California County Court (Sonoma County) records, 1851-1880

Finding aid author: Mark Cooper.
Published by the Sonoma County Library
This work is licensed by Sonoma County Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Published July 12, 2019
Sonoma County Library
6135 State Farm Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

California County Court (Sonoma County) records 1851-1880

Sonoma County Library

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."

Detailed List of Contents

 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.I
Series I. Judgment book 1854-1878

Note:
Series content list:
1854-1857 [1854-1855] : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Vol. A : July 1854-July 1857 : Accession 1558
1858-1868 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Vol. B : Jan. 5, 1858-Feb. 20, 1868 : Accession 1539
1868-1878 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Vol. C. Mar. 12, 1868-Nov. 5, 1878 : Accession 1548
Physical Description:
Extent: 3 volumes

Scope and Contents

Vol. A labeled 1854-1857 contains 1854-1855 only (two-thirds of book is blank)
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.II
Series II. Judgment docket 1854-1857

Note:
Series content list:
1854-1857 [1854-1855] : ARCHIVES CABINET 12 : Volume A : Judgment docket : Accession 1503
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Vol. A: No dates from 1856-1857 found in this volume; record of judgments in County Court for 1854 only. Record shows Judgment Debtor, Judgment Creditor, Judgment, Date of Entry, Page of Entry in Judgment Book, Date of Appeal, Judgment of Appeal Court, Satisfaction of Judgment.
Arranged alphabetically by Judgment Debtor. Handwritten. Indexed in-file. Indexed in DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (County Clerk's inventory 213), by name.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.III
Series III. Docket book 1858-1879

Note:
Series content list:
1858-1878: ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Vol. B : Docket book, County Court : January 5,. 1858-September 3,1878 : Accession 1536
1878-1879: ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Vol. C: Docket book, County Court : September 3, 1878-November 24, 1879 : Accession 1535
Physical Description:
Extent: 2 volumes

Scope and Contents

Record of judgments in County Court, Vols. B and C. Record shows Judgment Debtor; Judgment Creditor; Amount of Judgment (including jail and prison sentences, or money amounts); Date of Judgment; Page of Judgment Book; Appeals, When Taken; Judgment, Appellate Court; Satisfaction. Vol. B indexes JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vols. B and C (Clerk's inventory 220); Vol. C indexes JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vol. C (Clerk's inventory 220)..
Arranged alphabetically by Judgment Debtor. SPF-handwritten. Indexed in DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213), by name.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.IV
Series IV. Old series, Defendants, County Court 1853-1868

Note:
Series content list:
1853-1868 : ARCHIVES ROW 31 (CABINET 37) : Accession 2716
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Index to defendants in Case Nos. 1-261, Old Series, County Court. Alphabetical by defendant. Index shows: No., Defendants (last name, first name), Plaintiffs, (last name, first name), Judgment ( when applicable). May have case numbers next to names. "Old cases" written on binding.
Index to: COUNTY COURT - ORDER OF SALE - OLD SERIES, by case number (County Clerk's inventory 212); CALENDAR COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 214), COUNTY COURT MINUTE BOOK (Clerk's inventory 210), FEE BOOK COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 218), RECORDS (219) JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 220), and DOCKET BOOK COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 222), Vols. B and C, by name.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.V
Series V. Fee book 1857-1859

Note:
Series content list:
1857-1859: ARCHIVES ROW 31 (CABINET 37) : November 9, 1857 - September 20, 1859 : Accession 2661
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Fees paid for cases heard in County Court, listing plaintiff and defendant (or appellant and respondent); attorneys for each; fees, dates charged, and amounts. Cases are not numbered.
Arranged chronologically by date case filed. Handwritten. Indexed in-file by Last Name of Plaintiff and page number. Indexed in PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (County Clerk's inventory 215) and DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213).
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.VI
Series VI. Fee book and register, County Court 1859-1880

Note:
Series content list:
1859-1869 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13: Volume A, October 24, 1859 - January 7, 1868 : Case Nos. 1-434 : Accession 1562
1868-1878 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume B, February 4, 1868 - April 18, 1878 : Case Nos. 435-1001 : Accession 1563
1878-1880 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume C, April 1, 1878 - January 3, 1880 : Case Nos. 1002-1207 : Accession 1564
Physical Description:
Extent: 3 volumes

Scope and Contents

Record shows case number, attorneys for plaintiff and defendant, names of plaintiff and defendant (or appellant and respondent), chronological entries of court actions with itemized fees for both plaintiff and defendant. Cases are numbered beginning with No. 1, October 24, 1859. Criminal and civil cases include many appeals from Justice Courts. The last 14 cases in Vol. C are marked as transferred to "Superior Court Reg. C."
Arranged numerically by Case Number. SPF-handwritten. Vol. A is partially indexed in-file. Vols. B and C are indexed in-file by Last Name of Plaintiff and Defendant. Partially indexed in INDEX TO PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 226) and INDEX TO DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 225), for Cases 1-667.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.VII
Series VII. County Court, Sonoma County, Minute book, County Court : January 20, 1851 To January 2, 1854 1851-1854

Note:
Series content list:
1851-1854 : ARCHIVES ROW 31 (CABINET 37) : Volume A : Accession 2668
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Daily record of County Court, showing date; name of County Judge, County Clerk, and Sheriff; names of defendant and plaintiff; names of jurors; findings of jury. Cases are not numbered. Many cases are appeals from Justices' Courts.
Arranged chronologically by court date. Handwritten. Not indexed. Some names can be found in DEFENDANTS COUNTY CLERK - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213) and PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 215).
Vol. A labeled County Court minute book: Daily record of County Court 20 January 1851 to 2 January 1854
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.VIII
Series VIII. Minute book, County Court 1857-1879

