Civil litigation in the Resident Magistrates’ Courts of the Canterbury settlement 1853-1862
Supreme Court in Canterbury in this period 1852-1861. I hope to carry that research on for later years, but it became clear one could not make much sense of Supreme Court litigation without considering the more numerous, if generally smaller-value cases filed in the Resident Magistrate’s Court. This paper is very much a work in progress – there is still some primary data to analyse; when that is done it should be possible to do a more refined statistical analysis of the amounts in dispute, and ( I hope) to identify regular litigants with more precision, and to seek to link them to other sources of biographical information. There is also an need to extend the period of the survey, and to check more fully for personal records of litigants, and indeed of magistrates. However, the data I have so far acquired – with great help from my research assistant Charlotte Wilson – does allow us to come to some understanding of litigation and litigants in the period.