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Cayuga County Supreme Court Minutes

Supreme Court of the Judicature 1691 Through 1777

  • Highest court of common law possessing both original and appellate jurisdiction
  • Combined jurisdiction of 3 English courts:
    • Court of Common Pleas
    • Court of Exchequer
    • King's Bench
  • 1693 - Circuit courts held in each county at least once a year and New York City twice a year
  • Held court of oyer and terminer (criminal) and court of general gaol and delivery in which grand juries returned indictments against suspects who were then tried here or in the supreme court
  • Appeals over £100 (£300 in 1753) went to Royal Governor and Council (Court for the Correction of Error)
  • Jurisdiction overlapped with county courts
  • Judgments and civil actions signed and filed in New York City

Supreme Court of the Judicature 1777 Through 1821

  • Jurisdiction over points of law raised in proceedings in the circuit court and reviewed cases from county level civil and criminal courts and justice courts
  • Court of Trial and Impeachment of Errors replaced Governor and Council as Court of last resort
  • Supreme Court Justices held circuit courts, courts of oyer and terminer 2 regular terms a year
  • Civil over £100
  • Court of general jurisdiction within 52 counties of the state - 4 circuits
  • 1785 - 4 regular terms a year - 2 in New York City 2 in Albany
  • 1801 - civil over $250 (New York City $500)
  • 1820 - one term of New York City moved to Utica

Supreme Court of the Judicature 1821 Through 1847

  • Appeals from circuits
  • All verdicts in circuit returned to Supreme Court for final judgement, signing, docketing and filing
  • 8 circuits created
  • 1841 - One term of Albany moved to Rochester
  • Most justices served both as Supreme Court Circuit Justices and Courts of Equity Justices and Vice Chancellors

Supreme Court - General Term 1847 Through 1869

  • Statewide court of unlimited jurisdiction in law and equity
  • Appeals from judgments in the trial courts - civil, criminal, equity, from orders and decisions of other supreme court justices, and from the County Courts, Mayor's Court, Recorder's Courts
  • Appeals to the Court of Appeals
  • One single court with 8 circuits was created instead of 8 independent courts (circuits)

Supreme Court - General Term 1869 Through 1895

  • Jurisdiction remains the same as in previous years
  • Court restructured into 4 judicial departments each having a General Term in each of the 8 judicial districts

Supreme Court 1896 Through Present

  • Appellate Division
  • Civil Term
  • Criminal Term
  • Statewide trial court of general unlimited jurisdiction in law and equity and limited appellate jurisdiction
  • Civil cases in every county and New York City
  • Criminal - felony cases
  • Appellate - civil, criminal, administrative adjudication decisions by state agencies
  • Created to ease workload of Court of Appeals by having court of intermediate jurisdiction
  • Circuit courts and court of oyer and terminer abolished
  • Presently 12 districts - county clerks are the clerks of the Supreme Court in their respective counties
  • Superior Courts of Buffalo, New York and Rochester were absorbed by the Supreme Court
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