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California County Court (Sonoma County) records, 1851-1880
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Court History
  • Access Terms
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Additional volume not found

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: California County Court (Sonoma County) records,
    Dates: 1851-1880
    Identification: SCG.00044
    Creator: California. County Court (Sonoma County)
    Physical Description: 24 volumes
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Sonoma County Library Archives
    Sonoma County Library
    6135 State Farm Drive
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928
    Abstract: This collection contains records of cases heard in the County Court for Sonoma County, California, between 1850 and 1880. Includes record of civil and criminal cases heard in County Court, daily records of County Court operations, and records of cases on appeal.

    Court History

    County Courts established by the 1849 California State Constitution

    The first Constitution of California was written by the forty-eight delegates of the 1849 California State Constitutional Convention meeting at Colton Hall in Monterey during the months of September and October 1849. It was signed by the delegates on 13 October 1849 and ratified by the people of California in an election held a month later on 13 November 1849. Under this constitution the judicial department of California was to consist of a Supreme Court, District Courts, County Courts, Justices of the Peace, and such municipal and other inferior courts the legislature may establish as may be deemed necessary.(Index to District Court records of Sonoma County, 1850-1879. Berwyn Hights, Md. : Heritage Books, 2016; pages ix-x)
    The County Courts were to have such jurisdiction in cases arising in justices' courts, and in special cases, as prescribed by the Legislature, but no other original civil jurisdiction; county judge to perform duties of surrogate or probate judge. The Court Act of 1851 gave the County Courts jurisdiction for review on appeal judgments rendered in civil actions or proceedings by justices' court or recorders' courts within the county; to have original jurisdiction (1) to enforce mechanics' and other liens, (2) to prevent or abate a nuisance, (3) to prevent waste or give damages therefor, and (4) in cases, of insolvency; may review proceedings of inferior tribunals or offices on certiorari, and issue writs of mandate; court and judge may issue other writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of constitutional and statutory powers.
    By the California State Constitution of 1849 California, the County Judge were to be elected by voters of the county; to hold office for 4 years. (Blume, William Wirt. California courts in perspective. Berkeley, CA. Hastings law journal, vol. 22, issue 1 (1970), pages 127, 144)

    County Courts abolished by the 1879 California State Constitution

    The delegates of the second California State Constitutional Convention of 1878-1879 produced a second California State Constitution that was adopted in Convention at Sacramento on 3 March 1879 and ratified by a vote of the People of the State of California on 7 May 1879. Article XXII, section 3 of this Constitution abolished all courts then existing, including the County Courts, except for the Justices’ and Police Courts, and Article VI, section 1 established a new judicial department composed of a Supreme Court, Superior Courts, Justices of the Peace, and such inferior Courts as the Legislature may establish in any incorporated city or town, or city and county. All records, books, papers, and proceedings from the abolished Courts were to be transferred to the new Courts on 1 January 1880. (Index to District Court records of Sonoma County, 1850-1879, page x)

    Access Terms

    This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Topical Term:

    Civil procedure -- California -- Sonoma County
    Court records -- California -- Sonoma County
    Courts -- California -- Sonoma County
    Criminal courts -- California -- Sonoma County
    Judgments -- California -- Sonoma County

    Important Information for Users of the Collection

    Conditions Governing Access:

    Materials stored offsite, but collection is open to research. In many cases, further details on individual volumes can be found by calling staff at the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library. To view these materials, please call staff at 707 308-3212 to request they be brought from the Archives to the Library

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the Sonoma County Library. The Sonoma County Library has made this collection available and believes that the collection is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Collection may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Preferred credit line is: Courtesy, the Sonoma County Library. Please see additional reproduction and reuse information at https://sonomalibrary.org/locations/sonoma-county-history-and-genealogy-library/order-photo

    Preferred Citation:

    California County Court (Sonoma County), 1851-1880. SCG.00044, Sonoma County Archives, Sonoma County Library, Rohnert Park, California.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series. Arranged in 13 series: I. Judgment book, 1854-1878; II. Judgment docket, 1854-1857; III. Docket book, 1858-1879; IV. Old series, Defendants, County Court, 1853-1868; V. Fee book, 1857-1859; VI. Fee book and register, 1859-1880; VII. County Court, Sonoma County, Minute book, County Court : January 20, 1851 To January 2, 1854; VIII. Minute book, County Court, 1857-1879; IX. Calendar, County Court, 1857-1878; X. Index to plaintiffs, County Courty, 1859-1872; XI. Index to defendants, County Courty, 1859-1872; XII. Index, County Court, 1857-1859; and XIII. Records, 1857-1859

    Scope and Contents

    Official records

    Additional volume not found

    Sonoma County Clerk's inventory indicates an additional volume not found in the 1995 Sonoma County Library Archives inventory: Plaintiffs, County Court--Old Series, 1853-1868 (inventory 215), This volume is an "index to plaintiffs in Case Nos. 123-261, Old Series, County Court. When plaintiff was People of the State of California, Case Nos. 1-122, no entry was made.
    "Index shows: No., Plaintiff, -Defendant. Index to: COUNTY COURT - ORDER OF SALE - OLD SERIES, by number (212); CALENDAR COUNTY COURT (214-), COUNTY COURT MINUTE BOOK (210), FEE BOOK COUNTY COURT (218), RECORDS (219), JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vols. Band C in part (220), by name.
    "Arranged alphabetically by Last Name of Plaintiff. Handwritten."