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Qualifications for Justice of Peace in Maine

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In Maine, the official role of justice of the peace was merged into that of notary public in the mid-1980s. The qualifications for a justice of the peace are now the same as that of a notary public, and the same person is expected to perform the duties of both roles, which include performing marriages, certifying documents and authorizing legal decisions.

Basic Requirements

To be a justice of the peace in Maine, an applicant must be a resident of the state who is at least 18 years old. He must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in spoken and written English. Residents of New Hampshire may apply to be justice of the peace/notary public in Maine if they are regularly employed in Maine or regularly practice a trade or run a business there.

Recommendation

To apply for a role as justice of the peace/notary public, an applicant must receive a recommendation from a registered Maine voter who "can attest to the applicant's ability to perform the duties required of a notary public," according to the state of Maine's official website.

Verification of Residency

An applicant for notary public/justice of the peace must have the municipal clerk or registrar ofvoters from his or her own home municipality verify the applicant's residency and must confirm this verification with a signature on the application form.

Restrictions

An applicant is ineligible if she has been convicted of a crime for which imprisonment is typically the penalty. Other circumstances rendering ineligibility include awaiting sentencing for a crime, being free pending appeal of a conviction or being under probation or parole. No applicant will be considered if he has served as notary public in another state and had the privilege revoked for misconduct.

How to Apply

Applications for notary public/justice of the peace can be downloaded from the Maine secretary of state's website. The application fee as of 2010 is $50.00. If accepted, an applicant must be sworn in by a State of Maine Dedimus Justice within 30 days.

References

About the Author

Nancy West has been writing professionally since 1990. Her work has appeared in the "Boston Globe," "North Bridge Magazine," "Outdoors Magazine," "Concord Academy Magazine," boston.com and various other publications. She writes frequently about issues related to family life, recreation, health and community. West graduated from Simmons College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1989.

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  • old book-keeping document image by Andrii Oleksiienko from Fotolia.com