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of circuit courts.
courts, how established.
Sec. 5. The state shall be divided into convenient circuits, and State to be each circuit shall contain not less than three, nor more than six coun- circuits. ties: and for each circuit there shall be appointed a judge, who shall, after his appointment, reside in the circuit for which he may be appointed.
Sec. 6. The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all Jurisdiction matters, civil and criminal, within this state, not otherwise excepted in this constitution ; but in civil cases, only when the matter or sum in controversy exceeds fifty dollars.
Sec. 7. A circuit court shall be held in each county in the state, When held. at least twice in every year, and the judges of the several circuit courts may hold courts for each other, when they may deem it expedient, and shall do so when directed by law.
Sec. 8. The general assembly shall have power to establish a Chapcery court or courts of chancery, with original and appellate equity jurisdiction; and until the establishment of such court or courts, the said jurisdiction shall be vested in the judges of the circuit courts respectively: Provided, that the judges of the several circuit courts shall have power to issue writs of injunction, returnable into the courts of chancery.
Sec. 9. The general assembly shall have power to establish, in Courts of proeach county within this state, a court of probate, for the granting of bate establetters testamentary and of administration and for orphans' business.
Sec. 10. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be Justices of appointed in and for each county, in such mode and for such term of Dentiste etein. office as the general assembly may direct. Their jurisdiction in civil cases shall limited to causes in which the amount in controversy shall not exceed fifty dollars. And in all cases, tried by a justice of the peace, right of appeal shall be secured, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 11. Judges of the supreme and circuit courts, and courts Compensaof chancery, shall, at stated times, receive for their services a com- Judges
. pensation, which shall be fixed by law, and shall not be diminished during their continuance in office : but they shall receive no fees or perquisites of office, nor hold any other office of profit or trust under this state, the United States, or any other power.
Sec. 12. Chancellors, judges of the supreme court, judges of the How elected. circuit courts, and judges of the inferior courts, shall be elected by joint vote of both houses of the general assembly.
Sec. 13. The judges of the several courts in this state shall hold Term of sertheir offices during good behaviour ; and for wilful neglect of duty, or How reother reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of iwo-thirds of each house of the general assembly; Provided, however, that the cause or causes for which such removal shall be required, shall be stated at length in such address, and entered on the journals of each house; And provided further; that the cause or causes shall be notified to the judge so intended to be removed, and he shall be admitted to a hearing in his own desence, before any vote for such address shall pass ; and in all such cases the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journals of each house respectively; And provided also, that the judges of the several circuit courts who shall be appointed before the commencement of the first session of the general assembly which shall be begun and held after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, shall only hold their offices during good be
Clerks of courts, how elected.
havior, until the end of the said session, at which time their commis
sions shall expire.* Age disqua Sec. 14. No person who shall have arrived at the age of seventy
years shall be appointed to, or continue in, the office of judge in this state.
Sec. 15. Clerks of the circuit and inserior courts in this state shall
be elected by the qualified electors in each county, for the term of Term of ser- four years, and may be removed from office for such causes and in Vacancies
, such manner as may be prescribed by law; and should a vacancy how filled. occur, subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the judge or
judges of the court in which such vacancy exists ; and the person so
appointed shall hold his office until the next general election ; ProviProviso. ded, however, that after the year one thousand eight hundred and
twenty-six, the general assembly may prescribe a different mode of appointment, but shall not make such appointment.
Sec. 16. The judges of the supreme court shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the state; as also the judges of the circuit courts in their respective districts, and judges of
the inferior courts in their respective counties. Style of pro
Sec. 17. The style of all process shall be "The State of Alabama," and all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name, and by the authority of the state of Alabama, and shall conclude “ against the peace
and dignity of the same.” Attorney ge. Sec. 18. There shall be an attorney-general for the state, and as licitors. many solicitors as the general assembly may deem necessary, to be Term of ser. elected by a joint vote thereof, who shall hold their offices for the pensation. term of four years, and shall receive for their services a compensation,
which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
Conserva tors of the peace.
neral and so
Who to im Sec. 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power
of peach. impeaching
SEC. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate : when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be on oath or affirmation : and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of twothirds of the members present.
Sec. 3. The governor and all civil officers shall be liable to im
peachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases To what ex. shall not extend further than removal from office, and to disqualifica
tion to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under the state ; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.
Oath to be taken.
Sec. 1. The members of the general assembly, and all officers, executive and judicial, before they enter on the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation, to wit : “I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and constitution of the
* This section was amended in 1830.-See Amendment.
state of Alabama, so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully discharge, to the best of my abilities, the duties of —, according to law : So help me God.”
Sec. 2. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war Treason deagainst it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of How contwo witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.
Sec. 3. The general assembly shall have power to pass such penal Duelling. laws to suppress the evil practice of duelling, extending to disqualification from office or the tenure thereof, as they may deem expedient.
Sec. 4. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office Bribery. or place of honor or profit, under the authority of the state, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election or appointment.
Sec. 5. Laws shall be made to exclude from office, from suffrage, Disqualify. and from serving as jurors, those who shall hereafter be convicted of ing laws. bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating Free suffrage elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influ- secured. ence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper conduct.
Sec. 6. In all elections by the general assembly, the members Elections by thereof shall vote viva voce, and the votes shall be entered on the general asjournals.
Sec. 7. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in conse- Public moquence of an appropriation made by law; and a regular statement and ney. account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be make report. published annually.
Sec. 8. All lands liable to taxation in this state, shall be taxed in Lands taxed. proportion to their value.
