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justice of the peace court: a local court of limited jurisdiction usu. over minor civil and criminal actions, small claims, and some felony preliminaries which is presided over by a justice of the peace and which usu. follows summary procedure NOTE: Justice of the peace courts were formerly common but now are used or remain active to some extent in only a few states.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.