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their continuance in office, receive for their services & compensation, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which they shall have been elected; but neither of these officers shall receive for his own use any fees for the performance of his official duties.
SECTION 1. Judicial powers.
2. Supreme Court, how constituted. Three Justices neces
sary to transact business, 3. Election of Supreme Court Justices. 4. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 5. Judicial Districts-Judges' terms-absence. 6. Jurisdiction of District Courts. 7. County Courts. Judges. Terms and powers of the
Court and Probate Judge of San Francisco. 8. Jurisdiction of County Court. 9. Justice of the Peace, their powers and duties. 10. Jurisdiction of Recorders, and other inferior Municipal
Courts. 11. Clerk of the Supreme Court, County Clerk, and other
officers. Their powers and duties. 12. Terms of the Courts, how to be fixed. 13. Fees and perquisites of Judicial officers. 14. Decisions of the Supreme Court to be published. 15. Salaries of Judicial officers, how fixed. 16. Ineligibility of Judges for other offices. 17. Charge of Judges to Juries. 18. Style of Process." 19. Amendments to Article IV not to affect official incum
SECTION 1. The judicial power of this State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in District Courts, in County Courts, in Probate Courts, and in Justices of the Peace, and in such Recorders and other inferior Courts as the Legislature may establish in any incorporated city or town.
NOTE.—The decisions relative to the jurisdiction of the various Courts are fully annotated in the Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 33 to 133, and are for that reason omitted in this Code.-See Note to Preamble. The Courts may go behind the record evidence of a
statute, and inquire whether it was passed or approved
Sec. 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Supreme Justice and four Associate Justices. The presence of three Justices shall be necessary for the transaction of business, excepting such business as may be done at chambers, and the concurrence of three Justices shall be necessary to pronounce a judgment.
Sec. 3. The Justices of the Supreme Court shall be Election of elected by the qualified electors of the State at special Court
Justices. elections to be provided by law, at which elections no officer other than judicial shall be elected, except a Superintendent of Public Instruction. The first election for Justices of the Supreme Court shall be held in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-three. The Justices shall hold their offices for the term of ten years from the first day of January next after their election, except those elected at the first election, who, at their first meeting shall so classify themselves by lot that one Justice shall
go out of office every two years. The Justice having the shortest term to serve shall be the Chief Justice.
NOTE.-A constitutional ofñcer cannot be divested of his office otherwise than as prescribed by the Constitution.-People vs. Wells, 2 Cal., p. 198. The absence of a Judge from the State is not such a vacancy as can be supplied by the Executive under legislative authority; nor is an Act authorizing the Governor to appoint a Judge of the Supreme Court during the absence of one of the Judges from the State, constitutional. —People vs. Wells, 2 Cal., p. 610.
Sec. 4. The Supreme Court shall have appellate juris- Jurisdicdiction in all cases in equity; also in all cases at law Supremo which involve the title or possession of real estate, or
the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, or in which the demand, exclusive of interest or the value of the property in controversy, amounts to three hundred dollars; also in all cases arising in the Probate Courts; and also in all criminal cases amounting to felony, on questions of law alone. The Court shall also have power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and habeas corpus, and also all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. Each of the Justices shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State, upon petition on behalf of any person held in actual custody, and may make such writs returnable before himself, or the Supreme Court, or before any District Court, or any County Court in the State, or before any Judge of said Courts.
Note.-Half pilotage is not a toll within the mean
ing of this section.-Harrison vs. Green, 18 Cal., p. 94. Sec. 5. The State shall be divided, by the Legislature of eighteen hundred and sixty-three, into fourteen Judicial Districts, subject to such alteration, from time to time, by a two thirds vote of all the members elected to both Houses, as the public good may require; in each of which there shall be a District Court, and for each of which a District Judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of the district at the special Judicial elections to be held as provided for the election of Justices of the Supreme Court, by section three of this Article. The District Judges shall hold their offices for the term of six years from the first day of January next after their election. The Legislature shall have no power to grant leave of absence to a Judicial officer; and any such offi. cer who shall absent himself from the State for upwards of thirty consecutive days shall be deemed to have for. feited his office.
NOTE.—The number of districts may be increased beyond fourteen by a two-third vote of the Legislature. People vs. Sassovich, 29 Cal., p. 480. An election to fill a vacancy in the office of District Judge is invalid unless held under the Governor's proclamation.- McKune vs. Weller, 11 Cal., p. 49. The Legislature may
provide for filling the office of District Judge during
Sec. 6. The District Courts shall have original juris- Jurisdicdiction in all cases in equity; also, in all cases at law District which involve the title or possession of real property, or the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, toll, or municipal fine, and in all other cases in which the demand, exclusive of interest or the value of the property in con. troversy, amounts to three hundred dollars; and also in all criminal cases not otherwise provided for. The District Courts and their Judges shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, on petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody, in their respective districts.
NOTE.—The Legislature may authorize the District
trict.-People vs. McCauley, 1 Cal., p. 379. SEC. 7. There shall be in each of the organized coun- County
Courts. ties of the State a County Court, for each of which a County Judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of the county, at the special judicial election to be held as provided for the election of Justices of the Supreme Court by section three of this Article. The County Judges. Judges shall hold their offices for the term of four years from the first day of January next after their election. Said Courts shall also have power to issue naturalization papers. In the City and County of San Francisco the Terms and Legislature may separate the office of Probate Judge Court and from that of County Judge, and may provide for the Judge of election of a Probate Judge, who shall hold his office for Francisco. the term of four years.
NOTE.—The office of County Judge is not a county office within the meaning of an Act entitled “ An Act
52– VOL. II.-POL.
to amend an Act to regulate elections," passed March 23, 1850; consequently the Board of Supervisots cannot order a special election to fill a vacancy in such an office.-People vs. Martin, 12 Cal., p. 409. An election to fill a vacancy in the office of County Judge is a special election, and the Governor's proclamation is essential to its validity.-Westbrook vs. Rosborough, 14 Cal., p. 180. The tenure of office of a County Judge is four years. An Act organizing a new county and providing for the election of a County Judge for two years is void pro tanto, but an election held under the Act is good, and entitles the incumbent to the office for four years.-Westbrook vs. Rosborough, 14 Cal., p. 180; see, also, People vs. Templeton, 12 Cal., p. 394.
Sec. 8. The County Court shall have original jurisdiction of actions of forcible entry and detainer, of proceedings in insolvency, of actions to prevent or abate a nuisance, and of all such special cases and proceedings as are not otherwise provided for; and also such criminal jurisdiction as the Legislature may prescribe; they shall also have appellate jurisdiction in all cases. arising in Courts held by Justices of the Peace and Recorders, and in such inferior Courts as may be established in pursuance of section one of this Article, in their respective counties. The County Judges shall also hold, in their several counties, Probate Court, and perform such duties as Pro. bate Judges as may be prescribed by law. The County Courts and their Judges shall also have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, on petition by or on behalf of any person in actual custody in their respective counties.
Justices of the Peace.
Sec. 9. The Legislature shall determine the number of Justices of the Peace to be elected in each city and township of the State, and fix by law their powers, duties, and responsibilities; provided, such powers shall not in any case trench upon the jurisdiction of the several Courts of record. The Supreme Court, the District Courts, County Courts, the Probate Courts, and such other Courts as the Legislature shall prescribe, shall be Courts of record.
Jurisdiction of Recorders and other inferior municipal Courts.
Sec. 10. The Legislature shall fix by law the jurisdiction of any Recorder's or other inferior municipal Court