Article VI, section 17, of the Constitution of 1846 authorized the election of Justices of the Peace to serve in the towns and villages of New York. This section of the constitution provides that the justices shall be chosen by the local electorate in the manner directed by the Legislature. Justices of the Peace hold office for a term of four years and their number and classification is regulated by law. Justices of the Peace preside in town and village courts and have limited civil and criminal jurisdiction.
In 1895, this section was amended to include city court justices in city courts outside the City of New York.
See also: New York Unified Court System. Justice Court Manual.
This manual offers town and village governments best practices and advice relating to the fiscal and operational management of justice courts.
Henry Wilson Scott. The Courts of the State of New York: Their History, Development and Jurisdiction (1909)