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the Court of Appeals except while holding the office of Justice of the Supreme Court, and no more than seven judges shall sit in any case. §8. When a vacancy shall occur otherwise than by expiration of term, in the office of Chief or Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, the same shall be filled, for a full term, at the next general election happening not less than three months after such vacancy occurs; and until the vacancy shall be so filled, the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, if the Senate shall be in session, or if not in session the Governor, may fill such vacancy by appointment. If any such appointment of Chief Judge shall be made from among the Associate Judges, a temporary appointment of Associate Judge shall be made in like manner; but in such case, the person appointed Chief Judge shall not be deemed to vacate his office of Associate Judge any longer than until the expiration of his appointment as Chief Judge. The powers and jurisdiction of the court shall not be suspended for want of appointment or election, when the number of judges is sufficient to constitute a quorum. All appointments under this section shall continue until and including the last day of December next after the election at which the vacancy shall be filled.
§ 9. After the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five, the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, except where the judgment is of death, shall be limited to the review of questions of law. No unanimous decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that there is evidence supporting or tending to sustain a finding of fact or a verdict not directed by the court, shall be reviewed by the Court of Appeals. Except where the judgment is of death, appeals may be taken, as of right, to said court only from judgments or orders entered upon decisions of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, finally determining actions or special proceedings, and from orders granting new trials on exceptions, where the appellants stipulate that upon affirmance judgment absolute shall be rendered against them. The Appellate Division in any department may, however, allow an appeal upon any question of law which, in its opinion, ought to be reviewed by the Court of Appeals.
The Legislature may further restrict the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals and the right of appeal thereto, but the right to appeal shall not depend upon the amount involved.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to orders made or judgments rendered by any General Term before the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five, but appeals therefrom may be taken under existing provisions of law.
§ 10. The Judges of the Court of Appeals and the Justices of the Supreme Court shall not hold any other office or public trust. All votes for any of them, for any other than a judicial office, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void.
§11. Judges of the Court of Appeals and Justices of the Supreme Court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the Legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein. All other judicial officers, except justices of the peace and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, may be removed by the Senate, on the recommendation of the Governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the Senate concur therein. But no officer shall be removed by virtue of this section except for cause, which shall be entered on the journals, nor unless he shall have been served with a statement of the cause alleged, and shall have had an opportunity to be heard. On the question of removal, the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal.
§ 12. The Judges and Justices hereinbefore mentioned shall receive for their services a compensation established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their official terms, except as provided in section five of this article. No person shall hold the office of Judge or Justice of any court longer than until and including the last day of December next after he shall be seventy years of age. No judge or justice elected after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, shall be entitled to receive any compensation after the last day of December next after he shall be seventy years of age; but the compensation of every Judge of the Court of Appeals or Justice of the Supreme Court elected prior to the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four, whose term of office has been, or whose present term of office shall be, so abridged, and who shall have served as such Judge or Justice ten years or more, shall be continued during the remainder of the term for which he was elected; but any such Judge or Justice may, with his consent, be assigned by the Governor, from time to time, to any duty in the Supreme Court while his compensation is so continued.
§ 13. The Assembly shall have the power of impeachment, by a vote of a majority of all the members elected. The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the President of the Senate, the Senators, or the major part of them, and the Judges of the Court of Appeals, or the major part of them. On the trial of an impeachment against the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, the LieutenantGovernor shall not act as a member of the court. No judicial office.
shall exercise his office, after articles of impeachment against him shall have been preferred to the Senate, until he shall have been acquitted. Before the trial of an impeachment the members of the court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try the impeachment according to the evidence, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under this State; but the party impeached shall be liable to indictment and punishment according to law.
§14. The existing County Courts are continued, and the Judges thereof now in office shall hold their offices until the expiration of their respective terms. In the county of Kings there shall be two County Judges and the additional County Judge shall be chosen at the next general election held after the adoption of this article. The successors of the several County Judges shall be chosen by the electors of the counties for the term of six years. County Courts shall have the powers and jurisdiction they now possess, and also original jurisdiction in actions for the recovery of money only, where the defendants reside in the county, and in which the complaint demands judgment for a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars. The Legislature may hereafter enlarge or restrict the jurisdiction of the County Courts, provided, however, that their jurisdiction shall not be so extended as to authorize an action therein for the recovery of money only, in which the sum demanded exceeds two thousand dollars, or in which any person not a resident of the county is a defendant.
