From the Blog

Spotlight: Torrington (Litchfield) Courthouse

From being the oldest courthouse in Connecticut and a national historical site, the courthouse for the Judicial District of Litchfield moved from Litchfield to Torrington. Since August 2017, a gleaming, modern structure greets lawyers and litigants.

More than Two Hundred and Fifty Years of History

The Town of Litchfield held the county and later Judicial District Courthouse from 1752 to 2017. Although the first courthouse burned and was replaced in 1797, the second courthouse was constructed just 150 feet from the site of the original. Almost 100 years later, the second courthouse burned. A replacement, the third courthouse, burned in August 1888 before any court business was ever transacted. The fourth courthouse, which still stands today, is made of Roxbury Granite, and enjoys a prominent spot in downtown.

Historical Litchfield County Courthouse

The Litchfield Courthouse pictured above, in use for decades, was actually leased to the State of Connecticut by a local family. Originally ascribed to “local lore,” State officials that the property, ” if not used as a courthouse, would revert to the family that allowed the county to use it more than two centuries ago.” The New York Times, After 127 years, the Gavel Falls on a Connecticut Courthouse, retrieved June 6, 2020 10:40 am.

Growth Results in Move to Torrington, New Courthouse

Litchfield County has changed in the last 275 years. While quaint and historical, the Litchfield Courthouse did not meet modern standards, measured by technology, energy efficiency, building codes or accessibility. Plans for a new court house took years to develop and thankfully resulted in a new courthouse in Torrington, a few miles from Litchfield.

Judicial District of Litchfield at Torrington

The new courthouse, with eight courtrooms and two hearing rooms, cost $81 million and sprawls across 173,000 square feet. The entryway includes massive flat screen displays showing courtroom assignments. The new courthouse centralizes court operations and services, including prosecutors; public defenders; victim services; bail services; adult supervision; juvenile probation; court reporters and interpreters.


If you have a question about multi-jurisdictional practice in Connecticut, appearing pro hac vice in state court or federal court in Connecticut, local counsel services, or appearing as a visiting lawyer before a state agency, municipality or in an arbitration proceeding, please feel free to call Attorney John Radshaw in New Haven today at (203) 654-9695. For more information about Attorney Radshaw and his practice, visit