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tiguous districts as the general assembly may provide. The office of associate judge, not learned in the law, is abolished, in counties forming separate districts; but the several associate judges in office when this constitution shall be adopted shall serve for their unexpired terms.5

Sec. VI.6 In the county of Philadelphia all the jurisdiction and powers now vested in the District Courts and Courts of Common Pleas, subject to such changes as may be made by this constitution or by law, shall be in Philadelphia vested in five distinct and separate courts of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction, composed of three judges each. The said courts in Philadelphia shall be designated respectively as the Court of Common Pleas number one, number two, number three, number four, and number five, but the number of said courts may be by law increased, from time to time, and shall be in like manner designated by successive numbers. The number of judges in any of said courts, or in any county where the establishment of an additional court may be authorized by law, may be increased from time to time, and whenever such increase shall amount in the whole to three,? such three judges shall compose a distinct and separate court as aforesaid, which shall be numbered as aforesaid. In Philadelphia all suits shall be instituted in the said Courts of Common Pleas without designating the number of the said courts, and the several courts shall distribute and apportion the business among them in such manner as shall be provided by rules of court, and each court, to which any suit shall be thus assigned, shall have exclusive jurisdiction thereof, subject to change of venue, as shall be provided by law.

In the county of Allegheny all the jurisdiction and powers now vested in the several numbered Courts of Common Pleas shall be vested in one Court of Common Pleas, composed of all judges in commission in said courts. Such jurisdiction and powers shall extend to all proceedings at law and in equity which shall have been instituted in the several numbered courts, and shall be subject to such changes as may be made by law, and subject to change of venue as provided by law. The president judge of said court shall be selected as provided by law. The number of judges in said court may be by law increased from time to time. This amendment shall take effect on the first day of January succeeding its adoption.

Sec. VII. For Philadelphia, there shall be one prothonotary's office, and one prothonotary for all said courts to be appointed by the judges of said courts, and to hold office for three years, subject to removal by a majority of the said judges; the said prothonotary shall appoint such assistants as may be necessary and authorized by said courts; and he and his assistants shall receive fixed salaries, to be determined by law and paid by said county; all fees collected

5 Associate judges continue in counties not forming separate judicial districts. Constitution, schedule § 16.

6 Amendment of 1911.

? In Comm. v. Hyneman, 242 Pa. 244 (1913), the Act of March 29, 1913, P. L. 20, which sought to increase the number of judges in Philadelphia was declared unconstitutional.

in said office, except such as may be by law due to the commonwealth, shall be paid by the prothonotary into the county treasury. Each court shall have its separate dockets, except the judgmentdocket which shall contain the judgments and liens of all the said courts, as is or may be directed by law.

Sec. VIII. The said courts in the counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny, respectively shall, from time to time, in turn detail one or more of their judges to hold the Courts of Oyer and Terminer and the Courts of Quarter Sessions of the Peace of said counties, in such manner as may be directed by law.

Sec. IX. Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas learned in the law shall be judges of the Courts of Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions of the Peace and General Jail Delivery, and of the Orphans' Court, and within their respective districts shall be justices of the peace as to criminal matters.

Sec. X. The judges of the Courts of Common Pleas, within their respective counties, shall have power to issue writs of certiorari to justices of the peace and other inferior courts not of record, and to cause their proceedings to be brought before them, and right and justice to be done.

Sec. XI.8 Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, justices of the peace or aldermen shall be elected in the several

rds, districts, boroughs or townships, by the qualified electors thereof, at the municipal election, in such manner as shall be directed by law, and shall be commissioned by the governor for a term of six years. No township, ward, district or borough shall elect more than two justices of the peace or aldermen without the consent of a majority of the qualified electors within such township, ward or borough; no person shall be elected to such office unless he shall have resided within the township, borough, ward or district for one year next preceding his election. In cities containing over fifty thousand inhabitants, not more than one alderman shall be elected each ward or district.

