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Emperor Joseph II's Penal Patent [Strafpatent] governing Manorial Courts in the Countryside (September 1, 1781)
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7. Should the subject wish to appeal against the punishment, he is to be furnished free of charge with a copy of this record; but the authority may proceed at once to put the sentence into effect.

8. The punishments which the manorial Court or its officials may award are the following:

a. Detention in decent circumstances not prejudicial to health; this may include a diet of bread and water.
b. Hard labor.
c. Rigorous detention and hard labor in irons.
d. Eviction from house and land.

In framing the sentence, regard must be had to the age or extreme youth of the offender, and in general, to his physical condition; the severer punishments must be awarded only to individuals on whom lighter punishments have had no effect; sentences of detention and penal labor awarded at a time when urgent work in the fields is in progress shall not be served until this is completed.

[ . . . ]

9. A sentence of a week’s detention or of expulsion from house and land must first be approved by the Kreis office.

[ . . . ]

10. The Court must send the record of the case to the Kreis office, which shall confirm it within a maximum of eight days if approved or else institute enquiries within that period.

11. A subject sentenced to detention does not have to pay for his keep, neither can a fine, in cash or its equivalent, be imposed on him. Should he, however, have inflicted damage, this shall be assessed by qualified persons, and equitable compensation fixed.

12. The manorial Courts and their servants are not to make unreasonable demands on the subjects. If found guilty of this they are to be punished by the Kreis office. Records of these punishments are to be sent quarterly to the Provincial authorities.




Source of English translation: C.A. Macartney, ed., The Habsburg and Hohenzollern Dynasties in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, in Documentary History of Western Civilization. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, 1970, pp. 174-76. Introduction, editorial notes, chronology, translations by the editor; and compilation copyright © 1970 by C.A. Macartney. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source of German original text: Joseph Kropatschek, ed., Handbuch aller unter der Regierung des Kaisers Joseph II. für die k.k. Erbländer ergangenen Verordnungen und Gesetze in einer sistematischen Verbindung: enthält die Verordnungen und Gesetze vom Jahre 1780 bis 1784 [Handbook of all Decrees and Laws issued under the Government of Emperor Joseph II for the Austrian Imperial and Royal Hereditary Lands in Systematic Assembly, including the Decrees and Laws from 1780 to 1784], volume 1. Vienna: Moesle, 1785, pp. 48-53.

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