OHIOLegal Dictionary -> OHIO
OHIO. The name of one of the new states of the United States of America. It
was admitted into the Union by virtue of the act of congress, entitled "An act to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory north-west of the river Ohio, to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union, on an equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes," approved, May 30, 1802, 2 Story's L. U. S. 869; by which it is enacted, Sec. 1. That the inhabitants of the eastern division of the territory north-west of the river Ohio, be, and they are hereby authorized to form for themselves a constitution and state government, and to assume such name as they shall deem proper; and the said state, when formed, shall be admitted into the Union, upon the same footing with the original states, in all respects whatever. 2.-Sec. 2. That the said state shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to wit: Bounded on the east by the Pennsylvania line, on the south by the Ohio river, to the month of the Great Miami river, on the west by the line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami aforesaid, and on the north by an east and west line dawn through the southerly extreme of lake Michigan, running east, after intersecting the due north line aforesaid, from the mouth of the Great Miami until it shall intersect lake Erie, or the territorial line, and thence, with the same, through lake Erie, to the Pennsylvania line aforesaid: Provided, That congress shall be at liberty, at any time hereafter, either to attach all the territory lying east of the line to be drawn due north from the mouth of the Miami aforesaid to the territorial line, and north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly extreme of lake Michigan, running east as aforesaid to lake Eric, to the aforesaid state, or dispose of it otherwise, in conformity to the fifth Article of compact between the original states and the people and states to be formed are the territory north-west of the river Ohio. 3. By virtue of the authority given them by the act of congress, the people of the eastern division of said territory met in convention at Chillicothe; on Monday, the, first day of November, 1802, by which they did ordain and establish the constitution and form of government, and did mutually agree with each other to form themselves into a free and independent state, by the name of The State of Ohio. This constitution has been superseded by the present one, which was adopted in 1851. The powers of the government are separated into three distinct branches, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. 4.-1st. By article 2, the legislative department is constituted as follows: 5.-Sec. 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate, and house of representatives. 6.-Sec. 2. Senators and representatives shall be elected biennially, by the electors in the respective counties or districts, on the second Tuesday of October; their term of office shall commence on the first, day of January next thereafter, and continue two years. 7.-Sec. 3. Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective counties, or districts, one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state. 8.-Sec. 4. No person holding office under the authority of the United States, or any lucrative office under the authority of this state, shall be eligible to, or have a seat in, the general assembly; but this provision shall not extend to township officers, justices of the peace, notaries public, or officers of the militia. 9.-Sec. 5. No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public money for disbursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the general assembly, until, he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury. 10.-Sec. 6. All regular sessions of the general assembly shall commence on the first Monday of January, biennially. The first session, under this constitution, shall commence on the first Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two. 11.-Sec. 7. The style of the laws of this state, shall be, "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio." 12.-Sec. 8. The apportionment of this state for members of the general assembly, shall be made every ten years, after the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, in the following manner: The whole population of the state, as ascertained by the federal census, or in such other mode as the general assembly may direct, shall be divided by the number: one hundred,: and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the house of representatives for ten years next succeeding such apportionment. 13.-Sec. 9. Every county, having a population equal to one-half of said ratio, shall be entitled to one representative; every county, containing said ratio, and three-fourths over, shall be entitled to two representatives; every county, containing three times said ratio, shall be entitled to three representatives: and so on, requiring after the first two, an entire ratio for each additional representative. 14.-Sec. 10. When any county shall have a fraction above the ratio, so large, that being multiplied by five, the result will be equal to one or more ratios, additional representatives shall be apportioned for such ratios, among the several sessions of the decennial period, in the following manner: If there be only one ratio, a representative shall be allotted to the fifth session of the decennial period; if there are two ratios, a representative shall be allotted to the fourth and third sessions, respectively if three, to the third, second, and first sessions, respectively; if four, to the fourth, third, second, and first sessions, respectively. 