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MARYLAND. One of the original states of the United States of America. The
province of Maryland was included in the patent of the Southern or Virginia
company; and upon the dissolution of that company, it reverted to the crown.
Charles the First, on the 20th of June, 1632, granted it by patent to Lord
Baltimore. Under this charter Maryland continued to be governed, with some
short intervals of interruption, down to the period of the American
Revolution, by the successors of the original proprietor. 1 Chalmer's
2. Upon the revolution of 1688, the government of Maryland was seised into the hands of the crown, and was not again restored to the proprietary until 1716; from that period no alteration occurred until the American Revolution. Bacon's Laws of Maryland, 1692, 1716.
3. The original constitution of this state was adopted on the 14th day of August, 1776. The present constitution was adopted in 1851.
4. The powers of the government are distributed into the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.
5.-1st. The legislature shall consist of two distinct branches, a senate and a house of delegates, which shall be styled "The general assembly of Maryland." Art. III. s. 1.
6.-2. The general assembly shall meet on the first Wednesday of January, 1852, on the same day, in the year 1853, and on the same day, 1854, and on the same day in every second year thereafter, and at no other time, unless convened by the proclamation of the governor. Art. III. s. 7.
7.-3. The senate will be considered with reference to the qualification of the electors; the qualification of the members; the length of time for which they are elected; and the time of their election. 1. Every free white male person of twenty-one years of age or upwards, who shall have been one year next preceding the election a resident of the state, and for six months a resident of the city of Baltimore, or of any county in which he may offer to vote, and being at the time of the election, a citizen of the United States, shall be entitled to vote in the ward or election district in which he resides, in all elections hereafter to be held; an& at all such elections the vote shall be taken by ballot. And in case any county or city shall be so divided as to form portions of different electoral districts for the election of congressmen, senator, delegate or other officer or officers, then to entitle a person to vote for such officer, he must have been a resident of that part of the county or city which shall form a part of the electoral district in which he offers to vote for six months next preceding the election: but a person who shall have acquired a residence in such county or city, entitling him to vote at any such election, shall be entitled to vote in the election district from which he remoted, until he shall have acquired a residence in the part of the county or city to which he has removed. Art. I. s. 1. 2. No person shall be eligible as a senator who at the time of his election is not a citizen of the United States, and who bas not resided at least three years next preceding the day of his election, in this state, and the last year thereof in the county or city which he may be chosen to represent, if such county or city shall have been so long established, and if not, then in the county from which, in whole or in part, the same may have been formed; nor shall any person be eligible as a senator unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years. No member of congress, or person holding any civil or military office under the United States, shall be eligible as a senator; and if any person, after his election as a senator, be elected to congress, or be appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of the United States, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat. No minister or preacher of the gospel of any denomination, and no person holding any civil office of profit or trust under the state, except justices of the peace, shall be eligible as senator. Art. III. ss. 9, 10, 11. 3. Every county of the state, and the city of Baltimore, shall be entitled to elect one senator, who shall serve for four years from the day of their election. The first election shall take place on the first Wednesday of November, 1851, and an election for one-half the senators, as nearly as practicable, shall be held on the same day every second year thereafter. Art. III. 2, 3, 4, 5.
8.-4. The house of delegates will be treated of in the same manner which has been observed in considering the senate. 1. The electors are qualified in the same manner as the electors of the senate. 2. No person shall be a delegate who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years; the other qualifications are the same as those for a senator. 3. The whole number of delegates shall never exceed eighty, nor be less than sixty-five, and shall be apportioned among the several counties according to the population of each, the city of Baltimore to have four more delegates than the most populous county; no county to have less than two delegates, the apportionment to be made after the returns of the national census in 1860 are published, and in like manner after each subsequent census. They are to serve two years from the day of their election, which takes place on the same day as that for senators.
