North Carolina. Secretary of State.

North Carolina manual [serial] (Volume 1951) online

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ing or changing the lines of school districts; remitting fines,
penalties, and forfeitures, or refunding moneys legally paid into
the public treasury; regulating labor, trade, mining, or manufac-
turing; extending the time for the assessment or collection of
taxes or otherwise relieving any collector of taxes from the due
performance of his official duties or his sureties from liability;
giving effect to informal wills and deeds; nor shall the General
Assembly enact any such local, private, or special act by the
partial repeal of a general law, but the General Assembly may at
any time repeal local, private, or special laws enacted by it. Any
local, private or special act or resolution passed in violation of
the provisions of this section shall be void. The General Assembly
shall have power to pass general laws regulating matters set out
in this section.

Sec. 30. The General Assembly shall not use nor authorize to
be used any part of the amount of any sinking fund for any
purpose other than the retirement of the bonds for which said
sinking fund has been created.

Sec. 31. The General Assembly shall not use, or authorize to
be used, nor shall any agency of the State, public officer or public
employee use or authorize to be used the funds, or any part of the
funds, of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System
except for retirement system purposes. The funds of the Teachers'
and State Employees' Retirement System shall not be applied,
diverted, loaned to or used by the State, any State agency. State
officer, public officer or employee except for purposes of the Re-
tirement System: Provided, that nothing in this Section shall pro-
hibit the use of said funds for the payment of benefits, administra-
tive expenses and refunds as authorized by the Teachers' and
State Employees' Retirement Law, nor shall anything in this pro-
vision prohibit the proper investment of said funds as may be
authorized by law.

Constitution 49



Section 1. Officers of the Executive Department; Terms of Of-
fice. The Executive Department shall consist of a Governor, in
whom shall be vested the supreme executive power of the State; a
Lieutenant Governor, a Secretary of State, an Auditor, a Trea-
surer, a Superintendent of Public Instruction, an Attorney Gen-
eral, a Commissioner of Agriculture, a Commissioner of Labor
and a Commissioner of Insurance, who shall be elected for a term
of four years by the qualified electors of the State, at the same
time and places and in the same manner as members of the Gen-
eral Assembly are elected. Their term of office shall commence
on the first day of January next after their election, and continue
until their successors are elected and qualified: Provided, that
the officers first elected shall assume the duties of their office ten
days after the approval of this Constitution by the Congi'ess of
the United States, and shall hold their offices four years from
and after the first day of January.

Sec. 2. Qualifications of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. No
person shall be eligible as Governor or Lieutenant-Governor unless
he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall have been a
citizen of the United States five years, and shall have been a resi-
dent of this State for two years next before the election; nor shall
the person elected to either of these two offices be eligible to the
same office more than four years in any term of eight years, unless
the office shall have been cast upon him as Lieutenant-Governor
or President of the Senate.

Sec. 3. Returns of elections. The return of every election for of-
ficers of the Executive Department shall be sealed up and trans-
mitted to the seat of government by the returning officer, directed
to the Secretary of State. The return shall be canvassed and the
result declared in such manner as may be prescribed by law. Con-
tested elections shall be determined by a joint ballot of both
Houses of the General Assembly in such manner as shall be pre-
scribed by law.

Sec. 4. Oath of office for Governor. The Governor, before enter-
ing upon the duties of his office, shall, in the presence of the mem-
)bers of both branches of the General Assembly, or before any Jus-

50 North Carolina Manual

tice of the Supreme Court, take an oath or affirmation that he will
support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and of the
State of North Carolina, and that he will faithfully perform the
duties appertaining to the office of Governor, to which he has
been elected.

Sec. 5. Duties of Governor. The Governor shall reside at the
seat of government of this State, and he shall, from time to time,
give the General Assembly information of the affairs of the State,
and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall
deem expedient.

Sec. 6. Reprieves, commutations, and pardons. The Governor
shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons,
after conviction, for all offenses (except in cases of impeachment),
upon such conditions as he may think proper, subject to such
regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of
applying for pardons. He shall biennially communicate to the Gen-
eral Assembly each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon
granted, stating the name of each convict, the crime for which
he was convicted, the sentence and its date, the date of commuta-
tion, pardon, or reprieve, and the reasons therefor.

Sec. 7. Annual reports from officers of Executive Department
and of public institutions. The officers of the Executive Depart-
ment and of the public institutions of the State shall, at least five
days previous to each regular session of the General Assembly,
severally report to the Governor, who shall transmit such reports,
with his message, to the General Assembly; and the Governor
may, at any time, require information in writing from the officers
in the Executive Department upon any subject relating to the
duties of their respective offices, and shall take care that the
laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 8. Commander-in-Chief . The Governor shall be Commander-
in-Chief of the militia of the State, except when they shall be
called into the service of the United States.

