« ZurückWeiter »
any case, by interest or otherwise, the governor shall designate certain judges of the superior courts to sit in their stead. At the first appointment of judges of the supreme court under this constitution, one shall be appointed for four years, one for eight years, and one for twelve years; but all subsequent appointments, except to fill unexpired terms, shall be for the term of twelve years.
Two. The supreme court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors from the superior courts and from the city courts of Savannah and Augusta, and such other like courts as may be hereafter established in other cities; and shall sit at the seat of government at such times in each year as shall be prescribed by law, for the trial and determination of writs of error from said superior and city courts. The days on which the cases from the several circuits and city courts shall be taken up by the court shall be fixed by law.
Three. The supreme court shall dispose of every case at the first or second term after such writ of error is brought; and in case the plaintiff in error shall not be prepared at the first term to prosecute the case, unless prevented by providential cause, it shall be stricken from the docket, and the judgment below shall stand affirmed. In any case the court may, in its discretion, withhold its judgment until the next term after the same is argued.
Four. When only two judges sit in any case, and they disagree, the judgment below shall stand affirmed.
SEC. 3. One. There shall be a judge of the superior courts for each judicial circuit. He may act in other circuits when authorized by law. At the first appointment of such judges under this constitution, one-half of the number (as near as may be) shall be appointed for four years, and the other half for eight years; but all subsequent appointments, except to fill unexpired terms, shall be for the term of eight years.
Two. The superior courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in cases of divorce; in criminal cases, where the offender is subjected to loss of life or confinement in the penitentiary; in cases respecting titles to land and equity cases, except as hereinafter provided; but the general assembly shall have power to merge the common law and equity jurisdiction of said courts. 'Said courts shall have jurisdiction in all other civil cases, except as hereinafter provided. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in all such cases as may be provided by law; they shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories, by writ of certiorari, which shall only issue on the sanction of the judge; and to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs that may be necessary for carrying their powers fully into effect, and shall have such other powers as shall be conferred on them by law.
Three. There shall be no appeal from one jury in the superior courts to another, but the court may grant new trials on legal grounds. The court shall render judgment without the verdict of a jury in all civil cases founded on contract, where an issuable defence is not filed on oath.
Four. The superior courts shall sit in each county not less than twice in each year, at such times as have been or may be appointed by law.
SEC. 4. One. Until the general assembly shall otherwise direct, there shall be a district judge and a district attorney for each senatorial district in this State.
Two. The district judge shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all offences not punishable with death or imprisonment in the penitentiary; and it shall be the duty of the district attorney to represent the State in all cases before the district judge.
Three. The district judge shall sit at stated times, not less than once in each month in each county in his district for the trial of offences, and at such other times as the general assembly may direct.
Four. Offences shall be tried before the district judge on a written accusation founded on affidavit; said accusation shall plainly set forth the offence charged, and shall contain the name of the accuser, and be signed by the district attorney.
Five. There shall be no jury-trial before the district judge except when demanded by the accused, in which case the jury shall consist of seven.
Six. Such civil jurisdiction may be conferred on the district judges as the general assembly may direct.
Seven. The district judges and attorneys shall hold their offices for a period of four
years, and shall receive for their services such stated compensation in their respective districts as may be provided by law, but in no event shall their compensation be in anywise dependent on fines, forfeitures, or costs.
SEC. 5. One. The powers of a court of ordinary and of probate shall be vested in an ordinary for each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under regulations prescribed by law.
Two. The courts of ordinary shall have such powers in relation to roads, bridges, ferries, public buildings, paupers, county officers, county funds and taxes, and other matters, as shall be conferred on them by law.
Three. The ordinary shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.
Sec. 6. One. There shall be in each district one justice of the peace, whose official term, except when elected to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.
Two. The justices of the peace shall have jurisdiction, except as hereinafter provided, in all civil cases where the principal sum claimed does not exceed one hundred dollars, and may sit at any time for the trial of such cases; but in cases where the sum claimed is more than fifty dollars, there may be an appeal to the superior court, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.
Three. There shall be no appeal to a jury from the decision of a justice of the peace, except as provided in the foregoing paragraph.
Four. Notaries public may be appointed and commissioned by the governor, not to exceed one for each militia district, for a term of four years, and shall be ex-officio justices of the peace.
Sec. 7. One. There shall be an attorney-general of the State, whose official term, except when appointed to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.
Two. It shall be the duty of the attorney-general to act as the legal adviser of the executive department, to represent the State in all civil and criminal cases in the supreme and superior courts when required by the governor, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.
Sec. 8. One. There shall be a solicitor-general for each judicial circuit, whose official term, except when appointed to fill an unexpired term, shall be four years.
Two. It shall be the duty of the solicitor-general to represent the State in all cases in the superior courts of his circuit, and in all cases taken up from his circuit to the supreme court, and to perform such other services as shall be required of him by law.
Sec. 9. One. The judges of the supreme and the superior courts, the attorney-general, solicitors-general, and the district judges and attorneys, shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, and shall be removable by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly, or by impeachment and conviction thereon.
