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JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS.
(Term, fourteen years.)
Edwin 0. Perrin, Clerk, Jamaica...
COURT OF APPEALS.
The Court of Appeals succeeded the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, so far as the correction of errors is concerned. As first organized, under the Constitution of 1846, it was composed of eight Judges, four of whom were chosen by the electors of the State for a term of eight years, and four were elected from the class of Justices of the Supreme Court having the shortest time to serve. The Judges elected by the people were so classified that an election occurred every odd year. The Judges selected from the Supreme Court were taken each even year from the first, third, fifth and seventh districts, and eachi odd year from the second, fourth, sixth and eighth districts, and served one year. The Judge clected by the State at large having the shortest term to serve, acted as Chief Judge. The Clerk was elected by the people for the term of three years. The Reporter was appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Attorney-General, for three years.
The article in relation to the Judiciary, framed by the Convention of 1867-8, reorganized the Court of Appeals. This article was approved by the people at the general election held in 1869. In accordance with its provisions, the Court of Appeals is now composed of a Chief Judge and six Associate Judges, who “hold their office for the term of fourteen years, from and including the first day of January after their election,” which was the year 1871, the first Judges were elected at a special election held in 1870. At the first election of Judges each elector voted for the Chief Judge and four only of the Associate Justices. Vacancies are to be filled at the next general election happening not less than three months after such vacancy occurs, and until so filled, by the Governor and Senate, or by the Governor aloue, if the Senate is not in session.
Judges are prohibited, by the Constitution, from holding any other office or place of public trust; from exercising any power of appointment to public office, and from practicing as attorney or counselor, or acting as referee. They are removable by concurrent resolution of both Houses of the Legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch concur therein.
The court is almost continually in session, taking recess as it may from time to time order.
The Court has full power to correct or reverse the decisions of the Supreme Court. Five Judges constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of four is necessary to pronounce a judgment. If such concurrence be not bad, the case must be reheard ; but no more than two rehearings can be had, and if then four Judges do not concur, the judgment of the court below is affirined. The Legislature may authorize the judgments, decrees and decisions of any inferior local court of record established in a city, having original civil jurisdiction, to be removed for review directly into the Court of Appeals.
The Judges of the old Court of Appeals, elected or appointed prior to April 18, 1857, each received a salary of $2,500 per annum; those since that date $3,500. By act of the Legislature, passed April 14, 1870 (Laws of 1870, chap. 203, pp. 496–8, § 8), the salary of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals was fixed at $7,500, and of the Associate Judges $7,000.
A Clerk is appointed by the Court, to hold office during its pleasure. He gives a bond to the people of the State in the penalty of $25,000, with two sufficient sureties, for the faithful performance of his duties, which bond is filed with the Comptroller. He appoints a deputy, by writing under his hand and seal, who takes the oath of office, and acts as Clerk in case of a vacancy, or when the Clerk is absent, or incapable of performing the duties. The salary of the Clerk is $5,000. He keeps his office in the State Hall, Albany. In it are deposited the records of the former Court of Errors, Supreme Court and Court of Chaucery.
The Court also appoints its Reporter. He has a salary of $5,000.