Sec. XII. In Philadelphia there shall be established, for each thirty thousand inhabitants one court, not of record, of police and civil causes, with jurisdiction not exceeding one hundred dollars; such courts shall be held by magistrates whose term of office shall be six years, and they shall be elected on general ticket at the municipal election, by the qualified voters at large; and in the election of the said magistrates no voter shall vote for more than two-thirds of the number of persons to be elected when more than one are to be chosen; they shall be compensated only by fixed salaries, to be paid by said county; and shall exercise such jurisdiction, civil and criminal, except as herein provided, as is now exercised by aldermen, subject to such changes, not involving an increase of civil jurisdiction or conferring political duties, as may be made by law. In Philadelphia the office of alderman is abolished.10 Sec. XIII. All fees, fines and penalties in said courts shall be paid into the county treasury.

8 Amendment of 1909. 9 Amendment of 1909.

10 The Mayor may appoint a committing magistrate for the Central police station. Act April 9, 1873, P. L. 575.

Sec. XIV. In all cases of summary conviction in this commonwealth, or of judgment in suit for a penalty before a magistrate, or court not of record, either party may appeal to such court of record as may be prescribed by law, upon allowance of the appellate court or judge thereof upon cause shown.

Sec. XV. All judges required to be learned in law, except the judges of the Supreme Court, shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective districts over which they are to preside, and shall hold their offices for the period of ten years, if they shall so long behave themselves well; but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor may remove any of them, on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly.11

Sec. XVI. Whenever two judges of the Supreme Court are to be chosen for the same term of service each voter shall vote for one only, and when three are to be chosen, he shall vote for no more than two; candidates highest in vote shall be declared elected.

Sec. XVII. Should any two or more judges of the Supreme Court, or any two or more judges of the Court of Common Pleas for the same district be elected at the same time, they shall, as soon after the election as convenient, cast lots for priority of commission, and certify the result to the governor, who shall issue their commissions in accordance therewith.

Sec. XVIII. The judges of the Supreme Court and the judges of the several Courts of Common Pleas, and all other judges required to be learned in the law, shall at stated times receive for their services an adequate compensation, which shall be fixed by law, and paid by the state.12 They shall receive no other compensation, fees or perquisites of office, for their services from any source, nor hold any other office of profit under the United States, this state or any other state.

Sec. XIX. The judges of the Supreme Court, during their continuance in office, shall reside within this commonwealth; and the other judges, during their continuance in office, shall reside within the districts for which they shall be respectively elected.

Sec. XX. The several Courts of Common Pleas, besides the powers herein conferred, shall have and exercise, within their respective districts, subject to such changes as may be made by law, such chancery powers as are now vested by law in the several Courts of Common Pleas of this commonwealth, or, as may hereafter be conferred upon them by law.

Sec. XXI. No duties shall be imposed by law upon the Supreme Court or any of the judges thereof, except such as are judicial, nor shall any of the judges thereof exercise any power of appointment except as herein provided. The court of nisi prius is hereby abolished, and no court of original jurisdiction, to be presided over by any one or more of the judges of the Supreme Court, shall be established.

11 For judge's retirement act see act June 12, 1919. P. L. 461.

12 Compensation of judges fixed by Acts July 1, 1919, P. L. 708 and July 21, 1919, P. L. 1065.

Sec. XXII. In every county wherein the population shall exceed one hundred and fifty thousand, the general assembly shall, and in any other county may, establish a separate Orphans' Court, to consist of one or more judges, who shall be learned in the law, which court shall exercise all the jurisdiction and powers now vested or which may hereafter be conferred upon the Orphans' Courts, and thereupon the jurisdiction of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas within such county, in Orphans' Court proceedings, shall cease and determine. In any county in which a separate Orphans' Court shall be established, the register of wills shall be clerk of such court and subject to its direction, in all matters pertaining to his office; he may appoint assistant clerks, but only with the consent and approval of the said court. All accounts filed with him as register or as clerk of the said separate Orphans' Court shall be audited by the court without expense to parties, except where all parties in interest in a pending proceeding shall nominate an auditor whom the court may, in its discretion, appoint. In every county Orphans' Courts shall possess all the powers and jurisdiction of a Register's Court; and separate Registers' Courts are hereby abolished.13

Sec. XXIII. The style of all process shall be "The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and conclude "against the peace and dignity of the same.

