What types of local justices are typically elected?

Local judges that are typically elected to their positions include:

Justice of the peace: A justice of the peace is a person who has the power to administer oaths, perform marriages in some jurisdictions, and witness signatures. They also have the power to take affidavits. A judicial JP is appointed by the state government and can hear and decide cases in lower courts like small claims court.

County court judge: A county court judge is a judge that presides over cases in the county courts. In states with an administrative county court, it will act as executive agency for the local government. The qualifications for being a county court judge vary from state to state, but in general, some states require the candidate to be licensed to practice law before they can serve as a county court judge.

District Court Judges: These judges preside over a trial and decide the outcome of the case. They do not have jurisdiction to serve as appellate judges for other cases, but they can make decisions on issues such as deportation, bankruptcy, or child custody. For example, New York District Courts are elected to six-year terms in partisan elections. In Pennsylvania, magisterial district judges are elected for 6-year terms.

Municipal judge: A municipal court judge is someone who presides over the court cases in a municipality. They are usually appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. The judge hears cases for violations of city ordinances, such as parking tickets or noise complaints, as well as other minor criminal matters. The duties of a municipal judge are to conduct hearings, rule on motions, and make decisions on sentencing for defendants. They also enforce the law by issuing citations or arresting people who have broken the law.

Category: Judical Election FAQs