9.-1. The executive power of the state shall be vested in a governor, whose term of office shall commence on the second Wednesday of January next ensuing his election, and continue for four years, and until his successor shall have qualified.
10.-2. The first election for governor under this constitution shall be held on the first Wednesday of November, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-three, and on the same day and month in every fourth year thereafter, at the places of voting for delegates to the general assembly, and every person qualified to vote for delegates shall be qualified, and entitled to vote for governor; the election to be held in the same manner as the election of delegates, and the returns thereof, under seal, to be addressed to the speaker of the house of delegates, and enclosed and transmitted to the secretary of state, and delivered to the said speaker at the commencement of the session of the legislature next ensuing said election.
11.-3. The speaker of the house of delegates shall then open the said returns in the presence of both houses, and the person having the highest number of votes, and being constitutionally eligible, shall be the governor, and shall qualify in the manner herein prescribed, on the second Wednesday of January next ensuing his election, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable.
12.-4. If two or more persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen governor by the senate and house of delegates; and all questions in relation to the eligibility of governor, and to the returns of said election, and to the number and legality of votes therein given, shall be determined by the house of delegates. And if the person or persons having the highest number of votes be ineligible, the governor shall be chosen by the senate and house of delegates. Every election of governor, by the legislature, shall be determined by a joint majority of the senate and house of delegates, and the vote shall be taken viva voce. But if two or more persons shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, then a second vote shall be taken, which shall be confined to the persons having an equal number; and if the votes should again be equal, then the election of governor shall be determined by lot between those who shall have the highest and an equal number on the first vote.
13.-5. The state shall be divided into three districts. St. Mary's, Charles, Calvert, Prince George's, Anne Arundle, Montgomery, and Howard counties, and the city of Baltimore to be the first; the eight counties of the Eastern shore to be the second; and Baltimore, Harford, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Carroll counties, to be the third. The governor, elected from the third district in October last, shall continue in office during the term for which he was elected. The governor shall be taken from the first district, at the first election of governor under this constitution; from the second district at the second election, and from the third district at the third election, and in like manner, afterwards, from each district, in regular succession.
14.-6. A person to be eligible to the office of governor, must have attained the age of thirty years, and been for five years a citizen of the United States, and for five years next preceding his election a resident of the state, and for three years a resident of the district from which he was elected.
15.-7. In case of the death or resignation of the governor, or of his removal from the state, the general assembly, if in session, or if not, at their next session, shall elect some other qualified resident of the same district, to be the governor for the residue of the term for which the said governor had been elected.
16.-8. In case of any vacancy in the office of governor during the recess of the legislature, the president of the senate shall discharge the duties of said office till a governor is elected as herein provided for; and in case of the death or resignation of said president, or of his removal from the state, or of his refusal to serve, then the duties of said office shall, in like manner, and for the same interval, devolve upon the speaker of the house of delegates, and the legislature may provide by law for the case of impeachment or inability of the governor, and declare what person shall perform the executive duties during such impeachment or inability; and for any vacancy in said office, not herein provided for, provision may be made by law, and if such vacancy should occur without such provision being made, the legislature shall be convened by the secretary of state for the purpose of filling said vacancy.
17.-9. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the state, and may call out the militia to repel invasions, suppress insurrections, and enforce the execution of the laws; but shall not take the command in person without the consent of the legislature.
18.-10. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
19.-11. He shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all civil and military officers of the state, whose appointment or election is not otherwise herein provided for, unless a different mode of appointment be prescribed by the law creating the office.
20.-12. In case of any vacancy during the recess of the senate, in any office which the governor has power to fill, he shall appoint some suitable person to said office, whose commission shall continue in force till the end of the next session of the legislature, or till some other person is appointed to the same office, whichever shall first occur, and the nomination of the person thus appointed during the recess, or of some other person in his place, shall be made to the senate within thirty days after the next meeting of the legislature.
