Research


New York County (N.Y.) Clerk's Office Common Rule Books

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
Common rule books contain a record of common rules (or orders) entered by the clerk upon motion by the attorney for the plaintiff or defendant. Rules prior to July 1, 1847, were entered by the clerk of the Supreme Court of Judicature in New York City. Starting July 1, 1847, rules were entered by the clerk of the city and county of New York. Each entry contains the case title, date of rule, and rule granted.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
19.25 cubic feet (168 volumes) plus fragments
Inclusive Dates:
1797-1854
Bulk Dates:
1797-1848
Series Number:
JN520

Arrangement

Chronological by date of rule (1797-1800) or alphabetical by initial letter of surname of attorney, then chronological by date of rule (1800-1854).

Scope and Content Note

Common rule books contain a record of common rules (or orders) entered by the clerk upon motion by the attorney for the plaintiff or defendant. They were required to be kept by court order issued in April Term 1796, and Rule 64 adopted in 1829. Rules prior to July 1, 1847, were entered by the clerk of the Supreme Court of Judicature in New York City. Starting July 1, 1847, rules were entered by the clerk of the city and county of New York. Each entry contains the case title, date of rule, and rule granted.

Common rules ordering judgment were entered upon return of a nisi prius roll or circuit roll, trial minutes, and jury award; upon a defendant’s confession; or upon a report of damages as determined by the court clerk, sheriff, jury of inquisition, or referee. A common rule could be entered to discontinue a case by consent of the parties. Prior to a simplification of pleading in 1838, many common rules ordered a defendant to appear, plead or demur, or confess judgment. Few common rules were entered in these books after the statutory reform of pleading and practice in 1848.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Use and reproduction of fragile documents may be restricted.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Folder list is available at the repository.

Custodial History

Common rule books were collected from several locations in the New York County Clerk's Office and arranged by staff of the Unified Court System. Portions of many books are missing.

Access Terms

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Detailed Description

Contents Box

Accretion: JN520-17
1797-1800 (Volume) 1
1: A-B 1804-1831 2
2: A-B 1832-1838 3
3: A-B 1838-1854, C-D 1807-1819 4
4: C-D 1819-1837 5
5: C 1838-1840, D 1841-1843, E-G 1800-1812 6
6: E-G 1812-1835 7
7: E-G 1835-1841; E-F 1841-1852, G 1841-1851, H-J 1810-1816 8
8: H-J 1816-1839 9
9: K-L 1806-1839 10
10: K-L 1840-1854, M 1800-1833 11
11: M 1833-1853 12
12: N-Q 1800-1842 13
13: N-Q 1843-1845, R 1800-1837, S 1800-1806 14
14: S 1806-1833 15
15: S 1833-1843 16
16: S 1843-1854, T 1800-1819 17
17: T 1819-1852, W 1800-1818 18
18: W 1818-1837 19
19: W 1837-1853, U-Z 1800-1824 20
20: U-Z 1824-1849 21