The local Justice of the Peace office has reopened following its closure in March 2020.
Armidale Justice of the Peace (JP) Jenny Post said the office closed during COVID-19 and reopened earlier this month in line with the reopening of the Armidale Court House to the public.
Current arrangements for the JP desk in the Armidale Court House are from 10am to 12pm on Mondays and Fridays.
" At the end of this month, it will be reassessed to determine whether it will be possible to return to three days a week," Mrs Post said.
"Then we will be opening on Wednesdays as before."
However, more JPs are needed to ensure that the service can continue efficiently, Mrs Post said. And she encourages members of the community to think about becoming one.
"We would welcome any enquiries and also love to hear from any JPs who would like to offer some of their time to assist on the desk," she said.
The JP Desk opened in March 2009 in the foyer of the old Court House with just three JPs.
"Our desk was then moved to the old Sheriff's Cottage in 2012 before moving to the new Court House in January 2014," Mrs Post said.
"Over these years, the number of JPs increased to around nine. JPs have come and gone, but last year three of our long-serving JPs retired, which has left our total numbers less than we would like."
"Our wonderful remaining JPs, seven in all, see working on the desk as one way in which they can do some community service," she said.
"They also enjoy the interaction with the public. It can be challenging at times, but we have the JP Handbook to check if something isn't straightforward."
Mrs Post has been a JP since 1991. Until 2006 this was for work purposes, and since then, she has performed the duty as a community service.
"There have been a number of unusual documents presented to me over the years, which adds to the interesting side of the role," she said.
JP Desk volunteers must be members of the New South Wales Justices Association, Mrs Post said.
"This gives them insurance cover while working on the desk and also provides opportunities for training to keep up to date with any changes to the regulations," she said.
"Application forms are available from the JP desk."
JP's are not paid, and appointment as a JP is entirely honorary. The legislated Guidelines on the role of a JP state that a Justice of the Peace must not charge or accept any payment, reward, or any form of compensation or gift for acting in the capacity of Justice of the Peace.
The New South Wales Justices Association says JPs are volunteers, and the same motivations that drive the millions of volunteers in Australia drive people to become and stay JPs.
They want to help others or the community and gain personal satisfaction from doing something worthwhile.
Basically, it is a spirit of generosity.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: