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SECTION I. The judicial powers, except as in this article is otherwise provided, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, County Courts, Justices of the Peace, Police Magistrates, and in such courts as may be created by law in and for cities and incorporated towns.
§ 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of seven judges, and shall have original jurisdiction in cases relating to the revenue, in mandamus and habeas corpus, and appellate jurisdiction in all other cases. One of said judges shall be Chief Justice; four shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of four shall be necessary to every decision.
§ 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Supreme Court unless he shall be at least thirty years of age and a citizen of the United States, nor unless he shall have resided in this State five years next preceding his election, and he a resident of the district in which he shall be elected.
§ 4. Terms of the Supreme Court shall continue to be held in the present grand divisions at the several places now provided for holding the same; and until otherwise provided by law, one or more terms of said court shall be held, for the Northern division, in the city of Chicago, each year, at such times as said court may appoint, whenever said city or the county of Cook shall provide appropriate rooms therefor, and the use of a suitable library, without expense to the State. The judicial divisions may be altered, increased or diminished in number, and the times and places of holding said court may be changed by law.
5. The present grand divisions shall be preserved, and be denominated Southern, Central, and Northern, until otherwise provided by law. The State shall be divided into seven districts for the election of judges, and, until otherwise provided by law, they shall be as follows:
First District. The counties of St. Clair, Clinton, Washington, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, White, Hamilton, Franklin, Perry, Randolph, Monroc, Jackson, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Hardin, Pope, Union, Johnson, Alexander, Pulaski, and Massac.
Second District. The counties of Madison, Bond, Marion, Clay, Richland, Lawrence, Crawford, Jasper, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Macoupin, Shelby, Cumberland, Clark, Greene, Jersey, Calhoun, and Christian.
Third District. The counties of Sangamon, Macon, Logan, DeWitt, Piatt, Douglas, Champaign, Vermilion, McLean, Livingston, Ford, Iroquois, Coles, Edgar, Moultrie, and Tazewell.
Fourth District. The counties of Fulton, McDonough, Hancock, Schuyler, Brown, Adams, Pike, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Cass, and Scott.
Fifth District. The counties of Knox, Warren, Henderson, Mercer, Henry, Stark, Peoria, Marshall, Putnam, Bureau, La Salle, Grundy, and Woodford.
Sixth District. The counties of Whiteside, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, De Kalb, Lee, Ogle, and Rock Island. Seventh District. The counties of Lake, Cook, Will, Kankakee, and Du Page. The boundaries of the districts may be changed at the session of the General Assembly next preceding the election for judges therein, and at no other time; bu
whenever such alterations shall be made, the same shall be upon the rule of equality of population, as nearly as county boundaries will allow, and the districts shall be composed of contiguous counties, in as nearly compact form as circumstances will permit. The alteration of the districts shall not affect the tenure of office of any judge.
§ 6. At the time of voting on the adoption of this Constitution, one Judge of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the electors thereof in each of said districts numbered two, three, six and seven, who shall hold his office for the term of nine years from the first Monday of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The term of office of Judges of the Supreme Court, elected after the adoption of this Constitution, shall be nine years; and on the first Monday of June of the year in which the term of any of the judges in office at the adoption of this Constitution, or of the judges then elected, shall expire, and every nine years thereafter, there shall be an election for the successor or successors of such judges, in the respective districts wherein the term of such judges shall expire. The Chief Justice shall continue to act as such until the expiration of the term for which he was elected, after which the judges shall choose one of their number Chief Justice.
§ 7. From and after the adoption of this Constitution, the Judges of the Supreme. Court shall each receive a salary of four thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, until otherwise provided by law. And after said salaries shall be fixed by law, the salaries of the judges in office shall not be increased or diminished during the terms for which said judges shall have been elected.
§ 8. Appeals and writs of error may be taken to the Supreme Court, held in the grand division in which the case is decided, or, by consent of the parties, to any other grand division.
§ 9. The Supreme Court shall appoint one reporter of its decisions, who shall hold his office for six years, subject to removal by the court.
§ 10. At the time of the election for Representatives in the General Assembly, happening next preceding the expiration of the terms of office of the present clerks of said court, one clerk of said court for each division shall be elected, whose term of office shall be six years from said election, but who shall not enter upon the duties of his office until the expiration of the term of his predecessor; and every six years thereafter one clerk of said court for each division, shall be elected.
