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CHAPTER IX.

JUDICIAL.

Different Classes of Courts.—By the Constitution of the state it is provided that the judicial powers of the state are exercised by the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment, by the Supreme Court, District Courts, Justices of the Peace, and such other courts as the Legislature may establish.

. So far as the serving of processes is concerned, the authority of the courts extends to the reservations under legislative control of the National government. The only additional courts so far provided for are the Police Court and the Coroner's Inquest, but in certain cases what are really judicial functions are performed by several of the executive officers. 1

Supreme Court. The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices, each elected by a plurality of a popular vote for a term of six years. The total number of Justices may at any time

. be increased to five, but the tenure of office and date of expiration of terms must be so arranged that in any case at least one Justice shall be chosen at each election

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Const. Mont., Art. viii; Code of Civil Procedure, & 2, et seq.

held for the choice of representatives to the Legislative Assembly. 1

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends to all parts of the State, and is appellate only except that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to hear and determine writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition and injunctions and other original and remedial writs. Or, in other words, no case can be tried before the Supreme Court unless it has first been tried in some inferior court, and brought to the Supreme Court on appeal, except as above specified. The Supreme Court also has supervisory control over all inferior courts. 2

At least three terms of the Supreme Court are held each year at the seat of government. A majority of the Justices is necessary to form a quorum or to pronounce a decision. But a single Justice may adjourn the court from day to day or to a definite time. 3

Each Justice is required to be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the state of Montana for at least two years next preceding his election. He must in addition be a member in good standing of the bar of the Supreme Court of Montana. 4

District Courts.—The state of Montana is divided

'Const. Mont., Art. viii, Secs. 5-6-7; Code of Civil Procedure, 212, et seq. 2 Const. Mont., Art. VIII, Sec. 3; Code of Civil Procedure, 18, 19, 20. 3 Const. Mont., Art. yiri, Sec. 5; Code of Civil Procedure, & 15. 4 Const. Mont., Art. VIII, Sec. 10.

into judicial districts, the number of which may at any time be changed by the Legislative Assembly. The division, however, always recognizes county lines, and no county is in more than one district. In each district at least one Judge is elected by popular vote, whose term of office is four years. A Judge at the time of his election must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the state of Montana for at least a year before the date of his election. He must, besides, have been admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the state and be in good standing at the time of his election. He need not, when elected, be a resident of the district for which he is chosen, but must reside in the district during his term of office. 1

In counties which comprise the whole of a judicial district, the Court is open for business every day in the year except legal holidays. But, on the days excepted, injunctions and writs of prohibition and habeas corpus may be issued. 2

The legal holidays in Montana are the following: Sundays, the first day of January, the twenty-second day of February, the thirtieth day of May, the fourth day of July, the first Monday in September, the twenty-fifth day of December, every day on which an election is beld throughout the state, every day appointed by the President of the United States, or by

I Const. Mont., Art. viii, Secs. 12, 13, 16; Code of Civil Procedure, 230,

et seq.

3 Const. Mont., Art. vii, Sec. 17.

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