15.-Sec. 11. Any county, forming with another county or counties, a representative district, during one decennial period, if it have acquired sufficient population at the next decennial period; shall be entitled to a separate representation, if there shall be left, in the district from which it shall have been separated, or population sufficient for a representative; but no such change shall be made, except at the regular decennial period for the apportionment of representatives. 16.-Sec. 12. If, in fixing any subsequent ratio, a county, previously entitled to a separate representation, shall have less than the number required by the new ratio for a representative, such county shall be attached to the county adjoining it; having the least number of inhabitants; and the representation of the district, so formed, shall be determined as herein provided. 17.-Sec. 13. The ratio for a senator shall, forever hereafter, be ascertained, by dividing the whole population of the state by the number thirty-five. 18.-Sec. 14. The same rule shall be applied, in apportioning the fractions of senatorial districts, and in annexing districts, which may hereafter have less than three-fourths of a senatorial ratio, as are applied to representative districts. 19.-Sec. 15. Any county forming part of a senatorial district, having acquired a population equal to a full senatorial ratio, shall be made a separate senatorial district, at any regular decennial apportionment, if a full senatorial ratio shall be left in the district from which it shall be taken. 20.-Sec. 16. For the first ten years, after the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, the apportionment of representatives shall be as provided, in the schedule, and no change shall ever be made in the principles of representation, as herein established, or in the senatorial districts, except as above provided. All territory, belonging to a county at the time of any apportionment, shall, as to the right of representation and suffrage, remain an integral part thereof, during the decennial period. 21.-Sec. 17. The governor, auditor, and secretary of state, or any two of them, shall, at least six months prior to the October election, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and, at each decennial period thereafter, ascertain and determine the ratio of representation, according to the decennial census, the number of representatives and senators each county or district shall be entitled to elect, and for what years, within the next ensuing ten years, and the governor shall cause the same to be published, in such manner as shall be directed by law. 22.- Sec. 18. Every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the state one year next preceding the election and of the county, township, or ward, in which he resides, such time as may be provided by law, shall have the qualifications of an elector, and be entitled to vote at all elections. 23.-Sec. 19. No person shall be elected or appointed to any office in this state, unless he possess, the qualifications of an elector. 24.-3d. By article 3, the executive department is constituted as follows: 25.-Sec. 1. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and an attorney general, who shall be chosen by the electors of the state, on the second Tuesday of October, and at the places of voting for members of the general assembly. 26.-Sec. 2. The governor, lieutenant governor, Secretary of State, treasurer, and attorney general, shall hold their offices for two years; and the auditor for four years. Their terms of office shall commence on the second Monday of January next after their election, and continue until their successors are elected and qualified. 27.-Sec. 3. The returns of every election for the officers, named in the foregoing section, shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, by the returning officers, directed to the resident of the senate, who, during the first week of the session, shall open and publish them, and declare the result, in the presence of a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared duly elected; but if any two or more shall be highest, and equal in votes, for the same office, one of them shall be chosen, by the joint vote of both houses. 28.-Sec. 4. Should there be no session of the general assembly in January next after an election for any of the officers aforesaid, the returns of such election shall be made to the secretary of state, and opened, and the result declared by the governor, in such manner as may be provided by law. 29.-Sec. 5. The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in the governor. 30.-Sec. 6. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective office's; and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed. 31.-Sec. 7. He shall communicate at every session, by message, to the general assembly, the condition of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient. 32.-Sec. 8. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when assembled, the purpose for which they have been convened. 33.-Sec. 9. In case of disagreement between the two houses, in respect to the time of adjournment, he shall have power to adjourn the general assembly to such time as he may think proper, but not beyond the regular meetings thereof. 34.-Sec. 10. He shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States. 35.