The authority of Justices of the Peace dates into antiquity. The first Justices of the Peace were established in England in c. 1344 by King Edward III. The tradition of local Justices also dates into the Laws of Mexico.
There have been Judges in Justice of the Peace Courts in Yavapai County since the Arizona Territory was created in 1864 by President Lincoln .
Early Justices of the Peace have a colorful record. As an example they routinely convened coroner’s jurys, put everyone on horseback and rode to the scene of a body and, usually with the Sheriff present, made a determination about the cause of death!
When Arizona became a State in 1912 the Justice of the Peace Courts were specifically authorized as part of the Arizona Constitution in Article VI Judicial Department, §32 .