Connecticut Court Records
As part of America’s oldest history and settlements, Connecticut court records have become a cornerstone for present-day legal arguments by members of the Bar and reasoning by Connecticut Supreme Court Justices. Court records maintained at the state level include rules of the court, civil and criminal court proceedings, and even local and federal statutes.
History of Connecticut Court Records
Connecticut court records were first created with the birth of the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1784. However, the state’s constitution was not completed until 1818.
The first volumes of Connecticut court records were written by Ephraim Kirby, who was also a legislator, farmer, soldier, attorney and judge in the Mississippi Territory. The state determined the need to record decisions by the court in writing to distinguish between American and English common laws. Connecticut’s legislature decided in 1785 that this should be required by law.
Ephraim had already started writing Connecticut court records for his own use, but was asked to expand and publicize in 1789, calling them, collectively, “Kirby’s Reports or Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut, from the year 1785, to May, 1788, with some Determinations in the Supreme Court of Errors.”
Connecticut Court Records Availability
Connecticut court records are maintained at both physical library branches and in online databases. Past decisions by the Connecticut Supreme Court and lower courts are all available upon request. Many Connecticut court records are searchable by defendant or plaintiff name, case number and even year.
The state’s library database also includes historical copies of Connecticut’s constitution and all amendments and ratifications that have taken place. Other documents of interest are those outlining local, state and federal statutes. These statutes are often used by attorneys and students when crafting arguments for a case. These Connecticut court records play a vital part in the appeals process, as oral arguments are heard for about 30 minutes by the Connecticut Supreme Court, but the justices usually take months to issue a decision.
Main Court Information
The state’s Supreme Court hears oral arguments in appeals, and has mandatory jurisdiction over civil and criminal appeals from lower trial courts. However, it may exercise discretion over non-capital criminal appeals and some civil appeals. As the court of last resort, any appeals from Connecticut Supreme Court decisions must be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
There are a total of seven justices serving the court, which holds eight, two-week sessions per year between September and June. The court holds its sessions in the city of Hartford.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears only a few hundred cases each year. In 2007, there were 223 filings and 229 dispositions. In 2013, there were 158 filings and 191 dispositions.