Telegraph and Texas Register (Columbia, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 51, Ed. 1, Friday, January 6, 1837 Page: 1 of 4
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WE GO FOR OUR COUNTRY
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", PUBLISHED BY G. & T. H. BORDENff X. COLUMBIA, FRIBBAT, JANUARY 6, 1837.
PUBLIC PRINTERS. S?p - '
TERMS, $5 PEH ANN., IN ADTgNCE
-AjLivjtiJttriaiiNw-, ucjuajj .tM-ii-uEj.
-5' " AN ACT,
' "Orgmizing the inferior Courts, and defining the powers and juris-
1 diction of the same.
Sec. I. Beit enacted by the senate andhouse of representatives
sot the republic of Texas in congress assembled. That there shall
be established in the several counties of this republic, an inferi-
or court of law, which shall be styled the county court of the
county of , to be composed of one chief justice who shall
be elected by joint ballot of both houses of congress and shall
-old-irisToffice-for-a-period of-four years, and tssro associate justi-
ces, who shall be selected by a majority of the justices of the
peace of each county, from among their own body at the begin-
ning of each and every year, and the justices so selected shall
attend said county courts or pay a fine to be assessed by the
chief justice not exceeding one hundred dollars.
Sec. 2., The chief justices of said courts shall be commis-
sioned by the president, and may be sworn into office by any
primary judge, heretofore appointed by law or any legally au-
Sec. 3. The justices 0f said court, shall receive for their
-services the sum of three dollars for each day they are attending
to hold a court according to law, to be paid from the treasury of
the proper county, onthejXertificate ot the clerk ol the said
ourt, and for all other duties, they are authorised or required
to perform, they shalpreceive such compensation as may be pro-
vided by law. -$3
Sec. 4. A majority of the justices of said court shall be
necessary to constitute a court, and in case a sufficient number
should not attend orfthe first-day of any term, the sheriff of the
county may adjourn the same from day to day, for four days, at
the eud of which time, if a sufficient number do not attend, he
shall adjourn the court to the next term. If from any cause a
county court shall not be held at any term thereof, or the busi-
ness before said court should not be completed before the ad-
journment of said court, all business returnable to or pending in
said court, shall stand continued of coarse until the next terin.
Sec. 5. There shall be held at the court house of each
county in this republic, a county court four times in each year,
the terras of said county courts shall commence and be'eontin-
ued as follows: For the county of Austin, on the'first Monday,
in January, April, July, October: For the county Brazoria, on
the third Mondays in January, April, July, October: For the
unisfixaronjhe first Monday in JannaryjApril,July,Octo-
January, April, July, October: For the County Gonzales, on
the third Monday in January, April, July October: For the
county of Goliad, on the third Monday in January, April, July,
, October: For the county of Harrisburg, on the fourth Monday
in January, April, July, October: For the county of Jasper, on
the first Monday in January, April, July, October: For the
county of Jefferson, on the first Monday in January, April, Ju-
ly, October: For the county of Jackson, on the first Monday
in January April, July, October: For the county of Liberty,
"ontthe second Monday in January, April, July, October: For
the county of Mina, on the second Monday in February, May,
Asgust, and November: For the county of Milam, on the third
Monday in February, May, August, November: For the coun-
ty of Matagorda, on the second Monday in February, May, Au-
gust, November: For the county of Nacogdoches, on the se-
cond Monday in January, April, July, October: For the coun-
ty of Red river, on the third Monday in January, April, July,
October, For the county of Refugio, on the second Monday in
January, April, July, October: Forthe county of Sabine, on the
fourth Monday in January, April, July, October: Forthe coun-
ty of Shelby, on the first Monday m February, Hay, August,
November: For the county of San Augustine, on the third
Monday in January, April, July, October: For the county of
San Petricio, on the third Monday in January, April, July, Oc-
tober: For the county of Victoria, on the firstMonday, in Jan-
uary, April, July, October: For the county of Washington, on
the first Monday in February, May, August, November.
