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CHAPTER III.- The District Courts.

SEC. 12. Judicial Districts within this State enumerated.

13. A District Judge shall be in each District.
14. Election and term of office of District Judges.
15. Vacancies, how filled.
16. Qualification of District Judges.
17. Requisites to eligibility for District Judge.
18. Jurisdiction, original and appellate.
19. Original jurisdiction.
20. May try indictments, in certain cases.
21. Appellate jurisdiction.
22. Jay issue writs necessary to the proper erercise of

their powers.

23. Place of holding District Corirts.
24. Duration of their terms.
25. District Judges shall transact business at chambers.
26. Transfer of cases from the District to the County

Court.
27. Temporary disability of the District Judge, who may

hold terms during.
28. District Court may make rules for its government.

$ 12. Judicial Districts within this State enumerated.

(1854, 1855, 1857.] The State shall be divided into fifteen judicial districts, which districts shall be numbered, and composed of the several counties and parts of counties, as follows:

1st. The First Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of San Diego, Los Angeles and San Bernardino;

2d. The Second Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo;

3d. The Third Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Monterey and Alameda ;

4th. The Fourth Judicial District shall be composed of that part of the northern portion of the city and county of San Francisco lying north of a line described as follows: Commencing at the western boundary of said county, at a point in a line with the

center of Bush street, in said city, thence running easterly in a line with and through the center of Bush street, to the center of Larkin street; thence northerly along the center of Larkin street to the center of Pine street; thence easterly along the center of Pine street to the center of Kearny street; thence northerly along the center of Kearny street to a point in a line with the northern side of the City Hall or Court House ; thence easterly to and along the northerly line of the City Hall or Court House, to a point sixtyfive feet from the easterly line of Kearny street; thence at right angles southerly to the southern line of said hall or Court House ; thence westerly along the southern line of said building to the easterly line of Kearny street; thence southerly along said eastern line of Kearny street to the center of Clay street; thence easterly along the center of Clay street to a point in the eastern boundary line of said county ;

5th. The Fifth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Calaveras, Amador, Tuolumne and San Joaquin ;

6th. The Sixth Judicial District shall be composed of the county of Sacramento;

7th. The Seventh Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa ;

8th. The Eighth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Humboldt, Klamath and Del Norte;

9th. The Ninth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity;

10th. The Tenth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Yuba and Sutter;

11th. The Eleventh Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of El Dorado, Placer and Yolo ;

12th. The Twelfth Judicial District shall be composed of that portion of the city and county of San Francisco which is not included within the limits of the Fourth Judicial District, as above described, and of the county of San Mateo ;

13th. The Thirteenth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Mariposa, Tulare, Frezno, Merced and Stanislaus;

14th. The Fourteenth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Sierra and Nevada ;

15th. The Fifteenth Judicial District shall be composed of the counties of Plumas, Butte, Colusi and Tehama.

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§ 13. A District Judge shall be in each district.

There shall be a District Judge for each of the Judicial Districts. The Courts held by them shall be the District Courts of this State.

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§ 14. Their election and term of office.

[1860.] The District Judges shall be chosen by the qualifier] electors of their respective districts, at the general elections, ami shall enter upon the duties of their office on the first of January subsequent to their election, and shall hold office for the term of

six years.

§ 15. Vacancies, how filled.

[1860.] In case of a vacancy in the office of District Julie, the Governor shall fill the same by granting a commission, which shall continue until the election and qualification of a Judge in his place. At the first general election subsequent to the occurrence of the vacancy, a Judge shall be elected who shall qualify and enter upon the duties of his office on the first day of January subsequent to his election, and shall hold his office for the term of

six years.

$ 16. Qualification of District Judges.

Each District Judge hereafter elected or appointed shall be condmissioned by the Governor, and before entering upon his duties, shall take the constitutional oath of office.

§ 17. Requisites to eligibility for District Judge.

[1855, 1859.] Each Judge shall reside in his district, except that the Judges of the Fourth and Twelfth Judicial Districts may reside in any part of the county of San Francisco, and no person shall be eligible to the office of District Judge who shall not have

* This section has been amended, although not by express terms, in the following particulars :-The county of Contra Costa has been taken from the Seventh and added to the Fath Judicial District, by an Act passed the twenty-seventh of March, 1862. (See Statutes of 1862, 97.)

The Fifth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Judicial Districts have been divided, and the six. teenth and Seventeenth Judicial Districts created. (See Statutes of 1859, 3.)

been a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State for two years, and of the district six months, previous to his election. But a residence in any part of the city and county of San Francisco shall be deemed a residence within the Fourth or Twelfth Judicial Districts, within the meaning of the last clause of this section.

§ 18. Jurisdiction, original and appellate.
The jurisdiction of these Courts shall be of two kinds:
1st. Original ;
2d. Appellate.
1. Appellate jurisdiction unconstitutional. 5 Cal. 52.

2. District Courts are Courts of general jurisdiction, and the regularity of their proceedings is presumed. It rests with a party seeking to impeach them to show affirmatively the irregularity, or acts, or omissions which affect the validity of their judgments—especially after the jurisdiction of the person is once shown. People v. Robinson, 17 Cal. 363.