Sec. XXIV. In all cases of felonious homicide, and in such other criminal cases as may be provided for by law, the accused, after conviction and sentence, may remove the indictment, record and all proceedings, to the Supreme Court for review.

Sec. XXV. Any vacancy happening by death, resignation or otherwise, in any court of record, shall be filled by appointment by the governor, to continue till the first Monday of January next succeeding the first general election, which shall occur three or more months after the happening of such vacancy.

Sec. XXVI. All laws relating to courts shall be general and of uniform operation, and the organization, jurisdiction and powers of all courts of the same class or grade, so far as regulated by law, and the force and effect of the process and judgment of such courts, shall be uniform; and the general assembly is hereby prohibited from creating other courts to exercise the powers vested by this constitution in the judges of the Courts of Common Pleas and Orphans' Courts.

Sec. XXVII. The parties by agreement filed, may in any civil case dispense with trial by jury, and submit the decision of such case to the court having jurisdiction thereof, and such court shall hear and determine the same; and the judgment thereon shall be subject to writ of error, as in other cases.

13 For Organization, Jurisdiction and Procedure of Orphans Courts see Act June 7, 1917, P. L. 363.


Constitution of Pennsylvania, Schedule Sec. XIV. The general assembly shall, at the next succeeding session after each decennial census, and not oftener, designate the several judicial districts as required by this constitution.14

Sec. XVI. After the expiration of the term of any president judge of any Court of Common Pleas, in commission at the adoption of this constitution, the judge of such court learned in the law and oldest in commission shall be the president judge thereof; and when two or more judges are elected at the same time in any judicial district they shall decide by lot which shall be president judge; but when the president judge of a court shall be re-elected he shall continue to be president judge of that court. Associate judges not learned in the law, elected after the adoption of this constitution, shall be commissioned to hold their office for the term of five years from the first day of January next after their election.' Organization, Jurisdiction and Powers of the Court of

Common Pleas There shall be holden and kept, in every of the counties of this Commonwealth, a court of record,16 the name and style whereof shall be “The Court of Common Pleas of (the respective) county.

The Courts of Common Pleas of the several counties of this commonwealth, except the county of Philadelphia, are hereby, declared to consist of a president judge and two associate judges.18

The president and associate judges of the Court of Common Pleas, or any two of them, or the presiding judge, in the absence of his associates, shall have power to hold the said courts and to hear and determine all causes, matters and things cognizable therein, according to the constitution, laws and usages of this commonwealth.1

The president or the legal associate judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the county of Philadelphia, shall have power, from time to time, as may be found requisite, to hold a Court of Common Pleas, for the trial of civil issues depending in such court, although two of the judges of the said court should be holding, at



14 There are now (1922) 56 judicial districts in 67 counties.

15 Although as a general rule the schedule is no part of the Constitution and serves a tempora:y purpose only, Comm. v. Clark, 7 W. & S. 127 (1844), yet Sec. XVI. has been held to apply not only to judges existing at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, but also to all judges thereafter commissioned. It is a permanent clause. Comm. v. Pattison, 109 Pa. 165, (1885).

16"A court of record is that where the acts and judicial proceedings are enrolled for a perpetual memorial and testimony, which rolls are called the records of the court and are of such high and supereminent authority that their truth is not to be called into question. ” Per Rogers J. in Bellas v. M'Carty, 10 Watts 13, 34 (1840). 17 Act April 14, 1834, P. L. 333, § 18.

18 Ibid. § 19. For history of the courts of Pennsylvania see articles of Professor W. H. Loyd, 55 U. of P. Law Review 529, and 56 U. of P. Law Review 28, 88 and of Lawrence Lewis, Esq., in Report of Penna. Bar Assn. for 1895 and Loyd's “Early Courts of Pennsylvania.

19 Ibid. § 20.

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