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tionality of a law is in involved, shall the court decide the case upon its merits, unless the contention of the appellant upon the constitutional question be sustained. Whenever the requisite majority of the judges sitting are unable to agree upon a decision, the case shall be reheard by a full bench, and any vacancy caused by any one or more of the judges being unable, unwilling, or disqualified to sit, shall be temporarily filled in a manner to be prescribed by law.
SEC. 89. The General Assembly may, from time to time, provide for a Special Court of Appeals to try any cases on the docket of the Supreme Court of Appeals in respect to which a majority of the judges are so situated as to make it improper for them to sit; and also to try any cases on said docket which cannot be disposed of with convenient dispatch. The said special court shall be composed of not less than three nor more than five of the judges of the circuit courts and city courts of record in cities of the first class, or of the judges of either of said courts, or of any of the judges of said courts, together with one or more of the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
SEC. 90. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeals the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing and preserved with the record of the case.
SEC. 91. The judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly, They shall, when chosen, have held a judicial station in the United States, or shall have practiced law in this or some other State for five years. At the first election under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect the judges for terms of four. six, eight, ten, and twelve years, respectively; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of twelve years.
SEC. 92. The officers of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the court or by the judges in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office shall be prescribed by law.
SEC. 93. The Supreme Court of Appeals shall hold its sessions at two or more places in the State, to be fixed by law.
SEC. 94. The State shall be divided into twenty-four judicial circuits, as follows:
The county of Norfolk shall constitute the first circuit.
The counties of Nansemond, Southampton, city of Suffolk and the city d Norfolk shall constitute the second circuit.
The counties of Prince George, Surry, Sussex, Greensville and Brunswick shall constitute the third circuit.
The counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Amelia, Powhatan and the city of l'etersburg shall constitute the fourth circuit.
The counties of Prince Edward, Cumberland, Appomattox, Charlotte and Buckingham shall constitute the fifth circuit..
The counties of Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Halifax, Campbell, and the city of Lynchburg shall constitute the sixth circuit.
The counties of Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick, and the city of Danville shal constitute the seventh circuit.
The counties of Madison, Greene and Albemarle shall constitute the eighth circuit.
The counties of Culpeper, Orange, Louisa and Goochland shall constitute the ninth circuit.
The county of Henrico and the city of Richmond shall constitute the tenti circuit.
The county of Elizabeth City and the city of Newport News shall consti tute the eleventh circuit.
The counties of Richmond, Northumberland, Westmoreland. Lancaster ari Essex shall constitute, the twelfth circuit.
The counties of Gloucester, Mathews, King and Queen, King William sud Middlesex shall constitute the thirteenth circuit,
The counties of New Kent, Charles City, York, Warwick, James City, and the city of Williamsburg shall constitute the fourteenth circuit.
The counties of King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and H»» over shall constitute the fifteenth circuit.
The counties of Prince William, Fairfax and Alexandria, and the city of andria shall constitute the sixteenth circuit.
The counties of Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah shall constitute seventeenth circuit.
The counties of Augusta, Highland and Rockbridge shall constitute the teenth circuit.
The counties of Bath, Alleghany, Craig and Botetourt, and the city of con Forge shall constitute, the nineteenth circuit.
The counties of Roanoke, Montgomery, Floyd, and the city of Roanoke shall titute the twentieth circuit.
The counties of Pulaski, Carroll, Wythe and Grayson shall constitute the ty-first circuit.
The counties of Bland, Tazewell and Giles shall constitute the twenty-second
The counties of Washington, Smyth and Scott shall constitute the twentyd circuit.
The counties of Lee and Wise shall constitute the twenty-fourth circuit. The counties of Rockingham and Page shall constitute the twenty-fifth cir
The counties of Rappahannock, Fauquier and Loudoun shall constitute the nty-sixth judicial circuit.
The counties of Buchanan, Russell and Dickinson shall constitute the twentyenth circuit."
The counties of Isle of Wight and Princess Anne and the city of Portsath shall constitute the twenty-eighth circuit,
The counties of Amherst, Nelson and Fluvanna shall constitute the twentych circuit.
The counties of Bedford and Franklin shall constitute the thirtieth circuit. The counties of Accomac and Northampton shall constitute the thirty-first uit.1
SEC. 95. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and six, as the lic interest requires, the General Assembly may rearrange the said circuits increase or diminish the number thereof. But no new circuit shall be ated containing, by the last United States census or other census provided law, less than forty thousand inhabitants, nor when the effect of creating will be to reduce the number of inhabitants in any existing circuit below y thousand according to such census.2
SEC. 96. For each circuit a judge shall be chosen by the joint vote of the houses of the General Assembly. He shall, when chosen, possess the same lifications as judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and during his conance in office shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge. At the first tion under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect, as nearly as cticable, one-fourth of the entire number of judges for terms of two years, -fourth for four years, one-fourth for six years, and the remaining fourth eight years, respectively; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of ht years.
