Fonds - Annapolis County Court of General Sessions of the Peace

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Annapolis County Court of General Sessions of the Peace

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    • 1829-1879 (Creation)
      Annapolis County (N.S.). Court of General Sessions of the Peace

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    • 4 cm of textual records
    • 1 microfilm reel

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    Administrative history

    Prior to 1879 local government in Nova Scotia was the responsibility of the appointed Court of General Sessions of the Peace, which was composed of all those who held commissions as justices of the peace within a particular county. The Annapolis County Court of General Sessions of the Peace began with the creation of the county in 1759. Meeting two or more times a year, the court had both administrative and judicial functions. It was empowered to appoint local officials, who had been nominated by the Grand Jury; levy county and poor rates; exercise control over roads, bridges, prisons, hospitals, and other public works; regulate animals, weeds, fires, taverns, and the inland fisheries and perform other duties assigned by statute. It could also sit as a court of justice, with limited criminal jurisdiction, using the Grand and Petit Jury system from England. The Grand Jury decided whether a charge should proceed to trial. The Petit Jury decided on an accused’s guilt or innocence. Jury members were selected by lot from a list of male residents who either owned land or held a minimum amount of personal wealth. In 1800 Annapolis County was divided into eastern and western districts and the Court of General Sessions was required to sit twice a year in each district. In 1837 the Western District became Digby County and was subsequently under the jurisdiction of its own court. The passage of the County Incorporation Act in 1879 replaced the administrative functions of the Court of General Sessions with an elected municipal council. Its judicial function was assumed by the Supreme Court on County Circuit.

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    Consists of two proceedings books in which the clerk of the peace recorded the actions of the court between 1829 and 1841 and also from 1861 to the start of elective local government in 1879.

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        Original proceedings book, 1861-1879, held by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, was borrowed for microfilming in 1985. Reference: RG 34-301 volume P2 use microfilm 12124.

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        General note

        Also includes proceedings of the Grand Jury for Eastern District, 1829-1841 microfilm 23623.

        General note

        Also called Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace.

        Alternative identifier(s)


        RG 34-301

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