21.-13. No person, after being rejected by the senate, shall be again nominated for the same office at the same session, unless at the request of the senate; or be appointed to the same office during the recess of the legislature.
22.-14. All civil officers appointed be the governor and senate shall be nominated to the senate within fifty days from the commencement of each regular session of the legislature; and their term of office shall commence on the first Monday of May next ensuing their appointment, and continue for two years (unless sooner removed from office) and until their successors, respectively, qualify according to law.
23.-15. The governor may suspend or arrest any military officer of the state for disobedience of orders, or other military offence, and may remove him in pursuance of the sentence of a court-martial; and may remove for incompetency or misconduct, all civil officers, who receive appointments from the executive for a term not succeeding two years.
24.-16. The governor may convene the legislature, or the senate alone, on extraordinary occasions; and whenever, from the presence of an enemy or from any other cause, the seat of government shall become an unsafe place for the meeting of the legislature, he may direct their sessions to be held at some other convenient place.
25.-17. It shall be the duty of the governor semi-annually, and oftener if he deem it expedient, to examine the bankbook, account books, and official proceedings of the treasurer and comptroller of the state.
26.-18. He shall, from time to time, inform the legislature of the condition of the state, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may judge necessary and expedient.
27.-19. He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment, and in cases in which he is prohibited by other articles of this constitution, and to remit fines and forfeitures for offences against the state; but shall not remit the principal or interest of any debt due to the state, except in cases of fines and forfeitures; and before granting a nolle prosequi, or pardon, he shall give notice, in one or more newspapers, of the application made for it, and of the day on or after which his decision will be given; and in every case in which he exercises this power, he shall report to either branch of the legislature. Whenever required, the petitions, recommendations and reasons which influence his decision.
28.-20. The governor shall reside at the seat of government, and shall receive for his services an annual salary of thirty-six hundred dollars.
29.-21. When the public interest requires it, he shall have power to employ counsel, who shall be entitled to such compensation as the legislature may allow in each case after the services of such counsel shall have been performed.
29.-22. A secretary of state shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, who shall continue in office, unless sooner removed by the governor, till the end of the official term of the governor from whom he received his appointment, and shall receive an annual salary of one thousand dollars.
30.-23. He shall carefully keep and preserve a record of all official acts an proceedings (which may, at all times, be inspected by a committee of either branch of the legislature,) and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law or as may properly belong to his office.
31.-3d. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in a court of appeals, in circuit courts, in such courts for the city of Baltimore as may be hereinafter prescribed, and in justices of the peace.
32.-2. The court of appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the limits of the state. It shall consist of a chief justice and three associate justices, any three of whom shall form a quorum, whose judgment shall be final and conclusive in all cases of appeals; and who shall have the jurisdiction which the present court of appeals of this state now has, and such other appellate jurisdiction as hereafter may be provided for by law. And in every case decided, an opinion, in writing, shall be filed, and provision shall be made, by law, for publishing reports of cases argued and determined in the said court. The governor, for the time being, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall designate the chief justice, and the court of appeals shall hold its sessions at the city of Annapolis, on the first Monday of June, and the first Monday of December, in each and every year.
33.-3. The state shall be divided into four judicial districts: Allegany, Washington, Frederick, Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford counties, shall compose the first; Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Calvert, St. Mary's, Charles and Prince George's, the second; Baltimore city, the third; and Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, and Worcester, shall compose the fourth district. And one person from among those learned in the law having been admitted to practice in this this state at least, five years, and above the age of thirty years at the time of his election, and a resident of the judicial district, shall be elected from each of said districts by the legal and qualified voters therein, as a judge of the said court of appeals, who shall hold his office for the term of ten years from the time of his election, or until he shall have attained the age of seventy years, whichever may first happen, and be reeligible thereto until he shall have attained the age of seventy years, and not after, subject to removal for incompetency, willful neglect of duty, or misbehaviour in office, on conviction in a court of law, or by the governor upon the address of the general assembly, two-thirds of the members of each house concurring in such address; and the salary of each of the judges of the court of appeals shall be two thousand five hundred dollars annually, and shall not be increased or diminished during their continuance in office; and no fees or perquisites of any kind, shall be allowed by law to any of the said judges.