Sec. 6. The several county courts of this republic, shall
have original jurisdiction of all suits arid actions for the recove-
ry of money, founded on any bond, bill, promissory note, or
other written contract, covenant or agreement whatsoever, or
any open accouut, where the sum demanded, shall exceed one
hundred dollars, and shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the
district courts, in all guch suits and actions: Piovidcd, that no
suit relativerto the title of land, shall be tried and determined
in said court, and generally to do, and perform all other acts,
and' exercise all other powers lawfully pertaining to a county
court, within this republic. '
Sec. 7. All process from the county court, shall be tested
in the name of the clerk thereof, shall issue and be returnable in
the same manner and under the same penalties as prescribed in
the act establishing the jurisdiction and powers of the district
courts; and all suits and actions in said county courts shall be
commenced and continued in the same manner, as near as may
be, as provided in the forementioncd act.
Sec. 8. There shall be elected by the qualified electors of
each county on the first Monday in February next, one clerk of
the county court, who shall hold his office for the period of four
years, and shall be removable for neglect of duty, orjnisdcmean-
or in office, in the same manner as clerkspf the district courts:
beforeentering upon the duties of their office, they shall enter
into bond with two sureties, to be approved bythe courts of
which they are clerks, payable to the president, and his succes-
sors in office, in the penalty of five thousand dollars, condi-
tioned forthe faithful performance of the duties of their offi-
ces; and that they seasonably record all'deeds and other instru-
ments of writing required by law to be recorded in their offices;
add also all judgments, decrees, and orders of said courts, and
safely to keep all records, minutes, books, papers and whatever
belongs to .-their offices of clerk: said bond shall be recorded in
said court and depostcdin the office of the 'clerk of the district
court, and may be proceeded upon in the same manner as the
bonds of clerks of the district courts.
Sec. 9. In case of a vacancy in the office of clerk of the
county court, or during the unavoidable absence of such clerk,
the court in term time and the chief justice thereof, in vacation,
may appoint a clerk "pro tempore," who shall discharge the
same duties and have the same authority as the regularly elected
Sec. 10. The several clerks of the count courts, shall be,
and they are hereby empowered to administer oaths, and affir-
mations in all cases wherein air affidavit is necessary, as the foun-
dation of any official act to be,performed by said clerk.
Snc. II. It shall be theduy of the clerk of'-each county
court, to make a correct hit oi the freeholders of their respec-
tive counties, which shall be filed in their offices: they shall en-
ter the names on such list upon seperate slips of paper and de-
posite them in a box to be kept for that purpose; at every term
of said court, or on failure of aterm of said court, in presence
of one of the justices of said court, the clerk and sheriff shall
draw from said box one by one, the names of sixteen persons,
to serve as jurors at the next succeeding term of said court, and
the names of said persons so drawn, shall be entered upon the
minutes of said court, and the said jurors shall be summoned in
the same manner as the jurors for the district court, and s much
of the "act establishing the jurisdiction and powers of the dis-
trict courts," as relates to lurors and witnesses, shall apply to all
jurors and witnesses fqr-the county courts, so far as suited to the
organization of said county courts.
&ec. 12. At shall be the duty of the clerks of the county
courts to perform the duties of treasurer and to procure, at the
expense oi the county, a seal, tor tne use ot their respective
courts, with, the style of the court around the margin thereof,
and a star of five points intlhe centre.
Secv 13. Any party may appeal from any final judgment
or decision of vany county court, provided, the amount in contro
versy shall exceed two hundred dollars, to the district court, for
said county, in the same manner and under the same restrictions
as provided in the sixteenth section of an "act establishing the
jurisdiction and powers of 'the district court," and the forty se
cond section of the aforesaid act, shall apply equally to the
county courts, so far as is consistent with this act.
Sec. 14. A transcript? of the record in all appeals from a
justice of the peace to the county courts, shall be filed in the
onice oi tne cieric oisaiu court on or Deiore tne nrsc nay oi tne
next succeeding term, who shall enter the same on his docket
in proper order; and all such appeals, shall be heard and deter-
ry, on all sums under twcifty-one dollars, but on all sums over
that amount a jury may be had on application of either party.
Sec. 15. The recordsLpf each day's proceedings of the
county court, shall be read in open court, on the morning of each
succeeding day, and at the close of the term shall be signed by
the justices attending the same.
