Finding aid of the Superior Court Records

Michael Griffith and Trista Raezer
Santa Clara County Archives
1875 Senter Road
San Jose, CA 95112-2527
Phone: (408) 755-7895
Fax: (408) 755-7897
URL: http://archives.sccgov.org
Email: Archives@ceo.sccgov.org
© 2010
Santa Clara County. All rights reserved.

Finding aid of the Superior Court Records

Collection number: Consult repository

Santa Clara County Archives

San Jose, California
Processed by:
Michael Griffith and Trista Raezer
Date Completed:
2010
Encoded by:
Trista Raezer
© 2010 Santa Clara County. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Superior Court records
Dates: 1880-1975
Bulk Dates: 1893-1908
Collection number: Consult repository
Creator: California. Superior Court (Santa Clara County)
Collection Size: 74 archival boxes 19 bound volumes
Repository: Santa Clara County Archives.
San Jose, CA 95112-2527
Abstract: This collection consists of series of records from Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the copyright holder for publication or quotation.

Preferred Citation

Superior Court records, Santa Clara County Archives.

Acquisition Information

These records were transferred by the Historical Heritage Commission and by the County Clerk-Recorder.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Michael Griffith and Trista Raezer working under NHPRC grant RA-10047-07, the Santa Clara County Archives Project. A fuller account of the grant project is available at the Archives website.
For each of the major subdivisions, original order of the records was maintained. The records were placed in folders as necessary and reboxed when appropriate.

Administrative History

The California superior courts were established in 1880, one for each county. The courts conduct matters previously handled by the district, county, and probate courts. The courts typically hear civil, criminal, probate, and juvenile cases separately and maintain separate series of records for each.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of series of records created by the Santa Clara County Superior Court and local municiple courts. For the scope and content of the collection, see the descriptions of the major subdivisions.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Probate courts
Probate records
Wills
Stanford, Jane Lathrop, 1828-1905
Magee, Ruchell
Criminal courts
Hollister, William W.
Bonds
Court dockets
Prisoners
Grand jury--Santa Clara County (Calif.)


Container List

 

Series: 1 Civil Cases, 1881-1966

Physical Description: 5 archival boxes

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of 91 civil cases heard between 1881 and 1892 and approximately 200 cases heard in the 1960s by Santa Clara County Superior Court. Each case includes those papers filed with the court as part of the proceedings. William W. Hollister is a defendant in case 6376, which involves extensive litigation over ownership of a rancho.
 

Series: 2 Criminal Cases, 1895-1975

Physical Description: 2 archival boxes

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of 30 criminal cases heard by Santa Clara County Superior Court. Each case includes those papers filed with the court as part of the proceedings. Notable files include the trial of Thomas William Flannelly for the murder of his father and of San Mateo County Sheriff W. P. McEvoy and the trial of Ruchell Magee for his participation in the murder of Marin County Superior Court Judge Harold Haley.
 

Series: 3 Probate Cases, 1893-1970

Physical Description: 66 archival boxes

Series Scope and Content

This collection consists of approximately 2100 cases heard by the probate department of the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Each case includes those papers filed with the court as part of the proceedings. Files may include wills, detailed lists of property, collections of claims by creditors, and various legal papers. Files may provide extensive information about the decedent, about costs for the period, and about the operation of a farm, business, or profession. The collection includes the partial contents of the probate file for Jane Lathrop Stanford.

Online Index

Search the collection holdings for probate cases using our online index .
 

Series: 4 Bond Superior Court, 1897-1898

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

Records bonds posted with Superior Court in connection with legal proceedings.
 

Series: 5 City Court Docket-Criminal, 1930-1936

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This volume records criminal cases. Each entry includes the court, city judge, defendant, charge, date and proceedings.
 

Series: 6 Index to Mug Books, 1907-1918

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This unmarked volume is most likely an index to mug books. Mug books were used by the sheriff's department to record arrested individuals. A photograph would be taken and put into the book, along with the prisoner's information. The volumes that this volume indexes are not housed at the archives. The location of these volumes is unknown.
 

Series: 7 Jail Registers, 1912-1923

Physical Description: 2 bound volumes

Series Scope and Content

These volumes list residents sent to jail. Each entry includes name of prisoner, date received, accompanying officer, charge, gender, age, race, place of birth, occupation, city, length of time in the county, trial judge, court, sentence, date of sentence, date released and remarks.
 

Series: 8 Judgments, 1880-1922

Physical Description: 2 bound volumes

Series Scope and Content

This volume lists judgments of court cases. Each entry includes the plaintiff, defendant, the judge, judgment, the recorder, deputy, and date.
 

Series: 9 Jury Book Dept. 1, 1907-1937

Physical Description: 3 bound volumes

Series Scope and Content

These volumes list jurors for various trials. Each entry lists the name of the trial, the names of the jurors, date of the trial, how many days each juror served, how many miles they traveled, how much they were paid, date of certificate, and any remarks (such as excuse for not serving). Some entries in the last volume include the outcome of the trial.
 

Series: 10 Jury Book Dept. 2, 1897-1911

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This volume lists jurors for various trials. Each entry lists the name of the trial, the names of the jurors, date of the trial, how many days each juror served, how many miles they traveled, how much they were paid, date of certificate, and any remarks (such as excuse for not serving).
 

Series: 11 Justice Docket-Criminal San Jose Township, 1918-1919

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This volume records criminal cases in San Jose Township. Each entry includes defendant, date, proceedings, complainant, charges, and fine paid by defendant.
 

Series: 12 Minutes, Department 2, 1915-1918

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This volume contains minutes for court cases in Department 2. Each entry includes the date, case number, and minutes written in brief and concise sentences. There is some extensive mold damage in the back of the book.
 

Series: 13 Property Receipt Book County Jail, 1917-1928

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

Volume consists of receipts signed by prisoners acknowledging return of personal property upon release from county jail. Each entry includes description of property, dates of arrival and discharge, receiving and releasing officers, and prisoner name. The receipts are not always filled out fully.
 

Series: 14 Register of Prisoners, 1897-1925

Physical Description: 5 bound volumes

Series Scope and Content

For the first volume, each entry includes number, complaining witness, charge, defendant, date, judge, arrested by, and remarks. The remaining three volumes include date, name, age occupation, crime, term days, sentence, from what court, days served, arresting officer and remarks.
 

Series: 15 Grand Jury Reports, Audits and Investigations, 1933-1965

Physical Description: 1 archival box

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of copies of audits, investigations, and grand jury reports from Santa Clara County for selected years between 1933 and 1965. It also includes some related items such as maps, reports to the Grand Jury from private entities, and statements to the Board of Supervisors.
 

Series: 16 Justice's Docket, Criminal, San Jose Township, 1923-1924

Physical Description: 1 bound volume

Series Scope and Content

This volume records criminal cases heard in the Justice's Court in San Jose. Each entry includes name of defendant, the date, crime, warrant, and how the defendant pled.