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ginning on the first Monday in September, and shall sit at the capital of the State.
Section 12. Each member of the Supreme Court shall sit in the Superior Courts as a trial judge for not less than one month, as near as may be, during each year; in such counties as the Supreme Court may by rule determine.
Section 13. The Supreme Court shall appoint a clerk, sheriff, and reporter, who shall hold office during the pleasure of the court, who shall give bond and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law.
Section 14. The Supreme Court shall sit in not less than two divisions of at least three Justices each. A Justice may be a member of one or more divisions at the same time.
Section 15. There shall be one or more divisions for the determination of civil cases. If there be more than one Civil Division, the cases shall be distributed between them as the Supreme Court, or Chief Justice, may direct.
Section 16. There shall be a division for the determination of criminal cases, which shall consist of not less than three Justices,
Section 17. Any case may by the Court be referred to the Court as a whole, and in that event a majority of all the Justices shall be a quorum.
Section 18. All authority conferred upon the Chief Justice may in his absence be exercised by the Justice who has been longest in commission and if there be two of equal service by the oldest in years.
Section 19. All cases shall be decided within three months after argument and in default thereof be stricken from the docket and stand affirmed; provided, that cases not argued during the term to which returnable may be argued at the succeeding term.
Section 20. There shall be not less than three Justices at Large in this State, who shall have the qualification, jurisdiction, tenure and emoluments prescribed for Justices of the Supreme Court, who shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. The number of such Justices may be increased by the General Assembly from time to time. The duties of Justice at Large shall be to assist the Supreme Court, to sit in place of disqualified or disabled Justices or Judges of the Supreme or Superior Courts, anywhere in the State, alone or in banc with other Judges, fill vacancies pending the election to fill same, and shall perform such additional judicial functions as may be prescribed by law, or by the Supreme Court, and shall be designated for such duties from time to time by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
PROPOSED JUDICIARY ACT CARRYING INTO EFFECT THE
FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION. Section 1. There shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate a Judge for each circuit, now existing or hereafter created, who shall reside in the circuit during their respective terms of office.
Section 2. A Judge of the Superior Court shall hold office for a period of eight years, and shall receive for his services an annual salary of not less than $5,000.00 and an additional per diem of $5.00 while outside of his home county in the performance of the duties of his office.
Section 3. Terms of the Superior Courts are abolished, as fixed by statutes, except so far as the same may relate to filing or docketing of suits, but the Judges thereof shall hold such sessions for trial of cases for such length of time and as often as and as long in the several counties as they may determine, in order to best promote the dispatch of business and the speedy administration of justice; and for this purpose the clerks of the several Superior Courts shall furnish them with lists of cases and data thereon when required. Sessions may be set for the whole docket or any portion thereof. The Judge in vacation may exercise all jurisdiction that he could have heretofore exercised in term.
Section 4. There shall be a Superior Court in each County of this State, presided over by one or more Justices of the Supreme Court or Judges of the Superior Court, or both, who may sit in banc or in division. · Section 5. When the Chief Justice or a Justice of the Supreme Court may sit with one Superior Court Judge, if there be a division of opinion that of the Chief Justice or the Justice of the Supreme Court shall prevail. When two Superior Court Judges may sit together, and there be a division of opinion, that of the Judge who has been longest in commission, or if there be two holding commissions of equal date, the oldest in years shall prevail, and when three or more Justices or Judges sit together, the opinion of a majority shall prevail, unless they be equally divided, when the opinion of those oldest in commission, or if all hold commissions of equal date, those who are oldest in years shall prevail.
Section 6. The Superior Court of any county may be held in divisions if, in the opinion of the Judges holding the Court, the dispatch of business and the administration of justice will be facilitated thereby, the Judges sitting separately, or two or more together, in different divisions and exercising all of the powers of the Superior Court in each division; and the different divisions may sit at the same time with full power to adjust and transfer the business between them so as to best dispatch the same. Sessions of the Court may be set for civil business, or for criminal business, or for both, or for any business or case whatever. No Superior Court Judge shall sit constantly in the same county, but may always sit, in term or vacation, for the completion of any case commenced before him, or any matter at controversy either at law or in equity.
Section 7. By order the Chief Justice or the Supreme Court may designate Judges of the Superior Courts to sit in any circuit and direct in what county or counties they shall sit.
Section 8. The Superior Court shall have original jurisdiction of all cases, criminal or civil, except those of which the Courts of Ordinary have original jurisdiction, and except as otherwise provided by law.
Section 9. The Superior Court shall have appellate jurisdiction over the Courts of Ordinary in all matters relating to estates of deceased persons, infants, and persons non compos mentis. Such appellate jurisdiction shall be exercised by certiorari except on application for probate of wills in solemn form, when it shall be exercised by appeal.
Section 10. The Superior Court shall have appellate jurisdiction and general supervisory control by certiorari over the Municipal and Justice of the Peace Courts, and all inferior judicatories, and shall
have general original jurisdiction over all causes of action whatever for which a remedy or jurisdiction is not provided by the Constitution.
Section 11. No writ of error, in civil cases, shall be allowed by the Supreme Court to the Superior Court, in cases not involving title to land or domestic relations, when the amount involved is less than $150.00, exclusive of interest and costs, unless a constitutional question be involved.
Section 12. In the trial of all cases in the Superior Courts, the plaintiff or defendant shall, upon application made in open court, have the right of trial by jury. In the trial of any misdemeanors and in the trial of civil cases, not involving title to land or domestic relations, or an amount, exclusive of interest and costs, of over $500.00, the jury shall be composed of six, in other cases of twelve,
Section 13. No Justice of the Supreme or Judge of the Superior Court shall practice law in this State or elsewhere.
Section 14. When any Justice of the Supreme or Judge of the Superior Court shall be disqualified to hear and determine any case or cases in their respective courts, and there be a deficiency of Judges through such disqualification so that the administration of justice may be delayed, the disqualification shall be certified to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall immediately appoint a Justice at Large or a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Superior Court Judge, or commission a person or the requisite number of persons, learned in the law, for the trial or determination of the cause or causes in which the disqualification may exist. If the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court be disqualified, the senior Justice in commission, or if there be several holding commissions of equal date, the oldest in years shall act.
Section 15. Grand and petit juries in the Superior Courts shall be composed of twelve men, except as herein provided; but nine members of a grand jury shall be a quorum to transact business.
Section 16. When, pending the trial of any case, one or more of the jurors, not exceeding three, when there is a jury of twelve, or not exceeding two when the jury is of six, may die or be disabled from sitting, the remaining jurors may render the verdict; and in all civil cases two-thirds of the jury may render a verdict.
Section 17. Except in counties where Municipal Courts have been established to take place of Justice Courts:
1. There shall be in each militia district a Notary Public who shall be ex-officio a Justice of the Peace, who shall have the authority of a Justice of the Peace, but shall have no authority to try cases or render judgment therein. They shall docket all cases in which summons may be issued by them, and furnish same to the Trial Judge, and perform generally all the duties of clerk of the court.
2. In such counties there shall be a Trial Judge, who shall be a member of the bar, whose duty it shall be to hold the Justice Courts at the regular established places and times in the several miiltia districts of the county; try and dispose of the pending cases in the manner provided by law for Justices of the Peace.
3. Such Notary Public and ex-officio Justice of the Peace and Trial Judge shall be appointed by Judge of Superior Court on recommendation of Grand Jury for four years.
The Notary Public and ex-officio Justice of the Peace shall receive for his services the fees prescribed by law for Justices of the Peace for services rendered by him, and the Trial Judge shall be paid such salary as may be recommended by the Grand Jury.
Section 18. Prosecution in the Superior Courts for misdemeanors may be commenced by information filed by the Solicitor General, or by accusation based upon affidavit.
Section 19. The Supreme Court shall make and establish rules of pleading and practice in all courts of this State, in order to expedite the dispatch of business and the administration of justice, providing for one trial and one review of all cases, except where a new trial may be ordered;, prescribe the forms of all writs, notices and process, civil or criminal, and methods of service and returns thereof.
Section 20. No case shall fail of a decision in the Supreme Court, or in any division thereof, because of non-compliance with a rule of law or practice--if it be possible to make such decision and maintain the just rights of the opposing party, by provision for the payment of costs or for the giving of security, or otherwise, as the court shall in each case decide. Subject to the above, practice shall be considered directory only, and, subject to the above, no case shall fail of decision upon its merits by reason of any rule of practice whatsoever.
Section 21. The State shall have no right of appeal in criminal cases, except from a judgment sustaining a demurrer to a motion to quash an indictment, but in such case the defendant, pending appeal, shall be released on his own recognizance.
Section 22. The Supreme Court shall, at its first session after the adoption of this Act provide for the transfer of all business pending in any court to the court to which jurisdiction is given by this Act.
Section 23. All cases pending in the Court of Appeals shall be transferred to the Supreme Court and be decided by the Supreme Court, or the Civil or Criminal Division as herein provided. All cases pending in the City Courts, all of which are hereby abolished, shall be transferred to the Superior Courts of the respective counties.
Section 24. All laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION. To the Members of the Georgia Bar Association:
The only thing referred to your Committee was a suggestion for clearing up the law regarding the notice required for bond elections.
The Committee of 1919, through Judge Cozart, called attention to an Act of 1916 providing for special registration for bond elections. This Act also attempted to provide for notice of bond elections, and its provisions were so vague and uncertain and indefinite that it was practically impossible to call and hold an election under it. The questions raised in regard to this Act were referred to this Committee.
This Committee had introduced in the General Assembly in 1919 a bill repealing the Act of 1916 and reenacting the provisions of the Code relating to giving notice of bond elections. This bill passed the House, but in the press of business, was not reached in the Senate. It will come up in the Senate this summer. It will, in all probability, pass, since no opposition to it has developed. Respectfully submitted,
HARRY S. STROZIER, Chairman.