One-Day Rule: The Problem

The Problem

Justice of the Peace Association members have long decried the problem of the lay officiant. In Massachusetts the One-Day Solemnizer causes particular distress. Problems include:

  • The state treats lay and professional officiants differently and unfairly, to the detriment of JPs.
  • Municipal town clerks complain that as many as 90% of One-Day Solemnizers made significant legal errors, doubling the amount of work they had to do.
  • One-Day Solemnizers compromise the integrity of the marriage license and are “loose with the law”.
  • Couples who use a One-Day Solemnizer may unwittingly jeopardize the validity of their marriage because important paperwork isn’t filed as required by law.

Professional JPs bring expertise and competence to their role as marriage officiant. As such, JPus is pursuing modifications to the law.

Our Strategy

First, we focused on building relationships and identifying allies who share our goal to change the way the rule is implemented. Then, on January 8th, 2019, JPus submitted a white paper with legislative recommendations to Governor Charlie Baker’s office. Next is building support in the legislature and having a bill submitted for a vote.

  1. Build relationships
  2. Research the problems
  3. Identify desired modifications
  4. Present proposal. Read white paper here.
  5. Secure support for pending legislation from stakeholders
  6. Engage legislators to submit/cosponsor legislation. Instructions here.
  7. Engage the media
  8. Rally letters of support
  9. Rally testimony and testify