Colorized postcard of the Court House which was located in the Town Hall, date unknown. Courtesy of: Threadcity.us

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Photograph of police court Judge William A. Arnold in The Chronicle newspaper on 02/05/1910.

Superior Court & Police Court

Police Court

The police court was a type of inferior municipal court that only had jurisdiction over certain minor offenses and had the power to examine those with more serious offenses and hold them for trial in a superior court or for a grand jury. It is also commonly referred to as a "magistrate's court". In 1910 the staff included:

  • Judge: William A. Arnold
  • Deputy Judge: James A. Shea
  • Prosecuting Attorney:E. Frank Bugbee
  • Assistant Prosecuting Attorney: Henry H. Hunter
  • Probation Officer: William C. Lyman

Patrick Clifford's hearing, described earlier, is an example of the types of minor cases that were heard here.

Probate Court of Windham District

The probate court for the District of Windham included the towns of Windham and Scotland. A probate court has limited jurisdiction and deals with matters surrounding an individual's death. For example, the probate court oversees the distribution of assets a person who has passed, ensuring any outstanding debts are paid, or the execution of their will. In addition, some probate courts hear cases regarding those who are declared incompetent and are underage. For instance, approving personal representative and assigning guardians amongst other things. The Windham court had the following staff:

  • Judge (from 1907-1916): Henry H. Hunter
  • Judge (from 1917-1918): James A. Shea 
  • Judge (from 1919-1920): James F. Twomey 
  • Clerk: Eugene P. Cryne

The probate court was held in the Probate Office at the Town Hall.

Appeals Courts

There were also statewide courts that heard appeals: the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut which is known today as the Supreme Court of Connecticut & the Superior Court of Connecticut.