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Sanford Municipal Court Records

Identifier: SC-114

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into three series. All the volumes are the records taken by the City of Sanford, Florida and the police in regard to court cases and arrests in Sanford, Florida. The cases recorded in the three separate volumes overlap with the cases recorded with each one containing a different amount or specific type of information.

Series I, Municipal Court Dockets arranged by date and case number. The dockets dates range from January 12, 1920 to December 29, 1972 and are separated into 53 separate volumes. The individual dockets start with an index alphabetizing the cases by last name of the defendant. Then the docket goes in case order three to a page. The records record the name of the defendant, the charges against them, the date the hearing was held, and the result and/or fine from the case in question. The charges recorded are small misdemeanors ranging from driving under influence or the use of illegal substances. These are the records recorded for the filing of the local Sanford court or governmental body.

Series II, Police Dockets are arranged by date and case number. The records date from July 16, 1926 to April 13, 1946 and are separated into 4 volumes. Three of the volumes starts with an index that is arranged alphabetically; however, the last volume contains no such index. Following the index is the individual cases which are set to four to a page and record the individual, the date of the citation, the name of the arresting officer, the charges, and the result (Ex. If the case was dismissed or fine designated). These are the records created and held by the police for their own individual filling.

Series III, Jail Records are arranged by date though the dates of the three volumes overlap. The records date from April 25, 1924 to January 4, 1943 with the second record overlapping with the dates February 2, 1942 to May 4, 1942. Each volume is a spread sheet that goes by date and case number order. They record the individual, the case, the number of days sentenced, the fine or bail posted, the date it was paid and whether the sentence was served or dismissed. These records are only in the case of jail sentencing for misdemeanors and do not exceed the maximum time for those cases.


  • 1920-1972

Conditions Governing Access

The entire collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Sanford was founded by Henry Shelton Sanford and incorporated in 1877. Henry Sanford had hoped to make his city the seat of the county, which was Mellonville at the time. In 1883 Mellonville was annexed to the city of Sanford, effectively ending its tenure as county seat. However, this did not result in Sanford becoming the county seat.

Henry Sanford died on May 21, 1891, leaving Gertrude Ellen DuPuy Sanford, his wife, to settle their many debts. Twenty-two years after his death, Henry Sanford's dream came true. On April 25, 1913 Sanford was established as the county seat, the same day Seminole County was established.

Florida had a very extensive and complex court system comprised of no less than sixteen different types of court until 1972, when Article V was revised. With the 1972 revisions, the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA) was created and tasked to create uniformity across the Florida court system, and all courts were broken between the new two-tier system. The new court system, still in use in 2019, consists of County and Circuit Courts. Most courts outside of the two tiers were gone by 1973, and those that remained were definitively gone by 1977.

The Sanford Municipal court was instated in 1923 as a part of the City Charter of the City of Sanford Passed by the Legislature of Florida. In the same document, it orders a docket to be kept to record all proceedings. The dockets in this collection begin their records before 1923, beginning with cases in 1920 and ending with cases from 1972. This Municipal Court was part of Florida's Middle District, which stretches in a diagonal from Nassau to Collier Counties. As a municipal court, the Sanford Municipal court was designated to have power over one city, Sanford. It handled cases of traffic violations, small claims, small conflicts, and the like.

The Sanford Police Dockets within this collection begin thirteen years after the establishment of Sanford as the county seat. A police docket was not required by the City Charter in 1923. These documents were for the police's use as an index of cases. The police dockets cover cases from 1926 to 1946.

The Jail Records likewise act as an index of persons who went to jail. They begin recording in 1924, and those within the collection end recording 1942.

City Charter of the City of Sanford, Florida, Passed by the Legislature of Florida, 1923. 1923. Tallahassee, Fla.: T. J. Appleyard.

Eighteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. "History of the Eighteenth Circuit: Our Story." Accessed June 19, 2019.

Florida Courts, "History of Court Processes, Programs, and Initiatives." Accessed June 20, 2019.

Florida Courts, "Trial Courts - Circuit" Accessed June 4, 2019.

Office of the State Courts Administrator, Florida. "Short History of the Florida State Courts System Processes, Programs, and Initiatives." 2016. PDF.

Robinson, Jim, and Mark Andrews. Flashbacks: The Story of Central Florida's Past. Orlando, Florida: The Orange County Historical Society and the Orlando Sentinel, 1995.

Sanford Museum. "Gen Henry Shelton Sanford." Accessed June 19, 2019.

The City of Sanford. "History and Historic Preservation." Accessed June 19, 2019.

Whitner, J. N. The Tale of a Mosquito: A Story of Early Sanford, Florida. The Sanford Historical Society Inc., 2000.


18 Linear Feet


This collection contains bound manuscript volumes from the City of Sanford which includes fifty-three municipal court dockets (January 12, 1920-December 29, 1972); four police dockets (July 16, 1926-April 13, 1946); and 3 jail records (April 25, 1924-May 4, 1942).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

City of Sanford donated these materials to the University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives in 2018. (CFM2018_16)

Related Materials

For more information, please see our website.


Loose items between pages of the dockets must remain in their original locations within the Dockets.

Processing Information

Manuscript records are organized in chronological order within the series. Each bound volume individually wrapped with acid-free heavy duty paper and tied with cotton tying tape.
Sanford Municipal Court Records
Courtney Toelle, Kyle West, and Suphi Burak Ogreten
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the UCF Special Collections Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576