Elect a President, Bring in the JPs
(in Connecticut and Vermont)
If it's a Presidential election year, it's also a year for Justices of the Peace
to be appointed (in Connecticut) or elected (in Vermont). In CT, JPs are
appointed for 4-year terms. In VT, JPs
must renew every two years.
it's all over but the voting. The
political parties chose their candidates more than a month ago and the
application deadline for independents has also passed. Now it's up to the voters
on Election Day.
only the politically
can still choose to become a JP. Applications can be filed with
the Town Clerk until November 1. If the number of applicants for the
unaffiliated slots in a town
exceeds the number of JPs allowed by state statute, a public lottery must be
Whether you will be entering your first or
fifth term as a JP, you are invited to take advantage of pre-2009 rates
for membership in
. These rates ($50 for one year,
discounts for the full JP term) will increase on January 1, 2009.
Connecticut Renewal Forms
and Vermont Renewal Forms
filled out online starting now.
Because other states permit Justices of the
Peace to assume office throughout the year, the same discounted rates will be
offered to current members when their jpUS term is up
. When you're ready, here's
the Renewal Form for members in other
New JPs (or any JP
who wants to learn more) can read about membership
click on the New Member form for CT JPs
or for VT JPs
. JPs who do not
assume office until early 2009 (the JP term begins on Jan. 5 in CT and on Feb. 1
in VT) may want to join jpUS
now so that couples planning their spring weddings will find them on
. (Listings will display commission
effective date. No extra charge for early listings.)
Attend a CT JP Conference
Three regional morning meetings (breakfast included) will be held for CT
JPs this autumn, repeating a format that worked well last year. New JPs
-- those taking office in the new year -- are especially invited to
attend one of the sessions and get a running start at being a JP. Here are the dates and locations. Sign up online at
Write to us for detailed
|Saturday, Oct. 25
|Saturday, Nov. 8
|Saturday, Nov. 15
In Massachusetts: The Mass.
State Senate approved in July a
long-stalled bill that would increase by $25 the
fees JPs may charge for weddings. If it becomes law, JPs could
charge $100 for local ceremonies and $150 for ceremonies outside
their home community. Now it's up to the State House!
A 1913 law that blocked
out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their
home states would not recognize the union was repealed on July 31.
The state, which had ignored the law for decades, started enforcing
it after same-sex marriage became legal in 2004. Its repeal is
estimated to bring 30,000 out-of-state couples to MA in the next three years, generating $111
million in business.
MA business got a boost when New York joined Rhode Island and New
in recognizing gay marriages that are performed in other jurisdictions.
Although NY does not itself permit marriages between same-sex
David A. Paterson directed
state agencies to honor such unions when performed legally elsewhere.
On the Ballot: Amendments that would define marriage as between one man and one
woman will be on the ballot on November 4 in Arizona, California and Florida.
(Unless the California measure passes, California is the only state
besides Massachusetts that now allows marriage
between gay couples.) Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont
offer civil unions.
Louisiana JP Joins jpUS:
Cynthia A. Machen is the first JP from
Louisiana to stumble upon
www.findajp.com and decide that she belonged there. "I was
curious about how people found JPs and your website popped up. It
looked interesting so I wanted to join." A three-term JP, she has 6
children and 5 grandchildren. "Lots of Mississippi couples come to
get married here," she explains, "because of the strict laws in
their state. Hopefully your website will help some people find me."
Beware of Scams
Mary Pugh, Norwalk CT JP, warns JPs to be on the lookout for
proposals that are too good to be true, often from abroad. "They
send a certified check and ask the JP to pay the photographer and
others with the money. When the check bounces, the JP is out the
money." Here's an example:
"How do you do? I have a wedding on the 27th
December and i will need the service of wedding vendors like DJ
PHOTOGRAPHY, WEDDING PLANNER, MAKE UP ARTIST AND MANY MORE. I
have a budget of $65,000. Will you be able to help me plan it? As I am
offshore in Manchester City, UK I need you to help me...."
Mary says: "Tell-tale sign it is a scam: They want you to
send money to someone!"
and from Mary Ann Overbaugh, Windsor CT
"I have received two inquiries from
people who are coming to the states to marry and want me to set
up all their plans. I am a bit skeptical and am trying to find
a way to be comfortable with the inquiry but wondering if it is
not a scam. This one comes
from Denmark. Of course I will have to do some research
but it seems pretty real. Let me know if anyone has been
approached from overseas."
From the last Justice of the Peace in South Carolina
"Sad to say, we have had 6 funerals at sea, all military kids who died in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. Much to my regret, this form of funeral is becoming popular because the free service the Navy offers will not allow the family to go to sea for the service. If this continues, it won't be long until I will be burying one soldier/sailor for every one I marry. I cannot express how this tears my heart apart. If you read the letters from these families and saw how important it was for them to be present during the service, you would see how I cannot stop just to retire for selfish reasons. If it were not for the joy of the weddings we do to off-set the sadness of the funerals, I would not be able to carry on. My one nightmare is that I will perform a military wedding today, and bury at sea that same person not far down the road.
During weddings at sea, we often stop the boat for a while so the wedding party can swim. As I stand on the bridge, watching them laugh and have the time of their lives, I cannot help but worry about these kids.
I forbade my six daughters from joining the military
(not that they ever heeded my words). I did so only because I feel I paid dues enough for all of us. The last conflict I fought in was the first Gulf War. I will walk with a limp and sleep troubled sleep for the rest of my
life from my years in the Navy. It's hard enough to watch other people's kids go to war."
David N. Marsh, Charleston
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