34.-4. No judge of the court of appeals shall sit in any case wherein he may be interested, or where either of the parties may be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity within such degrees as may be prescribed by law, or when he shall have been of counsel in said case; when the court of appeals, or any of its members shall be thus disqualified to bear and determine any case or cases in said court, so that by reason thereof no judgment can be rendered in said court, the same shall be certified to the governor of the state, who shall immediately commission the requisite number of persons learned in the law for the trial and determination of said case or cases.
35.-5. All judges of the court of appeals, of the circuit courts, and of the courts for the city of Baltimore, shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservator's of the peace throughout the state.
36.-6. All public commissions and grants shall run thus: "The State of Maryland," &c., and shall be signed by the governor, with the seal of the state annexed; all writs and process shall run in the same style, and be tested, sealed and signed as usual; and all indictments shall conclude "against the peace, government and dignity of the state."
37.-7. The state shall be divided into eight judicial circuits, in manner and form following, to wit; St. Mary's, Charles, and Prince George's counties shall be the first: Anne, Arundel, Howard, Calvert and Montgomery counties shall be the second; Frederick and Carroll counties shall be the third; Washington and Allegany counties shall be the fourth; Baltimore city shall be the fifth; Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties shall be the sixth; Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot and Caroline counties shall be the seventh; and Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester counties shall be the eighth; and there shall be elected, as hereinafter directed, for each of the said judicial circuits, except the fifth, one person from among those learned in the law, having been admitted to practice in this state, and who shall have been a citizen of this state at least five years, and above the age of thirty years at the time of his election, and a resident of the judicial circuit, to be judge thereof; the said judges shall be styled circuit judges, and shall respectively hold a term of their courts at least twice in each year, or oftener if required by law, in each county composing their respective circuits; and the said courts shall be called circuit courts for the county in which they may be held, and shall have and exercise in the several counties of this state, all the power, authority and jurisdiction which the county courts of this state now have and exercise, or which may hereafter be prescribed by law, and the said judges in their respective circuits, shall have and exercise all the power, authority and jurisdiction of the present court of chancery of Maryland; provided, nevertheless, that Baltimore county court may hold its sittings within the limits of the city of Baltimore, until provision shall be made by law for the location of a county seat within the limits of the said county proper, and the erection of a court house and all other appropriate buildings, for the convenient administration of justice in said court.
38.-8. The judges of the several judicial circuits shall be citizens of the United States, and shall have resided five years in this state, and two years in the judicial circuit for which they may be respectively elected, next before the time of their election, and shall reside therein while they continue to act as judges; they shall be taken from among those who, having the other qualifications herein prescribed, are most distinguished for integrity, wisdom and sound legal knowledge, and shall be elected by the qualified voters of the said circuits, and shall hold their offices for the term of ten years, removable for misbehaviour, on conviction in a court of law or by the governor, upon the address of the general assembly, provided that two-thirds of the members of each house shall concur in such address, and the said judges shall each receive a salary of two thousand dollars a year, and the same shall not be increased or diminished during the time of their continuance in office; and no judge of any court in this state, shall receive any perquisite, fee, commission or reward, in addition thereto, for the performance of any judicial duty.
39.-9. There shall be established for the city of Baltimore one court of law, to be styled "the court of common pleas," which shall have civil jurisdiction in all suits where the debt or damage claimed shall be over one hundred dollars, and shall not exceed five hundred dollars; and shall, also, have jurisdiction in all cases of appeal from the judgment of justices of the peace in the said city, and shall have jurisdiction in all applications for the benefit of the insolvent laws of this state, and the supervision and control of the trustees thereof.
