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Court records of areas in Prussian Poland can prove to be very interesting. Some of the records that were kept are of serious crimes, while others are of a much less severe nature. Even as to complaints of a stolen pound of butter. Court records usually include the name of the defendant, as well as the person registering the complaint. The description of the complaint or crime is given, others involved or witnesses of the matter are noted and can be described in rather lengthy detail at times.
The fees or the penalty is stated as well. Occasionally the defendant, if found guilty, could chose between a fine or imprisonment, some times only a few days in length. It appeared the crime of the greatest frequency appeared to be theft of personal property or money. Another one frequently seen in the records, was that of poaching game and stealing wood from the forests. This was undoubtedly caused by the poverty status of the majority of families and the efforts to feed them and keep warm.
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