Second Court System, 1846-1853; 1853-1880

The Constitution of 1845 established a second state court system which did away with the old courts and created "district" courts. These "districts" were not geographical, but after 1853, they did become jurisdictional--that is, after 1853, each district court had jusrisdiction over a different type of case: First District Court was the criminal court, Second District Court continued the jurisdiction of the earlier Probate Court; Third District Court was the "family " court, like the old Parish Court; and Fourth and Fifth District Courts were commercial courts, handling financial disputes and continuing the work of the Commercial Court and the First Judicial District Court.

The Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth, and Superior District Courts were created for "special" reasons. The Sixth District Court was created in 1853 to handle cases pending in the City of Lafayette (the area now encompassing the Garden District and the Irish Channel) when it was incorporated into the City of New Orleans. At a later date, 6DC assumed a more general jurisdiction and handled cases of various types, including probate, divorce and some commercial cases.

The jurisdiction of the Seventh District Court, created in 1868, is unclear, but we know that some cases from Third District Court were transferred to this court.

The Eighth District Court, established in 1872, operated during Reconstruction and may have been created to handle disputed election cases.

The Superior District Court contains a lot of tax-related cases. In many cases, no suit record was generated, but only a page in a tax judgment book; the judgement book contains no details, since the cases were cut-and-dried proceedings in which the City or State sued someone for non-payment of taxes.


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