Litchfield County judicial records, 1790-1930
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Brief Description:

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.

Held at:
Litchfield Historical Society
7 South Street, P.O. Box 385
Litchfield, CT 6759
Phone: 860-567-4501
Fax: 860-567-3565
Email: archivist [at] litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org
Created by: Connecticut. County Court (Litchfield County)
Volume: 2.5 Linear Feet
Acquired: 08/03/2005. 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).
Arrangement:

The records are arranged in two series:

Series 1. Case files

Series 2. Subject files

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Connecticut. County Court (Litchfield County) - History
County courts - Connecticut - Litchfield County - History
Genres/Forms of Material
Civil court records
Criminal court records
Judicial records
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: 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.
Acquisition Notes: Albert DiMeo  Gift
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

For more information please see http://www.cslib.org/archives/FAIndexes/.
PreferredCitation: Litchfield County judicial records (2005-08-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759