Sec. 16. The several county courts shajl have power to
punish all contempts of such court, in the same manner as pro-
vided by law for the district courts.
Sec. 17. The justices' of the county courts shall be con
servators, of the peace within their respective counties, and shall
have power, by warranty to cause any person or"persons, charged
with a criminal offence to be arrested, and to take all manner
of recognizances returnable into the court having jurisdiction of
Sec. 18. The said courts shall have power to hear and de
termine all motions, reasonable notice being given to the adverse
party, against sheriffs or other officers for money received on ex-
ecution or other process from said court, which they have neg-
lected to pay on demand, to the party entitled to the same; and
all motions against attorneys and counsellors at law for neglec-
tingor refusing to pay money received for their clients, in any
case instituted in said courts, and award judgment and execution
for the same .
The chief justices of the county courts shall have power to
grant the same remedial pi ocessias a district judge, provided
that no such writ or process shall extend to any act of a district
judge; or relate to any business pending before a district court
or which may be exclusively cognizable before it.
Sec. 19. All process from any county court shall be execu
ted and returned by the sheriff of the proper county, and the
sheriff of each county shall attend on the county court of his
county and perform ail the duties required of him by law, by
virtue of his office, and shall cause his deputy or summon a con
stable of his county to attend each term of said court, who shall
attend accordingly, or pay. a fine to be assessed by the court not
exceeditig twenty dollars.
Sec. 20. 1 he several county courts of this republic, shall!
procure and cause to be kept in repair, within their respective
counties, a good and convenient building for holding courts, and
also a suitable building for a jail or county prison, to be well se-
cured, the expense of which shall be paid by the proper county.
Sec. 21. AU expenses which may be incurred, for the safe
keeping of criminals in the several counties of the republic
shall be paid out'of the treasury of the republic, and the certi-
ficates of the proper judges shall be sufficient voucher for audita
ing such account.
Sec. 22. The county court ot each county, shall in term
time, audit and allow on proper proof, all accounts and demands
legally chargable upon their respective counties and all accounts
and demands, so allowed, shall be recorded by the clerk ot said
court in a book to be kept for that purpose, and the clerk shall
issue a warrant for all such accounts and demands audited, upon
the county treasurer, which shall be signed officially, with the
seal of the court.
Sec. 23. The county courts shall make allowance of the
sums of money necessary for supplying the clerks, office with
stationery, books, tables, and presses, to be paid out of the coun
Sec. 24. The chief justices of the county courts, shall be
judges of probate for their respective counties, shall take the
probate of wills, grant letters of adminisfration,on;the,esfateof
persons deceased, who were inhabitants if, or readentlui said
county, at thetimc of their decease, shall appoint guardfni io
minors, idiots, and lunatics, and m-conjunction wittithe asso-
ciate justices, shall examine and settle the accounts-orexecutors,
administrators, and guardians; and said chief justice shall have
full jurisdiction of all testamentary and other matters apper-
taining to a probate court, within their respective counties.
Sec. 25. The chief iustice shall hold a Drobate court" at
the court house of their respective counties, on the last Mbriday
of every month in the year, except in cases when the ppunty
courts shall be held on the last monday in any month, andin-suca
jease-the probatcourt,shnlI be held onhe Monday nejJjrecee
ding; and they may hold a special court for the transaction oj
any business within their jurisdiction, provided ten days'" notice
is given by advertisement, at three of the mo3tpublic places in
different parts of the county, of the time of holding' said courl,
and of all business to be acted on at such special tenn.
Sec. 26. Any person may appeal from any decision ordc
cree of any court of probate, within ten days after such decision-
or decree shall have been rendered to the district courtrpf
the county, provided such appellant shall give bond with godtl
and sufficient security, to be approved by said court of probate,
conditioned that such appellant shall prosecute said appeal to
effect, and nnrfnrm tlip.sp.ntnnr.n. indpment or decree, which the
said district court shall make therein, in case the cause be decid-
ed against said appellant.
