Canada Court Records

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Because they can be difficult to use, search court records after other records. They can give:
+
Because they can be difficult to use, search the court records of [[Portal:Canada|Canada]] after other records. They can give:  
  
Family relationships.
+
Family relationships.  
  
Places of residence.
+
Places of residence.  
  
Occupations.
+
Occupations.  
  
Descriptions of individuals.
+
Descriptions of individuals.  
  
Family history information.
+
Family history information.  
  
Because of their importance to family history, several types of court records are discussed in other sections: "Probate," "Notarial," and "Naturalization and Citizenship."
+
Because of their importance to family history, several types of court records are discussed in other sections: "Probate," "Notarial," and "Naturalization and Citizenship."  
  
Other court records include:
+
Other court records include:  
  
'''Equity or chancery''' courts, which handle disputes between individuals where there is no violation of law.
+
'''Equity or chancery''' courts, which handle disputes between individuals where there is no violation of law.  
  
Other '''civil''' courts, which handle cases when an individual (but not society) has been harmed.
+
Other '''civil''' courts, which handle cases when an individual (but not society) has been harmed.  
  
'''Criminal''' courts, which deal with violations of law such as theft and murder.
+
'''Criminal''' courts, which deal with violations of law such as theft and murder.  
  
'''Coroners’ inquests''' to determine cause of death, which are also classified as court records.
+
'''Coroners’ inquests''' to determine cause of death, which are also classified as court records.  
  
Court records are difficult to use because:
+
Court records are difficult to use because:  
  
There are many records.
+
There are many records.  
  
They are not well indexed.
+
They are not well indexed.  
  
Court names and jurisdictions change.
+
Court names and jurisdictions change.  
  
They use many legal terms and abbreviations.
+
They use many legal terms and abbreviations.  
  
To interpret court records, a legal dictionary can be helpful, such as:
+
To interpret court records, a legal dictionary can be helpful, such as:  
  
Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, annual. (FHL book Ref 340.03 B564L; computer number 502342.)
+
Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, annual. (FHL book Ref 340.03 B564L; computer number 502342.)  
  
The following article describes the process of finding reported court decisions:
+
The following article describes the process of finding reported court decisions:  
  
Sparling, Lois. "Using a Law Library for Family History Research," Chinook: The Journal of the Alberta Family History Society. Winter 1998, 33, 36–39. (FHL book 971.23 D25a; computer number 736593.)
+
Sparling, Lois. "Using a Law Library for Family History Research," Chinook: The Journal of the Alberta Family History Society. Winter 1998, 33, 36–39. (FHL book 971.23 D25a; computer number 736593.)  
  
Many court records have been lost in fires or destroyed to save space. Some have been preserved at courthouses and at national and provincial archives. Contact the archives to ask about their records. Names and addresses of courts are in:
+
Many court records have been lost in fires or destroyed to save space. Some have been preserved at courthouses and at national and provincial archives. Contact the archives to ask about their records. Names and addresses of courts are in:  
  
Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Canadian Almanac and Directory Publishing Co., annual. (FHL book 971 E4ca; computer number 160632.)
+
Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Canadian Almanac and Directory Publishing Co., annual. (FHL book 971 E4ca; computer number 160632.)  
  
Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Southam Inc., annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 819162.) Editions before 1998 were called:
+
Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Southam Inc., annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 819162.) Editions before 1998 were called:  
  
Corpus Almanac & Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Corpus Information Services, annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 490918.)
+
Corpus Almanac & Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Corpus Information Services, annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 490918.)  
  
The Family History Library has probate and notarial records but few other court records. See the research outlines of the provinces and the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
+
The Family History Library has probate and notarial records but few other court records. See the research outlines of the provinces and the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:  
  
 
[PROVINCE] - COURT RECORDS  
 
[PROVINCE] - COURT RECORDS  
  
[PROVINCE], [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS
+
[PROVINCE], [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS  
  
=== Provincial Courts ===
+
=== Provincial Courts ===
  
The names and functions of provincial courts have changed considerably through the years. Presently, many provinces have three levels of courts:
+
The names and functions of provincial courts have changed considerably through the years. Presently, many provinces have three levels of courts:  
  
The Superior or Supreme Court.
+
The Superior or Supreme Court.  
  
This has two divisions: (1) the Trial Division (or Court of Queen’s Bench) hears serious civil and criminal cases and has authority to grant divorces; (2) the Court of Appeals hears appeals of civil and criminal cases from the Trial Division or from lower courts.
+
This has two divisions: (1) the Trial Division (or Court of Queen’s Bench) hears serious civil and criminal cases and has authority to grant divorces; (2) the Court of Appeals hears appeals of civil and criminal cases from the Trial Division or from lower courts.  
  
(Often) midlevel county or judicial district courts.
+
(Often) midlevel county or judicial district courts.  
  
These courts have been eliminated from some provinces. County courts hear criminal trials of certain serious offenses and civil cases involving more than a specified amount of money.
+
These courts have been eliminated from some provinces. County courts hear criminal trials of certain serious offenses and civil cases involving more than a specified amount of money.  
  
Lower-level provincial courts or their equivalent.
+
Lower-level provincial courts or their equivalent.  
  
Provincial courts handle lesser matters and are often divided into civil (small claims court) and criminal divisions.
+
Provincial courts handle lesser matters and are often divided into civil (small claims court) and criminal divisions.  
  
