The duties of Vermont's justices of the peace (JP) are
many and varied: from serving as election officials to
determining tax appeals to giving oaths to solemnizing marriages.
Overview of duties of a Justice of the Peace
- GENERAL DUTIES
The duties of justices of the peace can fall into five categories of responsibilities:
Justices of the peace are members of the
board of civil authority (BCA). Members of the BCA serve as election officials at town elections by Australian
ballot and statewide elections. Justices also are responsible for delivering absentee ballots to voters at election time.
- Tax Abatement and Appeals.
Justices of the peace sit as members of the town board for abatement of taxes to
determine whether a taxpayer's tax obligation should be
forgiven under certain circumstances. Justices of the
peace also serve an important role in the town's tax appeal process. As a member of the board of civil authority, justices sit to hear and decide appeals when citizens
do not agree with the final decision of the listers.
Justices of the peace may also solemnize
marriages in Vermont.
- Oaths and Notary.
Justices of the peace may also administer oaths in all cases where an oath is required,
unless a specific law makes a different provision.
A justice of the peace is a notary public ex officio and has all
the acknowledgment powers of a notary public. However,
the justice of the peace must file with the county clerk in
order to act as a notary public (but the fee is waived).
Justices of the peace may also serve as a
magistrate when so commissioned by the Supreme
Please view the VT Justice of the Peace Guide
for a more complete description.