Civil lawsuits


The database has been produced based on the documentary materials from various types of civil lawsuits. The time period of the trials found here extends from the second half of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th. Besides disputes about property, there are a significant number of divorce cases (divorce cases can be accessed up to 1918 and – with fragmentary documents – from 1945. We have to highlight in particular the records from the Royal Court of Justice of Budapest in which the cases until 1914 contain digitized pictures, too, so these can be freely searched on the internet. The courts concerned are without exception in Budapest, so the cases are related to the capital for the most part, but many rural litigants may be included in the database (the jurisdiction of the court is usually determined by the defendant’s premises in Budapest, but in the case of a divorce the important factor is the last joint and permanent place of residence).

The personal records include the data of the opposing parties with the type and subject of the trial (brief descriptions of the cases are sometimes included). The records’ information content is influenced by the fact that the processed documents preserved only the judgments of the trial (other parts of it have been discarded): since in civil court judgments personal information of the parties were often not or only insufficiently recorded, these cannot be displayed in the database. There are about 70,000 searchable lawsuits and about 150,000 to 200,000 searchable litigants.

The database can be accessed through the Hungarian Cultural Heritage Portal.

In the case of the trials taking place after World War II, access to the personal data may be limited with regard to personal data protection (these are mainly trials after 1954). We can found the digitized civil trials between 1872 and 1914 of the Royal Court of Justice of Budapest on the website. About the archival materials affected by the construction of the database and the digitization process you can find detailed information in this table:

Archival referenceFond/SubgroupTime period of the materials held in the databaseTime period of the materials available in digitalized version
VII.1.d.Documents of the Royal Court of Appeal of Budapest. Judicial Documents1891-1915 
VII.2.c.Documents of the Royal Court of Budapest. Civil  Lawsuit Documents1872-1918 1872-1914
VII.3.b.Documents of the Royal Court of Exchange in the First Instance of Pest. Judicial Documents1841-1861 
VII.4.Documents of the Royal Commercial Court of Budapest1876-1895[* judicial documents] 
VII.6.a.Documents of the Royal I-III District Court of Budapest. Civil Lawsuit and Out-of-court Documents1928-1941 
VII.7.b.Documents of the Royal IV District Court of Budapest. Documents of Oral Proceedings1894-1895 
VII.12.b.Documents of the Central District Court of Budapest. Civil Lawsuit and Out-of-court Documents1913-1921 
VII.19.Documents of the District Court of Újpest1948[* civil lawsuit] 
XXV.4.bDocuments of the Metropolitan Court. Civil  Lawsuit Documents1951-1955 
XXV.44.cDocuments of the Central District Court of Pest. Civil Lawsuit Documents1958-1964 
XXV.47.bDocuments of the IV and XV District Court. Civil Lawsuit and Non Trial Documents1961-1972