GEORGIA. The name of one of the original states of the United States of America. George the Second granted a charter to Lord Percival, and twenty others, for the government of the province of Georgia. It was governed under this charter till the year 1751, when it was surrendered to the crown. From that period to the time of the American revolution, the colony was governed as other royal provinces.
2. The constitution of the state, as revised, amended, and compiled by the convention of the state, was adopted at Louisville, on the 30th day of May, 1798. It directs, art. 1, s. 1, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments of government shall be distinct, and each department shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy.
3.-1. The legislative power is vested in two separate and distinct branches, to wit, a senate and house of representatives, styled the General Assembly." 1st. The senate is elected annually, and is composed of one member from each county, chosen by the electors thereof. The senate elect, by ballot, a president out of their own body. 2d. The house of representatives is composed of members from all the counties, according to their respective numbers of free white persons, and including three-fifths of all the people of color. The enumeration is made once in seven years, and any county containing three thousand persons, according to the foregoing plan of enumeration, is entitled to two members; seven thousand to three members; and twelve thousand to four members; but each county shall have at least one, and not more than four members. The representatives are chosen annually. The house of representatives choose their speaker and other officers.
4. - 2. The executive power is vested in a governor, elected by the general assembly, who holds his office for the term of two years. In case of vacancy in his office, the president of the senate acts as governor, until the disability is removed, or until the next meeting of the general assembly.
5. - 3. The judicial powers of the state are, by the 3d article of the constitution, distributed as follows:
§1. The judicial powers of this state shall be vested in a superior court, and in such inferior jurisdictions as the legislature shall, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges of the superior courts shall be elected for the term of three years, removable by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of both houses for that purpose, or by impeachment and conviction thereon. The superior court shall have exclusive and final jurisdiction in all criminal cases which shall be tried in the county wherein the crime was committed; and in all cases respecting titles to land, which shall be tried in the county where the land lies; and shall have power to correct errors in inferior judicatories by writs of certiorari, as well as errors in the superior courts, and to order new trials on proper and legal grounds Provided, That such new trials shall be determined, and such errors corrected, in the superior court of the county in which such action originated. And the said court shall also have appellative jurisdiction in such other cases as the legislature may by law direct, which shall in no case tend to remove the cause from the county in which the action originated; and the judges thereof, in all cases of application for new trials, or correction of error, shall enter their opinions on the minutes of the court. The inferior courts shall have cognizance of all civil cases, which shall be tried in the county wherein the defendant resides, except in cases of joint obligors, residing in different counties, which may be commenced in either county; and a copy of the petition and process served on the party or parties residing out of the county in which the suit may be commenced, shall be deemed sufficient service, under such rules and regulations as the legislature may direct; but the legislature may, by law, to which two-thirds of each branch shall concur, give concurrent jurisdiction to the superior courts. The superior and inferior courts shall sit in each county twice in every year, at such stated times as the legislature shall appoint.
6. - §2. The judges shall have salaries adequate to their services, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office; but shall not receive any other perquisites or emoluments whatever, from parties or others, on account of any duty required of them.
7. - §3. There shall be a state's attorney and solicitors appointed by the legislature, and commissioned by the governor, who shall hold their offices for the term of three years, unless removed by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor, on the address of each branch of the general assembly. They shall have salaries adequate to their services, established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office.
8. - §4. Justices of the inferior courts shall be appointed by the general assembly, and be commissioned by the governor, and shall hold their commissions during good behaviour, or as long a they respectively reside in the county for which they shall be appointed, unless revoved by sentence on impeachment, or by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the general assembly. They may be compensated for their services in such manner as the legislature may by law direct.
9. - §5. The justices of the peace shall be nominated by the inferior courts of the several counties, and commissioned by the governor; and there shall be two justices of the peace in each captain's district, either or both of whom shall have power to try all cases of a civil nature within their district, where the debt or litigated demand does not exceed thirty dollars, in such manner as the legislature may by law direct. They shall hold their appointments during good behaviour, or until they shall be removed by conviction, on indictment in the superior court, for malpractice in office, or for any felonious or infamous crime, or by the governor, on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature.
10. - §6. The powers of a court of ordinary or register of probates, shall, be invested in the inferior courts of each county; from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under such restrictions and regulations as the general assembly may by law direct; but the inferior court shall have power to vest the care of the records, and other proceedings therein, in the clerk, or such other person as they may appoint; and any one or more justices of the said court, with such clerk or other person, may issue citations and grant temporary letters in time of vacation, to hold until the next meeting of the said court; and such clerk or other person may grant marriage licenses.
11. - §7. The judges of the superior courts, or any one of them, shall have power to issue writs of mandamus. prohibi tion, scire facias, and all other writ's which may be necessary for carrying their powers fully into effect.