If in any case the original papers therein, or any of them, or the record for or in an appellate court, or any paper filed or connected with such record, be lost or destroyed, any party to such case may present to the court wherein the case is, or in which it would or ought to be, but for such loss or destruction, a petition verified by affidavit stating such loss or destruction, and praying that such case be heard and determined or tried on the reproduction of such record or papers, or satisfactory proof of their contents. Upon such petition and an authenticated copy of what is lost or destroyed, the court may hear and determine the case, or proceed to a trial thereof, if before a jury. The court may also hear and determine the case, or proceed to the trial thereof, if before a jury, upon proof, after reasonable notice to the parties interested, of the contents of such record or papers, or so much thereof, as may be necessary for a decision by the court, or by a jury, and may make such order or decree as if the papers or any of them had not been lost or destroyed.The court may in its discretion, require new pleadings to be made up in whole or in part.A plaintiff instead of proceeding under this section may commence and prosecute a new suit for the same matter; and no certified copy of any deed, will, account, or other original paper required by law to be recorded shall be used by any party as evidence for him, in any case when the original deed, will, account, or other original paper or record thereof has been destroyed, until such copy has been properly admitted to record, according to law. This section shall not apply to criminal cases.
Code 1950, § 8-209; 1977, c. 617.