Fall River Diocesan Tribunal


Welcome to the website for the Tribunal Office of the Diocese of Fall River!  It is our ardent desire to assist those seeking information about the mission and ministry of the tribunal.


The Tribunal of the Diocese of Fall River is the forum in which the judicial authority of the Bishop is exercised.  The Judicial Vicar, the Judges, and the entire staff of the Tribunal cooperate in the Bishop’s ministry of furthering the supreme law of the Church, “the salvation of souls” (canon 1752 of the Code of Canon Law).  The bishop calls upon the tribunal to investigate and adjudicate matters that need to be resolved according to the norms and procedures established by Church law.


Most of the work of the tribunal is devoted to processing marriage annulments – i.e. petitions requesting a declaration of nullity of a marriage.  The Church recognizes that some invalid marriages do exist by reasons determined in law.  The party who petitions the Tribunal is called the “Petitioner” and the other party is called the “Respondent.”

The Diocesan Tribunal also handles all canonical matters for pre-marital investigations, including all permissions and dispensations, as well as issuing testimonial letters (visum and nihil obstat) for all inter-diocesan marriage preparation.


On this website, you will find information regarding the “annulment” process, the forms for priests and deacons, as well as some links and resources.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Diocesan Tribunal!


God Bless,

Very Rev. Jeffrey Cabral, J.C.L.

Judicial Vicar

Protection of Children & Young People

"Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." ~ Mark 10:14

At the Diocesan Tribunal, we all work together to protect our children. Please visit the Diocesan Safe Environment page for information on how we protect the faithful, and the steps involved to minister, work, or volunteer in the Fall River Diocese:


(c) Diocese of Fall River