Delegation of Power to Baronial Courts


Denver Staff
The Duchess is delegating power over the baronial courts to Their Excellencies, who can then delegate (or not) as they wish. Basically if you are a commoner sworn into a court it means that:

Even in Ducal lands the Baron has legal power over you. They can arrest you, try you, and sentence you, subject only to the magistrate/duchess's stamp of approval—for record keeping purposes.

If the crime is between a member of two different courts, the Barons of those courts have the power to get together and decide how to try the case. Either or both of them can try it. It again goes to the Magistrate to sign-off on since it is on Ducal lands.

The sign-off will likely occur as long as it seems roughly reasonable.

If the crime is between a member of your court and a commoner who is *not* a member of any court, you definitely need the sign-off of the Magistrate/Duchess since it is her subject involved. She has a vested interest in the outcome and has delegated that legal authority to the magistrate. The magistrate may try the case as per usual or she may grant that control to the Baron as she deems appropriate.

If someone commits a crime *against* a member of a noble court who is not themselves a part of a noble court, the control of that case goes to the Duchess (or her appointed magistrate). Being the ranking member, she can decide to give control of that case to the Baronial noble in question, but more likely she will keep control of it since it is her subject involved. Regardless, she/her magistrate will need to sign off on the sentencing.

Crimes of Necromancy, Treason, and similar High Crimes (and conspiracy to commit those high crimes) are always tried by the Ducal Courts when committed in the Ducal fiefs. Sentences of Death or Banishment beyond the Baron's own lands must always be double checked by the Duchess. Obliteration cannot be rendered without without a trial by Her Grace.

Crimes committed by the nobility are of course remanded to the Paladins and tried by the Duchess with input of the accused Noble's liege, as is only appropriate.

What this means:

Being a member of a Baronial court is not like being part of the Scions or the Vigilant, it has significant meaning because at that point the Baron has legal authority over you. Including the authority of life or death (they could also theoretically banish you from their own lands, but not Ducal lands).

If you are part of a Baronial court, it raises the expectations on you as you are a reflection of the nobility to whom you have sworn allegiance. Your allegiance also provides a measure of protection as well. You are more likely, when accused of a crime, to be tried by your liege rather than a faceless magistrate; and if someone assaults a member of a noble court who is not a member of a noble court and the Duchess allows it, she can give the authority to try and/or punish that case to the Baron/ess.

A Baron can now make explicit requirements of their own court, basically defining somewhat clear limits of authority if they desire. Baronial Rules for a Baronial Court apply only to those within the court.

If the Baron wants to grant the power to do these things to one of their Knights in their stead, they may do so. This means that:

A Baron/ess may create positions of authority within their own courts such as a temporary or permanent "Baronial Magistrate."

Baronial courts may make agreements between themselves and create shared positions between themselves that would have authority only where the agreement is in place.


For the next 30 days it is assumed that if a commoner is generally known to be of a Baronial court, e.g. sleep with the court, are invested in their Ducally-granted ward, and wear their colors, they are considered part of the court. Before the May 415 Gather, all Barons and Baroness will provide Her Grace with a formalized document of their Court Census.

Going Forward:

The Baronial census will be updated each Gather as appropriate. To have any authority in, and protection of, a Baronial Court, your name must be on a Census that has been provided to Her Grace.


Unto Her Grace's Ducal Court and the Local Authorities of the Estate of New Acarthia:

For the public good, could you clarify the roles of Sheriff and Magistrate as they act within the boundaries of New Acarthia, with a population that is so mixed with nobility, noble courts, commoners sworn to noble houses, adventurers, and the common people?

Traditionally - as described in the recent publication, "Laws and Codes of Acarthia," as compiled by the Lorespeakers of the Royal Loremasters Guild of Acarthia - Sheriffs investigate crimes, collect evidence against the accused, and may make recommendations in sentencing. Magistrates are given the authority to try cases and mete out sentences.

Practically - Since the end of the war, and the steady progress toward the formality of the years before it, Magistrates are not commonly seen at practice in New Acarthia.

Under what circumstances may the citizens of Acarthia, noble and common, expect that criminal trials will be presided over in formality by a duly appointed Magistrate? Under what circumstances may the citizenry expect that criminal trials may be presided over by Her Grace, or her choice of other noble representative?

My thanks for your anticipated cooperation in clarifying this matter of procedure.

In service to Acarthia,

Dame Katherine Albright
Knight of the Ducal Court of Acarthia