Office of the Tribunal

Office of the Tribunal


The Tribunal is a Church Court charged to make a decision as to whether a particular union is invalid and able to receive a declaration of nullity (church annulment).

A church annulment is a declaration from the Catholic Church that a particular union, presumably begun in good faith and thought by all to be a marriage, was, in fact, proven to be invalid according to the Church's definition of marriage. The purposes of the annulment process are to bring peace of conscience to the parties, determine the parties' freedom to marry in the Church and to assist the parties toward reconciliation with the Church as well as full sacramental participation.

What is the Tribunal?

The Tribunal (or Church Court) has judges who follow detailed and exacting procedural law in order to make a decision whether a marriage is valid. Any person may request the Church (through the Tribunal) to make a study of his/her marriage in order to determine whether or not there is a possibility of an annulment.

What is the study of marriage?

It is to determine whether or not there is a ground acceptable in church law that would invalidate a marriage, and whether or not this particular ground can be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt" to have actually existed in the marriage being studied.

How does the Tribunal determine a marriage is invalid?

In essence, the Tribunal seeks a response to the question: Was this marriage a union as defined by the laws of the Catholic Church?

Briefly, the Tribunal seeks to establish:
• whether or not the marriage was freely contracted.
• whether or not both parties were emotionally mature enough to establish such a union.
• whether or not both parties intended the marriage as a permanent, faithful and fruitful union.

Tribunal Forms

Pre-Nuptial Interview here

Lack of Canonical Form here

Application for Annulment here

Prior Bond Form here

Grounds for Marriage Nullity here

Freedom to Marry Affidavit here

For Pauline Privilege or Privilege of the Faith forms please contact Shawna.


Shawna Hansen
(218) 724-9111
Fax: (218) 724-1056

Diocese of Duluth
Office of the Tribunal
2830 E. 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55812

Judicial Vicar
Steven Laflamme, J.C.L.

Defender of the Bond
Dale Nau, J.C.L

Coordinator of the Tribunal
Shawna Hansen