Colonel Pryamikov and the Dobrov Raisee meet in the house of the chairman of the Civil Chamber, Krivosudov. Straicomov complains that his neighbor started a lawsuit against him. Dobrov, wishing to regret his unlucky friend, calls Pravolov (neighbor) a cunning and a vicious nonsense. He says that Pravolov went through so many cases that he is now a specialist in bribes and disorder in court. And Krivosudov never refuses to be put on his paw. The prosecutor and the secretary – there too. Members of the ward are all like picking: one fool, the other stutter, the third thinks only of his card debts. Dobrov advises Pryamikov to start with bribes. But Pryamikov believes in the law and does not want to bribe the court.
The trials are held directly in Krivosudov’s house. So he saved on renting the building. The promoter mentions that today Krivosudov has a birthday party, and today his daughter is engaged.
Priamikov is alarmed: he has long been in love with Sophia, ever since he was in Moscow. Sophia then lived with her aunt. Separated lovers war. And on his return, Straicov immediately came across a summons to the court. Since then he has not heard anything about Sophia.
Maid Anna reveals to Pryamikov that Sophia is being married to her desire – she is still in love with him. When Sophia arrives, she confirms Anna’s words. Pryamikov tells Krivosudov, who just appeared, about his situation with the lawsuit and says that he is ready to marry
Pravolov sends to the house Krivosudov presents in honor of the name-day of the owner. After a couple of minutes the owner invites Pravovlov to take part in the festival. His right hand, Naumych, mentions Pryamikov, to which Krivosudov responds that he has long since “got by his hands”.
Krivosudov mentions that Pravolov has little chance of winning a case against Pryamikov. His wife, Fekla, reminds her husband that there are many ways to get around the law so that the result is in favor of the right person. Krivosudov tells Fekle how Priamikov today was wooing Sophia. Thekla in indignation: how so, beat her off Pravolov. It does not matter that Sophia does not like the old and terrible Pravovolov. From hatred to love, one step.
Pravolov is to Krivosudov. He talks with Naumyches about the impending trial: all decisions have already been paid, false witnesses are hired, the surveillance for Pryamikov is established. The way in which Privolov conducts litigation has become known to one of his superiors. But Pravolov hopes for friendship with Krivosudov. On his daughter, however, he does not want to marry, for she is a fool, “who does not know the parish with flow”.
Soon one of the spies informs Pravoslavov interesting news: Bogdan Pryamikova actually called Fedot. This is enough to prove that the inheritance passed to Priamikov unfairly.
When Pravovov, between congratulations, tries to enlist Krivosudov’s support, he only cackles that the matter is bad. Then Pravolov reminds the judge about the dacha, which he liked, and adds him the missing amount. Then Krivosudov promises to help Legal.
The guests are invited to the house to congratulate the birthday: prosecutors, members of the Civil Chamber, officials… Pravolov takes turns one by one to make sure that his gifts are not forgotten and they are still on his side.
The congregation begins to talk about electing a new governor – Pravdolyub. Everyone is afraid that their fraud with bribes can be covered, for the new governor stands as a wall for the truth.
Soon everyone gets drunk. Sophia, tired of their society, leaves. Behind her goes Fekla and begins to reproach her, eventually declaring that she will give her out for Pravov. Sophia in despair. She is on her knees asking her mother not to treat her like that.
The game of cards begins. During the game, Pravolov casually mentions that the legacy of Bogdan Pryamikov is illegal. In fact, it belongs to a certain Fedot Priamikov.
Priamikov appeared to be trying to justify himself, but nobody listens to him. Pravolov also refuses to clarify the relationship with Priamikov. When Pryamikov remains alone with the enemy, he begins to threaten him. If he decides to marry Sophia, he will injure him.
Sophia returns to the guests. She sits down at the harp and sings a touching song about justice. The guest’s chorus interrupts her: “Take it, there’s no science here, take what can be taken…”. Then everyone diverge.
Sophia yearns for her beloved. All night she could not fall asleep – she imagined a terrible Pravolov. Appears Pryamikov, wishing to warn Krivosudov that the Senate is waiting for his enemies. But Fekla is rude to him and puts him out the door. Krivosudov worries because of the words of an uninvited guest, but his wife calls him a coward.
Soon Naumych comes, who passes the envelope to the judge with the money – this is a fine that Pravlov wants to pay him unclear for what. The secretary has already drawn up a list of laws that will help Vitalov win the case. Krivosudov consults with Kokhtin on the situation in the Senate. Do they think together about which of their machinations could come up?
Anna and Dobrov clean up the traces of drinking, which occurred in Krivosudov’s house the day before. Now this is the courtroom. The bottles are hidden under the table and covered with a tablecloth.
Appear members of the House. Dobrov lists the list of cases. Many statements Krivosudov ignores, throwing them under the table. The lawsuit of Pravolov to Pryamikov is read out. Members of the Chamber stumble upon finish their bottles hidden under the table.
Bogdan Pryamikov is the legitimate heir to his father’s estate. Pravolov insists on recognizing the estate bought from a relative of the Pryamikovs, and Bogdan declaring the estate an illegitimate successor. The whole thing revolves around different names. The members of the Chamber do not listen to Pryamikov and, interrupting him, declare the transfer of the estate to the ownership of the legalist. As soon as the papers are signed, two notifications from the Senate come.
The first contains an order for the immediate arrest of Pravolov, who is accused of slander and slander. In the second – the order to arrest the entire Civil Chamber, for bribery and injustice. Fekla appears. All gathered are overwhelmed with news. All the members of the House hastily retired, Straightov comes in and again asks Sophia’s hands. This time Krivosudov and Fekla meet him cordially and give their blessings with pleasure. All that remains for them now is to hope that “everything… will get out of hand lightly.” Or at least an amnesty will be declared.