In the case of certain minor offences that generally have little impact on the general public (so-called private prosecution offences, e.g. insult, damage to property), public prosecution is only brought by the public prosecutor's office if this is in the public interest. If the prosecution is not taken over by the public prosecutor's office, the injured party may bring a private action against the accused. In certain cases, however, private action may be brought only after an attempt at atonement has been made unsuccessfully before the municipality.
In the case of the offences of trespass, insult, violation of the secrecy of correspondence, (intentional or negligent) bodily harm, threat and damage to property, the bringing of private proceedings before the Local Court is only permissible if an attempt at atonement has previously been made without success. The same applies if one of the aforementioned offences is committed while intoxicated and thus constitutes an offence of full intoxication pursuant to section 323a of the Criminal Code.
The municipality in whose area both parties reside is responsible for carrying out the attempt at atonement. If the parties live in different municipalities, the attempt at atonement is not required.
The office of the municipality responsible for carrying out the attempt at expiation shall arrange the expiation hearing at the request of the person entitled to bring a private action. The parties may be represented by a lawyer or another authorised representative (however, there is no obligation to be represented by a lawyer). The competent authority of the municipality works towards a reconciliation of the parties. If the attempt at reconciliation is unsuccessful, the applicant is issued with a certificate to this effect. The applicant may then bring a private action before the competent local court.
- A fee in accordance with the Costs Act shall be charged for the conduct of the attempt at reconciliation.
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Justiz
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