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xix. The counties of Wood, Wirt, Gilmer, Braxton, Lewis, Ritchie, Doddridge, and Pleasants, shall constitute the nineteenth circuit.
xx. The counties of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, and Monongalia, shall constitute the twentieth circuit.
XXI. And the counties of Harrison, Marion, Taylor, Preston, Barbour, Randolph, and Upshur, shall constitute the twenty-first circuit.
3. The first and second circuits shall constitute the first district; the third and fourth circuits, the second district; the fifth, sixth, and seventh circuits, the third district; the eighth and ninth circuits, the fourth district; the tenth and eleventh circuits, the fifth district; the twelfth and thirteenth circuits, the sixth district; the fourteenth and fifteenth circuits, the seventh district; the sixteenth and seventeenth circuits, the eighth district; the eighteenth and nineteenth circuits, the ninth district; and the twentieth and twenty-first circuits, the tenth district.
4. The first and second districts shall constitute the first section; the third and fourth districts, the second section; the fifth and sixth districts, the third section; the seventh and eighth districts, the fourth section; and the ninth and tenth districts, the fifth section.
5. The general assembly may, at the end of eight years after the adoption of this constitution, and thereafter at intervals of eight years, rearrange the said circuits, districts, and sections, and place any number of circuits in a district, and of districts in a section; but each circuit shall be altogether in one district, and each district in one section; and there shall not be less than two districts and four circuits in a section, and the pumber of sections shall not be increased or diminished.
6. For each circuit, a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of eight years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall at the time of his election be at least thirty years of age, and, during his continuance in office, shall reside in the circuit of which he is judge.
7. A circuit court shall be held at least twice a year by the judge of each circuit, in every county and corporation thereof, wherein a circuit court is now or may hereafter be established. But the judges in the same district may be required or authorized to hold the courts of their respective circuits alternately, and a judge of one circuit to hold a court in any other circuit.
DISTRICT COURTS. 8. A district court shall be held, at least once a year, in every district, by the judges of the circuits constituting the section and the judge of the supreme court of appeals for the section of which the district forms a part, any three of whom may hold a court; but no judge shall sit or decide upon any appeal taken from his own decision. The judge of the supreme court of appeals of one section may sit in the district courts of another section, when required or authorized by law to do so.
9. The district courts shall not have original jurisdiction, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition.
COURTS OF APPEALS. 10. For each section a judge shall be elected by the voters thereof, who shall hold his office for the term of twelve years, unless sooner removed in the manner prescribed by this constitution. He shall at the time of his election be at least thirty-five years of age, and during his continuance in office, reside in the section for which he is elected.
11. The supreme court of appeals shall consist of the five judges so elected, any three of whom may hold a court. It shall have appellate jurisdiction only, except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition. It shall not have jurisdiction in civil causes where the matter in controversy, exclusive of costs, is less in value or amount than five hundred dollars, except in controversies concerning the title or boundaries of land, the probate of a will, the appointment or qualification of a personal representative, guardian, committee, or curator; or concerning a mill, road, way, ferry, or landing, or the right of a corporation or of a county to levy tolls or taxes; and except in cases of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition, and cases involving freedom, or the constitutionality of a law.
12. Special courts of appeals, to consist of not less than three nor more than five judges, may be formed of the judges of the supreme court of appeals, and of the circuit courts, or any of them, to try any cases remaining on the dockets of the present court of appeals when the judges thereof cease to hold their offices; or to try any cases which may be on the dockets of the supreme court of appeals established by this constitution, in respect to which a majority of the judges of said court may be so situated as to make it improper for them to sit on the hearing thereof.
13. When a judgment or decree is reversed or affirmed by the supreme court of appeals, the reasons therefor shall be stated in writing, and preserved with the record of the
GENERAL PROVISIONS. 14. Judges shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office. The salary of a judge of the supreme court of appeals shall not be less than three thousand dollars and that of a judge of a circuit court not less than two thousand dollars per annum, except that of the judge of the fifth circuit, which shall not be less than fifteen hundred dollars per annum; and each shall receive a reasonable allowance for necessary travel.
15. No judge during his term of service shall hold any other office, appointment, or public trust, and the acceptance thereof shall vacate his judicial office; nor shall ho during such term, or within one year thereafter, be eligible to any political office.
16. No election of judge shall be held within thirty days of the time of holding any election of electors of president and vice president of the United States, of members of congress, or of the general assembly.
17. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly, but a majority of all the members elected to each house must concur in such vote; and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journal of each house. The judge, against whom the general assembly may be about to proceed, shall receive notice thereof, accompanied by a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.
18. The officers of the supreme court of appeals and of the district courts shall be appointed by the said courts respectively, or by the judges thereof in vacation. Their duties, compensation, and tenure of office, shall be prescribed by law.
19. The voters of each county or corporation in which a circuit court is held shall elect a clerk of such court, whose term of office shall be six years. The attorney for the commonwealth elected for a county or corporation wherein a circuit court is directed to be held, shall be attorney for the commonwealth for that court. But in case a circuit court is held for a city, or for a county and city, there shall be an attorney for the commonwealth for such court, to be elected by the voters of such city, or county and city, and to continue in office for the term of four years. The duties and compensation of these officers, and the mode of removing them from office, shall be prescribed by law.
20. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of clerk of any court, such court may appoint a clerk pro tempore, who shall discharge the duties of the office until the vacancy is filled.
21. The general assembly shall provide for the compensation of jurors, but appropriations for that purpose shall not be made from the state treasury, except in prosecutions for felony and misdemeanor.
22. At every election of a governor, an attorney-general shall be elected by the voters of the commonwealth, for the term of four years. He shall be commissioned by the governor, shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as may be prescribed by law, and be removable in the manner prescribed for the removal of judges.
23. Judges and all other officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices after their terms of service have expired, until their successors are qualified.
24. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia and be attested by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, Against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.
25. There shall be in each county of the commonwealth a county court, which shall be held monthly, by not less than three nor more than five justices, except when the law shall require the presence of a greater number.
26. The jurisdiction of the said court shall be the same as that of the existing county courts, except so far as it is modified by this constitution or may be changed by law.
27. Each county shall be laid off into districts, as nearly equal as may be in territory and population. In each district there shall be elected, by the voters thereof, four justices of the peace, who shall be commissioned by the governor, reside in their respective districts, and hold their office for the term of four years. The justices so elected shall choose one of their own body, who shall be the presiding justice of the county court, and whose duty it shall be to attend each term of said court. The other justices shall be classified by law for the performance of their duties in court.
28. The justices shall receive for their services in court a per diem compensation, to be ascertained by law, and,