CONSTITUTION OF 1819


ARTICLE V.

JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

 

SEC. 1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one Supreme Court, circuit courts to be held in each county in the state, and such inferior courts of law and equity, to consist of not more than five members, as the General Assembly may, from time to time, direct, ordain, and establish.

SEC. 2. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed by this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the state, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this constitution, as may, from time to time, be prescribed by law; Provided, that the supreme court shall have power to issue writs of injunction, mandamus, quo-warranto, habeas corpus, and such other remedial and original writs, as may be necessary to give it a general superintendence and control of inferior jurisdiction.

SEC. 3. Until the General Assembly shall otherwise prescribe, the powers of the supreme court shall be vested in, and its duties shall be performed by, the Judges of the several circuit courts, within this state: and they or a majority of them shall hold such sessions of the Supreme court, and at such times, as may be directed by law: Provided, that no Judge of the Supreme Court 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 one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.

SEC. 4. The Supreme Court shall be holden at the seat of government, but may adjourn to a different place, if that shall have become dangerous from an enemy or from disease.

SEC. 5. The State shall be divided into convenient circuits, and each circuit shall contain not less than three, nor more than six counties: 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 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, 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 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 each county within this State, a court of probate, for the granting of letters testamentary and of administration, and for orphans' business.

SEC. 10. A competent number of Justices of the Peace shall be appointed, in and for each county, in such mode, and for such term of office, as the General Assembly may direct. Their jurisdiction in civil cases shall be 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 of Chancery, shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, 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 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 their offices during good behavior; and, for wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the Governor shall remove any of them, on the address of two 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 defence, 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 behavior, until the end of the said session, at which time their commissions shall expire.

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. The clerks of the circuit and inferior courts in this State shall be elected by the qualified electors in each county, for the term of four years, and may be removed from office for such causes, and in such manner as may be prescribed by law; and, should a vacancy 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; provided, however, that, after the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six, the General Assembly may prescribe a different mode of appointment.

SEC. 16. The Judges of the Supreme Court shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State; and also the Judges of the Circuit Courts in their respective districts, and Judges of the inferior Courts in their respective counties.

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."

SEC. 18. There shall be an Attorney General for the State, and as many Solicitors as the General Assembly may deem necessary, to be elected by joint vote thereof, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, and shall receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

IMPEACHMENTS.

SEC. 1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of 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 two-thirds of the members present.

SEC. 3. The Governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and to disqualification 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.


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