Page images
PDF
EPUB

fifteen hundred; the Treasurer, fourteen hundred; the Auditor, two thousand, and the Attorney-General thirteen hundred dollars per annum; and no additional emolument or allowance, except as herein otherwise provided, shall be paid or made out of the treasury of the State to any of the foregoing executive officers on any account.

ARTICLE VIII.

Judicial Department. 1. The judicial power of the State shall be vested in a Supreme Court of Appeals, in circuit courts and the judges thereof, in such inferior tribunals as are herein authorized and in justices of the peace.

2. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall consist of four judges, any three of whom shall be a quorum for the transaction of business. They shall be elected by the voters of the State and hold their office for the term of twelve years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution, except that the judges in office when this article takes effect shall remain therein until the expiration of their present term of office.

3. It shall have original jurisdiction in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in civil cases where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is of greater value or amount than one hundred dollars; in controversies concerning the title of boundaries of land, the probate of wills, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee or curator; or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry or landing; or the right of a corporation or county to levy tolls or taxes; and also in cases of quo warranto, habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari and prohibition, and in cases involving freedom or the constitutionality of a law. It shall have appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases where there has been a conviction for felony or misdemeanor in a circuit court, and where a conviction has been had in any inferior court and been affirmed in a circuit court, and in cases relating to the public revenue, the right of appeal shall belong to the State as well as the defendant, and such other appellate jurisdiction, in both civil and criminal cases, as may be prescribed by law.

4. No decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be considered as binding authority upon any of the inferior courts of this State, except in the particular case decided, unless such decision is concurred in by at least three judges of said court.

5. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeals, every point fairly arising upon the record of the case shall be considered and decided; and the reasons therefor shall be concisely stated in writing and preserved with the record of the case; and it shall be the duty of the court to prepare a syllabus of the points adjudicated in each case concurred in by three of the judges thereof, which shall be prefixed to the published report of the case.

6. A writ of error, supersedeas, or appeal shall be allowed only by the Supreme Court of Appeals, or a judge thereof, upon a petition assigning error in the judgment or proceedings of the inferior court and then only after said court or judge shall have examined and considered the record and assignment of errors, and is satisfied that there is error in the same, or that it pre sents a point proper for the consideration of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

7. If from any cause a vacancy shall occur in the Supreme Court of Appeals the Governor shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy at the next general election for the residue of the term, and in the meantime he shall fill such vacancy by appointment until a judge is elected and qualified. But if the unexpired term be less than two years the Governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment for the unexpired term.

8. The officers of the Supreme Court of Appeals, except the reporter, shall be appointed by the court, or in vacation by the judges thereof, with the power of removal; their duties and compensation shall be prescribed by law.

9. There shall be at least two terms of the Supreme Court of Appeals held annually at such times and places as may be prescribed by law.

10. The State shall be divided into thirteen circuits. For the circuit hereinafter called the first two judges shall be elected, and for each of the other circuits one judge shall be elected by the voters thereof. Each of the judges so elected shall hold his office for the term of eight years unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed in this Constitution. The judges of the circuit courts in office when this article takes effect shall remain therein until the expiration of the term for which they have been elected in the circuits in which they may respectively reside, unless sooner removed as aforesaid. vacancy in the office of a judge of the circuit court shall be filled in the same manner as is provided for in the case of a vacancy in the office of a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals. during his continuance in office the judge of the circuit court shall reside in the circuit in which he is judge. The business of the first circuit may be apportioned between the judges thereof, and such judges may hold courts in the same county or in different counties within the circuit at the same time or at different times as may be prescribed by law.

11. A circuit court shall be held in every county in the State at least three times in each year, and provisions may be made by law for holding special terms of said court. A judge of any circuit may hold the courts in another circuit.

