Tribunal of the Teharje Kosezi Community
Teharje kosezi community enjoyed a particular legal status which it successfully preserved until the abolishment of feudalism in 1848. Thus the community had its own first-instance judiciary for civil cases, performed its obligations, corvee exempt, to the lord and the state collectively, kosezi could sell their land without hindrance, had the right to bear arms, freely elect the sodin and the mayors of their župas. Such legal status, obtained through manorial service under the margraviate of Celje, was founded on the privilege issued by the lord. The oldest privilege preserved, issued by Ferdinand I. of Habsburg, dates to 1537. Tribunal had its sub judicial area that included, aside from Teharje settlement, sixteen kosezi settlements in Savinjska valley. Representatives of all settlements gathered once a year around St. George’s Day (April 23rd) on the day of sodin elections that had to be confirmed by either the vidame in Celje or the leaser of Forhtenek manor. The function of the tribunal itself can be made out from its preserved tribunal register for the period from 1715 to 1849 where most entries date between 1715 and 1718. During this time, the register lists 68 cases, predominantly unsettled debts, whereas handled by the tribunal were verbal injuries (verbal iniuri), corporal injuries, and disputes on inheritance. As a rule, proceedings took place monthly in the center of Teharje settlement or, in case of poor weather, the nearby church of St. Stephen.
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