Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

5. They may issue process for witnesses in any cause or suit pending before them;

6. They have power to take acknowledgments of deeds, mortgages, and other instruments of writing;

7. The three last classes of powers are co-extensive with the county

§ 715. The jurisdiction of Justices in criminal cases is,

1. Co-extensive with the county wherein he was elected;

2. He is conservator of the peace herein;

3. He is authorized and required to cause every person, charged with the commission of a crime or breach of the law, to be brought before him for examination;

4. He is empowered, and it is his duty to inquire into the complaint, and cause every person so charged either to be committed to jail, discharged, or recognized to appear at the next term of court, according to the nature of the case;

5. It is his duty to recognize all such witnesses as he may consider necessary to the further prosecution of the cause, to appear before the next term of court;

6. He has power to fine, for several misdemeanors and criminal offences described by statute, and in such cai js, after entering judgment, he may issụe execution for the fine and costs.

$ 716. The ministerial officer of the Justice's Court is the Constable.

1. They have power to execute process of subpæna, in civil cases, throughout their respective counties;

2. They must moreover execute such other legal process, in civil cases, as may be directed to them;

3. It is their duty to apprehend and bring to justice felons and disturbers of the peace, to suppress riots, and keep and preserve the peace within their respective counties; : 4. And if any person charged with the commission of any crime or offence shall flee from justice, it shall be lawful for

any constable of the county where such crime is committed, and it is his duty, to pursue and arrest such fugitive in any other county of the state.

$ 717. In addition to the powers of Justices of the Peace above enumerated, they have the same jurisdiction in cases concerning real estate as in personal, where the damages do not exceed one hundred dollars, and the title to real estate is not called in question. They have also power to enforce obedience to their process by attachment, &c.

§ 718. From this statement it will be evident that a large mass of business must be transacted by Justices of the Peace. Most of the debts to be collected are below one hundred dollars, and therefore fall within a justice's jurisdiction. Almost all the criminal cases first pass under examination before the justices, so that in every respect their functions are important: in Ohio, and the majority of the states, they are elected by the people of their respective townships; in Connecticut and others, by the legislature.

§ 719. Besides the officers and courts above enumerated, the states have several gradations of municipal courts, which do not exist under the government of the United States—but whose general operations are carried on in the same manner. Thus, in cities, there is generally a court composed of the Mayor and Aldermen, for the trial of offences against the city ordinances; again, there is generally also a Court of Quarter Sessions in New York, composed of the Recorder and part of the Aldermen,) for the trial of criminal offences: then there are the usual county courts, &c. In this manner any number of courts may be organized, to suit the convenience of the people; their decisions, however, are all subject to review by an ultimate tribunal. Under the laws of the United States, we have seen there are but three orders of courts,—the Supreme,

Circuit and District Courts. But these may constitutionally be increased at the discretion of Congress.

3. THE EXECUTIVE. § 720. The duties of the Governors of the several states is, in general, analogous to those of the President of the United States, in those respects in which the powers of the several state governments are similar to those of the union.

1. The governor has the power to command the militia of the state, when not called into actual service, by the United States; also, he has the power of commanding the army and navy, if there be one. A state cannot maintain these in time of peace, and in time of war they have not the power, except so far as consists in the support of volunteers and drafted men.

2. They can require written opinions and statements from the heads of departments.

3. It is their duty to communicate such information as they may think necessary on the state of public affairs.

4. It is their duty to see the laws faithfully executed.

5. In some of the states, as Pennsylvania, they hold the appointing power almost exclusively. In others, as in New-York, they hold it in conjunction with the senate, and in others again, as Ohio, they have none of it.

§ 721. 6. The departments of executive officers under the state governments are also organized in analogy to those of the general government, so far as they go. The departments of War, Navy, Post-office, and Mint, do not exist under the state governments, because the states have no power over the subjects in relation to which those departments are erected. The states have a Department of State, the chief object of which is the preservation of the laws and public records, and the issuing of commissions. There is also a Treasurer, or Comptroller, whose business is the receipt, distribution, and safe keeping of the public funds.

$ 722. From this statement we see, that as national governments, the states have very little to do. All

powers of a general nature are vested in the general government.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Our work is now ended. It contains little ingenuity and less novelty; but the student should recollect, that, these are not the characteristics of truth and learning in Constitutions and Jurisprudence: let him seek rather the accuracy of the legal historian, and a correct delineation of our political institutions. From the study of these, he must ever go forth increased in knowledge, in love of liberty, and the ardor of patriotism.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »