By the custom of this borough there is a court that is part of this corporation called a foreign court, for expeditiously dealing with [actions concerning] the recovery of debts, commitments, bargains, and contracts made by merchants and other outsiders visiting this borough. Which court is to be held, and has always been held, before the bailiffs then in office on a daily basis, at the discretion of the bailiffs, giving consideration to the truth and equity of a case by the following procedure. That is, once an arrest and attachment has been made, and the action and matter has been entered into the record of the court called the borough court, and once a complaint has been lodged in that court by a plaintiff against a defendant, if the defendant, upon the demand of the court, admits [guilt of] the complaint brought against him in the borough court, then the plaintiff shall not be allowed a foreign court [process] , but the bailiffs shall proceed to judgement and its execution in that action. But if the defendant does not admit [liability] , but seeks to use [procedural] delays against the plaintiff in the action and suit, then the bailiffs, shall grant a foreign court (upon request and payment for the same) against the defendant in such an action. Which court is to be held before them from day to day, at the discretion of the bailiffs, or may be adjourned by them until some later date, either to gain knowledge of the truth or to obtain advice on uncertain legal issues. The action and complaint is to proceed thus in that court until a determination can be reached by due process of law. By the ancient custom of this borough a free burgess may have a grant of this court against an outsider or a merchant who is not a free burgess. It may also be granted between two or more outsiders who are both plaintiffs and defendants. But the custom of the borough has always been, and remains, that this court may not be granted between two burgesses or freemen of the borough in any kind of complaint. Moreover, the custom of this borough has always been, and remains, that no writ of certiorari, of habeas corpus, or writ of error will lie in this court, whose allowance would hinder the course of justice or the execution of a judgement given.
[Foreign court was the name given in a number of towns to an institution better known as a piepowder court.]
[The several writs mentioned were devices by which a defendant could obstruct justice by having a superior court intervene, either through a review of the evidence or by transfer of the case.]