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tribunals shall be filled by election as herein prescribed; Provided, That if the unexpired term does not exceed one year, such vacancy may be filled by Executive appointment. All Judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State.
SECTION 12. In all cases decided by the Supreme Court, al concurrence of two of the Judges shall be necessary to a decision.
SECTION 13. The State shall be divided into convenient circuits, and for each circuit a Judge shall be elected by joint ballot of the General Assembly, who shall hold his office for a term of four years, and during his continuance in office he shall reside in the circuit of which he is Judge.
Section 14. Judges of the Circuit Court shall interchange circuits with each other in such manner as may be determined by law.
SECTION 15. The Courts of Common Pleas shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases of divorce, and exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil cases and actions ex delicto, which shall not be
cognizable before Justices of the Peace, and appellate jurisdiction in all such cases as may be provided by law. They shall have power to issue writs of.mandamus, prohibition, scire facias, and all other writs which may be necessary for carrying their powers fully into effect.
SECTION 16. The Court of Common Pleas shall sit in each Judicial District in this State at least twice in every year, at such stated times and places as may be appointed by law. It shall have jurisdiction in all matters of Equity, but the Courts heretofore established for that purpose shall continue as now organized until the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixtynine for the disposition of causes now pending therein, unless otherwise provided by law.
SECTION 17. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the preservation of the records of the Courts of Equity, and also for the transfer to the Court of Common Pleas and Probate Courts for final decision of all causes that may remain undetermined. It shall be the duty of the Judges of the Supreme and Circuit Courts to file their decisions within sixty days from the last day of the term of court at which the causes were heard.
SECTION 18. The Court of General Sessions, shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal cases which shall not be otherwise provided for by law. It shall sit in each County in the State at least three times in each year, at such stated times and places as the General Assembly may direct.
SECTION 19. The qualified electors of each County shall elect three persons for the term of two years, who shall constitute a Board of County Commissioners which shall have jurisdiction over
roads, highways, ferries, bridges, and in all matters relating to taxes, disbursements of money for County purposes, and in every other case that may be necessary to the internal improvement and local concerns. of the respective Counties: Provideil, That in all cases there shall be the right of appeal to the State Courts.
SECTION 20. A Court of Probate shall be established in each County, with jurisdiction in all matters testamentary and of administration, in business appertaining to minors and the allotment of dower in cases of idiocy and lunacy, and persons non compotes mentis. The Judge of said Court shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective Counties for the term of two years.
SECTION 21. A competent number of Justices of the Peace and Constables shall be chosen in each County by the qualified electors thereof, in such manner as the General Assembly mày direct; they shall hold their offices for a term of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified. They shall reside in the County, city or beat for which they are elected, and the Justices of the Peace shall be commissioned by the Governor.
SECTION 22. Justices of the Peace, individually, or two or more of them jointly, as the General Assenibly may direct, shall bave original jurisdiction in cases of bastardy, and in all matters of contract, and actions for the recovery of fines and forfeitures where the amount claimed does not exceed one hundred dollars, and such jurisdiction as may be provided by law in actions ex delicto, where the damages claimed do not exceed one hundred dollars; and prosecutions for assault and battery and other penal offences less than felony, punishable by fines only.
SECTION 23. They may also sit as examining Courts and commit, discharge, or recognize" (except in capital cases) persons charged with offencés, subject to such regulations as the General Assembly may provide; they shall also have power to bind over to keep the peace, or for good behavior. For the foregoing purposes they shall have power to issue all necessary processes.
SECTION 24. Every action cognizable before Justices of the Peace instituted by summons or warrant, shall be brought before some Justice of the Peace in the County or city where the defendant resides, and in all such causes tried by them, the right of appeal shall be secured under such rules and regulations as may be provided by law.
SECTION 25. The Judges of Probate, County Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, and Constables, shall receive for their services such compensation and fees as the General Assembly may from time to time by law direct.
SECTION 26. Judges shall not charge juries in respect to matters of fact, but may state the testimony and declare the law.
SECTION 27. There shall be elected in each County, by the electors thereof, one Clerk for the Court of Common Pleas, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified. He shall, by virtue of his office, be clerk of all other Courts of Record held therein; but the General Assembly may provide by law for the election of a Clerk, with a like term of office, for each or any other of the Courts of Record, and may authorize the Judge of the Probate Court to perform the duties of Clerk for his Court, under such regulations as the General Assembly may direct. Clerks of Courts shall be removeable for such cause, and in such manner as shall be prescribed
SECTION 28. There shall be an Attorney-General for the State, who shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall be elected hy the qualified electors of the State for the term of four years, and shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be fixed by law.
