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Nearly all court cases that actually come to trial have two opposing parties. This is a truism of our judicial system. However, some judicial intervention can be created by means of a petition to the court; one-party or nonadversarial cases are called ex parte, and Yates County has a rich collection of these papers. 

The files concern nearly every aspect of life, but largely comprise such matters as estates, guardianships, adoptions, orders of protection and so on. An index to these papers has been posted on this site. The arrangement is somewhat abitrary and the researcher is urged not to confine searches to particular surnames or subjects, but to read the entire file. Cases having to do with churches are indexed by denomination [except for those named after saints, which are indexed with the Ss]; those concerning municipalities are indexed by the name of the town, county or village; and those having to do with banks or railroads are with the Bs and Rs respectively. Cases involving individuals are indexed by surname, and the few two-party case files are indexed by the surname of the plaintiff. In all cases, the index is by initial letter only.

The index has been divided into relatively small chronological sections. For access, use a link in the table below. The papers are of course public information, and photocopies can be made on request, for $1 a page.

To get your copies, you must include the following in your request:

  • the case title, year and locator number as listed in the index, 
  • your name and postal address 
  • the phrase "Case file request" in the subject line.
Your copies will be sent to you with a bill.

To submit a request, click here: