Regional Court (Bavarian administrative unit)

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District Courts in Bavaria were from the late Middle Ages in until the modern era administrative units of the lower level with administrative and judicial tasks. A distinction is made between the “regional courts before secularization ” and then the “regional courts of the older order” up to their dissolution in 1862. The separation of administrative and legal tasks gave rise to the district offices and local courts . The term “regional court” was understood to mean both the authority in the administrative sense and the judicial district (Sprengel) in the geographical sense. Today's regional court under the Courts Constitution Act of 1879 corresponds to the court between the district court and the higher regional court in Germany .

District court before secularization

From the beginning of the 14th century until the secularization of 1802, the regional and nursing courts of Bavaria belonged to the lower administrative units and were at the same time the foundation of the Bavarian military, court and financial administration.

Origin of the country and nursing courts

Border stone between the Tölz district court and the Tegernsee monastery on the Gronetseck above Gaissach

They are creations of the dukes of the Wittelsbach family . It began to be set up towards the end of the 13th century; individual dishes were not formed until the 15th and 16th centuries. Up until that time, in the high Middle Ages, the lowest administrative and judicial units had been counties , bailiffs and lordships . The Wittelsbacher were also owners of counties and lordships and holders of bailiwick rights. In the first half of the 13th century they set up a number of " offices " to administer them, which they had appointed by officials who carried the title of judge . Since most of the counts and noble families in Bavaria died out from the middle of the 13th century, the dukes in possession followed them. This made it possible to turn the offices into more and more rounded blocks around old and new centers, which were called “courts”. The superordinate authorities of the offices and the later courts were the vice offices, which developed from 1255 onwards . In 1506 there were four Vitztumämter Munich and Burghausen for Upper Bavaria and Landshut and Straubing for Lower Bavaria . These were a result of the Landshut War of Succession in (1504/05) in 1507 Rent offices renamed.

Land judge and orderly

Originally, the district judge was usually the sole bearer of official authority in his district. When in the 14th century the Wittelsbachers built castles at most of the courts to protect the judicial districts and thus their rule in general and appointed keepers as castle attendants , the power was divided between two officials, the district judge and the keeper. From then on, the district judge was limited to the purely judicial task and only performed that of the nurse on a representative basis. In view of the importance of military protection in the judicial district, however, the orderly gradually became the actual head of the judiciary and was primarily responsible for the police and administration . In regional courts that had no castle and therefore no caretaker at the head, this task was carried out by the regional judge. On the other hand, there were courts that were connected with the maintenance of the castle, but were too small to provide enough employment for two officials. In such cases the nurse was also a district judge.

District court of the older order

From 1802 to 1862 in Bavaria the name "Landgericht" was used for a state administrative unit of the lower level that was newly created in 1802 and which performed administrative tasks similar to today's rural districts . At the same time, this new “regional court” was also the judicial organ of the lower jurisdiction and thus the entrance instance of the ordinary jurisdiction , comparable to today's district court . But it also performed tasks of the higher judiciary (like today's regional courts ) and performed notarial activities. To distinguish between the ducal and later electoral Bavarian regional and nursing courts and the regional courts in today's sense, these Bavarian regional courts of the later kingdom are referred to in recent literature as "regional court of the older order".

Development of the regional courts of the older order

As a result of the Napoleonic wars in southern Germany, which ultimately led to the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , mediatization and secularization , the administrative structures of Bavaria began to be restructured.

With an ordinance of March 24, 1802, the nursing courts that had existed since the High Middle Ages were replaced by the new form of the regional courts. They took over their duties as administrative authorities and courts with jurisdiction for higher and lower jurisdiction. In parallel, in the circle immediate 1802/03 own city courts established cities of Bavaria, which were equivalent to the regional courts. The city courts were purely judicial organs with no administrative tasks. All other towns and markets that had not become the seat of a regional or municipal court were revoked in 1806 and 1808.

Kingdom of Bavaria

After the establishment of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806, the administrative structure of Bavaria was completely redesigned in 1808 to enable the newly acquired territories to be incorporated into the Kingdom. Minister Montgelas created an efficient state administration for the enlarged Bavaria. He divided the country into administrative districts and administered it through a newly created civil service. These administrative districts were named after rivers, for example the Isar district with the district capital Munich, or the Lech district with the district capital Augsburg. They were reduced from initially fifteen to eight circles. The districts were in turn subdivided into the regional courts.

From 1838 the districts were named after the old duchies instead of the river names . Under the National Socialists, these administrative districts were renamed as administrative districts as part of the Gleichschaltung , which, as administrative units of the middle level, largely correspond to today's administrative districts. The renaming of the districts to districts (and the districts to district offices), as the Bavarian constitution of 1946 actually intended, was in fact no longer carried out after the establishment of the Federal Republic.

Dissolution of the regional courts of the older order

The function of the regional courts as an administrative authority and at the same time a judicial body was viewed as a structural flaw in the Bavarian constitution , as it affected judicial independence . In addition to his office as judge, the judge was bound by instructions through his simultaneous function as an administrative officer. Only in the Palatinate , which at that time belonged to Bavaria , had there been state commissioners alongside the regional courts since 1816.

To remedy this deficiency, the Bavarian Judicial Constitution Act was enacted in the kingdom on January 10, 1861. This law made it possible to separate the judiciary and administration.

Division into regional courts, district offices and notaries' offices

From 1862, the administrative tasks were separated from the regional courts and transferred to the newly created district offices . The district offices were renamed to districts in 1939.

At the same time, the administration of justice at the lower level was separated from the judiciary and permanent notaries were established for non-contentious (voluntary) jurisdiction from July 1, 1862.

The remaining institutions for the administration of justice initially retained the designation regional court (in the literature they are usually not distinguished from the regional courts of the older order).

Conversion of the previous regional courts into local courts

Due to the incorporation of Bavaria into the German Empire , the previous regional courts, as the initial instance of the lower jurisdiction, were renamed uniformly in 1879 by the Courts Constitution Act for the German Empire in the district court .

At the same time, the previous appellate courts in the Kingdom of Bavaria were converted into regional courts of the importance and function that still exist today under the Courts Constitution Act.

Individual evidence

  1. Sebastian Hiereth: The Bavarian judicial and administrative organization from the 13th to the 19th century: The reorganization in the 19th century in: Historischer Atlas von Bayern , Teil Altbayern, Heft 0, Munich 1950, p. 21 ff.
  2. Sebastian Hiereth: The Bavarian court and administrative organization from the 13th to the 19th century: Development from earlier court and administrative organizations in: Historischer Atlas von Bayern , Teil Altbayern, Heft 0, Munich 1950, p. 8 ff.
  3. ^ Justice (19th / 20th century) in: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns
  4. ^ Gregor Biebl: Bavaria's Minister of Justice v. Fäustle and the Reich Justice Laws. A contribution to German federalism in the Bismarckian era. Aktiv Druck & Verlag, Ebelsbach 2003, ISBN 3-932653-15-7 .