Do Justices of the Peace Get Paid?
The question about whether a Justice of the Peace gets paid is a very common one! At Asset College, our Course Advisor team will be asked this question all the time. However, in Australia Justices of the Peace are not to accept payments for their services.
Becoming a Justice of the Peace is a voluntary task. A number of people will become a JP for reasons that relate to their business or their community, but they won’t be paid directly by those whom they are witnessing signatures or certifying copies for.
The Justice of the Peace Handbook in QLD under the Standards required for JP (Qual) it clearly outlines that as a JP:
You shall not accept any reward, gift or payment for services rendered as part of your official duties.
There may be times where after documents are signed by a JP that there is a fee associated with submission of those documents to another party. Examples of this could include paying a filing fee to the local court. However, the JP themselves should never be paid for the original service.
On occasion we have heard about donations being requested for JP services which are for charity. This is also illegal. Additionally, JP’s can’t refuse to sign documents that you request them to sign unless there is something wrong with the document or the JP believes that the circumstances under which the document is being signed is not quite right.
The main exceptions would be if the JP has good reason to believe that a document has been falsified, the witness is under duress or a person is lying etc.
You might find that some Post Office Managers or other community representatives (psychologists, doctors, accountants) might charge for the service to witness statutory declarations or certify copies. This is not illegal because they are not actually Justices of the Peace (Qualified).
If you come across a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) who is charging for their services, you can make a complaint to the Justice of the Peace branch.
In Queensland, powers of the Justice of the Peace can normally be revoked through a few different triggers. These include bankruptcy, failure to advise of change of details, conviction of a disqualifying offence (which is normally anything more than a parking ticket). This includes things like drink driving and too many speeding fine and if a Justice of the Peace is not following the required standards they will be reprimanded.
Just because a JP can’t charge for their services, that does not mean there isn’t any benefits individually to becoming a Justice of the Peace.
Adding that you are a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) to your resume or signature showcases that because you had to become registered to be a JP, you are essentially a person of good standing in the community!
From a business perspective, if you have a JP in the office than employees won’t need to take any time off work to have important documents signed. Additionally, it is a way to get more people through your business doors who may not have otherwise visited your business and can build brand awareness.
Personally, becoming a JP can be a great way to give back to the community and for a lot of our senior citizens is a great way to keep their minds sharp and socialise within the community.
Are you considering becoming a Justice of the Peace yourself?
Contact us to chat about the course entry requirements and the appointment process and whether becoming a JP is right for you.