Switzerland County Circuit Court Rules – 1845

In April 1845, the Switzerland County, Indiana Circuit Court wrote down the rules for how the court would function. They also wrote down their rules for Probate Court in 1833.

The following is a transcription from:
Switzerland County, Indiana, Circuit Court Order Book L, p. 401-4, April 1845.

April Term 1845

The Court now here order that the following rules of Practice be entered of record, and that the same be observed in this court,

Admission of Attornies &C.

1st. When application is made for admission to the bar of this Court, the applicant shall furnish the court with a certificate of his good moral character, and satisfactory proof that he is twenty one years of age, and a citizen of the United States.

2d. The President Judge will then examine the applicant or appoint three members of the bar as examiners, who shall examine the applicant, and on the filing of a written report by the majority of the examiners favorable to the applicant, his Commissioner will be signed by the President Judge.

3d. No Attorney of this Court shall be received as bail or surety in any cause in Court, unless as security for non resident parties.


4th. Motions may be made immediately after the orders of the preceding day an[d] read and signed, and the opinions of the Court delivered in; but at no other time, unless in Cases of necessity, or in relation to a cause when called in course.

5th. Motions are to be made by the Counsel in the order in which their names stand on the roll; but no one is to make more than one motion at a time.

6th. When a motion is founded on a matter of fact, which is not admitted nor apparent on the record, it must be supported by affidavit.

7th. All motions for new trials, or in arrest of Judgment, must be made, and a statement in writing of the points in which the motion is founded, filed with the clerk the same or succeeding day after the verdict of the Jury shall be given; unless further time shall be granted by the Court.

8th. All motions to set aside proceedings for irregularity, to set aside non-suits, to make entries in Journal, nune pro tune; or for amending Journal, to set aside awards, or for attachments, shall be made in writing, setting forth the grounds of such motion, and filed, and when the proceeding is not in its nature exparte, the opposite party or his counsel shall have twenty-four hours notice.

9th. Upon motions founded upon affidavit for a continuance of a cause, no argument shall be heard in support of it (unless specially requested by the Court) and but one Counsel against it.

10th. The party making a motion, or an objection in the nature of a motion, will be heard in argument by one Counsel. If the Court do not thereupon overrule the motion or objection, the opposite party will be heard by one Counsel, and the mover or objector will be heard in reply; the discussion is then at an End.


11th. On motion for a Continuance, no Contradictory, supplemental, or amended affidavit shall be permitted.

12th. Notice to take depositions in term time, shall not be considered reasonable notice.

13th. In all cases in law or Equity, where there has been one or more depositions taken and filed, either party shall have a right to have the deposition or depositions published, without prejudice, at any time before the case shall be set down for a final hearing in chancery, or the Jury is sworn in suits at law.

Bills of Particulars.

14th. If a bill of particulars be demanded, or oyer craved of any writing obligatory, or inspection of a note asked, the party demanding the same shall have as long to file his pleadings after the same shall have been furnished, as he would be entitled to, at the entering of the rule.


15th. No Rule to Join in demurrer shall be necessary; but on demurrer being put in, the opposite party shall join instanter.

Proof of Notice.

16th. Proof of publications required by law, and of notices shall in all cases be by affidavit, with a copy of the publications or notice attached—all of which shall be filed with the clerk.

Bills of Exceptions.

17th. When parties except to any order, opinion, or Judgment of the Court, a memorandum in writing of the particular order, opinion, or Judgment excepted to, shall be made by the Counsel excepting, at the time the order is made, or opinion, or Judgment pronounced, and delivered to the Court immediately.

Clerk’s Files.

18th. No papers or records filed in Court, or in the Clerk’s office, shall be taken therefrom, except by a member of the Court, unless the Clerk shall take a receipt for the same; and each party may have a copy of any paper, or of his adversary’s pleadings, the expense of which may be taxed in the bill of costs. During the trial of a cause, the parties shall be equally entitled to the use of the papers on file.

19th. No paper shall be received on file in a cause, until the title of the Cause, the number of the Case to which it belongs, and the Character of the paper, be endorsed thereon.


20th. The names of the parties must be entered on the record, and on the dockets of the Court and Clerk without abbreviation, unless the names exceed five.

21st. The causes on the Docket at any term must be numbered, and when referred to, the number must make a part of such reference.

22nd. In Criminal Causes, the substance of the Sheriff’s return must be entered on the Docket of the Court and Clerk, together with the names of the recognizers, if any there be; and the Sheriff shall file all process served three days before term.

23rd. In Civil Causes, the substance of the Sheriff’s return upon Original process, and the date of the service, must be entered upon the docket of the Court and Clerk, after the manner prescribed in the foregoing rule.


24th. In the trial of Causes, but one Counsel on each side shall be permitted to examine or cross examine the same witness; and no witness once dismissed from the stand, shall again be called, until the other testimony is gone through, except at the request of a Juror, or by permission of the Court.

25th. Upon a final hearing, each party will be heard by two Counsel only, unless leave of the Court, which may never be asked for, except in a case of importance and difficulty; the party upon whom the onus lies, is entitled to open and close the argument.


26th. No cause will be delayed by reason of the absence of Counsel, unless on good cause shewn.

27th. Judgment by Confession may be entered up at any time during the term by the Clerk, without application to the Court; the Warrant of attorney, when the confession is by attorney being filed with an affidavit of a disinterested person, of the execution of the warrant.

28th. Agreements of parties in reference to a cause when Entered on record, will be enforced, or if in writing signed by the parties. Agreements not disclosed by a plea, or proved as above, may never be mentioned in argument, or brought into discussion.

29th. Witnesses may be called at the door, from a written list to be furnished by the party desiring them to be called. A party may array his own witnesses, but if he desires them to be called, he must be prepared to furnish the list aforesaid.

30th. When the Sheriff calls witnesses he must promptly announce the names of those who do, and of those who do not answer. Parties are to be called at the Bar, unless otherwise ordered.


31st. Bills, pleas, answers, and special replications, or responses in Chancery, must have a left hand margin not less than one inch widw, and the pages and lines must be numbered. References thereto, by exception or otherwise must note the pages, and lines containing the matter referred to.

32d. No litigated Chancery Causes will be received on Submission, either with, or without argument, until the parties furnish the Court with an abstract—of facts charged and admitted, or not well denied—of facts aversed in Avoidance—of facts proved, with references to the proofs, establishing the same—of evidence counteracting the evidence of party upon whom the onus lies, with references as aforesaid—each party show by his abstract, that which it behooves him to show. One party furnishing such abstract is entitled to a reasonable rule against the opposite party, to furnish the same on his part in order to submission.

33d. Exceptions to a Master’s report must be made in writing, on or before the first calling of the Cause after the report is filed, unless further time be granted by the Court.

34th. Exceptions to a Master’s report must particularly point out such parts of the report as are excepted to, or the parts not so excepted to, will be taken as admitted.

35th. If the Court is dissatisfied with the master’s report it may Refer it back to the Master with special directions.