What is a Magistrate?
A Magistrate is an officer of the state that has similar powers to a Judge, Justice of the Peace, or Prosecutor. Since this blog is written from the perspective of the notary public industry, a Magistrate can often perform the same types of acts that a Notary Public can such as Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, etc.
Origins of the term Magistrate
The office of Magistrate originates from ancient Rome, where a Magistrate was one of the highest offices, by definition. These Roman Magistratus were so high in office, that they were only subordinate to the legislature, and they were normally members of that group as well. These Roman Magistrates had Judicial and Executive powers.
Magistrates in the US
In the United States a Magistrate is generally a type of independent judge who is capable of issuing warrants, reviewing arrests, who can do a hearing and make decisions based on a particular matter. Magistrates on the state level usually handle cases not exceeding a particular dollar amount — hence handling smaller matters.
Where can I learn more about Magistrates?
Please contact your Secretary of State in your particular state, or visit your state’s notary division website, as they sometimes have information about this profession.
You might also like:
Read about the office of Justice of the Peace
Information about various notary procedures