Orphan’s court (сирітський суд; syritskyi sud). A special court that appeared in the Russian Empire in 1775 to care for the orphans and widows of city residents (merchants, burghers, and tradesmen). In 1781 orphan’s courts began to spread through the cities of Russian-ruled Ukraine. They appointed wards for orphans, reviewed the reports of trustees, and handled other legal and financial matters involving orphans and widows. In 1818 they became responsible for the survivors of nobles as well. Attached to magistraty and, after 1864, to circuit courts, the orphan’s courts consisted of the head of the municipal council, two members of the magistrat, and a city starosta. They were abolished in 1917.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine