Administrative court proceedings; filing of a complaint with the administrative court
An action before the administrative court can, among other things, demand the annulment of an administrative act (action for annulment) or the order to issue an administrative act that has been refused or omitted (action for obligation). It is also possible, for example, to bring an action for a declaratory judgment and an action for performance.
Initiation of the procedure
Proceedings shall be instituted in writing, by letter, by fax or by electronic means.
Parties may also submit documents, in particular pleadings, to the courts electronically. The courts have set up electronic mailboxes for this purpose. Electronic documents must either bear a qualified electronic signature of the person responsible or be signed by the person responsible and submitted via a secure transmission channel. Secure transmission channels are a sender-confirmed DE-Mail, the special electronic lawyers' mailbox (beA) or the special electronic authorities' mailbox (beBPo).
No legally binding declarations can be sent to the courts by simple e-mail.
Representation by a lawyer is not mandatory before the administrative courts. The citizen concerned may choose to conduct the legal dispute there himself or to be represented. Representation can be by a lawyer, but also, for example, by a family member of full age.
Representation is always mandatory before the Administrative Court and the Federal Administrative Court. Any procedural act not carried out by a lawyer or other legal representative, including the filing of an appeal, has no effect.
As soon as the action has been received by the court, a notice of receipt is issued. At the same time, the court invites the plaintiff to substantiate the action within a certain period of time, if this has not already been done. The court sends the complaint to the opposing party and asks him to comment on it and to submit the relevant official files. If the opposing party then submits written comments, these letters are sent to the plaintiff. The plaintiff can then comment on them. Should the court deem further information or statements by a party to be necessary, it will contact that party directly.
After the court has become sufficiently informed about the case through the exchanged pleadings, a date for the oral hearing is usually set in lawsuit proceedings. If an oral hearing is scheduled, the parties are given at least two weeks' notice. If they waive the right to an oral hearing, the court may decide by written procedure.
An oral hearing begins with the calling of the case and the ascertainment of the presence of the parties. The chairman then introduces the proceedings. The parties have the opportunity to make changes or additions to the facts of the case. Usually, a legal discussion then takes place, in which the presiding judge points out the problems of the case. At this time, the court can give its preliminary assessment of the factual and legal situation. The parties are also given the opportunity to state their legal views. The court will include their point of view in its considerations and take it into account in its decision.
If evidence is taken during the oral proceedings, e.g. by hearing witnesses or experts, the parties may also ask questions themselves after they have been questioned by the court.
Sometimes a legal discussion reveals that, instead of a judgment, an amicable settlement would be the appropriate solution to the dispute, e.g. because the proceedings involve risks that are difficult to calculate for all parties involved. An amicable settlement may also have advantages with regard to the costs of the proceedings. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of an amicable settlement of the dispute before the judge, in which case it is a separate procedure.
Consultation and decision
When all the main points have been discussed and the submissions made, the chairman closes the hearing. The court retires for deliberation and either announces a decision on the same day or on a later date or delivers it to the parties in writing at a later date. After the oral hearing, a record of the hearing is also served.
In most cases, deadlines must be observed when filing an action or an application. As a rule, official decisions can be challenged for one month.
Proceedings before the administrative courts generally incur costs. A distinction must be made between court costs - court fees and court expenses - and extrajudicial costs - mainly lawyers' fees. The amount of court fees and lawyers' fees is calculated on the basis of the amount in dispute as determined by the court. Some court proceedings, such as asylum or youth welfare proceedings, are free of court costs.
If a party cannot bear the costs of a legal dispute himself, legal aid may be granted. (see under "Related topics" and "Further links"). This can also be applied for without legal representation.
The court decides by order whether the requirements are met.
As a rule, the entire costs of a lawsuit are to be borne by the losing side. In many cases, court fees become due when the action is filed, and these must be advanced by the plaintiff. If the action is successful, the costs are reimbursed.
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration
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