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Connecticut Public Acts 1996

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Substitute Senate Bill No. 556

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-120

AN ACT CONCERNING THE NUMBER OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IN A MUNICIPALITY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 9-183a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The number of justices of the peace for each town shall be equal to one-third the number of jurors to which such town is by law entitled, except in the town of Waterbury the number shall be sixty-nine, in the town of Trumbull the number shall be fifteen, in the town of Meriden the number shall be twenty-three, and in the town of Litchfield the number shall be fifteen; provided any town, by ordinance, may provide for the selection of a lesser number of justices of the peace for such town as herein provided, which shall be not less than fifteen.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of any special act or charter to the contrary (1) [in] IN 1994, the number of justices of the peace for any town which selects a number of justices of the peace under a special act or charter, which is fewer than one-third the number of jurors to which the town is by law entitled, shall be one and one-half times the number authorized for the town on May 1, 1994, but not less than fifteen. (2) IN 1996, THE NUMBER OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE FOR ANY SUCH TOWN SHALL BE ONE AND ONE-HALF TIMES THE NUMBER AUTHORIZED FOR THE TOWN ON MAY 1, 1994, BUT NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN, UNLESS THE TOWN AMENDS SUCH SPECIAL ACT OR CHARTER OR ADOPTS AN ORDINANCE, UNDER SUBDIVISION (3) OF THIS SUBSECTION. [(2)] (3) [the town] ANY TOWN WHICH SELECTS A NUMBER OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE UNDER A SPECIAL ACT OR CHARTER, WHICH IS FEWER THAN ONE-THIRD THE NUMBER OF JURORS TO WHICH THE TOWN IS BY LAW ENTITLED [4m, [0m may amend such special act or charter under chapter 99 or may adopt an ordinance superseding such special act or charter provision, to provide for a number of justices of the peace to be selected in 1996, and quadrennially thereafter, which shall be not less than fifteen nor more than one-third the number of jurors to which the town is by law entitled, or may repeal the special act or charter provision.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of any ordinance to the contrary: (1) [in] IN 1994, the number of justices of the peace for any town which selects a number of justices of the peace under an ordinance, which is fewer than one-third the number of jurors to which the town is by law entitled, shall be one and one-half times the number authorized for the town on May 1, 1994, but not less than fifteen;] (2) IN 1996, THE NUMBER OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE FOR ANY SUCH TOWN SHALL BE ONE AND ONE-HALF TIMES THE NUMBER AUTHORIZED FOR THE TOWN ON MAY 1, 1994, BUT NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN, UNLESS THE TOWN AMENDS SUCH ORDINANCE UNDER SUBDIVISION (3) OF THIS SUBSECTION; [(2)] (3) [the town] ANY TOWN WHICH SELECTS A NUMBER OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE UNDER AN ORDINANCE, WHICH IS FEWER THAN ONE-THIRD THE NUMBER OF JURORS TO WHICH THE TOWN IS BY LAW ENTITLED may amend such ordinance to provide for a number of justices of the peace to be selected in 1996, and quadrennially thereafter, which shall be not less than fifteen nor more than one-third the number of jurors to which the town is by law entitled, or may repeal the ordinance provision.

(d) Upon the adoption, amendment or repeal of any ordinance under this section, the clerk of such town shall send a certified copy thereof to the Secretary of the State.

Sec. 2. Section 9-184c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In 1994, 1996, and quadrennially thereafter, the town clerk of each town shall appoint as justice of the peace a number of electors of the town who are not members of major parties, as defined in section 9-372, which shall not exceed (1) where no justices of the peace are selected under section 9-183c, one-third of the total number of justices of the peace in the town, or (2) where justices of the peace are selected under section 9-183c, one-third of the total number of justices of the peace in the town less the number of justices of the peace in the town selected under section 9-183c. Such percentage shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number of justices of the peace. Any such appointment shall be made upon written application submitted on or after August first and on or before November first, in such year. No person who has enrollment privileges in the town in a political party which selected justices of the peace under section 9-183b or under section 9-183c within the period beginning three months before said August first and ending on the date the person is to be appointed under this section, shall be eligible for such appointment. NOT LATER THAN AUGUST 1, 1996, AND QUADRENNIALLY THEREAFTER, THE TOWN CLERK SHALL SEND A WRITTEN NOTICE TO EACH INCUMBENT JUSTICE OF THE PEACE APPOINTED UNDER THIS SECTION. SUCH NOTICE SHALL INFORM SUCH JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OF THE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION CONCERNING THE REAPPOINTMENT OF SUCH JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

(b) If, on November first in such year, the number of applications for justice of the peace filed with the town clerk under subsection (a) of this section exceeds the number of justices of the peace allowed under this section, (1) EACH SUCH APPLICANT WHO IS AN INCUMBENT JUSTICE OF THE PEACE APPOINTED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE REAPPOINTED IF THERE ARE SUFFICIENT OPENINGS AND (2) the town clerk shall, on or before the fifteenth business day of November, select the REMAINING applicants to be appointed as justices of the peace by lot in a ceremony which shall be open to the public and held on five days' public notice. At such lottery the town clerk shall determine the order of all SUCH REMAINING applications for the purpose of filling future vacancies under subsection (d) of this section. If a town clerk receives a number of applications that is less than the number of justices of the peace that he is authorized to appoint under this section in any year, he shall not appoint any additional justices of the peace.

(c) Justices of the peace appointed in 1994, shall serve a term of two years beginning on the first Monday in 1995, and justices of the peace appointed in 1996 and thereafter shall serve a term of four years beginning on the first Monday in January in the succeeding year.

(d) Any vacancy in the office of any such justice of the peace shall be filled by appointment by the town clerk of an elector qualifying under subsection (a) of this section in the order determined in the lottery held under said subsection. If no such lottery is held, the vacancy shall not be filled.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved May 24, 1996. Effective May 24, 1996.

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