Note:
Series content list:
1857-1862 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume C : October 1857-May 1862 : Accession 1540
1862-1865 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume D : May 1862-December 1865 : Accession 1541
1866-1871 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume E : January 1866-November 1877 : Accession 1553
1872-1876 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume F : January 1872-July(?) 1876 : Accession 1554
1876-1879 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume G : July 1876-April 1879 : Accession 1555
1879 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume H : April 1879-December 1879 : Accession 1556
Physical Description:
Extent: 6 volumes

Scope and Contents

Record of civil and criminal cases heard in County Court, showing date and time of court session; names of presiding judge, clerk, and sheriff; names of plaintiff and defendant (or appellant and respondent); jurors sworn and excused; witnesses sworn; findings of jury; court matters such as continuation or adjournment. Cases are not numbered.
Arranged chronologically by court date. Handwritten. Vol. C is indexed in -INDEX COUNTY COURT, pp. 1-53 only (Clerk's inventory 217), by name. Volumes D, E, and F are indexed in INDEX TO DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 225) and INDEX TO PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT (226) by name from 1862 to 1872.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.IX
Series IX. Calendar, County Court 1857-1878

Note:
Series content list:
1857-1862 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume 1 : January 1857-May 1862 : Accession 1557
1862-1878 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Voume 2 : August 1862-January 1878 : Accession 1559
Physical Description:
Extent: 2 volumes

Scope and Contents

Calendar for County Court in terms of January, April, July and October. Civil and criminal cases, including appeals from Justices' Courts. Columns show: Date of Issue, Registered, Remarks, in Vol. l; No., Plaintiff, Defendant, Plaintiff's Att'y, Defendant's Att'y, Cause of Action, Remarks, in Vol. 2. Cases are not numbered.
Arranged chronologically by date case entered on Calendar. SPF-handwritten. Not indexed. Names can be found in DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213), and PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 215); INDEX TO PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 226) and INDEX TO DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 225).
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.X
Series X. Index to plaintiffs, County Courty 1859-1872

Note:
Series content list:
1859-1872 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume A : February 7, 1859-October 28, 1872 : Acession 1561
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Index of civil and criminal cases, Nos. 1-667, in County Court. A new numbering sequence of County Court cases begins on February 7, 1859.
Index shows: No. of Suit, Name of Plaintiff, Name of Defendant, Date of Judgment, No. of Judgment, Page of Entry of Judgment in Judgment Book, Page of Order in Judgment Book, Page of Order Book of District Court, and (Remarks).
Index to: COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 223), by number, Cases Nos. 1-667; JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vol. B, p. 27 to end, by page number; JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT Vol. C to p. 142, by page number (Clerk's inventory 220); and by name to CALENDAR COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 214); MINUTE BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vols. D, E, F (Clerk's inventory 216); FEE BOOK AND REGISTER COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 224).
Arranged alphabetically by Name of Plaintiff. SPF-Handwritten.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.XI
Series XI. Index to defendants, County Court 1859-1872

Note:
Series content list:
1859-1872 : ARCHIVES CABINET 13 : Volume A : February 7, 1859-October 28, 1872 : Acession 1560
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Index of civil and criminal cases, Nos. 1-667, in County Court. A new numbering sequence of County Court cases begins on February 7, 1859.
Index shows: No. of Suit, Name of Plaintiff, Name of Defendant, Date of Judgment, No. of Judgment, Page of Entry of Judgment in Judgment Book, Page of Order in Judgment Book, Page of Order Book of District Court, and (Remarks).
Index to: COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 223), by number, Cases Nos. 1-667; JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vol. B, p. 27 to end, by page number; JUDGMENT BOOK COUNTY COURT Vol. C to p. 142, by page number (Clerk's inventory 220); and by name to CALENDAR COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 214); MINUTE BOOK COUNTY COURT, Vols. D, E, F (Clerk's inventory 216); FEE BOOK AND REGISTER COUNTY COURT (Clerk's inventory 224).
Arranged alphabetically by Name of Plaintiff. SPF-Handwritten.
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.XII
Series XII. Index, County Court 1857-1859

Note:
Series content list:
1857-1859 : ARCHIVES ROW 31 (CABINET 37) : November 9, 1857-September 20, 1859 : Accession 2733
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Fees paid for cases heard in County Court, listing plaintiff and defendant (or appellant and respondent); attorneys for each; fees, dates charged, and amounts. Cases are not numbered.
Arranged chronologically by date case filed. Handwritten. Indexed in-file by Last Name of Plaintiff and page number. Indexed in PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 215) and DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213).
 

SCL Special Collections Control Number: SCG.00044.XIII
Series XIII. Records 1857-1859

Note:
Series content list:
1857-1859 : ARCHIVES ROW 31 (CABINET 37) : October 5, 1857-September 2, 1859 : Accession 2715
Physical Description:
Extent: 1 volume

Scope and Contents

Register of cases heard in County Court. Cases include appeals from lower courts (Justice of Peace Courts and Recorder's Court), from Transcript Filed through Satisfaction of Judgment; Petitions for Insolvency through Discharge or Order; and civil cases showing plaintiffs, defendants, and actions entered chronologically. Cases are not numbered.
Arranged chronologically by date case filed. Handwritten. Indexed in-file alphabetically by Last Name of Plaintiff. Indexed in PLAINTIFFS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 215) and DEFENDANTS COUNTY COURT - OLD SERIES (Clerk's inventory 213), by name..