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No.: GR0023.012SF
TITLE: Judicial District of Hanna sous-fonds
CREATOR: Judicial District of Hanna
DATE RANGE: 1919-1987
EXTENT: 59.53 m of textual records. -- 44 microfilm reels
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Dates of founding and/or dissolution:
The Judicial District of Acadia was established on September 15, 1919 by Order-in-Council (O.C.) 1290/19. On April 1, 1922, the name of the District was changed to the Judicial District of Hanna (O.C. 412/22). The District was disbanded on December 15, 1987 (Alberta Regulation (A.R.) 462/87).

Functional responsibility:
The Judicial District of Hanna is a geographic area in east central Alberta that served two functions: the adjudication of cases through the province’s court system and the registration of documents.

The function of the courts within the judicial district is to hear and pass judgment on criminal and civil cases. Criminal offenses included arson, assault, blackmail, extortion, fraud, kidnapping, liquor infractions, manslaughter, murder, perjury, prostitution, public drunkenness, robbery, sexual assault, theft, treason, vandalism, and vagrancy. Civil matters included the administration of deceased person’s estates, contract disputes, foreclosures, probate of wills, property disputes, and small claims disputes over debts.

The courts holding jurisdiction in this judicial district have included the District Court of Alberta (1919-1979), the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Alberta (1919-1979), the Provincial Court of Alberta (1971-1987), and the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (1979-1987).

The District also functioned as a registration district for documents pertaining to bankruptcies, chattel mortgages (i.e., claims against possessions), liens (i.e., claims against real estate), and partnerships. This function ended in 1967 when the registration districts were consolidated into a Central Registry by the Chattel Securities Registry Act (Statutes of Alberta (S.A.) 1966, c. 12).

Predecessor and successor bodies:
Prior to September 15, 1919, civil and criminal matters in this region were heard in the Judicial District of Calgary. After December 15, 1987, the Judicial District of Drumheller had jurisdiction over matters in the region.

Administrative relationships:
Following the hierarchy of court system, the decisions made during court proceedings in this judicial district can be appealed to a higher court. At the time of the District’s creation in 1919, the judgment of a local magistrate or justice of the peace could be appealed to a judge of the District Court, and then to judges of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Alberta, followed by judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, concluding with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England. Currently, appeals from judgments of the Provincial Court are heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench, followed by the Alberta Court of Appeal, and conclude with the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Government of Alberta appoints justices of the peace and the judges of the Provincial Court of Alberta (previously known as magistrates), while the Government of Canada appoints the judges of all higher courts within the province.

Although the courts are not part of the Government of Alberta, the Court Services Division of Alberta Justice and Attorney-General employs the personnel who schedule trials and hearings, receive documents, create and maintain case files, and provide courtroom security within the judicial district.

Administrative Structure:
The boundaries of the Judicial District of Hanna have been altered during its existence as a result of changes in other judicial districts. The creation of the Judicial District of Drumheller on August 31, 1926 by O.C. 1029/26 removed some territory on the western boundary of the Judicial District of Hanna.

Towns and villages within this judicial district have included Delia, Drumheller, Hanna, Oyen and Youngstown.

Since 1919, several judicial officials have presided over legal matters within the District, including magistrates, who became judges in the new Provincial Court of Alberta in 1971; judges of the District Court; judges of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court; and judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench. Other judicial officials within in the judicial district, such as justices of the peace, held limited powers to hear and judge legal matters

Other officials supporting the operations of the courts included clerks, deputy clerks, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, court reporters, and process issuers (servers). Clerks received and filed documents submitted to and produced by the court and kept financial accounts. Court reporters created transcripts of court proceedings. Between 1919 and 1987, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs carried out the orders of the courts, such as property seizures, served legal documents on parties to court cases, and provided courtroom security. In some judicial districts, process issuers rather than sheriffs were employed to deliver legal documents to parties involved in court cases.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The sous-fonds consists of the records of the Judicial District of Hanna, including the civil, criminal, probate and other actions heard at the courts held within the District. The sous-fonds includes the following series:

  • Supreme Court of Alberta (Hanna) series
  • District Court of Alberta (Hanna) series
  • Office of the Sheriff (Hanna) series
  • Criminal cases (Hanna) series
  • Office of the Clerk (Hanna) series
  • LANGUAGE NOTE: The language of the material is in English.
    GENERAL NOTE: Records related to the administrative operations of this judicial district are located in the Inspector of Legal Offices series in the Alberta Justice fonds (GR0023).
    RELATED FONDS: GR0023 (Alberta Justice fonds)
    RELATED SERIES: GR0023.012SF.0001 (Supreme Court of Alberta (Hanna) series)
    GR0023.012SF.0002 (District Court of Alberta (Hanna) series)
    GR0023.012SF.0003 (Office of the Sheriff (Hanna) series)
    GR0023.012SF.0004 (Criminal files (Hanna) series)
    GR0023.012SF.0005 (Office of the Clerk (Hanna) series)

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