Electronic legal transactions not only improve access to the courts and public prosecutors' offices. The integration of documents received electronically into the internal electronic procedures of the judiciary will also speed up procedural processes.
Background and goals
The increasing penetration of companies, public authorities and private households with information and communications technology, as well as the rapid spread of Internet technology, opens up the possibility of using this infrastructure for electronic legal transactions as well.
Electronic legal transactions are intended to speed up proceedings and increase processing efficiency. It will facilitate access to courts and authorities while maintaining legal certainty.
In addition to the authentication of the sender or recipient, the essential prerequisite for electronic legal transactions is the preservation of the confidentiality and integrity of the transmitted messages.
Simple e-mail is therefore not permitted as an electronic means of transmission in court and investigative proceedings. Submissions by e-mail are invalid in terms of form.
Electronic access channels
Electronic communication with the Bavarian courts and public prosecutors' offices is permitted in many, but not yet all areas. An up-to-date overview of the judicial authorities and procedural areas in which electronic access has already been opened can be found on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice (https://www.justiz.bayern.de/ejustice/eRV/).
Formal electronic transmission is possible in the following ways:
- for attorneys via the special electronic attorney mailbox (beA)
- for notaries via the special electronic notary's mailbox (beN)
- for public authorities and legal entities under public law via the special electronic public authority mailbox (beBPo)
- for citizens and organizations via the special electronic citizens' and organizations' mailbox (eBO)
For more information on the eBO, please visit https://egvp.justiz.de/buerger_organisationen/.
- with the mailbox and dispatch service of BayernID
Further information on this transmission method can be found on the page of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice (https://www.justiz.bayern.de/ejustice/eRV/).
- with a sender-confirmed De-Mail
The De-Mail mailbox must be able to send a sender-confirmed De-Mail. The De-Mail addresses of the courts and public prosecutors' offices are stored in the public directory service as defined in Section 7 of the De-Mail Act.
NOTE: Text entries in the message field of the De-Mail are generally invalid as to form.
- with an electronic court and administrative mailbox (EGVP) if the attached document has been provided with a qualified electronic signature (qeS).
NOTE: In all cases, the pleading must always be submitted as an electronic document in PDF format .
Obligation to use electronic legal communication for professional parties to proceedings
As of January 1, 2022, lawyers, public authorities and legal entities under public law are obliged to submit pleadings and their attachments as well as applications and declarations to be submitted in writing to the judiciary exclusively electronically. This regulation also applies to communication with bailiffs. Enforcement orders can therefore only be submitted electronically by the above-mentioned group of persons as of next year.
In the scope of application of the Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG), the obligation to communicate electronically also applies to notaries.
In criminal cases, defense attorneys and attorneys-at-law shall transmit their pleadings as an electronic document to the prosecuting authorities and courts. In contrast, the appeal and its grounds, the appeal, its grounds and the counter-statement, as well as the private action and the follow-up statement in the case of an accessory action must be transmitted by this group of persons as an electronic document.
The legal regulations stipulate that only in exceptional cases can documents be transmitted in accordance with the general regulations if electronic transmission is temporarily impossible (for example, in the event of a server failure). This circumstance must be substantiated at the time of submission or immediately thereafter.
When using electronic legal transactions, the technical standards pursuant to the Electronic Legal Transactions Ordinance (ERVV) and Electronic Legal Transactions Notice 2022 (ERVB 2022) must be observed.
Current information on the applicable standards can be found on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice (https://www.justiz.bayern.de/ejustice/eRV/details-und-hinweise/).
The Act Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 655/2014 and Amending Other Rules of Civil Procedure (EuKoPfVODG) stipulates the opening of electronic legal transactions for bailiffs as of January 1, 2018. Applications and declarations to be submitted in writing, i.e. the enforcement orders covered by the Judicial Officers' Forms Regulation, as well as the documents required for enforcement in the simplified procedure pursuant to section 754a of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) can also be submitted to judicial officers as electronic documents from this date (section 753 (4) of the German Code of Civil Procedure). Professional parties to the proceedings may also be required to submit documents electronically when communicating with bailiffs (see above).
The permissible file formats are conclusively specified by the Ordinance on the Technical Framework Conditions for Electronic Legal Transactions and on the Special Electronic Public Authority Mailbox of November 24, 2017 (Elektronische-Rechtsverkehr-Verordnung-ERVV), which will apply from January 1, 2018. No use has yet been made in Bavaria of the option provided in Section 4 (1) sentence 1 GVFV for enforcement orders to submit enforcement applications as a structured data set . Notification of the availability of certain XJustiz data sets at www.xjustiz.de does not constitute an approval pursuant to Section 4 GVFV and Section 4 ZVFV. Enforcement orders in the form of structured data sets are therefore to be rejected as invalid in terms of form until such an admission has been made pursuant to Section 130a (6) ZPO.