40.-10. There shall also be established, for the city of Baltimore, another court of law, to be styled the superior court of Baltimore city, which shall have jurisdiction over all suits where the debt or damage claimed shall exceed the sum of five hundred dollars, and in case any plaintiff or plaintiffs shall recover less than the sum or value of five hundred dollars, he or they shall be allowed or adjudged to pay costs in the discretion of the court. The said court shall also have jurisdiction as a court of equity within the limits of the said city, and in all other civil cases which have not been heretofore assigned to the court of common pleas.
41.-11. Each of the said two courts shall consist of one judge, who shall be elected by the legal and qualified voters of the said city, and shall bold his office for the term of ten years, subject to the provisions of this constitution, with regard to the election and qualification of judges and their removal from office, and the salary of each of the said judges shall be twenty-five hundred dollars a year; and the legislature shall, wherever it may think the same proper and expedient, provide, by law, another court for the city of Baltimore, to consist of one judge to be elected by the qualified voters of the said city, who shall be subject to the same constitutional provisions, hold his office for the same term of years, and receive the same compensation as the judge of the court of common pleas of the said city, and the said court shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be prescribed by law.
42.-12. There shall also be a criminal court for the city of Baltimore, to be styled the criminal court of Baltimore, which shall consist of one judge, who shall also be elected by the legal and qualified voters of the said city, and who shall have and exercise all the jurisdiction now exercised by Baltimore city court, and the said judge shall receive a salary of two thousand dollars a year, and shall be subject, to the provisions of this constitution with regard to the election and qualifications of judges, term of office, and removal therefrom.
43.-13. The qualified voters of the city of Baltimore, and of the several counties of the state, shall, on the first, Wednesday of November, eighteen hundred and fifty-one, and on the same day of the same month in, every fourth year forever thereafter, elect three men to be judges of the orphans' court of said city and counties respectively, who shall be citizens of the state of Maryland, and citizens of the city or county for which they may be severally elected at the time of their election. They shall have all the powers now vested in the orphans' courts of this state, subject to such changes therein as the legislature may prescribe, and each of said judges shall be paid at a per diem rate, for the time they are in session, to be fixed by the legislature, and paid by the said counties and city respectively.
44.-14. The legislature, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall fix the number of justices of the peace and constables for each ward of the city of Baltimore, and for each election district in the several counties, who shall be elected by the legal and qualified voters thereof respectively, at the next general election for delegates thereafter, and shall hold their offices for two years from the time of their election, and until their successors in office are elected and qualified; and the legislature may, from time to time, increase or diminish the number of justices of the peace and constables to be elected in the several wards and election districts, as the wants and interests of the people may require. They shall be, by virtue of their offices, conservators of the peace in the said counties and city respectively, and shall have such duties and compensation as now exist, or may be provided for by law. In the event of a vacancy in the office of a justice of the peace, the governor shall appoint a person to serve as justice of the peace, until the next regular election of said officers, and in case of a vacancy in the office of constable, the county commissioners of the county, in which a vacancy may occur, or the mayor and city council of Baltimore, as the case may be, shall appoint a person to serve as constable until the next regular election thereafter for said officers. An appeal shall lie in all civil cases from the judgment of a justice of the peace to the circuit court, or, to the court of common pleas of Baltimore city, as the case way be, and on all such appeals, either party shall be entitled to a trial by jury, according to the laws now existing, or which way be hereafter enacted. And the mayor and city council may provide, by ordinance, from time to time, for the creation and government of such temporary additional police, as they may deem necessary to preserve the public peace.
45.-15. No judge shall sit in any case wherein he may be interested, or where either of the parties may be connected with him by affinity or consanguinity, within such degrees as may be prescribed by law, or where he shall have been of counsel in the case and whenever any of the judges of the circuit courts, or of the courts for Baltimore city, shall be thus disqualified, or whenever, by reason of sickness, or any other cause, the said judges, or any of them, may be unable to sit in any cause, the parties may, by consent, appoint a proper person to try the said cause, or the judges, or any of them, shall do so when directed by law.
