New Orleans Public Library
Louisiana. Eighth District Court (Orleans Parish).
Acquisition: Deposited by Civil District Court, 1974
Act 2 of March 16, 1870 created a new civil court for Orleans Parish (in addition to the previously established First through Seventh District Courts). The new court was to have "exclusive jurisdiction in and for the parish of Orleans to issue writs of injunction, mandamus, quo warranto, and to entertain all proceedings, suits or contestations in which the right to any office, State, parish or municipal, is in any way involved." It also had the same general jurisdiction as the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh District Courts. Any of the other district courts were to immediately transfer to the Eighth District Court any pending cases falling under the exclusive jursidiction of the new court.
Act 2 of December 11, 1872 abolished the Eighth District Court (as well as the Seventh District Court) and created a new court, the Superior District Court. The Superior District Court assumed the exclusive jurisdiction of the Eighth District Court, and all cases falling within the realm of that jurisdiction were to be transferred to Superior District Court. Eighth District Court suits not transferred to the new court were transferred to the existing Fifth District Court.
The records are arranged in series as follows, all of which are records of the regular business of the court:
Suit Records, 1870-1872
Manuscript records of the proceedings in the civil suits filed before the Eighth District Court. Individual suit records range in size from one or two sheets in the simpler matters to hundreds of documents in the more complicated litigations. Records may include some or all of the following items: petitions, answers, oaths, bonds, transcripts of testimony, and orders & judgments of the court [in some cases the orders and judgments appear as separate documents, more common though was the practice of recording such judicial actions on the reverse of the original petition(s)]. Various articles of evidence may also be filed in individual suit records, including such items as newspaper clippings, plans, copies of original documents filed elsewhere, letters, and accounts/extracts from accounts from various financial records.
This court contains a great many tax-related cases. In many cases, no suit record was generated, but only a page in a tax judgment book; the judgment book contains no details, since the cases were cut-and-dried proceedings in which the City or State sued someone for non-payment of taxes.
Access to these records is through the general docket books and the indexes thereto. (The general dockets of this court are not extant; indexing does exist -- See below)
The "genealogically significant" suit records of the court (generally, those showing evidence of a family line) were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Microfilm is available in the Louisiana Division/City Archives; it can also be ordered from any Mormon Family History Center. Unmicrofilmed records are available for in-house use only in the Louisiana Division/City Archives.
Minute Books, 1868-1872
Bound manuscript volumes in which the daily minutes of the court's proceedings were entered by the clerk.
v. 1 3/26/1870 - 1/2/1871
The general docket of this court is not extant. The plaintiffs' and defendants' indices are available for in-house use. Both the plaintiff and defendant index continued in use by Superior District Court after 1872.
Defendants' Index to the General Docket, 1870-1875
v. 1 5/17/1870 - 6/30/1875 (#73 - 95074)
Plaintiffs' Index to the General Docket, 1853-1880
v. 1 5/17/1870 - 6/30/1875 (#95074)
City Tax Docket, 1872
v. 1 10/17/1868 - 5/8/1871
This volume was created for the convenience of the court and has little, if any, research value
Judgments Rendered in City Tax Suits, 1869-1870
v. 1 7/3/1869 - 3/5/1870