Probate or surrogate courts which deal with wills and estates are separate from other courts, although they are usually presided over by county or Superior Court judges.
+
Probate or surrogate courts which deal with wills and estates are separate from other courts, although they are usually presided over by county or Superior Court judges.  
  
=== Federal Courts ===
+
=== Federal Courts ===
  
The administration of justice rests mainly with the provinces. However, the Supreme Court of Canada is the ultimate court of appeal in both civil and criminal cases throughout the country. Federal courts were established at these times:
+
The administration of justice rests mainly with the provinces. However, the Supreme Court of Canada is the ultimate court of appeal in both civil and criminal cases throughout the country. Federal courts were established at these times:  
  
1867. Federal courts (created by the Constitution Act of 1867 and later acts and amendments)
+
1867. Federal courts (created by the Constitution Act of 1867 and later acts and amendments)  
  
1875. Supreme Court of Canada
+
1875. Supreme Court of Canada  
  
1971. Federal Court of Canada (replaced the Exchequer Court of Canada which began in 1875)
+
1971. Federal Court of Canada (replaced the Exchequer Court of Canada which began in 1875)  
  
The Federal Court of Canada has two divisions:
+
The Federal Court of Canada has two divisions:  
  
The '''Trial Division''' has jurisdiction in claims against the Crown and miscellaneous cases involving the Crown.
+
The '''Trial Division''' has jurisdiction in claims against the Crown and miscellaneous cases involving the Crown.  
  
The '''Federal Court of Appeals''' hears appeals from (1) the Trial Division, (2) other federal tribunals, and (3) decisions of federal boards and commissions.
+
The '''Federal Court of Appeals''' hears appeals from (1) the Trial Division, (2) other federal tribunals, and (3) decisions of federal boards and commissions. <!--{12079423430870} -->
<!--{12079423430870} -->  
+
<!-- Tidy found serious XHTML errors -->  
 
[[Category:Canada]]
 
[[Category:Canada]]

Revision as of 20:47, 2 May 2008

Because they can be difficult to use, search the court records of Canada after other records. They can give:

Family relationships.

Places of residence.

Occupations.

Descriptions of individuals.

Family history information.

Because of their importance to family history, several types of court records are discussed in other sections: "Probate," "Notarial," and "Naturalization and Citizenship."

Other court records include:

Equity or chancery courts, which handle disputes between individuals where there is no violation of law.

Other civil courts, which handle cases when an individual (but not society) has been harmed.

Criminal courts, which deal with violations of law such as theft and murder.

Coroners’ inquests to determine cause of death, which are also classified as court records.

Court records are difficult to use because:

There are many records.

They are not well indexed.

Court names and jurisdictions change.

They use many legal terms and abbreviations.

To interpret court records, a legal dictionary can be helpful, such as:

Black, Henry Campbell. Black’s Law Dictionary. St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, annual. (FHL book Ref 340.03 B564L; computer number 502342.)

The following article describes the process of finding reported court decisions:

Sparling, Lois. "Using a Law Library for Family History Research," Chinook: The Journal of the Alberta Family History Society. Winter 1998, 33, 36–39. (FHL book 971.23 D25a; computer number 736593.)

Many court records have been lost in fires or destroyed to save space. Some have been preserved at courthouses and at national and provincial archives. Contact the archives to ask about their records. Names and addresses of courts are in:

Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Canadian Almanac and Directory Publishing Co., annual. (FHL book 971 E4ca; computer number 160632.)

Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Southam Inc., annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 819162.) Editions before 1998 were called:

Corpus Almanac & Canadian Sourcebook. Don Mills, Ont.: Corpus Information Services, annual. (FHL book 971 B5c; computer number 490918.)

The Family History Library has probate and notarial records but few other court records. See the research outlines of the provinces and the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

[PROVINCE] - COURT RECORDS

[PROVINCE], [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS

Provincial Courts

The names and functions of provincial courts have changed considerably through the years. Presently, many provinces have three levels of courts:

The Superior or Supreme Court.

This has two divisions: (1) the Trial Division (or Court of Queen’s Bench) hears serious civil and criminal cases and has authority to grant divorces; (2) the Court of Appeals hears appeals of civil and criminal cases from the Trial Division or from lower courts.

(Often) midlevel county or judicial district courts.

These courts have been eliminated from some provinces. County courts hear criminal trials of certain serious offenses and civil cases involving more than a specified amount of money.

Lower-level provincial courts or their equivalent.

Provincial courts handle lesser matters and are often divided into civil (small claims court) and criminal divisions.

Probate or surrogate courts which deal with wills and estates are separate from other courts, although they are usually presided over by county or Superior Court judges.

Federal Courts

The administration of justice rests mainly with the provinces. However, the Supreme Court of Canada is the ultimate court of appeal in both civil and criminal cases throughout the country. Federal courts were established at these times:

1867. Federal courts (created by the Constitution Act of 1867 and later acts and amendments)

1875. Supreme Court of Canada

1971. Federal Court of Canada (replaced the Exchequer Court of Canada which began in 1875)

The Federal Court of Canada has two divisions:

The Trial Division has jurisdiction in claims against the Crown and miscellaneous cases involving the Crown.

The Federal Court of Appeals hears appeals from (1) the Trial Division, (2) other federal tribunals, and (3) decisions of federal boards and commissions.