Secular Courts (1783–1850)

As explained in the menu item Marriage Proceedings | Norms, the Josephine Marriage Patent came into effect on November 1, 1783. It defined marriage as a “civil contract” and transferred the marriage jurisdiction to “the sovereign courts” (§ 1). Which courts should exercise jurisdiction was regulated by additional court decrees. While the Catholic consistories did not recognize any court privileges, the court decree of July 28, 1783 (JSG 1780–1784, 166) stipulated that in the Archduchy noble persons were subjected to the “Landmarschallisches Gericht”, all non-noble persons to the “Ortsgerichte” (Local Courts).
The knowledge of the compent court was not only relevant for contemporaries but is also a precondition for historians in search for remaining documents.