Sec. 27. "When any appeal shall be taken on any decision
or decree nfn. rnnrf: of nrnhnie. the nlerlrofsuch court shall im
mediately make out a full ancf perfect record of all thjrgroceed-
ings in sich case, and shall, on the application of eithexarty,
give to such party an attested copy of such record,. "which shall
be transmitted to the district court: and the said district court
shall, at the, next succeeding term, hear and determine such ap
peal, ana tne uecision oi tne aistnct court snau oe ceiuueu w
the court of probate, which shall carry the same into effect.
Sec. 28. The chief iustice of each county shall procure at the
expense of the county an appropriate seal for the court of pro-
bate, and the said seal shall be fixed to-all papers issuing -from
Sec. 29. The chief justices shall receive three dollars for
every day they are attending to hold a-prdbate court according
to law, to be paid on the certificate ef the derk of said'eowt
out of the county treasury; and for ail other'duties they are au-
thorised or required to perform, they shall receive such, compen-
sation' 'as-may be provided by law, and the Associate justices
uhaU-rcrca-fhr-pyarr Any they ire rf nrirpd fr Tlttftrm ft WOMtfi
. ' I I ? - -. m-
court, the same oav as thefiicnuVtisr"
Ses. 30. The clerks of the county courts shall be, clerks of
the courts of probate for their respective counties, and. sHall re-
cord all wills and testaments and other instruments, of ratTijg,
required by law to be recorded in their offices, shall give 'certi-
fied copies of all papers in their offices to any person applying
for the same, and shall receive for all duties required fabe per-
formed by them, by virtue of their offices, such fees as'mayTfe
prescribed by law. t r
Sec. 31. All probate business heretofore pending "before
the primary courts, shall be transferred to, and completed in the
probate court, for the county established by this act; andjany
of the primary judges heretofore acting, who shall refuse of Ipe-
glect to transmit all such business, and all records and p'apers
appertaining thereto, shall be proceeded against in the same
manner and under the same penalties as provided in the elev-
enth section of the act establishing the jurisdiction and powers
of the district courts. '
Sec. 32. It shall be the'duty offche several probate cdutfs-
to compel a settlement of all estates heretofoie adminiitered on,
within twelve months, and may requiref new security to be' giv-
en, if by them deemed necessary, within six months from the
passage of this law. '
Sec. 33. It shall be the duty of the judge of .the'first 'in
stance, of each and every county to deposite in the office of the
cleric oi the county court oi nis county, every maiter oi recora,
paper, document, or thins: heretofore filed in the 'office, not by
law required to be transmitted to the district court, or to justices
of the peace.
N0TA2UES rUBLIC. - ,
Sec. 34. The chief justices of the several county courts,-
shall be ex officio, notaries public for their respective-counties,
they shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations in
all matters relating to their notarial office, shall havejpowero
receive the proof or acknowledgments of allinstrumente.ofwrit-
ing relating to commerce or navigatiori and also to npkejilec- '
larations and testify the truth thereoi, under their seal of office,
concerning all matters done by them in virtue f their offices;
they shall keep a register of all officiaLacte done by virtue of
their offices, and when requiredshall'give a certified copy of
any record of their offices to any one applying fonihe same; and "
for all acts done by them, as notary, they shall receiye.such fees
as may betprovided bylaw; the seal of the countyijcourt shall
be the notarial seal, and shall be fixed to all inshuments and
attestations of the respective notaries.
Recorders.' - .
Sec. 35. The clerks of the county courts-shall be -the re-"
cordersfor their respective countiesaHditsh'allte'iheirflutyto
record all deeds, conveyances, mortgages, and other -liensj and
all other instruments of writing required by law to Ibe recorded "
in their offices, which are presented to them; provided1 one of
the witnesses of the number required bylaw, shall swear to, the
signature of the signer, or he himself 6hall acknowledge tile
same, wmen snau oe ceruueu oy me recoruer, uia lurm-part oi
th'i record; and all deeds, conveyances, mortgages and other
liens shall be recorded in the county where the property is sit
Sec. 36. It shallbe the duty of the recorder to give attest-
ed copies whenever demanded, of all papers'recorded'in hSiof-
fice; and the recorder shall receive, for all such copies, amh&U
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G.& T.H. Borden. Telegraph and Texas Register (Columbia, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 51, Ed. 1, Friday, January 6, 1837, newspaper, January 6, 1837; Columbia, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth47914/m1/1/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.