Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 6620

District Court (Eighth District : Duchesne County) Civil case files

Dates: 1915-

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These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Scope and Content

These case files from the Eighth District Court in Duchesne County document the legal process and the administration of justice in conjunction with a civil proceeding for the determination of a controversy between parties wherein rights are enforced or protected, or wrongs are prevented or redressed. Included are all cases which cannot legally be called "criminal cases." Records and documents pertaining to a particular action are filed together by the court clerk, who is required by the Rules of Civil Procedure to file pleadings and other legal papers. Collectively they constitute the case file.

A civil action commences with the filing of a complaint with the court or by service to the defendant of a summons together with a copy of the complaint. A unique case number is assigned by the court when the papers are filed with the clerk. The case file for a particular action includes the original complaint or summons together with all legal papers subsequently filed in connection with the court proceeding through disposition or dismissal. Included are such documents as: depositions (or written testimony), demurrers (which are pleas for the dismissal of a lawsuit on the grounds that even if the statements of the opposition are true, they do not sustain the claim), interrogatories (a pretrial discovery tool in which written questions are propounded by one party and served to the adversary, who must answer by written replies made under oath), answers, counter claims, replies, motions, petitions, affidavits (written statements made under oath before an officer of the court, notary public, or other authorized person), stipulations (an agreement between attorneys that concerns business before a court and is designed to simplify, shorten, or settle litigation and save costs), exhibit documents (written contracts, bills, receipts, etc.), notices, objections, citations, sheriff's certificates, judge's orders and rulings, judge's instructions to the jury, judge's findings of fact and conclusions of law, final decrees, judgments, and executions (the process of carrying into effect a court's judgment, decree, or order).

Demurrers, pleas, and exceptions for insufficiency were abolished in 1953. Transcripts (an official and certified copy of what transpired in court or at an out-of-court deposition) and exhibits (items of real evidence) are not included in the case files.

Petitions for divorce are the predominant type of action in the civil case files. Suits to recover money are also common. These actions arise out of failure to honor promissory notes or other contract terms and non- payment of rent, lease payments, and court-ordered judgments. Attempts by plaintiffs to recover medical costs and lost income arising out of personal injury cases resulting from alleged carelessness or neglect appear frequently. These include traffic mishaps or accidents involving neighbors, employees, or business customers. Property cases include disputed ownership, damage, and contested improvements.

Legal actions include voluntary withdrawal or dissolution of corporations as well as petitions for a writ of habeas corpus (a court order requiring that a prisoner be brought before a judge to decide the legality of his detention or imprisonment). Court business (grand jury lists and reports, orders summoning persons to serve as jurors, various writs, etc.) have also been assigned civil case numbers.

According to statute, the district court has jurisdiction in all civil matters not excepted by the state constitution and not prohibited by law. During each calendar year the court is required to hold at least three terms at the county seat of each county within the district. The county clerk in each county serves as ex- officio clerk to the court and is responsible for maintaining the case files for actions arising in that county.

Responsibility for cases involving minimal monetary claims was reassigned to the newly created small claims departments of inferior courts in 1933. When inferior courts have original jurisdiction, the district court is limited to hearing appeals. Included are violations of city and town ordinances, as well as minor traffic laws, where a City Court or Justice of the Peace Court is established. Upon receipt of an appeal, the district court conducts a complete retrial of the case.

Arrangement

Numerical by case number.

Related Records

Civil registers of action from the District Court (Eighth District : Duchesne County), Series 27411, record the date any action was taken on a case and contain indexes which can be used to identify the case file numbers needed to access this series.

Judgment dockets from the District Court (Eighth District : Duchesne County), Series 27419, contains the entire case file relating to the judgments issued in these docket books.

Judgment record books from the District Court (4th). Duchesne County, Series 27420, contains the text of judgment rendered in court cases.

Additional Forms

This series is available on microfilm.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Processing Note

This series was processed by Jim Kichas in May 2010.

Indexing Terms

Container List

REEL DATE DESCRIPTION
1 1915-1920 1-80
2 1915-1920 81-161
3 1915-1920 162-231
4 1915-1920 232-324
5 1915-1920 325-407
6 1915-1920 408-473
7 1921-1925 474-529
8 1921-1925 529-580
9 1921-1925 581-655
10 1921-1925 655-699
11 1921-1925 699-757
12 1921-1925 758-834
13 1921-1925 835-911
14 1925-1931 911-981
15 1925-1931 982-1047
16 1925-1931 1047-1126
17 1925-1931 1127-1187
18 1925-1931 1188-1257
19 1925-1931 1257-1317
20 1925-1931 1318-1375
21 1925-1931 1376-1451
22 1931-1940 1452-1518
23 1931-1940 1519-1602
24 1931-1940 1603-1673
25 1931-1940 1673-1725
26 1931-1940 1726-1797
27 1931-1940 1797-1875
28 1931-1940 1876-1938
29 1940-1945 1939-2022
30 1940-1945 2023-2126
31 1945-1950 2126-2236
32 1945-1950 2237-2327
33 1945-1950 2327-2424
34 1945-1950 2424-2513
35 1945-1950 2513-2588
36 1945-1950 2588-2675
37 1950-1956 2675-2737
38 1950-1956 2738-2795
39 1950-1956 2795-2851
40 1950-1956 2845-2864
41 1950-1956 2865-2943
42 1950-1956 2943-2987
43 1950-1956 2988-3070
44 1950-1956 3070-3130
45 1956-1961 3131-3227
46 1956-1961 3227-3309
47 1956-1961 3310-3393
48 1956-1961 3394-3507