SECTION 29. There shall be one Solicitor for each circuit, who shall reside therein, to be elected by the qualified electors of the circuit, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and shall receive for his services such compensation as shall be fixed by law. In all cases where an Attorney for the State, of any circuit, fails to attend and prosecute, according to law, the Court shall have power to appoint an Attorney pro tempore.
SECTION 30. The qualified electors of each County shall elect a Sheriff and a Coroner, for the term of four years, and until their successors are elected and qualified ; they shall reside in their respective Counties during their continuance in office, and be disqualified for the office a second time, if it should appear that they or either of them are in default for monies collected by virtue of their respective offices.
SECTION 31. All writs and processes shall run, and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name of the State of South Carolina; all writs shall be attested by the clerk of the court from which they shall be issued ; and all indictments shall conclude against the peace and dignity of the State.
SECTION 32. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the speedy publication of the decisions of the Supreme Court made under this Constitution.
SECTION 33. The first General Assembly convened under this Constitution, at their first session, immediately after their permanent organization, shall ratify the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, known as the Fourteenth Article, proposed by the Thirty-Ninth Congress.
SECTION 34. All contracts, whether under seal or not, the consideration of which were for the purchase of slaves, are hereby declared null and void and of no effect, and no suit, either at law or equity, shall be commenced or prosecuted for the enforcement of such contracts, and all proceedings to enforce satisfaction or payment on judgments or decrees, rendered, recorded, enrolled or entered up on such contracts, in any Court of this State, are hereby prohibited, and all orders heretofore made in this State, in relation to such contracts, whereby property is held subject to decision as to the validity of such contracts, are also hereby declared null and void and of no effect.
SECTION 1. The General Assembly shall pass such laws as may be necessary and proper, to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.
SECTION 2. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass the necessary laws for the change of venue in all cases, civil and criminal, over which the Circuit Courts have original jurisdiction, upon a proper showing, supported by affidavit, that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in the County where such trial or prosecution was commenced.
SECTION 3. The General Assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall make provision to revise, digest, and arrange, under proper heads, the body of our laws, civil and criminal, and form a penal code, founded upon principles of reformation, and have the same promulgated in such manner as they may direct; and a like revision, digest and promulgation shall be made within every subsequent period of ten yearg. That justice may be administered in a uniform mode of pleading without distinction between law and equity, they shall provide for abolishing the distinct forms of action, and for that purpose shall appoint some suitable person or persons, whose duty it shall be to revise, simplify, and abridge the rules, practice, pleadings, and forms of the courts now in use in this State.
SECTION 1. The State shall have concurrent jurisdiction on al rivers bordering on this state, so far as such rivers shall' form a common boundary to this and any other State bounded by the same; and they, together with all other navigable waters within the limits of the State shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of this State as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax or impost therefor, unless the same be expressly provided for by the General Assembly.
SECTION 2. The title to all lands and other property, which have heretofore accrued to this State by grant, gift, purchase, forfeiture, escheats, or otherwise, shall vest in the State of South Carolina the same as though no change had taken place.
SECTION 3. The people of the State are declared to possess the ultiaiate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the State; and all lands, the title to which shall fail from defect of heirs, shall revert, or escheat to the people.
SECTION 1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. A vote of two-thirds of all the members elected shall be required for an impeachment, and any officer impeached, shall thereby be suspended from office until judgment in the case shall have been pronounced.
SECTION 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and when sitting for that purpose, they shall be under oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted except by vote of two-thirds of all the members elected. When the Governor is impeached, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or the senior Judge, shall preside, with a casting vote in all preliminary questions.
SECTION 3. The Governor and all other executive and judicial officers, shall be liable to impeachment; but judgment in such case shall not extend further than removal from office. The persons convicted, shall nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial and punishment according to law.
SECTION 4. For any wilful neglect of duty, or other reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the Governor shall remove any executive or judicial officer on the address of two-thirds of each House of the General Assembly. Provided, that the cause, or causes, for which said removal may be required, shall be stated at length in such address, and entered on the journals of each House. And provided further, that the officer intended to be removed shall be notified of such cause or causes, and shall be admitted to a hearing in his own defence, before any vote for such address; and in all cases, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and be entered on the journals of each House respectively.