Duchy Court (Überstadt)
|Established||18 November 2011|
|Composition||By appointment of whole judiciary|
|Authorized by||Constitution Act, §17|
The Duchy Court is Überstadt's trial court of general jurisdiction. The sole judge of the Duchy Court, the Baroness Rosewood, sits in Rosewood for the Duchy of Edmount. It deals with at first instance all torts, criminal matters, contractual disputes, and cases arising in military jurisdiction, with the exception of matters pertaining strictly to the realm of constitutional law. Warrants for search and arrest are also issued in this court. Each future duchy of Überstadt will receive one Duchy Court judge.
Before Überstadt became a kingdom, trial courts operated at a local level, with three judges elected to serve each district. The District Courts lacked a grounding in Anglo-American common law and followed very few rules of procedure or evidence. The constitution instituted during the November Revolution replaced the old court system with one central Crown Court to preside over trials. This new court began to loosely follow the common law and rules of evidence based on the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States. The Crown Court was heavily involved in the development and resolution of the Conspiracy Scandal. With the adoption of the second monarchist constitution, judges became the permanent administrators of elections and referenda, and as such, each Crown Court judge is responsible for the security of polling and counting ballots in their duchy. This role became obsolete with the establishment of direct democracy.
On 19 December 2015, the Constitution Act renamed the Crown Court to the Duchy Court to emphasize the court's independence from the Monarch.
Judges of the Crown Court must be citizens of Überstadt previously recognized by the judiciary as competent to practice law. They are appointed by a vote of all current judges. The current judge for Edmount, the Baroness Rosewood, was appointed by her son when judgeship was granted by royal authority.
Proceedings in the Crown Court are typically initiated by filing a written complaint, in the case of a suit or criminal charge, or an affidavit, if otherwise. The presiding judge weighs the merits of the filed paperwork and either dismisses the matter or issues relevant orders, such as subpoenas if a trial is to be conducted, or in other cases, injunctions, warrants, or other appropriate documents. Trials are conducted similarly to those in the United States, with adversarial parties taking turns examining witnesses and presenting evidence.