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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records, 1847-1898,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk Records:

An Inventory of Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk Records at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Archives, 1847-1898, bulk 1860-1879



Overview

Creator: Newton County (Tex.). District Clerk.
Title: Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records
Dates: 1847-1898
Dates (Bulk): bulk 1860-1879
Abstract District courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity, which includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases of title to liens on land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is at least $200. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts, indexes and secures all court records, and collects filing fees. These Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records consist of civil and criminal docket books of the district court, a fee book, a district court minute book, and a record of jurors for the district court. Records date 1847-1898, with the bulk dating 1860-1879. The last two items listed are in digital format and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
TSLAC Control No. TXSH0050
Quantity 0.85 cubic ft.
Location Please note that these records are housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, P.O. Box 310, Liberty, Texas 77575, 936-336-8821.
Language These materials are written predominately in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Agency History

The Texas Legislature created Newton County on April 22, 1846, from the eastern half of Jasper County and named it in honor of John Newton, a veteran of the American Revolution. Burkeville served as the county seat from 1848-1853; in 1853 the county seat was moved to Newton, a newly established community at the geographic center of the county, where it has remained. Newton County is located in southeastern Texas, on the Louisiana border.

Each of the Texas constitutions since the Republic has established the judicial system and original jurisdiction of Texas courts, including district courts. The Constitution of 1876 established the state's current judicial system. Pursuant to Article V, Sections 7 and 8, district courts in Texas are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity. This classification includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases involving title to land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is more than $500. In probate cases, the district court has appellate jurisdiction over the county court. In addition, the district court supervises the county commissioners court and has appellate jurisdiction over it.

The office of district clerk has been provided for under each of the Texas constitutions. The office in its current form was established by Article V, Section 9 of the Constitution of 1876, and the duties and powers are enumerated in Texas Government Code, Section 51.303. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts; indexes and secures all court records, collects filing fees, and handles funds held in litigation and money awarded to minors; coordinates the jury panel selection process; may collect and disburse child support payments; processes passport applications; and manages court registry funds.

(Sources include: Wooster, Robert, "Newton County," and Womack, Paul, "Judiciary," Handbook of Texas Online; and Texas Government Code, Section 51.303; all websites accessed February 7, 2020.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

District courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity, which includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases of title to liens on land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is at least $200. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts, indexes and secures all court records, and collects filing fees. These Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records consist of civil and criminal docket books of the district court, a fee book, a district court minute book, and a record of jurors for the district court. Records date 1847-1898, with the bulk dating 1860-1879.

Civil and criminal docket, index to dates about 1870s and is an alphabetical index of cases recording the pages in a civil/criminal docket on which the cases appear.

Civil and criminal dockets date 1852-1872, 1883-1884 and record the civil and criminal cases on the district court's docket for a particular term of court and actions that were taken by the court with regard to each case. Information includes the case number, parties, cause of action, date the case was filed, and orders of the court.

Civil motion docket is dated 1868-1879 and records motions filed by the parties in civil cases in the district court. Information includes the case number, parties, date the motion was filed and the type of motion.

Criminal dockets date 1872-1876, 1878-1898 and record the criminal cases on the district court's docket for a particular term of court and actions taken by the court. Information includes the case number, parties, cause of action, date case was filed, and orders of the court for former terms and the present term.

Fee book is dated 1847-1870 and records the fees paid by the parties to the district clerk in a particular case. Information includes case name and number, type of fee paid, and amounts.

Minute book volume A dates 1847-1852 and records/summarizes all actions filed in cases before the district court, including petitions, answers, motions, orders of the court, and verdicts.

Record of jurors dates 1852-1884 and records the names of all jurors who served in district court proceedings during a particular term of court.

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Arrangement of the Records

The records are arranged by document type.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas county offices are not copyrighted. County records also include materials received by, not created by, county offices. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

Some materials may be too large or too fragile to be photocopied. Please see Archives staff for assistance.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Court records--Texas.
Places:
Newton County (Tex.)
Document Types:
Dockets.
Indexes (reference sources)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 2003.064, 2015.006, 2021.019

These records were transferred to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center by the Newton County Tax Assessor-Collector on March 26, 2003. On February 5, 2015, an accession number was assigned for tracking purposes to records that were believed to have been transferred in March 2003 but were not listed on any transfer sheet. The digital files for minute book, district court, volume A; and the record of jurors volume were accessioned on April 1, 2021.

Processing Information

Finding aid and processing by Lisa Meisch, March 2020

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Other Finding Aids

Minute book, district court, volume A; and the record of jurors volume were in unsalvageable condition and were destroyed after digitization. The digital versions are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/sam-houston-center/shc-government-records/#clerk.

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Detailed Description of the Records

Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records, 1847-1898,
0.85 cubic ft.

Box
2003.064-1 Civil and criminal docket, index to, about 1870s
Civil and criminal docket, 1852-1872, 1883-1884
[2 volumes]
Civil motion docket, 1868-1879
Criminal docket, 1872-1876
Box
2003.064-2 Criminal docket, 1890-1898
Box
2003.064-1 Fee book, 1847-1870
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2021.019 Minute book, district court, volume A, 1847-1852
Record of jurors, 1852-1884

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