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Selected and Annotated

Professor in the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania

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Pa. State Reports....
Pa. Superior Court Reports.
Berks. Co. Law Journal.
County Court Reports.
Dauphin Co. Reporter.
Delaware Co. Reports.
District Reports....
Justice's Law Reporter.
Lackawanna Jurist..
Lancaster Law Review
Lehigh Co. Law Journal
Luzerne Legal Register
Montgomery Co. Law Reporter
Municipal Law Reporter..
Northampton Co. Reporter
Northumberland Legal Journal
Pittsburgh Legal Journal
Schuylkill Legal Record.
Westmoreland Law Journal
York Legal Record.


C. C.

.D. R.
Just. L. R.
. Montg.
.Mun. L. R.

. West.


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Constitutional Provisions Relating to the Judiciary

Constitution of Pennsylvania, Article V Sec. I. The judicial power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in Courts of Common Pleas, Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery, Courts of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Orphans' Courts, Magistrates' Courts, and in such other courts as the general assembly may from time to time establish.3

Sec. II. The Supreme Court shall consist of seven judges, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at large. They shall hold their offices for the term of twenty-one years, if they so long behave themselves well, but shall not be again eligible. The judge whose commission shall first expire shall be chief justice, and thereafter each judge whose commission shall first expire shall in turn be chief justice.

Sec. III. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend over the state, and the judges thereof shall, by virtue of their offices, be Justices of Oyer and Terminer and General Jail Delivery in the several counties; they shall have original jurisdiction in cases of injunction where a corporation is a party defendant, of habeas corpus, of mandamus to courts of inferior jurisdiction, and of quo warranto as to all officers of the commonwealth, whose jurisdiction extends over the state, but shall not exercise any other original jurisdiction; they shall have appellate jurisdiction, by appeal, certiorari or writ of error in all cases, as is now or may hereafter be provided by law.

Sec. IV. Until otherwise directed by law, the Courts of Common Pleas shall continue as at present established, except as herein changed;4 not more than four counties shall, at any time, be included in one judicial district organized for said courts.

Sec. V. Whenever a county shall contain forty thousand inhabitants it shall constitute a separate judicial district, and shall elect one judge learned in the law; and the general assembly shall provide for additional judges, as the business of the said district may require. Counties containing a population less than is sufficient to constitute separate districts shall be formed into convenient single districts, or, if necessary, may be attached to con

1 Adopted November 3, 1873. In effect January 1, 1874.

2 These are constitutional Courts enduring while the Constitution remains unchanged. Comm. v. Hariranft, 77 Pa. 154 (1874).

3 The Legislature created the Superior Court as an intermediate Appellate Court (Act June 24, 1895, P. L. 212); the Allegheny County Court (Act May 5, 1911, P. L. 198) declared constitutional Comm. v. Hopkins, 53 Sup. 16 (1913); and the Municipal Court of Philadelphia (Act July 12, 1913, P. L. 711), declared constitutional, Gerlach v. Moore, 243 Pa. 603 (1914).

4 The legislature may change the jurisdiction and powers of the Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia but cannot consolidate them into one court since section 6 of article 5 of Constitution provides for 5 distinct and separate courts. Bachman v. McMichael, 242 Pa. 482 (1913). A constitutional amendment to accomplish this consolidation was proposed in the Legislature. See Pamphlet Laws 1915 p. 1106.


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