Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

County Courts

County Courts, inferior tribunals for the administration of justice in civil claims. Established in England in 1846 by the Act known as the original "County Courts Act," the main provisions of which are now (under the above and amending statutes) as follows: - The area of the jurisdiction of each court is as fixed by Order in Council from time to time. The judges, who are appointed by the Lord Chancellor, and may not exceed sixty in number, must be barristers of at least seven years' standing, who must not practise at the bar, or act as arbitrators for any remuneration to themselves, and when permanently infirm and desirous of resigning, may receive pensions. The subject matter of the jurisdiction are all personal claims where not more than £50 is claimed, except libel, slander, seduction, or breach of promise of marriage, ejectment (where either the value of the lands or the rent exceeds £50 a year), and actions in which the title to any corporeal or incorporeal hereditaments, or to any toll, fair, market, or franchise, shall come in question. Also all actions by creditors or legatees of a deceased person or for execution of trusts, or for redemption of a mortgage, or for specific performance of an agreement for sale or lease of property, or under the Trustee Relief Acts or Trustee Acts, or relating to the maintenance of infants or for the dissolution of partnership, or for relief against fraud or mistake, provided that in each of these actions the subject-matter does not exceed in value the sum of £500. Also, by agreement of both parties, all actions assigned to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Courts. Actions of contract in the High Court, where not more than £100 is claimed, may be remitted to the County Court by a judge of the High Court for trial. The judge in the County Court is the sole judge of all questions, both of fact and law, but where the amount in dispute exceeds £5, or the action is of an equitable nature, either party may require a jury which consists of five persons. An appeal is allowed in cases where more than £20 is in dispute. If less than that, then only if the judge thinks such appeal "reasonable and proper." A considerable bankruptcy jurisdiction has of late years been conferred on the County Courts.