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From Sohon Drawing


Chancery Courts as a Window on Social History

By Shannan Kain

“Restraining Order”

Source: John M. Vansyckle vs. Seth W. Tatem, Washington Territory, 1864

Subject: Restraining Order

Synopsis: Following is an example of a restraining order. As we know them to day, restraining orders prevent people from approaching another. They are often drawn up at the request of a battered wife or a mother of children involved in a custody hearing. Less often it is a battered man or father that instigates the court order, This document caught my attention because it restrains a man from disposing of or in any way “interfering” with land he owns due to a court judgment in the amount of $46, 888.03, a sum worth approximately 2.3 million dollars by today’s standard. This document is also referred to as a temporary injunction.

TERRITORY OF WASHINGTON (parenthesis with next line followed with the initials SS)
County of Walla Walla (parenthesis with above line followed with the initials SS)

John M. Vansyckle, Ptff. (parenthesis with next 2 lines followed “In the District Court…”)
VS (parenthesis with surrounding 2 lines followed “In the District Court…”)
Seth W. Tatem, Def’t (parenthesis with above 2 lines followed “In the District Court…”)
In the District Court, First Judicial District W.T.(Washington Territory- following above 3 lines)

You are hereby notified that an action has been commenced against you by the plaintiff in the above entitled action, and Plaintiff has filed a complaint against you said Court, which will come on to be heard at the next term of the Court, which shall commence more than two months after the date of this publication, which is the 15th day of July, 1864, and unless you appear at said term and answer, the same will be taken as confessed and the prayer thereof granted. The object and grounds of said complaint are, First-to dissolve the partnership between you and said Plaintiff and the appointment of a Referee, for an injunction enjoining and restraining you from conveying any portion of Block No. 5 in the town of Wallula, in said county, and all other property purchased by the firm of Vansyckle & Tatem of the University of said Territory and all lands owned by the said firm in said county of Walla Walla in said territory, and for judgment in sum of
$46, 888.03. And whereas, by the order of the Judge of said Court, made on the 12th day of July, 1864, the Clerk of the Court, is commanded to issue, a temporary injunction against you, restraining you and enjoining you from selling or disposing of, or interfering with any of the lands or property named and set forth in Plaintiff’s complaint; and that the said restraining order be in force until the next term of said Court, or until a judge thereof, in vacation, shall otherwise order and direct; and it was further ordered by the Judge---it appearing you are now a non-resident of said territory,---that notice of this order be given you by publication in “The Washington Statesmen,” according to law.
Dated Walla Walla, July 12th, 1864.
Bridges & Turney, Plaintiff, s Atty’s

TERRITORY OF WASHINGTON (parenthesis with next line followed with the initials SS)
County of Walla Walla (parenthesis with above line followed with the initials SS)
I, B.N. Sexton, Clerk of the District Court of the First Judicial District, Washington Territory, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and complete copy of a Notice and abstract (attached to the complaint and order of the Judge of said Court, of the above entitled action) now on file in my office.

In witness thereof, I here unto set my hand and the seal of said Court at my office, in the city and county of Walla Walla, W.T., this 13th day of July, A.D. 1864.

B.N. Sexton, Clerk.
There follows a facsimile of a seal with the initials L.S. centered within 2 sets of parenthesis top/bottom and left/right. There is also a date July 15th and a code of unknown importance that reads 31m3.