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ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF
The Courts. Section 1. The judicial power of this Commonwealth shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in courts of Common Pleas, courts of oyer and terminer and general jail delivery, courts of quarter sessions of the peace, orphans' courts, magistrates' courts, and in such other courts as the General Assembly may from time to time establish.
Supreme Court-Tenure of Judges—Chief Justice. Section 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of seven judges who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large. They shall hold their offices for the term of twenty-one years, if they so long behave themselves well, but shall not be again eligible. The judge whose commission shall first expire shall be chief justice, and thereafter each judge whose commission shall first expire shall in turn be chief justice.
Supreme Court. Section 3. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend over the State, and the judges thereof shall, by virtue of their offices, be justices of oyer and terminer and general jail delivery in the several counties; they shall have original jurisdiction in cases of injunction where a corporation is a party defendant, of habeas corpus, of mandamus to courts of inferior jurisdiction, and of quo warranto as to all officers of the Commonwealth whose jurisdiction extends over the State, but shall not exercise any other original jurisdiction; they shall have appellate jurisdiction by appeal, certiorari or writ of error in all cases, as is now or may hereafter be provided by law.
Common Pleas Courts. Section 4. Until otherwise directed by law, the courts of common pleas shall continue as at present established, except
as herein changed; not more than four counties shall, at any time, be included in one judicial district organized for said courts.
Judicial Districts Associate Judges. Section 5. Whenever a county shall contain forty thousand inhabitants it shall constitute a separate judicial district, and shall elect one judge learned in the law; and the General Assembly shall provide for additional judges, as the business of the said districts may require. Counties containing a population less than is sufficient to constitute separate districts shall be formed into convenient single districts, or, if necessary, may be attached to contiguous districts as the General Assembly may provide. The office of associate judge, not learned in the law, is abolished in counties forming separate districts; but the several associate judges in office when this Constitution shall be adopted shall serve for their unexpired terms.
Common Pleas Courts in Philadelphia and Allegheny
Counties. Section 6. In the counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny all the jurisdiction and powers now vested in the district courts and courts of common pleas, subject to such changes as may be made by this Constitution or by law, shall be in Philadelphia vested in four, and in legheny in two, distinct and separate courts of equal and co-ordinate jurisdiction, composed of three judges each; the said courts in Philadelphia shall be designated respectively as the court of common pleas number one, number two, number three and number four, and in Allegheny as the court of common pleas number one and number two, but the number of said courts may be by law increased, from time to time, and shall be in like manner designated by successive numbers; the number of judges in any of said courts, or in any county where the establishment of an additional court may be authorized by law, may be increased from time to time, and whenever such increase shall amount in the whole to three, such three judges shall compose a distinct and separate court as aforesaid, which shall be numbered as aforesaid. In Philadelphia all suits shall be instituted in the said courts of common pleas without designating the number of said court, and the several courts shall distribute and apportion the business among them in such manner as shall be provided by rules of court, and each court, to which any suit shall be thus assigned, shall have exclusive jurisdiction thereof, subject to change of venue, as
shall be provided by law. In Allegheny each court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all proceedings at law and in equity, commenced therein, subject to change of venue as may be provided by law.
Prothonotary of Philadelphia—Court Dockets. Section 7. For Philadelphia there shall be one prothonotary's office, and one prothonotary for all said courts to be appointed by the judges of said courts, and to hold office for three years, subject to removal by a majority of the said judges; the said prothonotary shall appoint such assistants as may be necessary and authorized by said courts; and he and his assistants shall receive fixed salaries, to be determined by law and paid by said county; all fees collected in said office, except such as may be by law due to the Commonwealth, shall be paid by the prothonotary into the county treasury. Each court shall have its separate dockets, except the judgment docket which shall contain the judgments and liens of all the said courts, as is or may be directed by law.
Criminal Courts in Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties. Section 8. The said courts in the counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny, respectively, shall, from time to time, in turn detail one or more of their judges to hold the courts of oyer and terminer and the courts of quarter sessions of the peace of said counties, in such manner as may be directed by law.
Common Pleas Judges to be Justices of the Peace. Section 9. Judges of the courts of common pleas learned in the law shall be judges of the courts of oyer and terminer, quarter sessions of the peace and general jail delivery, and of the orphans' court, and within their respective districts shall be justices of the peace as to criminal matters.
Judges of Common Pleas Courts may Issue Writs of Certiorari.
Section 10. The judges of the courts of common pleas, within their respective counties, shall have power to issue writs of certiorari to justices of the peace and other inferior courts not of record, and to cause their proceedings to be brought before them, and right and justice to be done.
Justices of the Peace and Aldermen. Section 11. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, justices of the peace or aldermen shall be elected in the several wards, districts, boroughs and townships at the time of the election of constables by the qualified electors thereof, in such manner as shall be directed by law, and shall be commissioned by the Governor for a term of five years. No township, ward, district or borough shall elect more than two justices of the peace or aldermen without the consent of a majority of the qualified electors within such township, ward or borough; no person shall be elected to such office unless he shall have resided within the township, borough, ward or district for one year next preceding his election. In cities containing over fifty thousand inhabitants, not more than one alderman shall be elected in each ward or district.
Magistrates in Philadelphia. Section 12. In Philadelphia there shall be established, for each thirty thousand inhabitants, one court, not of record, of police and civil causes, with jurisdiction not exceeding one hundred dollars; such courts shall be held by magistrates whose term of office shall be five years, and they shall be elected on general ticket by the qualified voters at large; and in the election of the said magistrates no voter shall vote for more than twothirds of the number of persons to be elected when more than one are to be chosen; they shall be compensated only by fixed salaries, to be paid by said county; and shall exercise such jurisdiction, civil and criminal, except as herein provided, is now exercised by aldermen, subject to such changes, not involving an increase of civil jurisdiction or conferring political duties, as may be made by law. In Philadelphia the office of alderman is abolished.
Fees, Fines and Penalties. Section 13. All fees, fines and penalties in said courts shall be paid into the county treasury.
Appeals from Summary Convictions. Section 14. In all cases of summary conviction in this Commonwealth, or of judgment in suit for a penalty before a magistrate, or court not of record, either party may appeal to such
court of record as may be prescribed by law, upon allowance of the appellate court or judge thereof upon cause shown.
Election of Judges-Removal. Section 15. All judges required to be learned in the law, except the judges of the Supreme Court, shall be elected by the qualified electors of the respective districts over which they are to preside, and shall hold their offices for the period of ten years, if they shall so long behave themselves well; but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the Governor may remove any of them on the address of twothirds of each House of the General Assembly.
Voting for Judge of Supreme Court. Section 16. Whenever two judges of the Supreme Court are to be chosen for the same term of service each voter shall vote for one only, and when three are to be chosen he shall vote for no more than two; candidates highest in vote shall be declared elected.
Priority of Judges' Commissions. Section 17. Should any two or more judges of the Supreme Court, or any two or more judges of the court of common pleas for the same district, be elected at the same time, they shall, as soon after the election as convenient, cast lots for priority of commission, and certify the result to the Governor, who shall issue their commissions in accordance therewith.
Compensation of Judges. Section 18. The judges of the Supreme Court and the judges of the several courts of common pleas, and all other judges required to be learned in the law, shall at stated times receive for their services an adequate compensation, which shall be fixed by law, and paid by the State. They shall receive no other compensation, fees or perquisites of office for their services from any source, nor hold any other office of profit under the United States, this State or any other State.
Residences of Judges. Section 19. The judges of the Supreme Court, during their continuance in office, shall reside within this Commonwealth; and the other judges, during their continuance in office shall