Justice of the Peace “Records” in the Newspaper?

In some jurisdictions county courts may not have heard all lawsuits. Justices of the Peace may have had jurisdiction over smaller matters that took place in their local area–frequently a town, village or township (but it depends on applicable state/local law). One of the problems is that these Justice of the Peace records are often not extant–or as detailed as county or higher level court records. Newspapers can be one place to learn about some of these smaller and less significant cases.

This one from 1886 was for $15 for trespass and damage to stock–probably because someone’s cattle got out or someone crossed a property line. No other details are given, but it helps put people in a location at a certain point in time.