46.-16. The present chancellor and the register in chancery, and, in the event of any vacancy in their respective offices, their successors in office respectively, who are to be appointed as at present, by the governor and senate, shall continue in office, with the powers and compensation as at present established, until the expiration of two years after the adoption of this constitution by the people, and until the, end of the session of the legislature next thereafter, after which the said offices of chancellor and register shall be abolished. The legislature shall, in the mean time, provide by law for the recording, safe-keeping, or other disposition, of the records, decrees and other proceedings of the court of chancery, and for the copying and attestation thereof, and for the custody and use of the great seal of the state, when required, after the expiration of the said two years, and for transmitting to the said counties, and to the city of Baltimore, all the cases and proceedings in said court then undisposed of and unfinished, in such manner, and under such regulations as may be deemed necessary and proper: Provided, that no new business shall originate in the said court, nor shall any cause be removed to the same from any other court, from and after the ratification of this constitution.
47.-17. The first election of judges, clerks, registers of wills, and all other officers, whose election by the people is provided for in this article of the constitution, except justices of the peace and constables, shall take place throughout the state on the first Wednesday of November next after the ratification of this constitution by the people.
48.-18. In case of the death, resignation, removal, or other disqualification of a judge of any of the courts of law, the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall thereupon appoint a person, duly qualified, to fill said office until the next general election for delegates thereafter; at which time an election shall be held as hereinbefore prescribed, for a judge, who shall hold the said office for ten years, according to the provisions of this constitution.
49.-19. In case of the death, resignation, removal, or other disqualification of the judge of an orphans' court, the vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate.
50.-20. Whenever lands lie partly in one county, and partly in another or partly in a county and partly in the city of Baltimore, or whenever persons proper to be made defendants to proceedings in chancery, reside some in one county and some in another, that court shall have jurisdiction in which proceedings shall have been first commenced, subject to such rules, regulations and alterations as may be prescribed by law.
51.-21. In all suits or actions at law, issues from the orphans' court or from any court sitting in equity, in petitions for freedom, and in all presentments and indictments now pending, or which may be pending at the time of the adoption of this constitution by the people, or which may hereafter be instituted in any of the courts of law of this state, having jurisdiction thereof, the judge or judges thereof, upon suggestion in writing, if made by the state's attorney, or the prosecutor for the state, or upon suggestion in writing, supported by affidavit, made by any of the parties thereto, or other proper evidence, that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in the court where such suit or action at law, issues or petitions, or presentment and indictment is depending, shall order and direct the record of proceedings in such suit or action, issues or petitions, presentment or indictment, to be transmitted to the court of any adjoining county; provided, that the removal in all civil causes be confined to an adjoining county within the judicial circuit, except as to the city of Baltimore, where the removal may be to an adjoining county, for trial, which court shall hear and determine the same in like manner as if such suit or action, issues or petitions, presentment or indictment, had been originally instituted therein; and provided also, that such suggestion shall be made as aforesaid, before or during the term in which the issue or issues may be joined in said suit or action, issues or petition, presentment or indictment, and that such further remedy in the premises may be provided by law, as the legislature shall from time to time direct and enact.
52.-22. All election of judges, and other officers provided for by this constitution, shall be certified, and the returns made by the clerks of the respective counties to the governor, who shall issue commissions to the different persons for the offices to which they shall have been respectively elected; and in all such elections, the person having the greatest number of votes, shall be declared to be elected.
53.-23. If, in any case of election for judges, clerks of the courts of law and registers of wills, the opposing candidates shall have an equal number of votes, it shall be the duty of the governor to order a new election; and in case of any contested election, the governor shall send the returns to the house of delegates, who shall judge of the election and qualification of the candidates at such election.