The orphans court may be held either by the judge of the court of common pleas or by a justice of the supreme court; and it has jurisdiction over controversies respecting the existence of wills, the fairness of inventories, the right of administration and guardianship, the allowance of accounts to executors, administrators, guardians or trustees, and over suits for the recovery of legacies and distributive shares, but it may refer any matter coming before it to a master in chancery.
Thus the court of king's bench (curia regis de banco) was founded, and the foundation of the court of common pleas was provided for in one of the articles of Magna Carta.
In 1785 he became a commission merchant in Philadelphia; but in October 1786, soon after the legislature of Pennsylvania had passed a bill for erecting Wyoming district into the county of Luzerne, he was appointed prothonotary and a judge of the court of common pleas and clerk of the court of sessions and orphans, court for the new county, and was commissioned to organize the county.
Encouraged by these and other conventions in order to obstruct the collection of debts and taxes, a mob prevented a session of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace at Northampton on the 29th of August, and in September other mobs prevented the same court from sitting in Worcester, Middlesex and Berkshire counties.
Before the Judicature Act the king's bench and the common pleas were each presided over by a lord chief justice, and the lord chief justice of the king's bench was nominal head of all the three courts, and held the title of lord chief justice of England.
He used all his influence to hamper the president and to advance the political interests of Alexander Hamilton, until he was dismissed, after refusing to resign, in May 1800, Returning to Massachusetts, he served as chief justice of the court of common pleas of Essex county in 1802-1803.
The executive and legislative officials are chosen by the electors for a term of two years; the attorney general for four years; the judges of the supreme court of errors and the superior court, appointed by the general assembly on nomination by the governor, serve for eight, and the judges of the courts of common pleas (in Hartford, New London, New Haven, Litchfield and Fairfield counties) and of the district courts, chosen in like manner, serve for four years.
The titles of lord chief justice of the common pleas and lord chief baron were abolished by the Judicature Act 1873, and all the common law divisions of the High Court united into the king's bench division, the president of which is the lord chief justice of England.
Declares that common pleas must henceforward be heard in a fixed place.
The constitution provides that the terms of supreme and circuit judges shall be such even number of years not less than six as may be prescribed by the legislature - the statutory provision is six years - that of the judges of the common pleas six years, that of the probate judges four years, that of other judges such even number of years not exceeding six as may be prescribed by the legislature - the statutory provision is six years - and that of justices of the peace such even number of years not exceeding four as may be thus prescribed - the statutory provision is four years.