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To select grand jurors, and prepare a list from which the circuit clerk may draw petit jurors.
To examine all bills against the county, and see that none are paid except those that are just.
To examine the accounts of the county treasurer and count the money in the treasury twice a year.
To publish in a paper of the county after each meeting a full report of all their acts.
The supervisors must hold their meetings with open doors, and, if possible, in the court-house.
They can not levy a tax of more than 75 cents on $100 valuation for ordinary county expenses, nor more than 100 cents on $100 valuation to pay a county debt, existing at the time of the adoption of the present State constitution, nor contract a bonded debt for the county, without first submitting the question of such tax or debt to a vote of the people.
Q. Why is the county board required to hold its meetings with open doors, and to publish accounts of its proceedings?
THE GRAND JURY.
Q. What can you say about a grand jury ?
A. A grand jury consists of twenty-three men. It is their duty to examine evidence against those accused of crime, and if the evidence is strong enough, to advise the court to put the accused on trial. The grand jury's advice in such a case consists in giving the court a paper called an “indictment," in which the criminal is named and his crime is described. A majority of the grand jury must vote in favor of an indictment before it can be presented to the court. The grand jury hears no evidence in defense, and its meetings are not open to the public.
Q. What can you say of a petit jury?
A. A petit jury consists of twelve men. It is their duty to hear the evidence on both sides of every case brought before them, and to decide the case according to the weight of the evidence and the law that applies to that particular case. The law is explained to them by the judge. Their decision is called a “verdict.” A verdict can not be given unless all the jury vote for it.
COUNTY AND PROBATE COURT.
Q. Are the offices of county judge and probate judge filled by one man or two men in your county?
Q. In what case are these offices separate ?
A. In counties of 50,000 inhabitants two men may be elected to fill these offices. In counties of less than 50,000 inhabitants, one man is elected to perform the duties of both offices. In this case he is called simply the “ county judge,” and his court is called the county court."
Q. What jurisdiction have probate courts?
A. They have original jurisdiction in matters relating to wills, the settlement of estates of deceased persons, apprentices, guardians of minors, and conservators of the insane and the imbecile.
Q. What is meant by “original jurisdiction?” By “exclusive jurisdiction ?”
A. When a court has original jurisdiction in any matters, suits about those matters may be commenced in that court. When a court has exclusive jurisdiction in any mat
ters, suits about such matters must be commenced in that court alone.
Q. What jurisdiction have county courts?
A. They have exclusive jurisdiction in suits for the collection of taxes by sale of real estate, and concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts in civil matters, in all cases like those brought before justices of the peace, if
, the amount in dispute does not exceed $1,000, and in criminal matters, if the punishment may not be imprisonment in the penitentiary or death. County courts have also concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts in cases appealed from justices of the peace and police magistrates.
Q. What is meant by “concurrent jurisdiction ?”
A. Matters in which two or more courts have concurrent jurisdiction can be brought before either of such courts. If A gives me a note for any sum less than $200, and when it is due refuses to pay, I can sue him before a justice of the peace, or in the county, or the circuit court, for all these have concurrent jurisdiction in such a case.
What are civil and criminal matters? (See the chapter on The Town.) Q. What is it "to appeal" a case ?
A. It is to carry it, after trial, to a higher court for a new trial. The higher court, in such an event, is said to have “appellate jurisdiction.'
COUNTY AND PROBATE JUDGES.
Q. What are the duties of county and probate judges ?
A. To preside over the county and probate courts in their respective counties.
COUNTY CLERK. Q. Who is county clerk in your county? Q: What are some of the duties of the county clerk?
A. To attend the sessions of the county court, and make a record, in books kept for the purpose, of whatever is done by the court.
To keep a record of all the acts of the county board.
To keep a record of all the orders for money drawn on the county treasurer.
After every general election, to count, with the aid of two justices of the peace, the votes as returned to him by the judges of election in the various towns and precincts of the county, and to send the result to the Secretary of State.
To issue marriage licenses.
To compute the tax of every person in the county, enter it in proper books, and issue these books to the collectors.
Q. What books must the clerk have before he can compute the tax?
A. He must have the assessor's books, for in these the value of each person's property is set down.
Q. How is the rate per cent. of taxation determined ?
A. To attend all the sessions of the county and circuit courts, to preserve order in the same, and to execute the commands of the court.
To serve writs, summonses, subpænas and other judi
To prevent disorderly conduct wherever he is, and to arrest offenders against the law.
To have charge of the court-house and jail, to take criminals condemned to imprisonment to the penitentiary or house of correction, and to hang criminals condemned to death.
A. To prosecute criminals. To draw indictments for the grand jury.
To act as attorney for his county in all suits brought for or against it.
To act as counsel for all county officers and justices of the peace in matters relating to their duties as representatives of the people.
Q. Who is a criminal ?
a criminal ? A. To prosecute a criminal is to have him arrested and brought into court, to bring evidence before the court intended to prove him guilty, and to ask the court to have him punished, if guilty. All criminals have a right to be tried by a jury.
A. To examine, with the aid of a jury, the body of any person killed by accident or having died from any mysterious cause, and to report such examination to the county clerk