SEC. 97. The number of terms of the circuit courts to be held for each nty and city shall be prescribed by law. But no separate circuit court shall held for any city of the second class until the city shall abolish its existing 7 court. The judge of one circuit may be required or authorized to hold irt in any other circuit or city.
SEC. 98. For the purposes of a judicial system, the cities of the State shall divided into two classes. All cities shall belong to the first class which conn, as shown by the last United States census or other census provided by 7, ten thousand inhabitants or more, and all cities shall belong to the second ss which contain, as thus shown, less than ten thousand inhabitants. In h city of the first class, there shall be, in addition to the circuit court, a
The list of judicial circuits here given was fixed by an act approved March 27. 4. enacted under authority of Section 95 of this Article, by which the number of uits was increased from 24 to 31.
See Note No. 1.
corporation court. In any city containing thirty thousand inhabitants or more. the General Assembly may provide for such additional courts as the public interest may require, and in every such city the city courts, as they now exist, shall continue until otherwise provided by law. In every city of the second class, the corporation or hustings court, existing at the time this Constitution goes into effect, shall continue hereafter under the name of the corporation court of such city; but it may be abolished by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors of such city, at an election held for the purpose, and whenever the office of judge of a corporation or hustings court of a city of the second class, whose salary is less than eight hundred dollars, shall become and remain vacant for ninety days consecutively, such court shall thereby cease to exist. In case of the abolition of the corporation or hustings court of any city of the second class, such city shall thereupon come in every respect within the jurisdiction of the circuit court of the county wherein it is situated, until otherwise provided by law, and the records of such corporation or hustings court shall thereupon become a part of the records of such circuit court, and be transferred thereto, and remain therein until otherwise provided by law; and dur ing the existence of the corporation or hustings court, the circuit court of the county in which such city is situated, shall have concurrent jurisdiction with said corporation or hustings court in all actions of law and suits in equity.
SEC. 99. For each city court of record a judge shall be chosen by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. He shall, when chosen, pos sess the same qualifications as judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and during his continuance in office shall reside within the jurisdiction of the court over which he presides; but the judge of the corporation court of any corpora tion having á city charter, and less than five thousand inhabitants, may reside outside its corporate limits; and the same person may be judge of such or poration, court and judge of the corporation court of some other city having less than ten thousand inhabitants. At the first election of said judges under this Constitution, the General Assembly shall elect, as nearly as practicab one-fourth of the entire number for terms of two years, one-fourth for foc years, one-fourth for six years, and the remaining fourth for eight years; and thereafter they shall be elected for terms of eight years. The judges of € courts in cities of the first class may be required or authorized to hold circuit courts of any county and the circuit courts of any city.
SEC. 100. The General Assembly shall have power to establish such cont or courts of land registration as it may deem proper for the administration ‹* any law it may adopt for the purpose of the settlement, registration, transfer. or assurance of titles to land in the State, or any part thereof.
SEC. 101. The General Assembly shall havé power to confer upon the clerks of the several circuit courts jurisdiction, to be exercised in the manner and under the regulations to be prescribed by law, in the matter of the admiss of wills to probate, and of the appointment and qualification of guardians, personal representatives, curators, appraisers, and committees of the estates · persons who have been adjudged insane or convicted of felony, and in the matter of the substitution of trustees,
SEC. 102. All the judges shall be commissioned by the Governor. TH shall receive such salaries and allowances as may be determined by law wiLT the limitations fixed by the Constitution, the amount of which shall not be increased or diminished during their terms of office. Their terms of office sk commence on the first day of February next following their election, and wher ever a vacancy occurs in the office of judge, his successor shall be elected f the unexpired term.
SEC. 103. The salaries of the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals s be not less than four thousand dollars per annum, and shall be paid by the State.
The salary of the judge of each circuit court shall be not less than tw thousand dollars per annum, one-half of which shall be paid by the State t other half by the counties and cities composing the circuit, according to the respective population: except that of the salary of the judge of the cir court of the city of Richmond, the State shall pay the proportion which w
erwise fall to the city of Richmond. The salary of a judge of a city court a city of the first class shall be not less than two thousand dollars pér num, one-half of which shall be paid by the State, the other half by the y. The whole of the aforesaid salaries of said judges shall be paid out of e State treasury, the State to be reimbursed by the respective counties and ies. Any city may, by an ordinance, increase the salaries of its city or cirit judges, of any one or more of them as it may deem proper, and the inease shall be paid wholly by the city, but shall not be enlarged or dimined during the term of office of the judge. Each city containing less than n thousand inhabitants shall pay the salary of the judge of its corporation hustings court.
SEC. 104. Judges may be removed from office for cause, by a concurrent te of both houses of the General Assembly; but a majority of all the members ected to each house must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall entered on the journal of each house. The judge against whom the General ssembly may be about to proceed shall have notice thereof, accompanied by a py of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day which either house of the General Assembly shall act thereon.
