Justice of The Peace Duties:
The justice of the peace is the legal jurisdiction closest to the average citizen.
Justices of the peace hear misdemeanor cases punishable by fine only. The justice court also has authority to hear most civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $10,000.
The justice of the peace also performs the functions of a magistrate and conducts inquests. In addition, a justice of the peace may issue may issue a variety of civil process, as well warrants for search and arrest. Justices of the peace also conduct preliminary hearings, administer oaths, perform marriages and serve as a coroner in counties where there is no medical examiner. They can also deal with matters concerning foreclosure of mortgages and enforcement of liens on personal property, as well as landlord-tenant disputes.
As with all elected county officials, the justice of the peace has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire personnel and direct their daily activities. The justice of the peace also has authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process.