12. The circuit court shall have the supervision and control of all proceedings before justices and other inferior tribunals, hy nandamus, prohibitioc and certiorari. They shall, exilia cases confined exclusively by this Constitution to some other tribunal, have original and general jurisdiction of all matters at law where the amount in controversy, exclusive of interest, exceeds fifty dollars; of all cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto and prohibition; and of all cases in equity, and of all crimes and misdemeanors. They shall have appellate juris. diction in all cases, civil and criminal, where an appeal, writ of error or supersedeas may be allowed to the judgment or proceedings of any inferior tribunal. They shall also have such other jurisdiction, whether supervisory, original, appellate, or concurrent, as is or may be prescribed by law.

13. Until otherwise provided by law, the State shall be divided into the following circuits: The counties of Brooke, Hancock, Ohio and Marshall shall constitute the first circuit; the counties of Monongalia, Marion and Harrison, the second; the counties of Preston, Taylor, Barbour, Tucker and Randolph, the third; the counties of Wetzel, Tyler, Ritchie and Doddridge, the fourth; the counties of Wood, Wirt and Pleasants, the fifth; the counties of Clay, Gilmer, Jackson, Roane and Calhoun, the sixth; the counties of Putnam, Kanawha and Mason, the seventh; the counties of Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Logan, the eighth; the counties of McDowell, Mercer, Raleigh, Wyoming and Boone, the ninth; the counties of Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers, Fayette and Pocahontas, the tenth; the counties of Upshur, Lewis, Braxton, Nicholas and Webster, the eleventh; the counties of Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral and Pendleton, the twelfth; the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan, the thirteenth.

14. The Legislature may rearrange the circuits herein provided for at any session thereof, next preceding any general election of the judges of said circuits, and after the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight, may, at any such session, increase or diminish the number thereof.

15. The Legislature shall provide by law for holding regular and special terms of the circuit courts, where from any cause the judge shall fail to attend, or, if in attendance, cannot properly preside.

General Provisions. 16. All judges shall be commissioned by the Governor. The salary of a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be two thousand two hundred dollars per annum, and that of a judge of the circuit court shall be one thousand eight hundred dollars per annum; and each shall receive the same mileage as members of the Legislature: Provided, That Ohio county may pay an additional sum per annum to the judges of the circuit court thereof; but such allowance shall not be increased or diminished during the term of office of the judge to whom it may have been made. No judge, during his term of office, shall practice the profession of law or hold any other office, appointment or public trust, under this or any other government, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office. Nor shall he, during his continuance therein, be eligible to any political office.

17. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the Legislature, when from age, disease, mental or bodily infirmity or intemperance, they are incapable of discharging the duties of their office. But two-thirds of all the

members elected to each house must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered upon the journal of each house. The judge against whom the Legislature may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied with the cause alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which action is proposed to be taken therein.

18. The voters of each county shall elect a clerk of the cir. cuit court, whose term of office shall be six years; his duties and compensation and the manner of removing him from office shall be prescribed by law; and when a vacancy shall occur in the office, the circuit court or the judge thereof in vacation shall fill the same by appointment until the next general election. In any case in respect to which the clerk shall be so situated as to make it improper for him to act, the said court shall appoint a clerk to act therein. The clerks of said courts in office when this article takes effect, shall remain therein for the term for which they were elected, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by law.

19. The Legislature may establish courts of limited jurisdiction within any county, incorporated city, town or village, with the right of appeal to the circuit court, subject to such limitations as may be prescribed by law; and all courts of limited jurisdiction heretofore established in any county, incorporated city, town or village, shall remain as at present consti. tuted until otherwise provided by law. The municipal court of Wheeling shall continue in existence until otherwise provided by law, and said court and the judge thereof shall exercise the powers and jurisdiction heretofore conferred upon them; and appeals in civil cases from said court shall lie directly to the Supreme Court of Appeals.

20. No citizen of this State who aided or participated in the laté war between the government of the United States and a part of the people thereof, on either side, shall be liable in any proceeding, civil or criminal; nor shall his property be seized or sold under final process issued upon judgments or decrees heretofore rendered, or otherwise, because of any act done in accordance with the usages of civilized warfare in the prosecution of said war. The Legislature shall provide, by general laws, for giving full force and effect to this section.

« PreviousContinue »