Sec. 9. Extra sessions of General Assembly. The Governor shall
have power, on extraordinary occasions, by and with the advice of
the Council of State, to convene the General Assembly in extra
session by his pi-oclamation, stating therein the purpose or pur-
poses for which they are thus convened.

Sec. 10. Officers rvhose appointments are not otherwise provided
for. The Governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and

Constitution 51

consent of a majority of the Senators-elect, appoint all officers
whose offices are established by this Constitution and whose ap-
pointments are not otherwise provided for.

Sec. 11. Duties of the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant
Governor shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote
unless the Senate be equally divided. He shall receive such com-
pensation as shall be fixed by the General Assembly.

Sec. 12. In case of impeachment of Governor, or vacancy caused
by death or resignation. In case of the impeachment of the Gov-
ernor, his failure to qualify, his absence from the State, his in-
ability to discharge the duties of his office, or, in case the office of
Governor shall in any wise become vacant, the powers, duties and
emoluments of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor until the disability shall cease or a new Governor shall be
elected and qualified. In every case in which the Lieutenant-Gov-
ernor shall be unable to preside over the Senate, the Senators
shall elect one of their own number President of their body; and
the powers, duties, and emoluments of the office of Governor shall
devolve upon him whenever the Lieutenant-Governor shall, for
any reason, be prevented from discharging the duties of such
office as above provided, and he shall continue as acting Governor
until the disabilities are removed, or a new Governor or Lieuten-
ant-Governor shall be elected and qualified. Whenever, during the
recess of the General Assembly, it shall become necessary for the
President of the Senate to administer the government, the Secre-
tary of State shall convene the Senate, that they may elect such
President. i

Sec. 13. Duties of other executive officers. The respective duties
of the Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of
Public Instruction, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agricul-
ture, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Insurance shall
be prescribed by law. If the office of any of said officer shall be
vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise, it shall be the duty
of the Governor to appoint another until the disability be removed
or his successor be elected and qualified. Every such vacancy
shall be filled by election at the first general election that occurs
more than thirty days after the vacancy has taken place, and the
person chosen shall hold the office for the remainder of the unex-
pired term fixed in the first section of this article.

52 North Carolina Manual

Sec. 14. Council of State. The Secretary of State, Auditor,
Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of
Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Insur-
ance shall constitute, ex-officio, the Council of State, who shall ad-
vise the Governor in the execution of his office, and three of whom
shall constitute a quorum; their advice and proceedings in this
capacity shall be entered in a journal, to be kept for this purpose,
exclusively, and signed by the members present, from any part of
which any member may enter his dissent; and such journal shall
be placed before the General Assembly when called for by either
house. The Attorney General shall be, ex-officio, the legal adviser
of the executive department.

Sec. 15. Compensation of executive officers. The officers men-
tioned in this article shall, at stated periods, receive for their
services a compensation to be established by law, which shall
neither be increased nor diminished during the time for which
they shall have been elected, and the said officers shall receive no
other emolument or allowance whatever.

Sec. 16. Seal of State. There shall be a seal of the State, which
shall be kept by the Governor, and used by him, as occasion may
require, and shall be called "The Great Seal of the State of North
Carolina." All grants and commissions shall be issued in the name
and by the authority of the State of North Carolina, sealed with
"The Great Seal of the State," signed by the Governor, and coun-
tersigned by the Secretary of State.

Sec. 17. Department of Agriculture, Immigration, and Statis-
tics. The General Assembly shall establish a Department of Agri-
culture, Immigration, and Statistics, under such regulations as
may best promote the agricultural interest of the State, and shall
enact laws for the adequate protection and encouragement of
sheep husbandry.

Sec. 18. Department of Justice. The General Assembly is auth-
orized and empowered to create a Department of Justice under
the supervision and direction of the Attorney-General, and to
enact suitable laws defining the authority of the Attorney-General
and other officers and agencies concerning the prosecution of
crime and the administration of the criminal laws of the State.

Constitution 53



Section 1. Abolishes the distinctions between actions at law ayid
suits in equity, and feigned issues. The distinctions between ac-
tions at law and suits in equity, and the forms of all such "actions
and suits, shall be abolished; and there shall be in this State but
one form of action for the enforcement or protection of private
rights or the redress of private wrongs, which shall be denomi-
nated a civil action; and every action prosecuted by the people
of the State as a party, against a person charged with a public
offense, for the punishment of the same, shall be termed a crim-
inal action. Feigned issues shall also be abolished, and the facts
at issue tried by order of court before a jury.

Sec. 2. Division of judicial powers. The judicial power of the
State shall be vested in a Court for the Trial of Impeachments,
a Supreme Court, Superior Courts, Courts of Justices of the Peace,
and such other courts inferior to the Supreme Court as may be
established by law.

