Guide to the Sacramento County (Calif.) Court of Sessions records

Kim Hayden
Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Phone: (916) 808-7072
Fax: (916) 264-7582
Email: csh@cityofsacramento.org
URL: http://www.centerforsacramentohistory.org/
© 2019
Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Sacramento County (Calif.) Court of Sessions records

Collection number: CNTY0013

Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento, CA
Processed by:
Kim Hayden
Date Completed:
2019
Encoded by:
Kim Hayden
© 2019 Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Sacramento County (Calif.) Court of Sessions records
Dates: 1850-1879
Collection number: CNTY0013
Creator: Sacramento County (Calif.). Court of Sessions
Creator: Sacramento County (Calif.). Board of Supervisors
Collection Size: 6 linear feet (13 boxes, 13 volumes)
Repository: Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The Court of Sessions was created in 1850 by the California State Legislature and disbanded in 1863 when its activities were transferred to the County Court. The court served two functions: transacting general county business and hearing certain criminal cases. The majority of this collection is made up of criminal case files from 1850 to 1862; it also includes Board of Supervisors records and calendars from when the board acted as the trial board for the court, plus court minutes, fee books, criminal records and indexes, calendars, jury books, an accounting daybook, civil judgment book, and alcalde's civil docket.
Physical location: SP SV 15:G:5, 15:K:6, 15:L:1, 21:K:3-4, 22:A:1
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Sacramento County (Calif.) Court of Sessions records, CNTY0013, Center for Sacramento History.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the California State Archives in 1980 (accession #1980/132).

Biography / Administrative History

The Court of Sessions was created in 1850 by the California State Legislature. It was made up of a county judge, two justices of the peace, and the county clerk, who met monthly. The County Board of Supervisors acted as a trial board for the court. The court served two functions: transacting general county business and hearing certain criminal cases. Jurisdiction included cases of assault, assault and battery, breach of peace, riot, affray, petit larceny, and misdemeanors with fines of less than $500 or jail time less than three months. The law of 1851 added the duty of grand jury investigation of offenses excepting murder, manslaughter, and arson, and appellate jurisdiction over justice's, recorder's, and mayor's courts in criminal cases. In 1863, the activities of the Court of Sessions were transferred to the County Court.

Scope and Content of Collection

The majority of the collection is made up of criminal case files from 1850 to 1862. Also included are Board of Supervisors records and calendars from when the board acted as the trial board for the court, plus court minutes, fee books, criminal records and indexes, calendars, jury books, an accounting daybook, civil judgment book, and alcalde's civil docket. Some of the volumes include records from the Probate Court and County Court as well.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Sacramento County (Calif.) Court of Sessions records
Courts--Sacramento County (Calif.)--Cases
Sacramento County (Calif.)--Trials, litigation, etc.

Related Material

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors acted as a trial board for the Court of Sessions. The board's minutes from that time period (1850 to 1863) contain entries related to court business.

Collection Contents

Shelf SP SV 15:K:6

Accounting daybook 1850-1851

General

Record of fees collected and expenditures for supplies. Format varies but usually includes date, source or creditor, service rendered, and price or cost. Arranged chronologically.
Box 12, Folder 1

Alcalde's docket 1850-1851

General

Record of civil cases heard, rulings, documents issued by the Alcalde in his capacity as judge. Also records cases heard by the County Court subsequent to the termination of the office of Alcalde. Arranged chronologically. Alcalde's records date from February 11 to April 29, 1850. County Court records date from August 11, 1850 to July 17, 1851.
Shelf SP SV 15:G:5

Board of Supervisors calendar 1856-1861

Box 12

Board of Supervisors records 1850-1865

General

Documents related to proceedings of the Board of Supervisors acting as the Court of Sessions. Included are case files, mechanics' liens, legal notices, legal opinions, and other records. Loose documents arranged chronologically.
Box 12, Folder 3

Calendar 1857-1858

General

Docket of cases to be heard on a given date. Information recorded includes names of attorneys, names of parties, and remarks (usually type of case or reason for arraignment). Some also include brief descriptions of actions taken. Cases for the following dates are labeled "County Court": March 17-29, 1858; June 31 to July 2, 1858; and August 10 to October 1, 1858.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1

Criminal calendar 1865-1878

General

Volume includes both Court of Sessions and County Court calendars.
Box 1

Criminal case file numbers 1-238 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 2

Criminal case file numbers 239-326 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 3

Criminal case file numbers 327-428 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 4

Criminal case file numbers 429-584 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 5

Criminal case file numbers 585-696 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 6

Criminal case file numbers 697-807 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 7

Criminal case file numbers 808-965 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 8

Criminal case file numbers 966-1169 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 9

Criminal case file numbers 1171-1302 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 10

Criminal case file numbers 1303-1438 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 11

Criminal case file numbers 1439-1618 1850-1862

General

Each case may include complaint, transcript, judgment, and instructions to the Sheriff. Loose documents arranged numerically by case number.
Box 1

Criminal index 1850-1863

General

Includes case number, names of plaintiffs and defendants, cause of action, and date.
Shelf SP SV 15:K:6

Criminal index undated

General

Includes names of defendants and page number of corresponding volume.
Shelf SP SV 15:K:6, Volume C

Criminal index 1856-1859

General

Includes names of defendants and page number of corresponding volume.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1

Fee book 1862-1863

General

Volume also includes County Court and Probate Court fees.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1

Fee book 1859-1865

General

Volume also includes County Court criminal calendar.
Box 12, Folder 4

Fee book, civil 1850-1851

General

Lists names of plaintiffs and defendants, services, and fees. Includes index.
Box 12, Folder 5

Fee book, criminal 1850-1854

General

Includes date, defendant, case number, and fine. Not indexed.
Shelf SP SV 15:K:6

Fee book index ca. 1850-1852

General

Lists name of party and case number.
Box 12, Folder 6

Judgment book, civil 1850-1851

General

Records of decisions rendered in civil cases. Includes names of parties, transcript of judgment, and date of judgment. Arranged chronologically by date of judgment and contains an alphabetical index.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1

Jury book 1860-1870

General

Also includes County Court entries.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1

Jury book 1870-1879

General

Volume also includes entries for County Court.
Box 13, Folder 1-3

Minutes 1857-1860

General

6 volumes. Minutes usually include date of session, presiding judge, names of litigants or defendants, and action taken. All volumes except April-December 1857 also include minutes for the County and Probate courts. The December 1857-September 1858 volume also includes the County Court calendar. Arranged chronologically with minutes of County Court and Probate Court intermixed with Court of Sessions minutes.
Box 13, Folder 4

Record, criminal 1850-1852

General

Records of action taken at criminal trials. Includes name of defendant, record of action taken by the court, date, and name of judge. Arranged chronologically by date of action. Also includes an alphabetical index to defendants.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1, Volume B

Record, criminal 1852-1856

General

Registers of minutes of Court of Sessions which dealt with criminal matters. Entries include date, suit number, name of defendant, charge filed, synopsis of proceedings, names of jurors, and verdict. Arranged chronologically.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1, Volume C

Record, criminal 1856-1859

General

Registers of minutes of Court of Sessions which dealt with criminal matters. Entries include date, suit number, name of defendant, charge filed, synopsis of proceedings, names of jurors, and verdict. Arranged chronologically.
Shelf SP SV 15:L:1, Volume D

Record, criminal 1859-1863

General

Registers of minutes of Court of Sessions which dealt with criminal matters. Entries include date, suit number, name of defendant, charge filed, synopsis of proceedings, names of jurors, and verdict. Arranged chronologically.