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Court Mail is a relevant topic for Przedbórz philately because it is alleged that the 6th, 7th and 8th issues were used on court mail and tax documents.
This is how someone (possibly prof. dr hab. Julian Auleytner) at Chicagopex 2007 explained it to me, and how Stan Kronenberg  explained it:
- Although Kronenberg discussed the court mail system as it existed in Eastern Galicia from 1898 to 1939, people at Chicagopex 2007 thought the same system would have applied in WWI Przedbórz.
- Court mail included subpoenas, summons, court decisions, etc.
- The problem was that the town court had jurisdiction over outlying areas such as the villages around Przedbórz, but the regular mail service was poor, even in peacetime. (Przedbórz was in the Russian sector prior to WWI, so we will also need to look at Russian court mail. Rossica has probably published some articles on the subject.)
When the courts relied on the regular postal system, litigants would often hear about the trial date long after the trial was over. (Presumably, this wasn't such a problem in town, where a variety of communication modes were possible.)
So the Austrians set up a parallel court mail system, which operated in much the same way as the local delivery system: the stamp was affixed to the court mail and the recipient paid the fee, or it was affixed to a list of addresses carried by the court messenger.
- At least in Galicia, court stamps were available at various outlets, so that an attorney or his client could buy court stamps and affix them to documents when necessary.
- Anyway, people (not necessarily Kronenberg) believe that Przedbórz local delivery stamps, including issues 6-8, were used this way.
See also Berrisford and Blunt [2006; 2007a, b; 2008]
Thanks to prof. dr hab. Julian Auleytner for a stimulating discussion at ChicagoPex 2007. His point was that in the early 1900's, for many working-class and peasant Poles, a court summons or order would be the most common mail, and that would often be delivered by court messenger, not by the postal service.
Prof. Auleytner is NOT responsible for any errors above, and I publicly apologize to him if I misinterpreted or misstated his remarks.
© 2008-13 Sam Ginsburg
Last modified 24 Feb. 2013