Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 14196

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

Dates: 1890-

12.00 cubic feet and 34 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

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

Scope and Content

These case files from the Eighth District Court in Uintah 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.

Research Note

To access individual case files in this series researchers will need a case file number. To obtain a case file number researcher will have to contact the court as all indexes and registers of action related to this series are still in court custody.

Related Records

Criminal case files from the District Court (Eighth District : Uintah County), Series 14197, contains criminal case files heard by the court.

Probate case files from the District Court (Eighth District : Uintah County), Series 14198, contain probate cases heard by the court.

Custody History

Case files into the early 1950's were filmed at some point in time and access is provided through the State Archives. There are also physical holdings in Archives custody for case files that immediately post date film holdings. For access to case files post-1959 researchers should contact the clerk of the Eighth District Court in Uintah County.

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.

Gaps in Series

There are many gaps throughout this series. The case files to fill these gaps may in physical holdings kept by the court. If not found in those holdings they are presumed lost.

Processing Note

This series was archivally processed by Jim Kichas in April 2009.

Indexing Terms

Container List

REEL DESCRIPTION
1 Case Files: 140 - 232; 1902-1906
2 Case Files: 233 - 350; 1906-1908
3 Case Files: 351 - 460; 1909-1911
4 Case Files: 461 - 584; 1911-1913
5 Case Files: 585 - 734; 1913-1915
6 Case Files: 735 - 829; 1915-1917
7 Case Files: 831 - 852; 1917-1918
8 Case Files: 855 - 977; 1918-1920
9 Case Files: 979 - 1083; 1920-1922
10 Case Files: 1084 - 1179; 1922-1924
11 Case Files: 1179 - 1277; 1924-1926
12 Case Files: 1278 - 1364; 1926-1927
13 Case Files: 1365 - 1443; 1927-1929
14 Case Files: 1445 - 1490; 1929-1930
15 Case Files: 1493 - 1579; 1930-1931
16 Case Files: 1580 - 1658; 1931-1933
17 Case Files: 1659 - 1769; 1933-1935
18 Case Files: 1770 - 1865; 1935-1937
19 Case Files: 1866 - 1940; 1936-1937
20 Case Files: 1942 - 2032; 1938-1939
21 Case Files: 2032 - 2112; 1939-1940
22 Case Files: 2113 - 2229; 1940-1944
23 Case Files: 2230 - 2306; 1944-1946
24 Case Files: 2307 - 2382; 1946-1950
25 Case Files: 2382 - 2401; 1946-1950
26 Case Files: 2402 - 2487; 1946-1947
27 Case Files: 2488 - 2566; 1947-1948
28 Case Files: 2567 - 2617; 1948-1952
29 Case Files: 2618 - 2670; 1948-1949
30 Case Files: 2671 - 2739; 1949-1949
31 Case Files: 2740 - 2807; 1949-1950
32 Case Files: 2807 - 2880; 1950-1951
33 Case Files: 2880 - 2960; 1951-1952
34 Case Files: 2962 - 3014; 1952-1952
BOX DESCRIPTION
1 Case Files: 2962 - 3043
2 Case Files: 3044 - 3119
3 Case Files: 3120 - 3188
4 Case Files: 3189 - 3248
5 Case Files: 3249 - 3323
6 Case Files: 3324 - 3407
7 Case Files: 3408 - 3494
8 Case Files: 3495 - 3550
9 Case Files: 3551 - 3613
10 Case Files: 3614 - 3676
11 Case Files: 3677 - 3739
12 Case Files: 3740 - 3802