Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Series 24290

District Court (Fifth District : Beaver County) Civil case files

Dates: 1896-

40.00 cubic feet and 63 microfilm reelsSkip to Containers

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

Scope and Content

These case files from the Fifth District Court in Beaver 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

The earliest case files kept by the court were housed in tri-fold jackets. These tri-fold jackets often contain the case file number, however many of the early cases are missing their jackets and will need to be identified by defendant name.

Related Records

Judgment record books from the District Court (Fifth District : Beaver County), Series 13138, contains the case files documented in the judgments recorded in this series.

General indexes to actions from the District Court (Fifth District : Beaver County), Series 24546, contains index books for cases cited in the civil registers between 1896 and 1925.

Case indexes from the District Court (Fifth District : Beaver County), Series 24549, is comprised of index books for civil and criminal cases heard in the court between 1896 and 1998.

Civil registers of actions from the District Court (Fifth District : Beaver County), Series 24551, record the date any action was taken on a case and briefly state what that action was.

Custody History

All case files created between 1896 and 1959 were transferred to the Utah State Archives in 2005. For access to case files post-1959 researchers should contact the clerk of the Fifth District Court in Beaver County.

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.

Gaps in Series

There are many gaps throughout this series with a notably large run of gaps between 1953 and 1956. The case files to fill these gaps were not found in the court and are presumed to be lost.

Processing Note

This series was archivally processed by Jim Kichas and Emily Gurr in April 2008 as part of a NHPRC grant project designed to preserve the historic records of Utah's Fifth District Courts.

Indexing Terms

Container List

REEL BOX DATE DESCRIPTION
1 1 1896-1897 1-38
2 1 1898 39-64
2 2 1898 65-67
3 2 1898-1900 68-93
4 2 1900-1902 94-119
4 3 1902 120-122
5 3 1903 123-152
6 3 1903 153-164
6 4 1903 165-183
7 4 1904-1905 184-212
7 5 1905 213-220
8 5 1905-1906 221-253
9 5 1906-1907 254-269
9 6 1906-1907 270-285
10 6 1907-1909 286-323
11 6 1909-1910 324-330
11 7 1909-1910 331-380
12 7 1910-1911 381-400
12 8 1911 401-429
13 8 1911-1912 430-458
13 9 1911-1912 459-466
14 9 1912-1913 467-507
15 9 1914 508-522
15 10 1914 523-532
16 10 1914-1915 533-563
16 11 1914-1915 564-567
17 11 1915 568-600
17 12 1915 601-605
18 12 1916 606-645
19 12 1917-1918 646-653
19 13 1917-1918 654-674
20 13 1918 675-697
21 13 1918 698-699
21 14 1918 700-729
22 14 1918 730-746
22 15 1918 747-752
23 15 1918-1920 753-785
24 15 1918-1920 786-803
24 16 1918-1920 804-828
25 16 1918-1920 829-868
25 17 1918-1920 869-880
26 17 1920 881-933
27 17 1920-1921 934-946
27 18 1920-1921 947-979
28 18 1921-1922 980-1023
29 19 1922 1024-1085
30 19 1923 1086-1099
30 20 1923 1100-1147
31 20 1924 1148-1169
31 21 1924-1925 1170-1204
32 21 1925-1926 1205-1246
33 21 1926 1247-1249
33 22 1926 1250-1280
34 22 1926-1928 1281-1325
35 23 1928 1326-1362
36 23 1928-1929 1363-1379
36 24 1928-1929 1380-1398
37 24 1929-1930 1399-1425
37 25 1929-1930 1426-1431
38 25 1929-1930 1432-1483
38 26 1929-1930 1484-1487
39 26 1930 1488-1535
40 26 1930-1932 1536-1554
40 27 1930-1932 1555-1574
41 27 1932 1575-1593(E)
42 27 1932 1593(F)
42 28 1932 1594-1610
43 28 1932-1933 1611-1651
44 28 1933 1652-1654
44 29 1933 1655-1671
45 29 1933-1934 1672-1707
46 29 1934-1935 1708-1714
46 30 1934-1935 1715-1743
47 30 1935 1744-1772
47 31 1935 1773-1780
48 31 1935-1936 1781-1813
49 31 1936-1937 1814-1838
49 32 1936-1937 1839-1845
50 32 1936-1937 1846-1890
51 32 1937-1938 1891-1935
51 33 1937-1938 1936-1939
52 33 1938-1939 1940-2010
53 33 1939-1940 2011-2052
53 34 1939-1940 2053-2059
54 34 1940-1942 2060-2148
55 34 1942-1945 2149-2176
55 35 1942-1945 2177-2248
56 35 1945-1947 2249-2298
56 36 1945-1947 2299-2307
57 36 1947-1948 2308-2369
58 36 1948-1949 2370-2403
58 37 1948-1949 2404-2447
59 37 1949-1951 2448-2527
59 38 1949-1951 2528-2541
60 38 1951-1953 2542-2662
60 39 1953 2663
61 39 1956 2800-2806
62 39 1956-1958 2807-2812
62 40 1958-1959 2813-2919
63 40 1958-1959 2920-2952