Civil proceedings before the district court; information

In certain civil disputes, you can go to the district courts.


The district courts rule on civil disputes concerning claims whose monetary value does not exceed the sum of €5,000. In addition, the local court has exclusive jurisdiction over certain civil disputes listed in Section 23 of the Judicature Act, irrespective of the amount in dispute. In this respect, disputes concerning residential tenancies are particularly worthy of mention. Likewise, the district courts have exclusive jurisdiction over family matters.

Which district court has local jurisdiction over your civil case depends primarily on the subject matter of the action. Sections 12 to 37 of the Code of Civil Procedure contain the most important provisions on local jurisdiction. As a rule, the court in whose district the defendant is domiciled has jurisdiction.

In civil litigation before the local court, you can represent yourself or instruct a lawyer to represent you. (Exception: in certain family court proceedings, you must be represented by a lawyer). You can appeal against the judgment of the district court to the regional court if the value of the subject of the appeal exceeds €600 or if the district court has allowed the appeal in the judgment. It is possible to appeal against final decisions in family cases to the Higher Regional Court.


In civil proceedings before the local courts, the complaint must be submitted to the court in writing or orally on the record of the competent official of the legal application office. It is also possible to file a lawsuit as an electronic document using a qualified electronic signature or a simple signature and using a secure transmission channel in accordance with Section 130a (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure (for example, via the court homepage with the BayernID).

Under the Bavarian Conciliation Act, in certain civil disputes within the jurisdiction of the local courts (in particular neighborhood and honor disputes), an attempt must have been made to settle the dispute out of court before filing a lawsuit. In Bavaria, conciliators are all notaries public, as well as certain attorneys who are admitted by the bar associations as recognized conciliation bodies, and other conciliation bodies approved by the President of the Munich Higher Regional Court. Further information on the conciliation procedure can be found on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice at


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Antrag auf Prozesskostenhilfe
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

    Erklärung über die persönlichen und wirtschaftlichen Verhältnisse/Anlage zum Antrag auf Bewilligung der Prozesskostenhilfe (bundeseinheitliches Formular)


  • If the lawsuit is ended by judgment, the court also decides which party has to bear the costs of the lawsuit. The principle applies that the unsuccessful party bears the costs of the legal dispute. The costs of a legal dispute are made up of court costs (fees and expenses) and out-of-court costs (primarily attorney's fees). The court costs are levied according to a list of costs and are generally based on the importance of the case, the so-called amount in dispute.

    A party who, according to his personal and economic circumstances, cannot afford the costs of the legal proceedings, or can only afford them in part or in installments, shall receive legal aid upon his application if the intended legal action or legal defense offers sufficient prospects of success and does not appear to be wilful. The application may either be made in writing to the court before which the case is to be brought or be made on the record before the court registry. The application may also be submitted as an electronic document with a qualified electronic signature or by secure means of transmission in accordance with Section 130a (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure with a simple signature, for example via the court homepage using the BayernID.

Status: 04.05.2023

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Justiz

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  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited
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