court of record. 1. A court that is required to keep a record of its proceedings. • The court’s records are presumed accurate and cannot be collaterally impeached. See OF RECORD(2). [Cases: Courts 48. C.J.S. Courts § 4.]

“The distinction that we still draw between ‘courts of record’ and courts that are ‘not of record’ takes us back to early times when the king asserts that his own word as all that has taken place in his presence is incontestable. This privilege he communicates to his own special court; its
testimony as to all that is done before it is conclusive. If any question arises as to what happened on a previous occasion, the justices decide this by recording or bearing record (recordantur, portant recordum). Other courts … may and, upon occasion, must bear record; but their records are not irrefragable …. We easily slip into saying that a court whose record is incontrovertible is a court which has record (habet recordum) or is a court of record, while a court whose record may be disputed has no record (non habet recordum) and is no court of record.” 2 Frederick Pollock & Frederic W. Maitland, History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I 669 (2d ed. 1899).

2. A court that may fine and imprison people for contempt.

“A court of record is, strictly speaking, a court which has power to fine and imprison.” Lancelot Feilding Everest, Everest and Strode’s Law of Estoppel 13 (1923).

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