& II. After the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, inferior Appellate Courts, of uniform organization and jurisdiction, may be created in districts formed for that purpose, to which such appeals and writs of error as the General Assembly may provide may be prosecuted from Circuit and other courts, and from which appeals and writs of error shall lie to the Supreme Court, in all criminal cases, and cases in which a franchise or freehold or the validity of a statute is involved, and in such other cases as may be provided by law. Such Appellate Courts shall be held by such number of judges of the Circuit Courts, and at such times and places, and in such manner, as may be provided by law; but no judge shall sit in review upon cases decided by him; nor shall said judges receive any additional compensation for such services.
$12. The Circuit Courts shall have original jurisdiction of all causes in law and equity, and such appellate jurisdiction as is or may be provided by law, and shall hold two or more terms each year in every county. The terms of office of Judges of Circuit Courts shall be six years.
§ 13. The State, exclusive of the county of Cook and other counties having a population of one hundred thousand, shall be divided into judicial circuits, prior to the expiration of the terms of office of the present Judges of the Circuit Courts. Such circuits shall be formed of contiguous counties, in as nearly compact form and as nearly equal as circumstances will permit, having due regard to business, territory and population, and shall not exceed in number one circuit for every one hundred thousand of population in the State. One judge shall be elected for each of said circuits by the electors thereof. New circuits may be formed, and the boundaries of circuits changed, by the General Assembly, at its session next preceding the election for Circuit Judges, but at no other time: Provided, That the circuits may be equalized or changed at the first session of the General Assembly after the adoption of this Constitution. The creation, alteration or change of any circuit shall not affect the tenure in office of any judge. Whenever the business of the Circuit Court of any one or of two or more contiguous counties, containing a population exceeding fifty thousand, shall occupy nine months of the year, the General Assembly may make of such county or counties a separate circuit. Whenever additional circuits are created, the foregoing limitations shall be observed.
§ 14. The General Assembly shall provide for the times of holding court in each county, which shall not be changed, except by the General Assembly next preceding the general election for judges of said courts, but additional terms may be provided for in any county. The election for Judges of the Circuit Courts shall be held on the first Monday in June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventythree, and every six years thereafter.
15. The General Assembly may divide the State into judicial circuits of greater population and territory, in lieu of the circuits provided for in section thirteen of this Article, and provide for the election therein, severally, by the electors thereof, by general ticket, of not exceeding four judges, who shall hold the Circuit Courts in the circuit for which they shall be elected, in such manner as may be provided by law.
§ 16. From and after the adoption of this Constitution, Judges of the Circuit Courts shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, until otherwise provided by law. And after their salaries shall be fixed by law, they shall not be increased or diminished during the terms for which said judges shall be, respectively, elected; and from and after the adoption of this Constitution, no judge of the Supreme or Circuit Court shall receive any other compensation, perquisite or benefit, in any form whatsoever, nor perform any other than judicial duties to which may belong any emoluments.
§ 17. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit or any inferior court, or to membership in the “Board of County Commissioners,” unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, nor unless he shall have resided in this State five years next preceding his election, and be a resident of the circuit, county, city, cities or incorporated town in which he shall be elected.
18. There shall be elected in and for each county, one county judge and one clerk of the County Court, whose terms of office shall be four years. But the General Assembly may create districts of two or more contiguous counties, in each of which shall be elected one judge, who shall take the place of and exercise the powers and jurisdiction of county judges in such districts. County Courts shall be courts of record, and shall have original jurisdiction in all matters of probate; settlement of estates of
deceased persons; appointment of guardians and conservators, and settlements of their accounts; in all matters relating to apprentices; and in proceedings for the collection of taxes and assessments, and such other jurisdiction as may be provided for by general law.
§ 19. Appeals and writs of error shall be allowed from final determinations of County Courts, as may be provided by law.
§ 20. The General Assembly may provide for the establishment of a Probate Court in each county having a population of over fifty thousand, and for the election of a judge thereof, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the county judge, and who shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner. Said courts, when established, shall have original jurisdiction of all probate matters, the settlement of estates of deceased persons, the appointment of guardians and conservators and settlements of their accounts, in all matters relating to apprentices, and in cases of the sales of real estate of deceased persons for the payment of debts.
