Court of Common Pleas

Court of Common Pleas
In English law, one of the four superior courts at Westminster, which existed up to the passing of the judicature acts. It was also styled the "Common Bench". It was one of the courts derived from the breaking up of the aula regis, and had exclusive jurisdiction of all real actions and of communia placita, or common pleas, i.e., between subject and subject. It was presided over by a chief justice with four puisne judges (later five, by virtue of 31 & 32, Viet., c. 125, No. 11, subsec. 8). Appeals lay anciently to the king's bench, but afterwards to the exchequer chamber.
See 3 Bl.Comm. 37, et seq.
Its jurisdiction was altogether confined to civil matters, having no cognizance in criminal cases, and was concurrent with that of the queen's bench and exchequer in personal actions and ejectment. In 1873 the court became the Common Pleas Division of the High Court of Justice. In 1880 by Order in Council that division was merged into the Queen's Bench Division. In the United States, such courts exist in Pennsylvania wherein all civil and criminal actions are begun (except such as are brought before courts of inferior jurisdiction). Most such courts have been abolished, however, with their jurisdiction being transferred to district, circuit, or superior courts

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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