Two. Justices of the peace shall be elected by the legal voters in their respective districts, and shall be commissioned by the governor. They shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office.
SEC. 10. One. The judges of the supreme and superior courts and the attorney and solicitors general shall have, out of the State treasury, adequate and honorable salaries on the specie basis, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office. The district judges and district attorneys shall receive, out of the treasuries of the several counties of their districts, adequate compensation, on the specie basis, which shall not be increased or diminished during their term of office; but said judges shall not receive any other perquisites or emoluments whatever from parties or others on account of any duty required of them.
Two. The general assembly shall provide for the equitable apportionment of the compensation of the district judges and attorneys between the counties composing their districts, and shall require the moneys arising from fines and forfeitures in the district courts to be paid into the treasuries thereof.
Three. No person shall be judge of the supreme or superior courts, or attorneygeneral, unless at the time of his appointment he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been a citizen of this state three years, and have practised law for seven years.
SEC. 11. One. No total divorce shall be granted except on the concurrent verdicts of two juries. When a divorce is granted, the jury rendering the final verdict shall determine the rights and disabilities of the parties, subject to the revision of the court.
Sec. 12. One. Divorce cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides, if a resident of this State.
Two. Criminal cases shall be tried in the county where the crime was committed, except cases in the superior courts when the presiding judge is satisfied that an impartial jury cannot be obtained in such county.
Three. Cases respecting titles to land shall be tried in the county where the land lies, except where a single tract is divided by a county-line, in which case the superior court of either county shall have jurisdiction.
Four. Equity cases shall be tried in the county where a defendant resides against whom substantial relief is prayed.
Five. Suits against joint promisors, copartners, or joint trespassers, residing in different counties, may be tried in either county.
Six. Suits against the maker and indorser of promissory notes, or other like instruments, residing in different counties, shall be tried in the county where the maker resides.
Seven. All other cases shall be tried in the county where the defendant resides.
SEC. 13. One. The right of trial by jury, except where it is otherwise provided in this constitution, shall remain in violate.
Two. The general assembly shall provide by law for the selection of upright and intelligent persons to serve as jurors. There shall be no distinction between the classes of persons who compose grand and petit juries. Jurors shall receive adequate compensation for their services, to be prescribed by law.
SEC. 14. One. The courts heretofore existing in this State styled inferior courts are abolished, and their unfinished business, and the duties of the justices thereof, are transferred to such tribunals as the general assembly may designate.
SEC. 15. One. The general assembly shall have power to provide for the creation of county commissioners in such counties as may require them, and to define their duties.
SEC. 16. One. All courts not specially mentioned by name in the first section of this article may be abolished in any county, at the discretion of the general assembly, and the county courts now existing in Georgia are hereby abolished.
Sec. 17. One.* No court or officer shall have, nor shall the general assembly give,
* The act of Congress, approved June 25, 1868, admitting the State of Georgia to representation in Congress, amended and abridged this subdivision, which in the original constitution read as follows:
“Sec. 17. One. No court in this State shall have jurisdiction to try or determine any suit against any resident of this State upon any contract or agreement made or implied, or upon any contract made in renewal of any debt existing prior to the Ist day of June, 1865; nor shall any court or ministerial officer of this State have authority to enforce any judgment, execution, or decree rendered or issued upon any contract or agreement made or implied, or upon any contract in renewal of a debt existing prior to the ist day of June, 1865, except in the following cases :
“1. In suits against trustees, where the trust-property is in the hands of the trustee, or has been invested by him in other specific effects now in his hands, and in suits by the vendor of real estate against the vendee, where not more than one-third of the purchase-money has been paid, and the vendee is in possession of the land or specific effects for which he has sold it, and he refuses to deliver the land or said effects to the vendor. În such cases the courts and officers may entertain jurisdiction and enforce judgments against said trust-property or lard or effects.
“2. In suits for the benefit of minors by trustees appointed before the ist day of June, 1865.
“3. In suits against corporations in their corporate capacity, but not so as to enforce the debt against the stockholders or officers thereof in their individual capacity.
"4. In suits by charitable or literary institutions for money loaned, property (other than slaves) sold, or services rendered by such institutions,
“5. In suits on debts due for mechanical or manual labor when the suit is by the mechanic or laborer.
“6. In cases when the debt is set up by way of defence, and the debt set up exceeds any debt due by defendant to plaintiff of which the courts are denied jurisdiction.
“7. In all other cases in which the general assembly shall, by law, give the said courts and officers jurisdiction: Provided, That no court or officer shall have, nor shall the general assembly give, jurisdiction or authority to try or give judgment on or enforce any debt, the consideration of which was a slave or slaves, or the hire thereof."
jurisdiction or authority to try or give judgment on or enforce any debt, the consideration of which was a slave or slaves, or the hire thereof.
