District Court (First District : Cache County) Probate case files
Dates: i 1864-
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
Probate case files from the First District Court in Cache County primarily involve the probate of estates for deceased persons and guardianship for minors and incompetent persons. Probate is judicial oversight of property in transition. Probate of estates is the process by which a deceased person's property is identified and maintained, his debts and taxes paid, and then remaining property distributed to beneficiaries as specified in a will or as required by law for persons who die intestate (without a will). In guardianship cases probate is the establishment of a guardian for minors or incompetent adults who hold property that needs management. In addition to probate these case files also include name changes and some adoptions.
Utah's Territorial Assembly established original jurisdiction over the probate of estates and the guardianship of incompetent persons with county probate courts in 1852 (An Act in Relation to the Judiciary. Acts, Resolutions, and Memorials passed by the First Annual, and Special Sessions of the Legislative Assembly. Great Salt Lake City, 1852, Brigham H. Young, Printer. pp. 38-48). That jurisdiction transferred to the probate divisions of District Courts when County Probate Courts were abolished at statehood.
The probate process includes three parts. First, a petitioner must file with the court the documents necessary to have the court appoint a representative. Documents relating to this process include wills, petitions, letters of administration, bonds, etc., and a court order appointing an administrator, executor, or guardian. Second, the appointed representative does all that is necessary to manage the property through the period of transition. Documents filed here might include a court order appointing appraisers, notices to creditors, estate inventories, various kinds of financial statements, receipts, bills, and the court-appointed representative's final report. Finally, when all requirements have been met, such as all bills paid or a minor has become of age, the court mandates a final settlement and releases the representative from any further responsibility.
The Territorial Legislature made provision for formal adoptions in 1884 and assigned jurisdiction to County Probate Courts (Compiled Laws of Utah, vol. II, 1888, part 5, chapter 4). Adoption case files include a formal petition, documents supporting the petition and the court's final decree. In this series adoption case files begin in 1893. Whereas early adoptions were open to the public and sometimes published in the newspaper, adoptions later became private. Most adoption records in this series are closed to public access (see access restrictions note). In addition to probate and adoption, case files this series also include official name changes.
Numerical by consecutive case number
The Cache County probate case files are arranged numerically by consecutive case number. Evidently numbers began to to assigned approximately 1914. Cases filed in the district court since statehood as well as some originally filed with the Cache County Probate Court (1881-1896) presumably were assigned numbers according to the date of filing. These cases have logical case numbers at the beginning of the numbering scheme, however, over 60 territorial cases from 1864-1893 were initially overlooked. These were assigned numbers 1226-1289. Case numbers 1288-1473 were not assigned.
Evidently numbers began to be assigned approximately 1914. Cases filed in the district court since statehood as well as some originally filed with the Cache County Probate Court (1881-1896) presumably were assigned numbers according to the date of filing. These cases have logical numbers at the beginning of the numbering scheme, however, over 60 territorial cases from 1864-1893 were initially overlooked. These were assigned numbers 1226-1289. Case numbers 1288-1473 were not assigned. Reference service on probate cases filed from 1970 to the present is provided by the Cache County District Court Clerk.
Probate record books from the District Court (First District : Cache County), Series 767, document proceedings in probate cases.
Adoptions from the District Court (First District : Cache County), Series 13838, include adoption case files, which are sealed, which were removed from the probate case files at the time of filming.
Probate index from the District Court (First District : Cache County), Series 22659, records the names of parties in probate actions and provides assigned estate numbers.
Probate registers of actions from the District Court (First District : Cache County), Series 22724, record case numbers as well as a summary of actions filed in probate cases.
Probate minute/record books from the District Court (First District : Cache County), Series 22905, include a daily record of documents filed and actions taken with regard to probate matters.
The Cache County Clerk was constitutionally designated as ex-officio clerk of First District Court in and for Cache County until 1989 when the state assumed full financial and administrative responsibility for the district court. At that time a new court clerk was appointed. The district court clerk transferred probate case files to the state archives in May 1994.
This series is available on microfilm.
This series is classified as Exempt: Judicial records are public unless restricted under rules of civil procedure (UCA 63G-2-301-[f]). Included are custody proceedings, guardianship files, minutes, & probate records. Wills are generally considered private data until probate.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Gaps in Series
A target on reel 35 incorrectly lists as missing cases 1288-1473. Cases numbers 1288-1473 were not assigned, resulting in an apparent 185-case number gap.
Case files were designated as a permanent record by Records Disposition Request 1979-52, which also authorized microfilming and destruction of the original records. The records retention policy of the Utah Judicial Council reprinted in the 1983 state retention schedule first specified a nine-year retention before microfilming. Microfilming of cases 1-34 by the Utah State Archives was completed in July 2001. Filming of the bulk of the probate case files by Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) took place between June 1994 and December 1996. Adoption case files (which are sealed for 100 years) were removed during filming and transferred to a new series. The probate case files were archivally processed by W. Glen Fairclough, Jr., in May 2000.
Other: a research guide entitled "Court/Judicial Records in the Utah State Archives" is available for patron use. Indexes: the probate index (series 22659) and the probate register of actions (series 22724) serve as indices to the probate case files, covering from 1894 thru 1966.
- Executors and administrators--Utah--Cache County.
- Court records--Cache County (Utah).
- Probate records--Cache County (Utah).
- Adoption--Cache County (Utah).
- Guardian and ward--Cache County (Utah).
- Cache County (Utah)--Trials.