SEC. 105. No judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals, of the circuit court, of any city court of record shall practice law, within or without this State, or shall he hold any other office of public trust during his continuance in fice; except that the judge of a corporation or hustings court in the city of e second class may hold the office of commissioner in chancery of the circuit ourt for the county in which the city is located.
SEC. 106. Writs shall run in the name of the "Commonwealth of Virginia," ad be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude gainst the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth."
SEC. 107. An Attorney General shall be elected by the qualified voters of e State at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the ict of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner. He shall be comissioned by the Governor, perform such duties and receive such compensation s may be prescribed by law, and shall be removable in the manner prescribed or the removal of judges.
SEC. 108. The General Assembly shall provide for the appointment or elecon and for the jurisdiction of such justices of the peace as the public interest ay require.
SEC. 109. The General Assembly shall provide by whom and in what manr. applications for bail shall be heard and determined.
ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF COUNTIES.
SEC. 110. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of each comity le county treasurer, one sheriff, one attorney for the Commonwealth, and e county clerk, who shall be the clerk of the circuit court. There shall be ected by the qualified voters of each county, for four years, commissioners the revenue for each county, the number, duties and compensation of whom all be prescribed by law.
There shall be appointed for each county, in such manner as may be proded by law, one superintendent of the poor and one county surveyor.3 SEC. 111. The magisterial districts shall, until changed by law, remain now constituted; provided, that hereafter no additional districts shall be ade containing less than thirty square miles. In each district there shall be ected by the qualified voters thereof one supervisor. The supervisors of the stricts shall constitute the board of supervisors of the county, which shall eet at stated periods and at other times as often as may be necessary, lay e county and district levies, pass upon all claims against the county, subject
Amendment proposed and adopted by the general assembly of 1908, re-adopted the general assembly of 1910, ratified, on Nov. 8, 1910, and declared effective on
c. 5, 1910.
to such appeal as may be provided by law, and perform such duties as may be required by law.
SEC. 112. All regular elections for county and district officers shall be held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and all of said officers shall enter upon the duties of their offices on the first day of January next succeeding their election, and shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years except that the county clerk shall hold office for eight years; provided. that the term of the clerks first elected under this Constitution shall begin on the first of February, nineteen hundred and four, and end on the first of January, nineteen hundred and twelve.
SEC. 113. No person shall at the same time hold more than one of the offices mentioned in this article. Any officer required by law to give bond may be required to give additional security thereon, or to execute a new bond, and in default of so doing his office shall be declared vacant.
SEC. 114. Counties shall not be made responsible for the acts of the sheriffs. SEC. 115. The General Assembly shall provide for the examination of the books, accounts and settlements of county and city officers who are charged with the collection and disbursement of public funds.
ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF CITIES AND TOWNS.
SEC. 116. As used in this article, the words "incorporated communities" shall be construed to relate only to cities and towns. All incorporated communities, having within defined boundaries a population of five thousand or more. shall be known as cities; and all incorporated communities having within defined boundaries a population of less than five thousand, shall be known as towns. In determining the population of such cities and towns the General Assembly shall be governed by the last United States census, or such other enumeration as may be made by authority of the General Assembly; but nothing in this section shall be construed to repeal the charter of any incorporated community of less than five thousand inhabitants having a city charter at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or to prevent the abolition by such incorporated communities of the corporation or hustings court thereof.
SEC. 117. General laws for the organization and government of cities and towns shall be enacted by the General Assembly, and no special act shall be passed in relation thereto, except in the manner provided in Article Four of this Constitution, and then only by a recorded vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, and except also in the case of cities having more than fifty thousand inhabitants as hereinafter provided. But each of the cities and towns of the State having at the time of the adoption of this amendment a municipal charter may retain the same, except so far as it shall be repealed or amended by the General Assembly; provided that every such charter is hereby amended so as to conform to all the provisions, restrictions and powers set forth in this article, or otherwise provided in this Constitution.
Notwithstanding, however, anything in this article contained, the Genera Assembly may, by general or by special act (passed as prescribed in Article Four of this Constitution), depart in any respect (except as otherwise in this section expressly provided) from the form of organization and government prescribed by this article for cities and towns, and may provide from time to time for the various cities and towns of the Commonwealth, such form or forms of municipal government as the General Assembly may deem best; bat no form or forms of government authorized by the second paragraph of this section shall become operative except as to such cities or towns as may there after adopt the same by a majority vote of its qualified electors at an election to be held as may be prescribed therefor by law. All the limitations on the powers of the councils of cities and towns imposed by this article shall appl in like manner to the principal legislative authority under any form of govern ment which may be authorized hereunder. The term "council," as used in sections one hundred and twenty-five and one hundred and twenty-seven of this