-Sec. 11. He shall have power, after conviction, to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, for all crimes and offences, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions as he may think proper; subject, however, to such regulations, as to the manner of applying for pardons, as may be prescribed by Upon conviction for treason, he may suspend the execution of the sentence, and report the case to the general assembly, at its next meeting, when the general assembly shall either pardon, commute the sentence, direct its execution, or grant a further reprieve. He shall communicate to the general assembly, at every regular session, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, stating the name and crime of the convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon, or reprieve, with his reasons therefor. 36.-Sec. 12. There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be kept by the governor and used by him officially; and shall be called "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio." 37.-Sec. 13. All grants and commissions shall be issued in the name, and by the authority, of the State of Ohio; sealed with the great seal signed, by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state. 38.-Sec. 14. No member of congress, or other person holding office under the authority of this state, or of the United States, shall execute the office of governor, except as herein provided. 39.-Sec. 15. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, removal, or other disability of the governor, the powers and duties of the office, for the residue of the term, or until he shall be acquitted, or the disability removed, shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor. 40.-Sec. 16. The lieutenant governor shall be president of the senate, but shall vote only when the, senate is equally divided; and in case of him absence, or impeachment, or when he shall exercise the office of governor, the senate shall choose a president pro tempore. 41.-Sec. 17. If the lieutenant governor, while executing the office of governor, shall be impeached, displaced, resign or die, or otherwise become incapable of performing the duties of the office, the president of the senate shall act as governor, until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed; and if the president of the senate, for any of the above causes, shall be rendered incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of governor, the same shall devolve upon the speaker of the house of representatives. 42.-Sec. 18. Should the office of auditor, treasurer, secretary, or attorney general, become vacant for any of the causes specified in the fifteenth section of this article, the governor shall fill the vacancy until the disability is removed, or a successor elected and qualified. Every such vacancy shall be filled by election, at the first general election that occurs, more than thirty days after it shall have happened; and the person chosen shall hold the office for the full term fixed in the second section of this article. 43.-Sec. 19. The officers mentioned in this article, shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation to be established by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected. 44.-Sec. 20. The officers of the executive department, and of the public state institutions, shall, at least five days preceding each regular session of the general assembly, severally report to the governor, who shall transmit such reports, with his message, to the general assembly. 45.-4th. By article 4, the judicial department is constituted as follows: 46.-Sec. 1. The judicial power of the state shall be vested, in a supreme court, in district courts, courts of common pleas, courts of probate, justices of the peace, and in such other courts, inferior to the supreme court, in one or more counties, as the general assembly, may from time to time establish. 47.-Sec. 2. The supreme court shall consist of five judges, a majority of whom shall be necessary to form a quorum, or to pronounce a decision. It shall have original jurisdiction in quo warranto, mandamus, habeas corpus, and procedendo and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law. It shall hold at least one term in each year, at the seat of government, and such other terms, at the seat of government, or elsewhere, as may be provided by law. The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the electors of the state at large. 48.-Sec. 3. The state shall be divided into nine common pleas districts, of which the county of Hamilton shall constitute one, of compact territory, and bounded by county lines; and each of said districts, consisting of three or more counties, shall be subdivided into three parts, of compact territory, bounded by county lines, and as nearly equal, in population as practicable; in each of which, one judge of the court of common pleas for said district, and residing therein, shall be elected by the electors of said subdivision. Courts of common pleas shall be held, by one or more of these judges, in every county in the district, as often as may be provided by law; and more than one court, or sitting thereof, may be held at the same time in each district. 49.-Sec. 4. The jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas, and of the judges thereof, shall be fixed by law. 50.