Finding Aids

Ontario County Court Records

County Court
The County Court was created by the Constitution of 1846. At this time, the civil case jurisdiction of the Court of Common Please was transferred to the County Courts as of the first Monday of July 1847. The Constitution of 1894 transferred the criminal case jurisdiction, previously held by the Court of Sessions to the County Courts.For varying periods during the later nineteenth century certain city courts had jurisdiction over felony cases. Records of the County court are usually maintained by the county clerk, though in a few counties the court retains its recent criminal files.

Return of Capias
The Return of Capias is a writ commanding the sheriff to locate the defendant and bring him for an appearance in Court. The sheriff was required to return the writ to the Court clerk’s office during the next court term.

Supreme Court
The NY Supreme Court was established during British colonial rule and then continued with the 1777 Constitution. It had jurisdiction over general common law, and after the Constitution of 1846, it acquired equity jurisdiction from the abolition of Court of Chancery, where plaintiffs sought "equitable relief". After the Constitution of 1894, the Supreme Court took over cases previously heard in the Circuit Courts and the Court of Oyer and Terminer, as both of these courts were abolished as of December 31, 1895.