default_mobilelogo

Common Pleas -- Affidavits, 1781-1847
Series 219
2 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Sworn, voluntary statements of fact, which notify the court of various legal actions taken or inform it of particular circumstances. This series includes affidavits of service (of legal papers) and of defense, as well as affidavits concerning the posting of bonds, the settlement of debts, the residency of available witnesses, and requests to postpone trial. 

Common Pleas -- Appeals, 1809, 1822-1849 (gaps)
Series 231
1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Mainly appeals from justice court decisions, along with some appeals in errors, made on the basis of points of law. Of particular interest are the narrative details these records contain on justice court proceedings. 

Common Pleas -- Appointments, 1790-1867, 1892
Series 232
1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

The Court of Common Pleas was responsible for the announcement of the appointment of officeholders, administering their oaths, and holding their bonds for the performance of their duties. Among officials included here are sheriffs, undersheriffs, treasurers, tax collectors, and meat inspectors. 

Common Pleas -- Bail Pieces, 1800-1846
Series 227
1.50 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically by filing date.

Up until 1831, most civil cases required some form of bail to ensure the defendant's appearance in court and the payment of a debt or adverse judgment. There were two levels of bail requirements: common bail and special bail. In cases of common bail, a defendant could name fictitious sureties to back his promise to appear. In cases of special bail, at least one specific person signed for the defendant and guaranteed the payment of his obligations. 

Common Pleas -- Bonds, 1791-1795, 1809-1857 (gaps)
Series 241
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Bonds are written as obligations whereby a person places an amount of money with the court to guarantee the performance of an action or until certain circumstances have been met. Included here are bonds for costs (required of non-residents), appeal bonds, official bonds, and replevin bonds. 

Common Pleas -- Calendars, 1805, 1813-1820, 1838-1845 (gaps)
Series 223
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Calendars compiled by the court clerk listing the cases to be heard before a session of the Court of Common Pleas. In many cases there are two copies of the calendar, one marked "draft" (or "For the Bar") and the other prepared "For the Court". The court's copy lists cases in order of appearance, and in some cases notes the action taken. 

Common Pleas -- Capias, 1781-1842
Series 221
5 cubic ft. Grouped by outcome, then arranged chronologically by year.

Capias are writs authorizing the sheriff to arrest defendants in court cases. Based on the outcome of the arrest attempt, the sheriff would make a note on the writ – either (1) cepi corpus (“I took the body”) to indicate an arrest was made, or (2) non est inventus (“he was not found”) if the defendant was not found – and the writ was then filed with the Court.

Common Pleas -- Certiorari, 1830-1847
Series 225
1.5 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

The Court of Common Pleas removed cases from justice courts by issuing a writ of certiorari, which instructed the justice court to "return" a certified copy of its proceedings in a case for the court to review. Certiorari cases differ from other appeals in this formal removal. The returns are among the few Common Pleas documents that relate actual testimony.

Common Pleas -- Cognovit, 1811-1840
Series 240
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Cognovit was a defendant's formal admission of liability towards the plaintiff. The defendant "confessed the action" and agreed to pay the debt or damages owed. When a defendant "relinquished his plea", dropping his earlier defense and agreed to pay the judgment, the action was known as "Relicta" or "Relicta and Cognovit". 

Common Pleas -- Demurrer, 1812-1846 (gaps)
Series 238
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Demurrer is a plea that objects to the legal sufficiency of an action, without regard to the merits of the case. Analogous to a motion to dismiss, the plea asks the court to rule on the point of law. 

Common Pleas -- Discharge, 1790-1793, 1821-1830
Series 237
Less than 1 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Petitions for the discharge of insolvent debtors. 

Common Pleas -- Insolvency Papers, 1790-1794, 1807-1835 (gaps)
Series 222
3 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically.

Records regarding the voluntary or involuntary assignment and sale of property belonging to insolvent debtors. Generally provided are a petition for assignment, accounts of debts and personal property, notices of sales, and a discharge for the debtor. 

Common Pleas -- Judgment Records, 1782-1847
Series 218
9.5 cubic ft. Arranged chronologically, by term, according to date case was initiated

Judgment Records summarize the parties, complaint, and proceedings in a case, followed by the signed and dated judgment. They constitute formal records generally prepared at the conclusion of a case, and rarely contain transcripts of testimony or other proceedings. Intermingled with the Judgment Records, particularly for the later period, are some certiorari cases called up from the justice courts.