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JUDICIARY ARTICLE OF THE CONSTITUTION,
AS AMENDED BY THE
CONVENTION OF 1867-'8.
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 a major part of them, and the judges of the court of appeals, or a major part of them. On the trial of an impeachment against the governor, the lieutenant-governor shall not act as a member of the court. No judicial officer 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 evidence; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shail 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.
SEC. 2.-Court of appeals.
There shall be a court of appeals, composed of a chief judge and six associate judges, who shall be chosen by the electors of the State, and shall hold their office for the term of fourteen years from and including the first day of January next after their election. At the first election of judges, under this constitution, every elector may vote for the chief, and only four of the associate judges. Any five members of the court shall form a quorum, and the concurrence of four shall be necessary to a decision. The court shall have the appointment, with the power of removal, of its reporter and clerk, and of such attendants as may be neces
SEC. 3.- Vacancies in office of judge of court of appeals. When a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of
term, in the office of the 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, the governor alone, may appoint to fill such vacancy. 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.
SEC. 4.-Causes pending in court of appeals, how disposed of. Upon the organization of the court of appeals under this article, the causes then pending in the present court of appeals shall become vested in the court of appeals hereby established. Such of said causes as are pending on the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-nine, shall be heard and determined by a commission, to be composed of five commissioners of appeals, four of whom shall be necessary to constitute a quorum; but the court of appeals hereby established may order any of said causes to be heard therein. Such commission shall be composed of the judges of the present court of appeals, elected or appointed thereto, and a fifth commissioner who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; or, if the senate be not in session, by the governor; but, in such case, the appointment shall expire at the end of the next session.
SEC. 5.-Commissioners, vacancies, reporter, decisions.
If any vacancy shall occur in the office of the said commissioners it shall be filled by appointment by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; or, if the senate is not in session, by the governor; but, in that case, the appointment shall expire at the end of the next session. The commissioners shall appoint from their number a chief commissioner; and may appoint and remove such attendants as may be necessary. The reporter of the court of appeals shall be the reporter of said commission. The decisions of the commission shall be certified to, and entered and enforced, as the judgments of the court of appeals. The commission shall continue until the causes committed to it are determined, but not exceeding three years, and all causes then undetermined shall be heard by the court of appeals.
SEC. 6.-Supreme court.
There shall be the existing supreme court, with general jurisdiction in law and equity, subject to such appellate jurisdiction of the court of appeals as now is or may be prescribed by law; and it shall be composed of the justices now in office, who shall be continued during their respective terms, and of their successors. The existing judicial districts of the State are continued until changed pursuant to this section. Five of the justices shall reside in the district in which is the city of New York, and four in each of the other districts. The legislature may also alter the districts, without increasing the number, once after every enumeration, under this constitution, of the inhabitants of the State.
SEC. 7.-General terms of supreme court.
At the first session of the legislature, after the adoption of this article, and from time to time thereafter as may be necessary, but not oftener than once in five years, provisions may be made for organizing, in the supreme court, not more than four general terms thereof, each to be composed of a presiding justice and not more than three other justices, who shall be designated, according to law, from the whole number of justices. Each presiding justice shall continue to act as such during his term of office. Provision shall be made by law for holding the general terms in each judicial district. Any justice of the supreme court may hold special terms and circuit courts, and may preside in courts of oyer and terminer, in any county.
SEC. 8.-Judge or justice may not review decision made by him; testimony in equity cases.
No judge or justice shall sit, at a general term of any court, or in the court of appeals, in review of a decision made by him, or by any court of which he was, at the time, a sitting member. The testimony in equity cases shall be taken in like manner as cases at law; and, except as herein otherwise provided, the legislature shall have the same power to alter and regulate the jurisdiction and proceedings in law and equity that they have heretofore exercised.
SEC. 9.- Vacancy in office of supreme court, how filled.
When a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of term, in the office of justice of the supreme court, 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 any 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 appoint to fill such
vacancy. Any such appointment shall continue until and including the last day of December next after the election at which the vacancy shall be filled.
SEC. 10.-Judges not to hold any other office.
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.
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 judicial officers, except those mentioned in this section, and except justices of the peace and judges and 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 removal shall be made by virtue of this section unless the cause thereof be entered on the journals, nor unless the party complained of shall have been served with a copy of the charges against him, and shall have had an opportunity of being heard. On the question of removal, the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal.
SEC. 12.-City courts; superior court and court of common pleas of the city of New York, superior court of Buffalo, and city court of Brooklyn.
The superior court of the city of New York, the court of common pleas of the city and county of New York, the superior court of Buffalo, and the city court of Brooklyn, are continued, with the powers and jurisdiction they now severally have, and such further civil and criminal jurisdiction as may be conferred by law. The superior court of New York shall be composed of the six judges in office at the adoption of this article, and their successors; the court of common pleas of New York, of the three judges then in office, and their successors and three additional judges; the superior court of Buffalo, of the judges now in office and their successors; and the city court of Brooklyn, of such number of judges, not exceeding three, as may be provided by law. The judges of said courts, in office at the adoption of this article, are continued until the expiration of their terms. A chief judge shall be appointed by the judges of each of said courts, from their own number, who shall act as such during his official term. Vacancies in the office of the judges named in this section, occurring otherwise than by expiration of term, shall be filled in the same manner as vacancies in the supreme court.
The legislature may provide for detailing judges of the superior court and court of common pleas of New York to hold circuits or special terms of the supreme court in that city, as the public interests may require.
SEC. 13.-Judges of certain courts, how chosen.
Justices of the supreme court shall be chosen by the electors. of their respective judicial districts. Judges of all the courts mentioned in the last preceding section shall be chosen by the electors of the cities respectively in which the said courts are instituted. The official terms of the said justice and judges, who shall be elected after the adoption of this article, shall be fourteen years from and including the first day of January next after their election. But no person shall hold the office of justice or judge of any court longer than until and including the last day of December next after he shall be seventy years of age.
SEC. 14.-Compensation of judges.
The judges and justices herein before mentioned shall receive for their services a compensation to be established by law, which shall not be diminished during their official terms. Except the judges of the court of appeals and the justices of the supreme court, they shall be paid, and the expenses of their courts defrayed, by the cities or counties in which such courts are instituted, as shall be provided by law.
SEC. 15.-County courts; courts of sessions; justices of the peace; surrogates.
The existing county courts are continued, and the judges thereof in office at the adoption of this article, shall hold their offices until the expiration of their respective terms. Their successors shall be chosen by the electors of the counties for the term of six years. The county courts shall have the powers and jurisdiction they now possess, until altered by the legislature. They shall also have original jurisdiction in all cases where the defendants reside in the county and in which the damages claimed shall not exceed one thousand dollars; and also such appellate jurisdiction as shall be provided by law, subject, however, to such provision as shall be made by law for the removal of causes into the supreme court. They shall also have such other original jurisdiction as shall, from time to time, be conferred upon them by the legislature. The county judge, with two justices of the peace, to be designated according to law, may hold courts of sessions, with such criminal jurisdiction as the legislature shall prescribe, and he shall perform such other duties as may be required by law. His salary, and the salary of the surrogate when elected as a separate officer, shall