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Wood County Courthouse Records

Ohio Clerk of Courts

   In 1802 the Ohio State Constitution provided for the appointment of a clerk of courts for each county.  The clerk of courts was appointed by the judges of the court of common pleas for a term of seven years.  The Constitution of 1851 changed the office to an elective office with a term of three years.  In 1936 the term was extended to four years.

   The clerk of courts maintains the records of the court of common pleas and various courts which have exercised appellate jurisdiction on the county level.  The records of the common pleas court pertain to all civil cases in which the amount or matter in dispute exceeds the statutory jurisdiction of county or municipal courts, and all criminal cases except those misdemeanors which are vested by statute in an inferior court.

   This court also holds appellate jurisdiction from decisions of the board of county commissioners or inferior courts, such as mayor's, county, municipal, or police, located within the county.

   Until 1851, the common pleas court exercised jurisdiction in probate and testamentary matters, when the probate court was established.   The records of the several courts which have exercised appellate jurisdiction on the county level include those of the supreme court (1803-1851), the district court (1852-1883), the circuit court (1883-1912), and the current court of appeals.

   The clerk of courts is required by statute to file a complete record of all cases. In addition, the clerk must maintain an appearance docket, a trial docket and duplicate trial docket, a journal, an execution docket, and indices to these records.  Throughout the history of this office, the clerk has acquired additional filing duties, such as recording notary commissions (1858), partnership agreements (1894), trademarks and brands (1911), copies of federal court judgments (1898), special police commissions (1867-1935), certificats of judgment which would be considered as liens (1935), and motor vehicle ownership (1921).

   Additional duties of the clerk of courts is the issuence of all orders for the arrest of defendants, arraigns the accused and reads the indictment to him, and administers all oaths and affirmations required or authorized by law. Further, upon conviction or rendition of judgment, the clerk prepares an itemized bill of the court costs.

   From 1856 to 1867, the clerk of courts maintained a list of births and deaths within the county and transmitted annually to the secretary of state an abstract of the list; from 1864 to 1893, the clerk served as the county supervisor of elections; and currently, the clerk serves as a member of the county records commission.

   Below, various records that have been kept over the last two centuries are listed by Court, Type, and Retention Schedule. Retention definitions are:

Legal: A record possesses legal value if it documents or protects the rights or obligations of citizens or of the agency that created it. Records having legal value were to be retained until those legal rights or obligations expired.

Historical: A record possesses historical value if it documents an agency's organization, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities; or if it contains significant information about people, places, or events.

Administrative: A record possesses administrative value if it is used by the office or agency to carry out its duties. Administrative value is based upon how often the record is used by office personnel and whether a program would be curtailed upon disposal of the record.

Fiscal: A record possesses fiscal value if it pertains to the receipt, transfer, payment, adjustment or encumbrances of funds, or if it is required by audit.

Permanent: If a record possesses permanent value then it refers to permanent preservation of information. This may be accomplished by permanently retaining the original records in the office, reproducing them on microfilm, establishing a county archives, or transferring the records to the appropriate network center.

Those records that are marked Retention Obsolete are the least likely to exist today, while those with Retention Permanent and Legal are the most likely to be found in the Clerks records. The description of what information each type of record contains will be added at some future date. Those types so marked permanent will be entered first.


Circuit Court Records
 
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Appeal Bond RecordsObsolete
Appearance DocketsObsolete
Permanent
Legal
Historical
Bar DocketsObsolete
Case FilesObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Complete or Final RecordsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Cost Bill RecordsObsolete
Court CalendarsObsolete
Appearance Dockets IndecesObsolete
Permanent
Administrative
Fiscal
Historical
Legal
Index to Bar DocketsObsolete
Journals
Order Book
Minutes
Obsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Motion DocketsObsolete
Trial DocketsObsolete
Witness RecordsObsolete
Appraise for
Historical Value



District Court Records
 
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Appearance DocketsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Bar DocketsObsolete
Case FilesObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Complete RecordsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Court CalendarsObsolete
Appearance Dockets IndecesObsolete
Permanent
Administrative
Fiscal
Historical
Legal
Index to Bar DocketsObsolete
Index to Trial DocketsObsolete
Journals
Order Book
Minutes
Obsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Jury RecordsObsolete
Appraise for
Historical Value
Trial DocketsObsolete
Witness RecordsObsolete
Appraise for
Historical Value



Justice of the Peace Records
 
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Case FilesObsolete, Appraise
for historical value
Civil DocketsObsolete, Appraise
for historical value
Criminal DocketsObsolete, Appraise
for historical value
Execution and
Lien Dockets
Obsolete



Superior Court Records
 
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Appearance DocketsObsolete,
Historical,
Legal
Bar DocketsObsolete
Cash FilesObsolete,
Permanent,
Historical,
Legal
Complete RecordsObsolete,
Permanent,
Historical,
Legal
Cost Bill RecordsObsolete
Court CalendarsObsolete
Execution DocketsObsolete
Index to Appearance DocketsObsolete,
Permanent,
Historical
Administrative,
Legal
Index to Bar DocketsObsolete
Index to Complete ReocrdsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Administrative
Legal
Index to Execution DocketsObsolete
Index to Trial DocketsObsolete
Journals [Order Book, Minutes]Obsolete
Pemanent
Historical
Legal
Jury RecordsObsolete
Appraise for
historical value.
Trial Dockets
[Court Docket]
Obsolete
Witness BooksObsolete
Appraise for
historical value



Supreme Court Records
 
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Appearance DocketsObsolete
Pemanent
Historical
Legal
Bar DocketsObsolete
Case FilesObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Chancery DocketsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Chancery RecordsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Complete Records
[Final Record,
Record]
Obsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Cost Bill RecordsObsolete
Court CalendarsObsolete
Index to Appearance DocketsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Administrative
Legal
Index to Bar DocketsObsolete
Index to Complete RecordsObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Administrative
Legal
Index to Trial DocketsObsolete
Journals
[Order Books,
Minutes
Obsolete
Permanent
Historical
Legal
Jury RecordsObsolete
Trial Dockets
[Court Docket]
Obsolete
Witness RecordsObsolete
Appreaise for
historical value



Common Pleas Court Records
  Civil Division
 
Type of Records
 
Retention:
Absentee BallotsObsolete
Appraise for
historical value
Abstracts of VotesObsolete
Permanent
Historical
Accounts with
Foreign Sheriffs
Obsolete
Annual Statistical ReportsPermanent
Historical
Appeal Bond RecordsUntil last bond contained
therein is discharged
Appearanbce Dockets
[ORC 2302.12]
Permanent
Historical
Administrative
Legal
Applications to Sell
or Use Explosives
Obsolete
Appointment JournalsPermanent
Historical
Legal
AppointmentsDuring the term
of appointment

   Not Finished, More to come

   

   

Copyright © 1996-2008 All rights reserved
Bill Oliver <wnoliver@worldnet.att.net>


Undocumented Family History is Mythology

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