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18. Sheriff.-The sheriff is one of the most responsible of the county officials. His duties are of the highest importance to the community. They are: To preserve the peace; to arrest any person who has committed a public offense; to have charge of the county jails and of the prisoners. He is the executive officer of the courts, and serves all their papers and orders in both civil and criminal cases.
He may call upon the citizens to assist him in the execution of his duties. Because of the danger and importance of his office, he is the highest paid county official.
19. District Attorney.-The district attorney is the public prosecutor of the county. As such it is his duty to attend the sittings of the Superior Court, and there conduct, on behalf of the people, all prosecutions for public offenses. It is his duty to institute proceedings before a magistrate for the arrest of any person charged with, or reasonably suspected of, a public offense. It is his duty to draw up all indictments, that is, papers formally accusing persons of crime, and to defend all suits brought against the State or against his county; also, to conduct all civil suits on behalf of the county. He must give legal advice to county officers when requested.
20. Coroner.—The principal duty of the coroner is to hold an inquest over the body of any person who has come to a violent death, or a death from an unknown
For the purpose of such an inquest, he summons a jury of twelve citizens. It is the duty of the coroner's jury to render a verdict giving the results of their investigation as to the cause of the death. · Such a verdict may be the means of bringing murderers to justice.
The public administrator takes charge of the estates of deceased persons, for the settlement of which the law has not otherwise provided.
21. Superior Judges.-It is the duty of the superior judges to preside over the Superior Courts that are provided for each county.
Questions on Government in the County.'
1. Draw a map of the county in which you live. 2. Describe the natural features of this county. 3. What is its area in square miles? 4. How many civil townships in this county? 5. How many school districts ? 6. How many inhabitants? Number of voters at last election? 7. Name the cities, towns, and villages. 8. Where is the county court-house? 9. Give a list of the county officers, with the names and resi
dence of the persons now in office. 10. Name all the officers of the county who have offices in the
court-house. 11. What are the duties of each county officer? What officers
are paid by fees? What by salary? What by both? What
is the salary of each officer receiving a salary? 12. For what term is each county officer elected? 13. Are there any appointed county officers? 14. When do the elections take place? 15. May women vote? 16. May women hold any of the county offices? If so, which ? 17. How is the money raised to carry on the county government? 18. How much a year does it take? 19. What is the assessed valuation of all the property in the
county? 20. When are taxes in your county payable ? 21. To whom are they payable? By whom are they payable? 22. What are taxes? Are they necessary? 23. What is meant by “delinquent” taxes? 24. When do county taxes become delinquent? 25. What penalty does the taxpayer have to pay for allowing
his taxes to become delinquent? 26. If taxes are not paid within a given time after they become
delinquent, what is done to collect them? How may the
owner redeem his property after it has been sold for taxes? 27. In which supervisorial district do you live? 28. Describe any county buildings in your county, such as high
schools, poor-houses, hospitals, jails, etc.
THE STATE GOVERNMENT.
GOVERNMENT IN THE STATE.
22. The State.-We come now to the study of that great political organism called the State. The study of the government of the State of California will serve to give us a general knowledge of the government of any State in the Union. We have successively gone through an examination of the school district, the township, the city or town, and the county. As the township is made up of several school districts, and the county of several townships, so the State is made up of many counties.
23. Government of the State.-The government of the State of California is provided for in its Constitution. The Constitution of a State is formed by delegates of the people of the State meeting in a convention. After the Constitution is thus formed, it is submitted to the voters of the State, and, if adopted by them, becomes the fundamental law of the State. It establishes the framework of the government. It provides for a body, called the Legislature, to make laws for the people of the State. It provides for executive officers, the Governor and certain other officials, to see that the Constitution and laws of the State are properly carried out. And it provides for courts of justice to decide disputes between individuals and to interpret and apply the law.s
1 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 1.
3 Cal. Const., Art. VI., Sect. 1.
Questions on the State.
1. Draw a map of the State of California.
THE STATE LEGISLATURE.
24. Composition of the Legislature.—The Legislature of California is divided into two different bodies, called “houses,” the Senate and the Assembly. The members of each of these houses must have been citizens and inhabitants of the State for three years and of the district for which they may be chosen one year next before their election. Assemblymen are elected for two years, Senators for four years. The Senate consists of forty members, the Assembly of eighty. The election of Senators is so arranged that twenty are elected every two years.
The State is divided every ten years, on the basis of the United States census, into forty senatorial and eighty assembly districts. These districts must be as nearly equal in population as possible, and must be formed of contiguous territory. Each senatorial district is entitled to choose one Senator, and each assembly district one Assemblyman."
25. Organization of the Legislature. Each house regulates the form of its own proceedings, judges of the 1 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 1. 5 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 5. 2 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 4. 6 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 5. 3 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 3. 7 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 6. 4 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 4.
qualifications, elections, and returns of its own members. Each house chooses its own officers,' except that the Lieutenant-Governor of the State is the presiding officer of the Senate. The Assembly chooses one of its own number for its chairman, who is known as the “Speaker.”
26. Standing Committees are appointed in each house for the speedier discharge of business. Every bill is, as a rule, referred to one of these committees for consideration. There is a committee for each of the more important branches of business coming before the Legislature. The committees of the Senate are, under a rule of that body, appointed by the presiding officer, but this rule may at any time be changed and the appointment of committees be made by the Senate itself. The committees of the Assembly are appointed by the Speaker.
27. Vacancies in either house are filled by elections which are called by the Governor.:
28. Privileges of Members of the Legislature.Members of the Legislature are, in all cases except when they commit treason, felony, or breach of the peace, privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature and for fifteen days before the commencement and after the termination of the session. During the same period they are exempt from having court papers served on them in any civil suit.*
29. Quorum.-In order that either house of the Legislature may transact any business, there must be present at the session a majority of its members. This workingforce of a legislative body is called a quorum. A smaller number than a majority may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members.”
1 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 7, 9. 4 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 11. 2 Cal. Const., Art. V., Sect. 15. 5 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 8. 8 Cal. Const., Art. IV., Sect. 12.