Two. All contracts made and not executed during the late rebellion, with the intention and for the purpose of aiding and encouraging said rebellion, or where it was the purpose and intention of any one of the parties to such contract to aid or encourage such rebellion, and that fact was known to the other party, whether said contract was made by any person or corporation with the State or Confederate States, or by a corporation with a natural person, or between two or more natural persons, are hereby declared to have been and to be illegal, and all bonds, deeds, promissory notes, bills, or other evidences of debt, made or executed by the parties to such contract, or either of them, in connection with such illegal contract, or as the consideration therefor or in furtherance thereof, are hereby declared null and void, and shall be so held in all courts in this State when attempt shall be made to enforce any such contract or give validity to any such obligation or evidence of debt. And in all cases when the defendant or any one interested in the event of the suit will make a plea, supported by his or her affidavit, that he or she has reason to believe that the obligation or evidence of indebtedness upon which the suit is predicated, or some part thereof, has been given or used for the illegal purpose aforesaid, the burden of proof shall be upon the plaintiff to satisfy the court and jury that the bond, deed, note, bill, or other evidence of indebtedness upon which said suit is brought, is or are not, nor is any part thereof, founded upon or in any way connected with any such illegal contract, and has not been used in aid of the rebellion, and the date of such bond, deed, note, bill, or other evidence of indebtedness shall not be evidence that it has or has not, since its date, been issued, transferred, or used in aid of the rebellion.*
EDUCATION.. One. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall provide a thorough system of general education, to be forever free to all children of the State, the expense of which shall be provided for by taxation or otherwise. Two. The office of State school commissioner is hereby created.
He shall be appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, and shall hold his office for the same term as the governor. The general assembly shall provide for the said commissioner a competent salary and necessary clerks. He shall keep his office at the seat of government.
Three. The poll-tax allowed by this constitution, any educational fund now belonging to this State, except the endowment of and debt due to the State university, or that may hereafter be obtained in any way, a special tax on shows and exhibitions, and on the sale of spirituous and malt liquors, which the general assembly is hereby authorized to assess, and the proceeds from the commutation for militia service, are hereby set apart and devoted to the support of common schools. And if the provisions herein made shall, at any time, prove insufficient, the general assembly shall have power to levy such general tax upon the property of the State as may be necessary for the support of said school-system. And there shall be established, as soon as practicable, one or more common schools in each school-district in this State.
* The act of Congress, approved June 25, 1868, admitting the State of Georgia to representation in Congress, declared null and void a third subdivision of section seventeen of the fifth article, which in the original constitution read as follows:
“Three. It shall be in the power of the general assembly to assess and collect upon all debts, judgments, or causes of action when due, founded on any contract made or implied before the ist day of June, 1865, in the hands of any one in his own right, or as trustee, agent, or attorney of another, on or after the ist day of January, 1868, a tax of not exceeding twenty-five per cent., to be paid by the creditor on pain of the forfeiture of the debt, but chargeable by him as to one-half thereof against the debtor, and collectible with the debt: Provided, That this tax shall not be collected if the debt or cause of action be abandoned or settled without legal process, or, if in judgment, be settled without levy and sale: And provided further, That this tax shall not be levied so long as the courts of this State shall not have jurisdiction of such debts or causes of action.”
HOMESTEAD AND EXEMPTION.
SECTION 1. One. Each head of a family, or guardian, or trustee, of a family of minor children, shall be entitled to a homestead of realty to the value of $2,000 in specie, and personal property to the value of $1,000 in specie, both to be valued at the time they are set apart. And no court or ministerial officer in this State shall ever have jurisdiction or authority to enforce any judgment, decree, or execution against said property so set apart, including such improvements as may be made thereon, from time to time, except for taxes, money borrowed and expended in the improvement of the homestead, or for the purchase-money of the same, and for labor done thereon, or material furnished therefor, or removal of encumbrances thereon. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, as early as practicable, to provide, by law, for the setting apart and valuation of said property, and to enact laws for the fúll and complete protection and security of the same to the sole use and benefit of said families as aforesaid.
Two. All property of the wife, in her possession at the time of her marriage, and all property given to, inherited, or acquired by her, shall remain her separate property, and not be liable for the debts of her husband.
SECTION 1. The militia shall consist of all able-bodied male persons between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as may be exempted by the laws of the United States or this State; and shall be organized, officered, armed, equipped, and trained in such manner as may be provided by law; subject to the paramount authority of Congress over this subject.
Sec. 2. Volunteer companies of cavalry, infantry, or artillery may be formed in such manner, and with such restrictions, as may be provided by law.
SEC. 3. No person conscientiously opposed to bearing arms shall be compelled to do militia duty, but such person shall pay an equivalent for exemption; the amount to be prescribed by law and appropriated to the common-school fund.
One. The county officers recognized as existing by the laws of this state, and not abolished by this constitution, shall
, where not otherwise provided for in this constitution, be elected by the qualified voters of their respective counties or districts, and shall hold their offices for two years. They shall be removable on conviction for malpractice in office, or on the address of two-thirds of the senate.
SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
One. The seat of government of this State, from and after the date of the ratification of this constitution, shall be in the city of Atlanta, and the general assembly shall provide for the erection of a new capitol, and such other buildings as the public welfare may require.
Two. The general assembly shall have power to provide for the temporary removal of the seat of government in case of invasion, pestilence, or other emergency.