Justices of the Peace and Constables.
21. Justices of the Peace, Police Magistrates and Constables shall be elected in and for such districts as are or may be provided by law, and the jurisdiction of such Justices of the Peace and Police Magistrates shall be uniform.
§ 22. At the election for members of the General Assembly, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two, and every four years thereafter, there shall be elected a State's Attorney in and for each county, in lieu of the State's Attorneys now provided by law, whose term of office shall be four years.
Courts of Cook County.
23. The county of Cook shall be one judicial circuit. The Circuit Court of Cook county shall consist of five judges, until their number shall be increased, as herein provided. The present Judge of the Recorder's Court of the city of Chicago, and the present Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook county, shall be two of said judges, and shall remain in office for the terms for which they were respectively elected, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified. The Superior Court of Chicago shall be continued, and called the Superior Court of Cook County. The General Assembly may increase the number of said judges, by adding one to either of said courts for every additional fifty thousand inhabitants in said county, over and above a population of four hundred thousand. The terms of office of the judges of said courts hereafter elected shall be six years.
$ 24 The judge having the shortest unexpired term shall be Chief Justice of the court of which he is a judge. In case there are two or more whose terms expire at the same time, it may be determined by lot which shall be Chief Justice. Any judge of either of said courts shall have all the powers of a circuit judge, and may hold the court of which he is a member. Each of them may hold a different branch thereof at the same time.
§ 25. The Judges of the Superior and Circuit Courts and the State's Attorney in said county shall receive the same salaries, payable out of the State treasury, as is or may be paid from said treasury to the circuit judges and State's Attorneys of the State, and such further compensation, to be paid by the county of Cook, as is or may be provided by law; such compensation shall not be changed during their continuance in office.
§ 26. The Recorder's Court of the city of Chicago shall be continued, and shall be called the "Criminal Court of Cook county." It shall have the jurisdiction of a Circuit Court, in all cases of criminal and quasi criminal nature, arising in the county of Cook, or that may be brought before said court pursuant to law; and all recognizances and appeals taken in said county in criminal and quasi criminal cases shall be returnable and taken to said court. It shall have no jurisdiction in civil cases, except in those on behalf of the people, and incident to such criminal or quasi criminal matters, and to dispose of unfinished business. The terms of said Criminal Court of Cook county shall be held by one or more of the Judges of the Circuit or Superior Court of Cook county, as nearly as may be in alternation, as may be determined by said judges or provided by law. Said judges shall be, ex-officio, judges of said
§ 21. The present Clerk of the Recorder's Court of the city of Chicago shall be the Clerk of the Criminal Court of Cook county, during the term for which he was elected. The present Clerks of the Superior Court of Chicago, and the present Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook county, shall continue in office during the terms for which they were respectively elected; and thereafter there shall be but one Clerk of the Superior Court, to be elected by the qualified electors of said county, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.
§ 28. All Justices of the Peace in the city of Chicago shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate (but only upon the recommendation of a majority of the Judges of the Circuit, Superior and County Courts), and for such districts as are now or shall hereafter be provided by law. They shall hold their offices for four years, and until their successors have been commissioned and qualified, but they may be removed by summary proceeding in the Circuit or Superior Court for extortion or other malfeasance. Existing Justices of the Peace and Police Magistrates may hold their offices until the expiration of their respective terms.
§ 29. All judicial officers shall be commissioned by the Governor. All laws relating to courts shall be general and of uniform operation; and the organization, jurisdiction, powers, proceedings and practice of all courts of the same class or grade, so far as regulated by law, and the force and effect of the process, judgments and decrees of such courts, severally, shall be uniform.
30. The General Assembly may, for cause entered on the journals, upon due notice and opportunity of defense, remove from office any judge, upon concurrence of three-fourths of all the members elected, of each House. All other officers in this Article mentioned, shall be removed from office on prosecution and final conviction for misdemeanor in office.
31. All judges of courts of record, inferior to the Supreme Court, shall, on or before the first day of June of each year, report in writing to the Judges of the Supreme Court, such defects and omissions in the laws as their experience may suggest; and the Judges of the Supreme Court, shall, on or before the first day of January of each year,