Saturday, April 08, 2006

My Own Ancestors Weren't So Appealing

I love this query posed in today's Austin American-Statesman:

Q: I have an 1860 opinion from the Supreme Court of Texas on the appeal of my great-great-grandfather's murder conviction for murdering my great-great-grandmother (Wyler v. State). What are the chances that the briefs (the legal arguments made by the attorneys) are archived? The Supreme Court Web site doesn't seem to suggest that they have anything that far back.

Yes, my wife still sleeps with one eye open.

— Steve N.

A: Original petitions (briefs, appeals), original indictments (criminal cases only), etc. from about 1840 to 1980 are managed by the State Archives, 1201 Brazos St. Records from 1980 to present are maintained by the Supreme Court of Texas.

Contact the archive information service, 463-5480 or, with the date and case name. You will be notified when the briefs have been retrieved and reviewed for sensitive information before copying. Copies are 10 cents per page (letter and legal) and 50 cents per page (ledger). You can look through the archives yourself (bring a photo ID). [Link]

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