-Sec. 5. District courts shall be composed of the judges of the court of common pleas of the respective districts, and one of the judges of the supreme court, any three of whom shall be a quorum, and shall be held in each county therein, at least once in each year; but, if it shall be found inexpedient to hold such court annually, in each county, of any district, the general assembly may, for such district, provide that said court shall hold at least three annual sessions therein, in not less than three places: Provided, that the general assembly may, by law, authorize the judges of each district to fix the times of holding the courts therein. 51.-Sec. 6. The district court shall have like original jurisdiction with the supreme court, and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law. 52.-Sec. 7. There shall be established in each county, a probate court, which shall be a court of record, open at all times, and holden by one judge, elected by the voters of the county, who shall hold his office for the term of three years, and shall receive such compensation, payable out of the county treasury, or by fees, or both; as shall be provided by law. 53.-Sec. 8. The probate court shall have jurisdiction in probate and testamentary matters, the appointment of administrators and guardians, the settlement of the accounts of executors, administrators and guardians, and such jurisdiction in habeas corpus, the issuing of marriage licenses, and for the sale of land by executors, administrators and guardians, and such other jurisdiction, in any county, or counties, as may be provided by law. 54.-Sec. 9. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be elected, by the electors, in each township in the several counties. Their term, of office shall be three years, and their powers and duties shall be regulated by law. 55.-Sec. 10. All judges, other than those provided for in this constitution, shall be elected by the electors of the judicial district for which they may be created, but not for a longer term of office than five years. 56.-Sec. 11. The judges of the supreme court shall, immediately after the first election under this constitution, be classified by lot, so that one shall hold for the term of one year, one for two years, one for three years, one for four years, and one for five years; and, at all subsequent elections, the term of each of said judges shall be for five years. 57.-Sec. 12. The judges of the courts of common pleas shall, while in office, reside in the district for which they, are elected; and their term of office shall be for five years. 58.-Sec. 13. In case the office of any judge shall become vacant before the expiration of the regular term for which he was elected, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor, until a successor is elected and qualified; and such successor shall be elected for the unexpired term, at the first annual election that occurs more than thirty, days after the vacancy shall have happened. 59.-Sec. 14. The judges of the supreme court, and of the court of common pleas shall, at stated times, receive for their services, such compensation as may be provided by law, which shall not be diminished or increased, during their term of office; but they shall receive no fees or perquisites, nor hold any other office of profit or trust, under the authority of this state, or the United States. All votes for either of them, for any elective office, except a judicial office, under the authority of this state, given by the general assembly, or the people, shall be void. 60.-Sec. 15. The general assembly may increase or diminish the number of the judges of the supreme court, the number of the districts of the court of common pleas, the number of judges in any district; change the districts, or the subdivisions thereof, or establish other courts, whenever two-thirds of the members elected to each house shall concur therein; but no such change, addition, or diminution, shall vacate the office of any judge. 61.-Sec. 16. There shall be elected in each county by the electors thereof, one clerk of the court of common pleas, who shall hold his office for the term of three years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified. He shall, by virtue of his office, be clerk of all other courts of record held therein; but the general assembly may provide by law, for the election of a clerk, with a like term of office, for each or any other of the courts of record, and may authorize the judge of the probate court to perform the duties of clerk for his court, under such regulations as may be directed by law. Clerks of courts shall be removable for such cause, and in such manner, as shall be prescribed by law. 62.-Sec. 17. Judges may be removed from office, by concurrent resolution of both houses of the general assembly, if two-thirds of the members elected to each house concur therein; but no such removal shall be made, except upon complaint, the substance of which shall be entered on the journal, nor until the party charged shall have had notice thereof, and an opportunity to be heard. 63.-Sec. 18. The several judges of the supreme court, of the common pleas, and of such other courts as may be created, shall, respectively, have and exercise such power and jurisdiction, at chambers, or otherwise as may be directed by law. 64.-Sec. 19. The general assembly may establish courts of conciliation, and prescribe their powers and duties; but such courts shall not render final judgment in any case, except upon submission, by the parties of the matter in dispute, and their agreement to abide such judgment. 65.-Sec. 20. The style of all process shall be, "The State of Ohio;" all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the state of Ohio; and all indictments shall conclude, "against the peace and dignity of the state of Ohio."