Sec. 9. The general assembly shall direct, by law, in what man- State may be ner, and in what courts, suits may be brought against the state.
Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate, Deductions by law, the cases in which deductions shall be made from the salaries
for neglect of public officers, for neglect of duty in their official capacities, and of duty. the amount of such deduction.
Sec. 11. Absence on business of this state, or of the United States, Residence, or on a visit, or necessary private business, shall not cause a forfeiture of a residence once obtained.
Sèc. 12. No member of congress, nor any person holding any Who disquaoffice of profit or trust under the United States, (the office of post- state Offices. master excepted,) or either of them, or any foreign power, shall hold or exercise
any office of profit under this state. Sec. 13. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be grant- Divorces. ed but in cases provided for by law, by suit in chancery: and no decree for such divorce shall have effect until the same shall be sanctioned by two-thirds of both houses of the general assembly.
Sec. 14. In prosecutions for the publishing of papers investigating Libels, how the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the courts.
Sec. 15. Returns of all elections for officers who are to be commis- Election resioned by the governor, and for members of the general assembly, shall be made to the secretary of state.
Establishment of new
Sec. 16. No new county shall be established by the general assemcounties, &c. bly, which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them,
from which it shall be taken, to a less content than nine hundred
square miles ; nor shall any county be laid off of less contents. Every Right of suf- new county, as to the right of suffrage and representation, shall be frage. considered as a part of the county or counties from which it was taken,
until entitled by numbers to the right of separate representation. Regulation Sec. 17. The general assembly shall, at their first session which of counties,
may be holden in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, or at the next succeeding session, arrange and designate boundaries for the several counties within the limits of this state, to which the Indian title shall have been extinguished, in such manner as they may deem expedient, which boundaries shall not be afterward altered, unless by the agreement of two-thirds of both branches of the general assembly; and, in all cases of ceded territory acquired by the state, the general assembly may make such arrangements and designations of the boundaries of counties within such ceded territory, as they may deem expedient, which shall only be altered in like manner: Provided, that no county hereafter to be formed shall be of less extent than nine hundred square miles.
Sec. 18. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties, who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.
Sec. 19. It shall be the duty of the general assembly, as soon as circumstances will permit, to form a penal code, founded on principles of
reformation, and not of vindictive justice. Digest laws.
Sec. 20. Within five years after the adoption of this constitution, the body of our laws, civil and criminal, shall be revised, digested, and arranged, under proper heads, and promulgated in such manner as the general assembly may direct: and a like revision, digest, and promulgation, shall be made within every subsequent period of ten
years. Internal im Sec. 21. The general assembly shall make provisions by law for provement.
obtaining correct knowledge of the several objects proper for improvement in relation to the navigable waters, and to the roads in this state, and for making a systematic and economical application of the means appropriated to those objects.
SEC. 22. In the event of the annexation of any foreign territory to this state, by a cession from the United States, laws may be passed, extending to the inhabitants of such territory all the rights and privileges which may be required by the terms of such cession; anything in this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.
Schools esta. blished and encouraged.
Schools, and the means of education, shall for ever be encouraged in this state ; and the general assembly shall take measures to preserve, from unnecessary waste or damage, such lands as are or hereafter
may be granted by the United States for the use of schools within each township in this state, and apply the funds, which may be raised from such lands, in strict conformity to the object of such grant. The general assembly shall take like measures for the improvement of such lands as have been or may be hereafter granted by the United States to this state, for the support of a seminary of learning, and the moneys
be raised from such lands, by rent, lease, or sale, or
from any other quarter, for the purpose aforesaid, shall be and remain a fund for the exclusive support of a state university, for the promotion of the arts, literature, and the sciences; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly, as early as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and permanent security of the funds and endowments of such institution.
Establishment of Banks. Sec. 1. One state bank may be established, with such number of state bank branches as the general assembly may, from time to time, deem expe- ches, how esdient: Provided, that no branch bank shall be established, nor bank tablished. charter renewed, under the authority of this state, without the concurrence of two-thirds of both houses of the general assembly; and provided, also, that not more than one bank nor branch bank shall be established, nor bank charter renewed, at any one session of the general assembly, nor shall any bank or branch bank be established, or bank charter renewed but in conformity with the following rules.
1. At least two-fifths of the capital stock shall be reserved for the Rules. state.
2. A proportion of power in the direction of the bank shall be reserved to the state, equal at least to its proportion of stock therein.
3. The state, and the individual stockholders, shall be liable, respectively, for the debts of the bank, in proportion to their stock holden therein.
4. The remedy for collecting debts shall be reciprocal, for and against the bank.
5. No bank shall commence operations until half of the capital stock subscribed for, be actually paid in gold or silver, which amount shall, in no case, be less than one hundred thousand dollars.
6. In case any bank or branch bank shall neglect or refuse to pay, on demand, any bill, note, or obligation, issued by the corporation according to the promise therein expressed, the holder of any such note, bill, or obligation, shall be entitled to receive and recover interest thereon, until the same shall be paid, or specie payments are resumed, by said bank, at the rate of twelve per cent, per annum from the date of such demand, unless the general assembly shall sanction such suspension of specie payments, and the general assembly shall have power, after such neglect or refusal, to adopt such measures as they may deem proper, to protect and secure the rights of all concerned, and to declare the charter of such bank forfeited.
7. After the establishment of a general state bank, the banks of this Other banks state now existing may be admitted as branches thereof, upon such mitted terms as the legislature and the said banks may agree, subject, neverthelesss, to the preceding rules.
Sec. 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for Regulation the emancipation of slaves, without the consent of their owners, or of slaves. without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this state from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be