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Litchfield County judicial records

 Collection
Identifier: 2005-08-0

Scope and Contents

Litchfield County Judicial Records (1790-1930) consist of case files and other documents relating to matters involving the Litchfield County Court, the Litchfield Superior Court, and the clerk of the court from the late 1790s through 1861. The records were recovered from the attic of the former Westleigh Inn and it is not known why the records were stored there. They appear to complement the Litchfield County Court records held by the Connecticut State Archives. In the absence of original order, they have been arranged in two series, Case files and Subject files, using two State Archives finding aids as models: "RG 003, Litchfield County, County Court Files, Inventory of Records" and "RG 003, Litchfield County, County Court Papers by Subject Inventory of Records," both of which were prepared by Debra Pond. The description of the series and records which follow include excerpts from these State Archives finding aids. Series 1. Case files Case files contain original materials and relate to civil lawsuits and criminal actions in the years between 1790 and 1861. While the records relating to each file vary by case, common documents include writs, summonses, motions filed by the parties, and jury verdicts. The cases are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by plaintiff. Series 2. Subject files Subject files include a range of records and generally follow the subject categories found in the Litchfield County Court records at the Connecticut State Archives. The categories are organized alphabetically, and then arranged chronologically within each category. Subject file categories: Admissions to the bar (1859-1860) contains chronologically arranged certificates from the county bar's committee of examiners reporting results of its examination of candidates seeking to be admitted to practice before the Litchfield County bar. Appeals from probate (1800-1855) contains chronologically arranged documents from parties requesting reconsideration of probate court decisions. Appointments of commissioners (1855-1860) contains chronologically arranged documents relating to confirmations of individuals sworn as commissioners of the court. Costs (1798-1860, undated) are accountings of court costs from individual files for items such as service of writs, summoning of witnesses, juror expenses, sheriff's travel expenses and the like. Some cost records do not include the name of the case to which they belong. The records are filed chronologically by year. Court expenses (1798-1859) are arranged chronologically and consist primarily of accounts by those incurring expenses in running the court. Entries include such items as dinner and wine expenses and some itemized gaoler accounts, which provide details of the care provided to prisoners while incarcerated in Litchfield. Inquests (1798-1861) are investigations into the causes of suspicious deaths. They are arranged chronologically by year. Jurors (circa 1800-1860) contains orders to town constables to summon jurors for jury duty, as the court needed them to try cases. In addition, the clerk's notes of the individuals who served on the jury for certain trials may be found here. These records are arranged first by general records, which include documents relating to county-wide matters, and second alphabetically by town name, then chronologically. Justices by town (1860-1861) contains documents confirming the swearing of justices of the peace and are arranged alphabetically by town. Miscellaneous (1802-circa 1930) contains a variety of material and generally consists of individual items. Documents include a land appraisal, a bond, a deposition apparently unrelated to any case file, documents relating to post-Civil War military pensions, photographs of two unidentified men circa 1930, and other items. Naturalization (1842-1860) is made up of petitions for and other documents relating to naturalization. They are arranged chronologically and then by the name of the individual. Protection orders (1799-1812) protected debtors with a large number of debts from arrest while at court suing their own creditors. They are arranged chronologically. Taverns (1856-1860) is composed of chronologically arranged certifications to the court of the tavern keepers appointed by the county's towns. Tavern licenses were appointed, or renewed, annually by the court.

Dates

  • Created: 1790-1930
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1790-1861
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/08/2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Extent

2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement Note

The records are arranged in two series: Series 1. Case files Series 2. Subject files

Source of Acquisition

Albert DiMeo

Method of Acquisition

Gift

Accruals and Additions

Albert DiMeo made an initial gift on Aug. 3, 2005 (2005-08-0). Mr. DiMeo through his daughter Laurel Saramak made a smaller additional donation on Apr. 25, 2007 (2007-14-0).

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Connecticut State Archives, RG 003 Judicial Department: Litchfield County, County Court Files, 1751-1855 Litchfield County, County Court Papers by Subject, 1750-1855 Litchfield County Court Minorities Collection, 1753-1854

http://www.cslib.org/archives/FAIndexes/

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Title
Litchfield County judicial records
Author
Leith Johnson
Date
05/03/2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

Contact:
7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759 US
860-567-4501
860-567-3565 (Fax)