Page images
PDF
EPUB

g 10. The supreme court may appoint a reporter of its decisions. The decisions of the supreme court shall be in writing, and signed by the judges concurring therein. Any judge dissenting therefrom, shall give the reasons of such dissent in writing, under his signature. All such opinions shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court. The judges of the circuit court within their respective jurisdictions, may fill vacancies in the office of county clerk and of prosecuting attorney; but no judge of the supreme court, or circuit court, shall exercise any other power of appointment to public office.

$ 11. A circuit court shall be held at least twice in each year in every county organized for judicial purposes, and four times in each year in counties containing ten thousand inhabitants. Judges of the circuit court may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when required by law.

12. The clerk of each county organized for judicial purposes shall be the clerk of the circuit court of such county, and of the supreme court when held within the same.

$ 13. In each of the counties organized for judicial purposes, there shall be a court of probate. The judge of such court shall be elected by the electors of the county in which he resides, and shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified. The jurisdiction, powers and duties of such court shall be prescribed by law.

$ 14. When a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of the supreme, circuit or probate court, it shall be filled by appointment of the Governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified. When elected, such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term.

$ 15. The supreme court, the circuit and probate courts of each county, shall be courts of record, and shall each have a common seal.

$ 16. The Legislature may provide by law for the election of one or more persons in each organized county, who may be vested with judicial powers, not exceeding those of a judge of the circuit court at chambers. § 17. There shall be not exceeding four justices of the peace

in each organized township. They shall be elected by the electors of

the townships, and shall hold their offices for four years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the first election in any township, they shall be classified as shall be prescribed by law. A justice elected to fill a vacancy shall hold his office for the residue of the unexpired term. The Legislature may increase the number of justices in cities.

18. In civil cases justices of the peace shall have exclusive jurisdiction to the amount of one hundred dollars, and concurrent jurisdiction to the amount of three hundred dollars, which may be increased to five hundred dollars, with such exceptions and restrictions as may be provided by law. They shall also have such criminal jurisdiction and perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the Legislature.

$ 19. Judges of the supreme court, circuit judges, and justices of the peace, shall be conservators of the peace within their respectives jurisdictions.

§ 20. The first election of judges of the circuit courts, shall be held on the first Monday in April, one thousand eight hundred and fiftyone, and every sixth year thereafter. Whenever an additional circuit is created, provision shall be made to hold the subsequent election of such additional judges at the regular elections herein provided.

$ 21. The first election of judges of the probate courts shall be held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and every fourth year thereafter.

$ 22. Whenever a judge shall remove beyond the limits of the jurisdiction for which he was elected, or a justice of the peace from the township in which he was elected, or by a change in the boundaries of such township shall be placed without the same, they shall be deemed to have vacated their respective offices.

$ 23. The Legislature may establish courts of conciliation with such powers and duties as shall be prescribed by law.

§ 24. Any suitor in any court of this State shall have the right to prosecute or defend his suit, either in his own proper person, or by an attorney or agent of his choice.

8 25. In all prosecutions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury, that the matter charged as libellous, is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted. The jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

$ 26. The person, houses, papers and possessions of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

$ 27. The right of trial by jury shall remain, but shall be deemed to be waived in all civil cases unless demanded by one of the parties in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

§ 28. In every criminal prosecution, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, which may consist of less than twelve men in all courts not of record; to be informed of the nature of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and have the assistance of counsel for his de

fence.

8 29. No person, after acquittal upon the merits, shall be tried for the same offence; all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for murder and treason, when the proof is evident or the presumption great.

$ 30. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless upon the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in

open court.

8 31. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed; cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.

$ 32. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.

$ 33. No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of, or founded on a contract, express or implied, except in cases of fraud or breach of trust, or of moneys collected by public officers or in any

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

professional employment. No person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.

§ 34. No person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief.

$ 35. The style of all process shall be: “In the name of the people of the State of Michigan.”

ARTICLE VII.

ELECTIONS.

$ 1. In all elections. every white male citizen every white male inhabitant residing in the State on the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five; every white male inhabitant residing in this State on the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, pursuant to the laws thereof, six months preceding an election, or who has resided in this State two years and six months, and declared his intention as aforesaid, and every civilized male inhabitant of Indian descent, a native of the United States and not a member of any tribe, shall be an elector and entitled to vote; but no citizen or inhabitant shall be an elector or entiled to vote at any election, unless he shall be above the age of twenty-one years, and has resided in this State three months, and in the township or ward in which he offers to vote, ten days next preceding such election.

§ 2. All votes shall be given by ballot, except for such township officers as may be authorized by law to be otherwise chosen.

$ 3. Every elector, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during his attendance at election, and in going to and returning from the same.

§ 4. No elector shall be obliged to do militia duty on the day of election, except in time of war or public danger, or attend court as a suitor or witness.

$ 5. No elector shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence, by reason of his being employed in the service of the United States, or of this State; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of this State or of the United States, or of the high seas; nor while a student of any seminary of learning; nor while kept at any alms-house or other asylum at public enpense; nor while confined in any public prison.

96. Laws may be passed to preserve the purity of elections, and guard against abuses of the elective franchise.

܀

8 7. No soldier, seaman, nor marine, in the army or navy of the United States, shall be deemed a resident of this State, in consequence of being stationed in any military or naval place within the same.

$ 8. Any inhabitant who may hereafter be engaged in a duel, either as principal or accessory before the fact, shall be disqualified from holding any office under the constitution and laws of this State and shall not be permitted to vote at any election.

ARTICLE VIII.

[merged small][ocr errors]

§ 1. There shall be elected at each general biennial election a Secretary of Staté, a Superintendent of Public Instruction, a State Treasurer, a Commissoner of the Land Office, an Auditor General, and an Attorney General, for the term of two years. They shall keep their offices at the seat of government, and shall perform such duties as Inay be prescribed by law.

§ 2. Their term of office shall commence on the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, and of every second year thereafter.

§ 3. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in any of the State offices, the Governor shall fill the same by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, if in session.

$ 4. The Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and Commissioner of the State Land Office shall constitute a Board of State Auditors to examine and adjust all claims against the State, not otherwise provided for by general law. They shall constitute a Board of State Canvassers to determine the result of all elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and State Officers, and of such other officers as shall by law be referred to them.

$ 5. In case two or more persons have an equal and the highest number of votes for any office, as canvassed by the Board of State Canvassers, the Legislature, in joint Convention, shall choose one of of said persons to fill such office. When the determination of the Board of State Canvassers is contested, the Legislature, in Joint Convention, shall decide which person is elected.

ARTICLE IX.

SALARIES.

§ 1. The Governor shall receive an annual salary of one thousand dollars; the Judges of the Circuit Court shall each receive an anuual

« PreviousContinue »