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REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RELIEF OF
THE SUPREME COURT.
The Georgia Bar Association:
At the last Session of your honorable body the following resolution was adopted :
“ Resolved, That the President of this Association appoint a committee to consist of one member from each Congressional District and two members from the State at large, of which the next President of this Association shall be ex-officio chairman, and the Secretary of this Association shall be the Secretary of said committee, whose duty it shall be to present to the Legislature by appropriate bill, either for legislation or legislation and constitutional amendment, such measures as will secure the relief of the Supreme Court as shown to be necessary in the paper read before the Association by Mr. Justice Cobb. And that whatever bill may be drawn be submitted by mail to every member of this Association and all the other lawyers of the State, calling for objections and suggestions, which shall be considered by the committee in the final draft of the bill to be presented to the legislature. And that the Secretary be authorized to send a copy of Judge Cobb's paper to each member of the General Assembly before the next meeting of the same. And that the expenses of the Committee be paid by this Association.
“Resolved, That the committee charged with the duty of framing measures for the relief of the Supreme Court be authorized and directed to take into consideration not only the matter of permanent but also of temporary relief, and to this end that said committee take such action as in its judgment may secure by prompt and direct legislation such relief of the latter character as may be expedient, until permanent relief may be had by appropriate amendment to the Constitution.”
Acting under this resolution the President appointed a committee as follows: 10 g ba
Samuel B. Adams,
Washington Dessau. The President of the Association and the Secretary being named in the resolution as Chairman and Secretary.
Mr. John W. Akin being a member of the General Assembly asked leave to retire from the Committee and A. L. Bartlett was appointed in his place.
The first meeting of the Committee was had in the Supreme Court room at Atlanta, on August 1, 1902, when the matter of the resolution was immediately taken in hand. At this meeting all the Justices of the Supreme Court were invited to be present and take part in the discussion.
Mr. Justice Cobb attended this meeting and participated in the discussions.
The result of this meeting was the formulation of a bill, the material part of which is as follows, to-wit:
To be entitled an Act to amend the Constitution of the State of
Georgia, by adding a new paragraph to article 6, section 2, to be known as paragraph 9, so as to provide that no writ
of error shall lie in the Supreme Court, in any civil case,
that a writ of error should issue; and for other purposes. Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that the Constitution of this State be amended by adding a new paragraph to be known as paragraph 9 of section 2 of article 6, which shall read as follows:
"No writ of error shall lie in the Supreme Court in any civil case, unless the amount involved exceeds the sum or value of five hundred dollars ($500), except it shall appear from the bill of exceptions that it is a divorce case, a case respecting the title to land or an equity case, or is a case involving the title to a public office, or is a habeas corpus case, or a contempt case, or the case is one in which an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia is sought to be set aside, as being contrary to the Constitution of the State of Georgia or of the United States, and a decision upon this question is made necessary, or the case is one in which any Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia upon an examination of the record shall certify, that a writ of error should issue."
Considerable discussion was had relative to writs of error from city courts, but no definite action has been taken thereon.
Many suggestions were considered relative to temporary relief of the Supreme Court, but no action has been taken thereon.
A resolution was adopted requesting each member of the committee to present his views in writing as to the cause of the over-crowded condition of the Supreme Court docket and suggestions for the relief of the same.
The committee then adjourned to August 11, at the same place.
At the second meeting Mr. Justice Lumpkin was present and read a most valuable paper containing suggestions with regard to the permanent relief of the Supreme Court.
The suggestions offered by Judge Lumpkin were discussed very earnestly by the committee and a sub-committee was appointed to draft a bill embodying the views of Mr. Justice Lumpkin, and to submit the same to the next meeting of the committee, which was appointed for September 13, at the same -place.
At this meeting the sub-committee presented its report in accordance with the previous resolution of the committee, and after a very lengthy consideration the same was substantially adopted, the material parts of which are as follows:
A BILI To be entitled an Act to amend paragraph 1, section 1, and par
agraph 5, section 2, and to add a new paragraph to article 6, section 2, to be known as paragraph 9 of the Constitution of this State, so as to provide for the establishment of a Court of Appeals, to define its powers and jurisdiction, and to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the
State of Georgia, and it is hereby enacted by authority of the same, That paragraph 1, section 1 of article 6 of the Constitution of this State be amended so that the same shall read as fol. lows: "The judicial powers of this State shall be vested in a Supreme Court, a court of appeals, superior courts, courts of ordinary, justices of the peace, commissioned notaries public, and such other courts as have been or may be established by law."
Sec. II. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That paragraph 5, section 2, article 6 of the Constitution of this State be amended so that the said paragraph shall read as fol lows, to-wit: “The Supreme Court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors from the superior courts and from the city courts of Atlanta and Savannah, and such other like courts as have been or may hereafter be established in other cities, in all cases of felony, and in all civil cases where the amount involved in money or the value of property in controversy exceeds one thousand dollars principal, and in cases respecting title to land, cases involving title to public office, habeas corpus cases, contempt cases, or cases where an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia is sought to be set aside as being contrary to the Constitution of the State of Georgia or of the United States, and a decision upon this constitutional question is made necessary, and for the correction of errors of law from the court of appeals, when established, whenever the Supreme Court shall sanction a certiorari from any judgment rendered by the court of appeals, or whenever the court of appeals shall certify to the Supreme Court any questions or propositions of law concerning which it desires the instruction of the Supreme Court for proper decision. The Supreme Court shall sit at the seat of government at such times in each year as shall be prescribed by law, for the trial and determination of writs of error 'from said superior and city courts, and of all cases, questions and propositions that may