The office of Justice of the Peace originated in England and was brought to this country by the early colonists. The office existed in Connecticut in some form from the beginning of the colony.
Historically in the State of Connecticut the role of the Justice of the Peace has diminished over the years. At one time when this state had a multi-tiered Court system with substantial judicial business being conducted by the municipal and city Court judges, the elected Justice of the Peace had substantial authority with respect to the administration of minor Courts in this State. Over the years the scope of authority of this elected official has been narrowed so that in 1984 the role of the Justice of the Peace is limited to certain grants of authority enumerated by statute. Justices of the Peace have general oath giving powers (Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-24), may take acknowledgements (C.G.S. §1-29), may join persons in marriage (C.G.S. §46b-22), and may take depositions (C.G.S. §52-148c). There are also several statutory grants of power regarding specific documents.