Sec. 3. Trial court of impeachment. The Court for the Trial of
Impeachments shall be the Senate. A majority of the members
shall be necessary to a quorum, and the judgment shall not ex-
tend beyond removal from and disqualification to hold office in this
State; but the party shall be liable to indictment and punish-
ment according to law.

Sec. 4. Impeachment. The House of Representatives solely shall
have the power of impeaching. No person shall be convicted with-
out the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present. When
the Governor is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside.

Sec. 5. Treason against the State. Treason against the State
shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its
enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be con-
victed of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the
same overt act, or on confession in open court. No conviction of
treason or attainder shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture.

Sec. 6. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall consist of a
Chief Justice and four Associate Justices. The General Assembly
may increase the number of Associate Justices to not more than
six, when the work of the Court so requires. The Court shall have
power to sit in divisions, when in its judgment this is necessary

54 North Carolina Manual

for the proper dispatch of business, and to make rules for the dis-
tribution of business between the divisions and for the hearing
of cases by the full Court. No decision of any division shall be-
come the judgment of the Court unless concurred in by a majority
of all the justices; and no case involving a construction of the
Constitution of the State or of the United States shall be decided
except by the Court in banc. All sessions of the Court shall be
held in the city of Raleigh. This amendment made to the Consti-
tution of North Carolina shall not have the effect to vacate any
office or term of office now existing under the Constitution of the
State, and filled or held by virtue of any election or appointment
under the said Constitution, and the laws of the State made in
pursuance thereof. (By c. 16, 1937, amending s. 1403 of the Con-
solidated Statutes, the number of Associate Justices was increased
to six.)

Sec. 7. Terms of the Supreme Court. The terms of the Supreme
Court shall be held in the city of Raleigh, as now, until otherwise
provided by the General Assembly.

Sec. 8. Jurisdiction of Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall
have jurisdiction to review, upon appeal, any decision of the
courts below, upon any matter of law or legal inference. And the
jurisdiction of said court over "issues of fact" and "questions of
fact" shall be the same exercised by it before the adoption of the
Constitution of one thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight, and
the court shall have the power to issue any remedial writs neces-
sary to give it a general supervision and control over the proceed-
ings of the inferior courts.

Sec. 9. Claims against the State. The Supreme Court shall have
original jurisdiction to hear claims against the State, but its de-
cisions shall be merely recommendatory; no process in the nature
of execution shall issue thereon; they shall be reported to the
next session of the General Assembly for its action.

Sec. 10. Judicial Districts for Superior Courts. The General
Assembly shall divide the State into a number of judicial districts
which number may be increased or reduced and shall provide for
the election of one or more Superior Court judges for each dis-
trict. There shall be a Supei'ior Court in each county at least
twice in each year to continue for such time in each county as
may be prescribed by law.

Constitution 55

Sec. 11. Judicial Districts; Rotation; Special Superior Court
Judges; Assignment of Superior Court Judges by Chief Justice.
Each Judge of the Superior Court shall reside in the district for
which he is elected. The General Assembly may divide the State
into a number of judicial divisions. The judges shall preside in
the courts of the different districts within a division successively;
but no judge shall hold all the courts in the same district oftener
than once in four years. The General Assembly may provide by
general laws for the selection or appointment of Special or Emer-
gency Superior Court Judges not assigned to any judicial dis-
trict, who may be designated from time to time by the Chief Jus-
tice to hold court in any district or districts within the State;
and the General Assembly shall define their jurisdiction and shall
provide for their reasonable compensation. The Chief Justice,
when in his opinion the public interest so requires, may assign any
Superior Court Judge to hold one or more terms of Superior Court
in any district.

Sec. 12. Jurisdiction of courts inferior to Supreme Court. The
General Assembly shall have no power to deprive the Judicial De-
partment of any power or jurisdiction which rightfully pertains
to it as a coordinate department of the government; but the Gen-
eral Assembly shall allot and distribute that portion of this power
and jurisdiction which does not pertain to the Supreme Court
among the other courts prescribed in this Constitution or which
may be established by law, in such manner as it may deem best;
provide also a proper system of appeals; and regulate by law,
when necessary, the methods of proceeding in the exercise of their
powers of all the courts below the Supreme Court, so far as the
same may be done without conflict with other provisions of this

Sec. 13. In case of waiver of trial by jury. In all issues of fact,
joined in any court, the parties may waive the right to have the
same determined by a jury; in which case the finding of the judge
upon the facts shall have the force and effect of a verdict by a

Sec. 14. Special courts in cities. The General Assembly shall
provide for the establishment of special courts, for the trial of mis-
demeanors, in cities and towns, where the same may be necessary.

56 North Carolina Manual

Sec. 15. Clerk of the Snprevie Court. The clerk of the Supreme
Court shall be appointed by the Court, and shall hold his office
for eight years.