3. Where the principal sum sued for is less than two hundred dollars, the District Court has not jurisdiction. Arnold v. Van Brunt, 4 Cal. 89.

4. Where suit was brought in the District Court, on an undertaking on appeal to the Supreme Court, given in the sum of three hundred dollars, conditioned to pay all damages and costs, not exceeding the three hundred dollars which may be awarded by the Supreme Court, and the damages and costs so awarded were only thirty dollars and fifteen cents: Held, that the District Court had no jurisdiction. Page v. Ellis, 9 Cal. 248.

5. The fact that the sum sued for in such case was only two hundred dollars, does not deprive the District Court of jurisdiction. The fact that the title to real property was involved, and not the sum sued for, established the jurisdiction. The issue upon this question of title had first to be found in favor of plaintiff, before he could recover any damages. This issue involved, not only the right of plaintiff to recover, but the entire value of the property; and there being nothing in the record to show this value to be insufficient to support the jurisdiction, the presumptions are in favor of the validity of the proceedings. Cullen v. Langridge, 17 Cal. 67.

6. The District Courts of this State have the same control over the persons of minors, as well as their estates, that the Courts of Chancery in England possess.

This jurisdiction is conferred by the Constitution, and cannot be divested by any legislative enactment. Reed v. McCormick, 4 Cal. 342.

7. The sixth section of article sixth of the Constitution, which provides that in all issues of fact joined in Probate Courts, the jurisdiction of the District Courts shall be unlimited, does not give the District Court appellate jurisdiction from the Probate Courts. Id.

8. The jurisdiction of the Fourth District Court, in the county of San Francisco, continues the same as it was previons to the creation of the Twelfth Judicial District. The jurisdiction of the Fourth District Court and of the Twelfth District Court, within the limits of the city of San Fraucisco, is equally extensive, and the proceedings may be commenced in either Court at the option of the suitor. Slade v. His Creditors, io Cal. 483.

9. The District Court, by virtue of its common law powers alone, derives its power to try issues of fact, and that Court as a Court of law has no jurisdiction over probate matters. Its jurisdiction over matters of account, and the like, is derived from its grant of equitable power in the Constitution, and in that respect it has only concurrent jurisdiction with the Probate Court. Pond v. Pond, 10 Cal. 495.

10. Issues of fact are sent from the Probate Court to the District Court, not as

from an inferior to a superior tribunal, but for the sake of convenience, becaus the Probate Court has not the machinery of jury trial and its incidents. But it was never intended to transfer any portion of the jurisdiction of Probate Cours to the District Courts. Nor was it designed, by the Act of 1855, directing these issues, to make the judgments of the District Courts binding upon the Courts of Probate. Id.

11. The nonpresentation of a claim against the estate of a deceased person to the administrator, will not deprive the District Court of jurisdiction over sach claim. Hentsch v. Porter, 10 Cal. 555.

12. Under former decisions of this Court, the District Courts, as Courts of Chancery, have assumed the jurisdiction over probate matters, and as, probabls, rights have vested under their decrees, and the principle asserted is more convenient in practice, it is not permissible now to question the jurisdiction. Derk v. Gerke, 12 Cal. 433.

13. The District Court may take jurisdiction of the settlement of an estate, when there are peculiar circumstances of embarrassment to its administration, and when the assuming jurisdiction would prevent waste, delay and expense, and thus conclude, by one action and decree, a protracted and vexatious litigation. Id.

14. The Superior Court not having jurisdiction, the Fourth District Court saking the case, by operation of law, from the former Court, possessed no greater powers in the case than the Superior Court. Watts v. White, 13 Cal. 321.

15. The Fourth District Court, although the district only comprises a portion of the County of San Francisco, is a Court for the whole county, having jurislistion over persons and subject matter therein. The territorial limits assigned to this Court are given for the purposes of convenience in elections, etc., and not for the purpose of limiting its powers. People v. Robinson, 17 Cal. 363.

16. Under the Constitution, the District Courts of the State have jurisdiction in cases of nuisance. The grant, by the Legislature, of jurisdiction in such cases to the County Courts, cannot take away the jurisdiction given to the District Courts by the Constitution. Fitzgerald v. Urton et al., 4 Cal. 235.

17. The Act of the Legislature, by which a District Judge of one district is empowered to hold a District Court in another district, is constitutional and valid; and a Court held in pursuance of such act by a District Judge in a district other than the one for which he was elected is not, for that reason, improperly organ ized. The People v. McCauley, 1 Cal. 379.

18. The Clerk of the Court has power to issue a venditioni exponas at common law, or under the statute “ To Regulate Proceedings in the District Courts," of 1850, p. 24, which authorizes the Court to frame new writs and process, and to issue such executions and other writs as may be necessary to carry their judgments into full force and effect. Smith v. Marsh, 2 Cal. 524.

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§ 19. Original jurisdiction.

Their original jurisdiction shall extend to all civil cases where the amount in dispute exceeds two hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and to all criminal cases not otherwise provided for. In cases involving the title or possession of real property, and in all issues of fact joined in the Probate Court, their jurisdiction shall be unlimited.

$ 20. May try indictments in certain cases.

In all the counties of this State, the District Courts shall have jurisdiction to try and determine all indictments transmitted to them from the Court of Sessions, in the cases provided for by law.

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