WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport voters who are not members of a major political party and who are interested in becoming Justices of the Peace are invited to apply, Town Clerk Patricia Strauss announced.
Interested residents can contact the town clerk's office between now and Nov. 1.
The term of these appointments shall be four years, starting Jan. 2.
Applications are available in the clerk's office in Town Hall, on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Incumbent JPs who are unaffiliated or minor party member voters have already been contacted by Strauss and need only to return the application form sent to them on or before Nov. 1.
There are 18 potential incumbent JPs.
“To be eligible, a voter must have been an unaffiliated or a minor party member voter since May 1 of this year,” said Strauss.
Registered Democrats and Republicans must be named by their respective parties and cannot become unaffiliated to apply as an unaffiliated JP.
“State Statute provides for a total of 20 unaffiliated JPs,” Strauss said. “If there are no more than 20 applicants, the Town Clerk is empowered to appoint all of them to the post of Justice of the Peace. Should there be more than 20 applicants, the Town Clerk is required to select 20 unaffiliated or minor party member JPs by lottery no later than Nov. 22.”
State legislation provides for as many JPs from the town's list of unaffiliated and minor party member voters as are permitted to each of the majority political parties.
The Republican and Democratic parties have chosen their lists of JPs, all of whom will take office Jan. 2 for a four-year term, expiring Jan. 4, 2021.
Justices of the Peace have limited authority to, among other things, take oaths, join persons in marriage and take depositions.