Courts of Sessions, except in the county of New York, are abolished from and after the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five. All the jurisdiction of the Court of Sessions in each county, except the county of New York, shall thereupon be vested in the County Court thereof, and all actions and proceedings then pending in such Courts of Sessions shall be transferred to said County Courts for hearing and determination. Every County Judge shall perform such duties as may be required by law. His salary shall be established by law, payable out of the county treasury. A County Judge of any county may hold County Courts in any other county when requested by the judge of such other county.
§15. The existing Surrogates' Courts are continued, and the Surrogates now in office shall hold their offices until the expiration of their Their successors shall be chosen by the electors of their respec
tive counties, and their terms of office shall be six years, except in the county of New York, where they shall continue to be fourteen years. Surrogates and Surrogates' Courts shall have the jurisdiction and powers which the Surrogates and existing Surrogates' Courts now possess, until otherwise provided by the Legislature. The County Judge shall be Surrogate of his County, except where a separate Surrogate has been or shall be elected. In counties having a population exceeding forty thousand, wherein there is no separate Surrogate, the Legislature may provide for the election of a separate officer to be Surrogate, whose term of office shall be six years. When the Surrogate shall be elected as a separate officer his salary shall be established by law, payable out of the county treasury. No County Judge or Surrogate shall hold office longer than until and including the last day of December next after he shall be seventy years of age. Vacancies occurring in the office of County Judge or Surrogate shall be filled in the same manner as like vacancies occurring in the Supreme Court. The compensation of any County Judge or Surrogate shall not be increased or diminished during his term of office. For the relief of Surrogates' Courts the Legislature may confer upon the Supreme Court in any county having a population exceeding four hundred thousand, the powers and jurisdiction of Surrogates, with authority to try issues of fact by jury in probate cases.
§ 16. The Legislature may, on application of the board of supervisors, provide for the election of local officers, not to exceed two in any county, to discharge the duties of County Judge and of Surrogate, in cases of their inability or of a vacancy, and in such other cases as may be provided by law, and to exercise such other powers in special cases as are or may be provided by law.
§17. The electors of the several towns shall, at their annual town meetings, or at such other time and in such manner as the Legislature may direct, elect Justices of the Peace, whose term of office shall be four years. In case of an election to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a full term, they shall hold for the residue of the unexpired term. Their number and classification may be regulated by law. Justices of the Peace, and judges or justices of inferior courts not of record, and their clerks may be removed for cause, after due notice and an opportunity of being heard by such courts as are or may be prescribed by law. Justices of the Peace, and District Court Justices may be elected in the different cities of this State in such manner, and with such powers, and for such terms, respectively, as are or shall be prescribed by law; all other judicial officers in cities, whose election
or appointment is not otherwise provided for in this article, shall be chosen by the electors of such cities, or appointed by some local authorities thereof.
§18. Inferior local courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction may be established by the Legislature, but no inferior local court hereafter created shall be a court of record. The Legislature shall not hereafter confer upon any inferior or local court of its creation, any equity jurisdiction or any greater jurisdiction in other respects than is conferred upon County Courts by or under this article. Except as herein otherwise provided, all judicial officers shall be elected or appointed at such times and in such manner as the Legislature may direct.
§19. Clerks of the several counties shall be clerks of the Supreme Court, with such powers and duties as shall be prescribed by law. The Justices of the Appellate Division in each department shall have power to appoint and to remove a clerk, who shall keep his office at a place to be designated by said Justices. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall keep his office at the seat of government. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals and the Clerks of the Appellate Division shall receive compensation to be established by law and paid out of the public treasury.
§20. No judicial officer, except Justices of the Peace, shall receive to his own use any fees or perquisites of office; nor shall any Judge of the Court of Appeals, or Justice of the Supreme Court, or any County Judge or Surrogate hereafter elected in a county having a population exceeding one hundred and twenty thousand, practice as an attorney or counselor in any court of record of this State, or act as referee. The Legislature may impose a similar prohibition upon County Judges and Surrogates in other counties. No one shall be eligible to the office of Judge of the Court of Appeals, Justice of the Supreme Court, or, except in the county of Hamilton, to the office of County Judge or Surrogate, who is not an attorney and counselor of this State.
§21. The Legislature shall provide for the speedy publication of all statutes, and shall regulate the reporting of the decisions of the courts; but all laws and judicial decisions shall be free for publication by any person.
§ 22. Justices of the Peace and other local judicial officers provided for in sections seventeen and eighteen, in office when this article takes effect, shall hold their office until the expiration of their respective terms.
§ 23. Courts of Special Sessions shall have such jurisdiction of offenses of the grade of misdemeanors as may be prescribed by law.