Brunswick Court Records
Herein are recorded the cases of the lower jurisdiction (niedere Gerichtsbarkeit). Typically marriage, inheritance, debt and guardianship matters were deliberated before the magistrate and then recorded. The German word "degedingen" comes from middle low German and means approx. to contractually agree to or with something.
Dr. Henning Steinführer, Stadtarchiv Braunschweig
There are Degedingebücher for Braunschweig at www.familysearch.org , Keyword Search: Degedingebuch. Films can be ordered through the Family History Center network.
After the war of 1792-1797 the concept of "Friedensgericht" was introduced in Germany. Napoleon I ushered in the Code Civil (the separation of power) so that administration and jurisprudence became separate entities. Indepedent judges were installed and up sprang the so called Friedensgerichte. When the French occupied states came into Prussian possession, these courts remained because they were viewed as more progressive than the old system. In 1879 the Friedensgerichte were replaced by Amtsgerichte.
Typically, the Friedensgericht dealt with matters of small value, like personal and movable possessions. A judgement could not be disputed. The judge also had to oversee all police matters. He could not issue a sentence that exceeded a certain low amount of money or a few days of incarceration.
A few records of a Friedensgericht for Braunschweig can be obtained through www.familysearch.org , catalog, keyword search: Friedensgericht. Films can be obtained through the Family History Center network.