Research

New York State Supreme Court of Judicature (New York) Writs of Error

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:
This collection contains writs of error filed by the clerk of the Supreme Court of Judicature in New York City. The writ required the judge of a trial court to return a transcript of a judgment and related proceedings to the Supreme Court for review and determination. The writ alleges that "manifest error" occurred during pleading or trial. About two-thirds of this series consists of writs of error unaccompanied by transcripts, while the remainder of the series includes both the writ and the transcript of the judgment and proceedings in the trial court.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.5 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1787-1817
Bulk Dates:
1794-1809
Series Number:
JN549

Arrangement

Arranged in two sub-series, the first writs of error alone, and the second writs of error with transcript of proceedings, then chronological by year.

Scope and Content Note

The writ of error was a document sent by the Supreme Court of Judicature, functioning as an appellate court, to an inferior court asking that court to provide information on one of its cases that had been appealed. The series also includes the "transcripts of records," which are the copies of the court papers sent to the superior court for review based on these writs. This document type is alternatively identified as a "transcript" or "record." Bundles of such records filed in later years are identified as "writ of error and transcript of record." In such cases, the writ of error is typically folded within the transcript. About two-thirds of the series consists of writs of error unaccompanied by transcripts, while the remainder of the series includes both the writ and the transcript of the judgment and proceedings in the trial court.

A writ of error outlined the alleged error in the original judgment made by the judges of the trial court and ordered a response. The trial court responded with a transcript of the record of the case, which included a review of the case and the signed judgment.

Courts to which the writs of error in this series were sent include, but are not limited to, the Mayor’s Court of New York and the Dutchess and Orange Courts of Common Pleas. These writs originated in both the New York and Albany offices of the Supreme Court of Judicature.

Until 1815, the Court of Chancery submitted these sealed orders on behalf of the Supreme Court of Judicature. Most of the writs of error in this series were witnessed and signed by Robert R. Livingston, the Esquire Chancellor of the Court of Chancery, but they were marked returnable to the Supreme Court of Judicature.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Use and reproduction of fragile documents may be restricted.

Related Information

Related Publications

Inventory of New York County Clerk Court Records of Statewide Significance (New York State Unified Court System, Office of Court Administration, 2016), section 5.49, pages 342-346.

Custodial History

This series was assembled from several locations in the New York County Clerk’s Office by staff of the Unified Court System.

Acquistion Information

These records were transferred by the New York State Unified Court System, Office of Court Administration in 2017.

Access Terms

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