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And said court shall have the power of naturalization, and to issue papers therefor. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in such cases arising in justices' and other inferior courts in their respective counties as may be prescribed by law. They shall be always open (legal holidays and non-judicial days excepted), and their process shall extend to all parts of the State; provided, that all actions for the recovery of the possession of, quieting the title to, or for the enforcement of liens upon real estate, shall be commenced in the county in which the real estate, or any part thereof affected by such action or actions, is situated. Said courts, and their judges, shall have power to issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, and habeas corpus, on petition by or on behalf of any person in actual custody in their respective counties. Injunctions and writs of prohibition may be issued and served on legal holidays and non-judicial days.
SECT. 6. Superior Courts: Number; Organization.— There shall be in each of the organized counties, or cities and counties, of the State, a Superior Court, for each of which at least one judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of the county, or city and county, at the general State election; provided, that until otherwise ordered by the Legislature, only one judge shall be elected for the counties of Yuba and Sutter, and that in the city and county of San Francisco there shall be elected twelve judges of the Superior Court, any one or more of whom may hold court. There may be as many sessions of said court, at the same time, as there are judges thereof. The said judges shall choose from their own number a presiding judge, who may be removed at their pleasure. He shall distribute the business of the court among the judges thereof, and prescribe the order of business. The judgments, orders, and proceedings of any session of the
Superior Court, held by any one or more of the judges of said courts, respectively, shall be equally effectual, as if all the judges of said respective courts presided at such session. In each of the counties of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Los Angeles, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Alameda, there shall be elected two such judges.
Term of Superior Judges.-The term of office of judges of the Superior Courts shall be six years from and after the first Monday of January next succeeding their election; provided, that the twelve judges of the Superior Court, elected in the city and county of San Francisco at the first election held under this Constitution, shall, at their first meeting, so classify themselves, by lot, that four of them shall go out of office at the end of two years, and four of them shall go out of office at the end of four years, and four of them shall go out of office at the end of six years, and an entry of such classification shall be made in the minutes of the court, signed by them, and a duplicate thereof filed in the office of the Secretary of State. The first election of judges of the Superior Courts shall take place at the first general election held after the adoption and ratification of this Constitution.
Vacancies. If a vacancy occur in the office of judge of a Superior Court, the Governor shall appoint a person to hold the office until the election and qualification of a judge to fill the vacancy, which election shall take place at the next succeeding general election, and the judge so elected shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term.
SECT. 7. Superior Courts: Sessions.-In any county, or city and county, other than the city and county of San Francisco, in which there shall be more than one judge of the Superior Court, the judges of such court may hold as many sessions of said court at the same time as there
are judges thereof, and shall apportion the business among themselves as equally as may be.
SECT. 8. Superior Courts: Who may try Causes.— A judge of any Superior Court may hold a Superior Court in any county, at the request of a judge of the Superior Court thereof; and upon the request of the Governor it shall be his duty so to do. But a cause in the Superior Court may be tried by a judge pro tempore, who must be a member of the bar, agreed upon in writing by the parties litigant or their attorneys of record, approved by the court, and sworn to try the cause.
SECT. 9. Judges not to Leave the State.-The Legislature shall have no power to grant leave of absence to any judicial officer; and any such officer who shall absent himself from the State for more than sixty consecutive days shall be deemed to have forfeited his office.
Number of Superior Court Judges may be Changed.— The Legislature of the State may, at any time, two thirds of the members of the Senate and two thirds of the members of the Assembly voting therefor, increase or diminish the number of judges of the Superior Court in any county, or city and county, in the State; provided, that no such reduction shall affect any judge who has been elected.
SECT. 10. Removal of Judicial Officers.-Justices of the Supreme Court, and judges of the Superior Courts, may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, adopted by a two-thirds vote of each house. All other judicial officers, except justices of the peace, may be removed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Governor, but no removal shall be made by virtue of this section, unless the cause thereof be entered on the journal, nor unless the party complained of has been served with a copy of the complaint against him, and shall have had an opportunity of being heard in
his defense. On the question of removal, the ayes and noes shall be entered on the journal.
SECT. 11. Justices of the Peace.-The Legislature shall determine the number of justices of the peace to be elected in townships, incorporated cities and towns, or cities and counties, and shall fix by law the powers, duties, and responsibilities of justices of the peace; provided, such powers shall not in any case trench upon the jurisdiction of the several courts of record, except that said justices shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Superior Courts in cases of forcible entry and detainer, where the rental value does not exceed twenty-five dollars per month, and where the whole amount of damages claimed does not exceed two hundred dollars, and in cases to enforce and foreclose liens on personal property when neither the amount of liens nor the value of the property amounts to three hundred dollars.
SECT. 12. Courts of Record.-The Supreme Court, the Superior Courts, and such other courts as the Legislature shall prescribe, shall be courts of record.
SECT. 13. Jurisdiction of Inferior Courts.-The Legislature shall fix by law the jurisdiction of any inferior courts which may be established in pursuance of section one of this article, and shall fix by law the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the judges thereof.
SECT. 14. Clerks of Courts.-The Legislature shall provide for the election of a clerk of the Supreme Court, and shall fix by law his duties and compensation, which compensation shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected. The county clerks shall be ex officio clerks of the courts of record in and for their respective counties, or cities and counties.
Court Commissioners.-The Legislature may also provide for the appointment, by the several Superior Courts,
of one or more commissioners in their respective counties, or cities and counties, with authority to perform chamber business of the judges of the Superior Courts, to take depositions, and perform such other business connected with the administration of justice as may be prescribed by law.
SECT. 15. Fees.-No judicial officer, except justices of the peace and court commissioners, shall receive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office.
SECT. 16. Publication of Opinions of Supreme Court.— The Legislature shall provide for the speedy publication of such opinions of the Supreme Court as it may deem expedient, and all opinions shall be free for publication by any person.
SECT. 17. Salaries of Judges.-The justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Superior Courts shall severally, at stated times during their continuance in office, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be increased or diminished after their election, nor during the term for which they shall have been elected. The salaries of the justices of the Supreme Court shall be paid by the State. One half of the salary of each Superior Court judge shall be paid by the State; the other half thereof shall be paid by the county for which he is elected. During the term of the first judges elected under this Constitution, the annual salaries of the justices of the Supreme Court shall be six thousand dollars each. Until otherwise changed by the Legislature, the Superior Court judges shall receive an annual salary of three thousand dollars each, payable monthly, except the judges of the city and county of San Francisco, and the counties of Alameda, San Joaquin, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Yuba and Sutter combined, Sacramento, Butte, Nevada, and Sonoma, who shall receive. four thousand dollars each.