. 4, 10.)

History: 1959 act deleted references to trial justices, municipal courts and prosecuting grand jurors; 1963 act added provisions re issuance of certificate of qualification by secretary of the state and re justice’s duty to display certificate to persons seeking his services; 1965 act substituted first Monday in January for tenth day of January as time for taking oath, required justice to furnish birth date to secretary and clerks and extended time for secretary to furnish certificate of qualification from 10 to 30 days after receipt of certificate from town clerk; 1971 act clarified provisions re requirement that justice furnish secretary of the state, superior court clerk and town clerk with signature and date of birth, changing deadline from one week after taking oath to January 15th succeeding election and making issuance of town clerk’s and secretary of the state’s certificates conditional upon receipt of signature and birth date, and specified that certificate issued by secretary of the state must include the date justice’s term expires in cases where he will reach the age of 70 during the term; 1972 acts specified that justices residing in New Haven county shall send form to superior court clerk at New Haven or Waterbury and justices residing in Litchfield county shall send form to court clerk at Litchfield or Waterbury, effective September 5, 1972; P.A. 74-109 referred to nomination of justices rather than to their election at a state election and transferred power to issue certificate of qualification from secretary of the state to town clerk; P.A. 76-71 deleted requirement that justice furnish his date of birth and requirement that certificate of qualification include birth date and date term expires by reason of justice’s reaching the age of 70, effectively removing age limitations; P.A. 78-153 changed time for taking oath and furnishing signature from January fifteenth after nomination to first Monday in January or first Tuesday if the Monday is a legal holiday in provision whereby failure to meet deadline is deemed to render the office vacant for consistency; P.A. 82-248 made technical revision, rewording some provisions and dividing section into Subsecs. but made no substantive change; P.A. 91-24 required each justice of the peace to furnish his signature to the town clerk for the town in which he was nominated in duplicate rather than in triplicate and deleted the requirement that the town clerk transmit one of such completed signature forms to the clerk of the superior court for the county, required each town clerk to make a single certificate of the names of qualified justices of the peace in the town rather than duplicate certificates and deleted the requirement that the town clerk transmit one certificate to the clerk of the superior court for the county in which the justice of the peace was nominated, and deleted provisions re the transmittal of signature forms and certificates of qualified justices of the peace for justices nominated in the judicial district of Waterbury; P.A. 94-230 repealed requirements of duplicate forms and submission of one completed form to secretary of the state and made technical changes, effective June 11, 1994.

Sec. 51-95a. (Formerly Sec. 51-193a). Justice of the peace not to transact judicial business. Judicial business shall not be transacted by any justice of the peace.

(1959, P.A. 28, S. 44; February, 1965, P.A. 187, S. 1; P.A. 74-183, S. 71, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 83, 681; P.A. 82-248, S. 80.)

History: 1965 act allowed storage of judicial files, records and dockets as provided in Sec. 51-52; P.A. 74-183 replaced general reference to files, records and dockets of justices, judges and courts with “justice of the peace and trial justices, judges of the borough, city, town and police courts, the traffic court of Danbury and the circuit court” and their respective courts and required that files, etc. be kept in common pleas court clerks’ offices rather than in circuit court clerks’ offices, reflecting transfer of circuit court functions to common pleas court, effective December 31, 1974; Sec. 51-273 transferred to Sec. 51-164h in 1975; P.A. 76-436 applied provisions to records, files, etc. of court of common pleas and required that files, etc. be kept in superior court clerks’ offices rather than in common pleas court clerks’ offices, reflecting transfer of common pleas court functions to superior court, effective July 1, 1978; Sec. 51-164h transferred to Sec. 51-193a in the 1977 Court Reorganization Supplement; P.A. 82-248 deleted provision that prohibited “after December 31, 1960” a justice of the peace transacting judicial business and deleted provisions concerning judicial records and reenacted them as part of Sec. 51-52; Sec. 51-193a transferred to Sec. 51-95a in 1983.

Annotations to former section 51-273:

Cited. 149 C. 151.

Cited. 23 CS 410.

Cited. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 58, 59. With regard to judgment records of former minor courts, clerks of circuit court exercise duty of custody and safekeeping; they are not successors in office to clerks of said courts and are not enabled to amplify or complete any record of such courts in their custody. They may certify only to authenticity of documents in their custody, without verbal alteration. Id., 688.

Sec. 51-95b. Qualification and certification of appointed justices of the peace. (a) Each person appointed to be a justice of the peace pursuant to section 9-184c, before commencing the duties of such office, shall take the official oath and shall furnish his signature to the clerk of the town in which the justice of the peace was appointed, upon a form prescribed and provided by the Secretary of the State. The form shall be delivered or sent by the clerk to each appointed justice of the peace within the town. Unless the official oath is administered by the town clerk, the officer who administers it shall transmit a certificate of the taking of the oath to the clerk of the town in which the justice of the peace was appointed.

(b) The town clerk of each town shall keep a record of the names of such qualified justices of the peace.

(c) On or before the fifteenth day of January following the appointment of justices of the peace or, if appointed to fill a vacancy, within ten days after the appointment, the town clerk shall make a certificate upon a form to be prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of the State, stating the names of such qualified justices of the peace in the town, which names shall be set forth as on the registry list of electors in the town. The town clerk shall transmit the certificate to the Secretary of the State.

(d) The certificate shall be sufficient authority upon receipt for the Secretary of the State to certify that the justices of the peace were duly appointed and qualified. Town clerks may also certify to the appointment and qualification of justices of the peace in their respective towns.

(e) Within thirty days after the fifteenth day of January following the appointment of any such justice of the peace, and provided the official oath has been taken and the signature form has been received by the town clerk, the town clerk shall issue to each qualified justice of the peace a certificate of qualification setting forth his name, address, term of office and a statement that he is qualified to act as a justice of the peace.

(f) Each such justice of the peace shall cause the certificate of qualification to be displayed to any person who seeks his service as a justice of the peace.

(P.A. 94-230, S. 7, 10.)

History: P.A. 94-230 effective June 11, 1994.

Secs. 51-96 to 51-104. Justice court, generally. Sections 51-96 to 51-104, inclusive, are repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 7550, 7551, 7553–7559; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 204.)

Sec. 51-105. Former justice may perfect records; copies. Any former justice of the peace who has been removed from office for other cause than a conviction of crime may perfect his records from the files, as occasion may require, and give certified copies thereof, which shall be legal evidence.

(1949 Rev., S. 7560.)

A justice may perfect his records in another state. 28 C. 527.

Sec. 51-106. Judgments of justices of the peace may be recorded. Section 51-106 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 7561; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 199.)

Sec. 51-107. Attested copies of judgments legal evidence. Each attested copy of any judgment of a justice of the peace which was recorded in the record book of the town where the action was brought, with a certificate of the town clerk that it has been recorded and with the seal of such town affixed thereto, shall be legal evidence in any court in this state.

(1949 Rev., S. 7562.)

Sec. 51-108. Files and minutes admissible as evidence. In the absence of a formal record, the files and minutes of a justice of the peace in any action heard and determined by him shall be admissible as evidence in all actions brought on such judgment after his decease or removal from this state.

(1949 Rev., S. 7563.)

Minutes need not be technically full and accurate. 51 C. 541.

Secs. 51-109 and 51-110. Justice not reelected; pending matters. Compensation of justices. Sections 51-109 and 51-110 are repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 3616, 7564; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 204.)