When Phips founded the Court of Oyer and Terminer, he appointed nine judges under Chief Judge and Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton: Jonathan Corwin of Salem, Thomas Danforth of Boston, Bartholomew Gedney of Salem, John Hathorne of Salem, John Richards of Boston, Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, Peter Sargent of Boston, Samuel Sewall of Salem, and Wait Winthrop of Boston. The most influential judges, Richards, Winthrop, and Sewall as well as Stoughton, were all close to Phips, and members of his council. As well as being close to Phips, the judges were also close with Cotton Mather. Born February 12, 1663 to Reverend Increase Mather, Cotton seemed destined to achieve greatness, for he was born into a family of powerful clergymen. In his childhood, he seemed to live up to this destiny and gained admittance to Harvard College at age 12. He went on to earn his Harvard Masters degree at age 18. He then went on to become a clergyman, but only after he pursued medicine for two or three years, because he was unable to preach due to a terrible stutter.
When Phips created the Court of Oyer and Terminer, he designed it specifically to try accused witches. The name of the court, "Oyer and Terminer," was derived from French and Latin roots, meaning to "hear and determine." Under less urgent circumstances, Phips would have waited for the legislature to pass a law defining a high court, instead of creating his own charter under his authority. Due to the urgent circumstances, however, Phips was compelled to create the Court of Oyer and Terminer or risk Salem and the rest of the New England colonies destroyed by the hysteria.
Notwithstanding the foregoing limitation or any other provision of the Constitution, the General Assembly may enact laws which provide that the findings of panels or commissions, selected and acting in accordance with law for the adjustment or settlement of grievances or disputes or for collective bargaining between policemen and firemen and their public employers shall be binding upon all parties and shall constitute a mandate to the head of the political subdivision which is the employer, or to the appropriate officer of the Commonwealth if the Commonwealth is the employer, with respect to matters which can be remedied by administrative action, and to the lawmaking body of such political subdivision or of the Commonwealth, with respect to matters which require legislative action, to take the action necessary to carry out such findings.
(c) The Supreme Court shall have the power to prescribe general rules governing practice, procedure and the conduct of all courts, justices of the peace and all officers serving process or enforcing orders, judgments or decrees of any court or justice of the peace, including the power to provide for assignment and reassignment of classes of actions or classes of appeals among the several courts as the needs of justice shall require, and for admission to the bar and to practice law, and the administration of all courts and supervision of all officers of the Judicial Branch, if such rules are consistent with this Constitution and neither abridge, enlarge nor modify the substantive rights of any litigant, nor affect the right of the General Assembly to determine the jurisdiction of any court or justice of the peace, nor suspend nor alter any statute of limitation or repose. All laws shall be suspended to the extent that they are inconsistent with rules prescribed under these provisions. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the General Assembly may by statute provide for the manner of testimony of child victims or child material witnesses in criminal proceedings, including the use of videotaped depositions or testimony by closed-circuit television.
Section 1205. Deputies and Clerks.--The sheriff of each county may appoint such deputies and clerks as may be necessary to properly transact the business of his office. He may revoke the appointment of deputies in the same manner as his chief deputy. The sheriff may also appoint necessary special deputies, when any emergency arises, to assist him in executing any civil or criminal process or court order or in preserving the peace, who shall serve only so long as they are absolutely needed.
Section 2176. Removal to County of Settlement.--In case any person does not have a settlement in the county of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth class wherein he has become, or is likely to become, a dependent, it shall be the duty of the county commissioners to notify the county commissioners of the county of his settlement of the facts. If the county commissioners, so notified, refuse or neglect to receive him or to make arrangements for his proper care and to pay the amount advanced, the county commissioners during such care may apply to the court of quarter sessions of their county, or to any judge thereof, by petition, asking for a citation to the county commissioners, so refusing or neglecting, requiring them to appear before such court at a time specified therein, and to show cause why an order should not issue for the removal of such dependent into their county. The court shall proceed to hear and determine the cause upon its merits, and its decree shall be final, unless an appeal therefrom be taken within thirty days.
Section 1980. Board of Visitors for Charitable Reform and Penal Institutions.--(a) The court of common pleas in each county shall, annually, appoint three reputable citizens of the county, on or before the first Tuesday of January, to serve as a board of visitors for that year. Two of the members of said board shall be of the majority party in the county and one shall be of the minority party, all of which shall be determined from the registration lists of the county. Vacancies upon the board shall be filled by the said court in like manner. The members of the board shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid such sum or sums for actual and necessary expenses as may be approved by the board of commissioners of the county.
(b) The term "legal residence" as used in this subsection, shall be construed as synonymous with "domicile" and is hereby defined as actual residence, coupled with intention that it shall be permanent, or a residence presently fixed with no definite intention of changing it, or of returning to a former residence at some future period. Legal residence is to be determined by abode of person and his or her intention to abandon his or her former domicile and establish a new one. The legal residence of a deceased service person shall be prima facia in the county where he or she made his or her abode at the time of his or her death.
The prothonotary of the court of common pleas of Philadelphia shall be first appointed by the judges of said court on the first Monday of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, and the present prothonotary of the district court in said county shall be the prothonotary of the said court of common pleas until said date when his commission shall expire, and the present clerk of the court of oyer and terminer and quarter sessions of the peace in Philadelphia shall be the clerk of such court until the expiration of his present commission on the first Monday of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five.
Section 2196. Definition.--Any condition or usage whatsoever in or about the buildings, structures or land, or the streets or private ways and places, or elsewhere within the county of the third class, whether public or private, which the board of health shall find to be detrimental to the public health is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. Whenever in this subdivision the words "public nuisance" or "nuisance" are used they shall be deemed to mean a nuisance detrimental to the public health, unless a different meaning is specified. The powers of investigation and entering upon premises vested in the board of health and its agents and employes pursuant to its orders shall be available for the determination of public nuisances.
The General Assembly, at the first session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall fix and determine the compensation of the judges of the Supreme Court and of the judges of the several judicial districts of the Commonwealth; and the provisions of the fifteenth section of the article on Legislation shall not be deemed inconsistent herewith. Nothing contained in this Constitution shall be held to reduce the compensation now paid to any law judge of this Commonwealth now in commission.