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"Edict on Communal Affairs," issued by King Maximilian I, cosigned by Ministers Montgelas, Hompesch, and Morawitzky (September 24, 1808)

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Section II. On the exercise of community rights.

§ 54. The village communities are under the constant guardianship of the state; – they express themselves through communal decrees and in communal assemblies, or they act through their representatives and plenipotentiaries.

Chapter 1. Of the guardianship of the village communities.

§ 55. The guardianship of the communities is part of the state’s civil regulation, and is exercised at the highest level by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and under its oversight by the general district commissariats through the sub-courts, as policing agencies, and in the larger cities by special officials.

§56. The communities are therefore restricted in the exercise of their rights, like minors, and also enjoy the latter’s privileges.

§ 57. Without permission from the guardianship, neither they nor their representatives can buy or sell; – assume any new liabilities; – set up any important new institutions; – take on or empower new personnel, – or make any valid community decisions.

§ 58. To be sure, the guardianship is likewise limited in that it cannot issue any directives on these matters without hearing from the communities; – however, the approval by the community can also be complemented by authorization from the General District Commissariat, with which the highest guardianship is connected.

Chapter 2. Of the communal assemblies and the municipal council.

§ 59. The smaller markets and village communities that are subsumed under the term rural communities manage their affairs through communal assemblies and communal decisions; – they cannot appoint any permanent representatives or deputies.

§ 60. In the cities and in the larger markets that are regarded as their equals, the community is represented by a municipal council elected from its midst and composed of at least 4 and no more than 5 members of the community.

§ 61. In cities of fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, this municipal council is elected by the members of the community themselves under the leadership of the guardianship officials; – in cities of more than 5,000 inhabitants, the election is done through separate electors, which are appointed for each separate election by the General District Commissariat, at the suggestion of the director of police and with input from the municipal council.

The number of electors is twice the size of the municipal council.

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