Sec. 16. Election of Superior Court clerk. A clerk of the Su-
perior Court for each county shall be elected by the qualified
voters thereof, at the time and in the manner prescribed by law
for the election of members of the General Assembly.

Sec. 17. Term of office. Clerks of the Superior Courts shall hold
their offices for four years.

Sec. 18. Fees, salaries, and emoluments. The General Assembly
shall prescribe and regulate the fees, salaries, and emoluments of
all officers provided for in this article; but the salaries of the
judges shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Sec. 19. What laivs are, and shall be, in force. The laws of
North Carolina, not repugnant to this Constitution or the Consti-
tution and laws of the United States, shall be in force until law-
fully altered.

Sec. 20. Disposition of actions at law and siiits in equity, pend-
ing when this Constitution shall go into effect, etc. Actions at law
and suits in equity pending when this Constitution shall go into
effect shall be transferred to the courts having jurisdiction there-
of, without prejudice by reason of the change; and all such actions
and suits commenced before, and pending at the adoption by the
General Assembly of the rules of practice and procedure herein
provided for, shall be heard and determined according to the prac-
tice now in use, unless otherwise provided for by said rules.

Sec. 21. Elections, terms of office, etc., of Jtistices of the Su-
prem,e and Judges of the Superior Courts. The Justices of the
Supreme courts shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State,
as is provided for the election of members of the General Assem-
bly. They shall hold their offices for eight years. The judges
of the Superior Courts, elected at the first election under this
amendment, shall be elected in like manner as is provided for
Justices of the Supreme Court, and shall hold their offices for eight
years. The General Assembly may, from time to time, provide by
law that the judges of the Superior Courts, chosen at succeeding
elections, instead of being elected by the votes of the whole State,
as is herein provided for, shall be elected by the voters of their
respective districts.

Constitution 57

Sec. 22. Transactions of business in the Superior Court. The
Superior Courts shall be, at all times, open for the transaction
of all business within their jurisdiction, except the trial of issues
of fact requiring a jury.

Sec. 23. Solicitors and Solicitorial Districts. The State shall be
divided into twenty-one solicitorial districts, for each of which a
solicitor shall be chosen by the qualified voters thereof, as is pre-
scribed for members of the General Assembly, who shall hold
office for the term of four years, and prosecute on behalf of the
State in all criminal actions in the Superior Courts, and advise the
officers of justice in his district. But the General Assembly may
reduce or increase the number of the solicitorial districts, which
need not correspond to, or be the same as, the judicial districts
of the State.

Sec. 24. Sheriffs and Coroners. In each county a sheriff and
coroner shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof as is pre-
scribed for members of the General Assembly, and shall hold their
offices for a period of four years. In each township there shall
be a constable elected in like manner by the voters thereof, who
shall hold his office for a period of two years. When there is no
coroner in a county the Clerk of the Superior Court for the county
may appoint one for special cases. In case of a vacancy existing
for any cause in any of the offices created by this section, the
commissioners of the county may appoint to such office for the
unexpired term.

Sec. 25. Vacancies. All vacancies occurring in the offices pro-
vided for by this article of the Constitution shall be filled by the
appointment of the Governor, unless otherwise provided for, and
the appointees shall hold their places until the next regular elec-
tion for members of the General Assembly, when elections shall
be held to fill such offices. If any person, elected or appointed to
any of said offices, shall neglect and fail to qualify, such offices
shall be appointed to, held and filled as provided in case of vacan-
cies occurring therein. All incumbents of said offices shall hold
until their successors are qualified.

Sec. 26. Terms of office of first officers. The officers elected at
the first election held under this Constitution shall hold their of-
fices for the terms prescribed for them, respectively, next ensuing
after the next regular election for members of the General Assem-

58 North Carolina Manual

bly. But their terms shall begin upon the approval of this Consti-
tution by the Congress of the United States.

Sec. 27. Jurisdiction of justices of the peace. The several jus-
tices of the peace shall have jurisdiction, under such regulations as
the General Assembly shall prescribe, of civil actions, founded on
contract, wherein the sum demanded shall not exceed two hundred
dollars, and wherein the title to real estate shall not be in contro-
versy; and all of criminal matters arising within their counties
where the punishment cannot exceed a fine of fifty dollars or im-
prisonment for thirty days. And the General Assembly may give
to the justices of the peace jui'isdiction of other civil actions where-
in the value of the property in controversy does not exceed fifty
dollars. When an issue of fact shall be joined before a justice, on
demand of either party thereto, he shall cause a jury of six men
to be summoned, who shall try the same. The party against whom
the judgment shall be rendered in any civil action may appeal
to the Superior Court from the same. In all cases of a criminal
nature the party against whom the judgment is given may appeal
to the Superior Court, where the matter shall be heard anew. In
all cases brought before a justice, he shall make a record of the

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