How do I file a class action lawsuit

I want to sue someone

If an out-of-court dispute settlement or a praetoric attempt at settlement fails, a lawsuit can be initiated in court. However, if the decision has been made to bring a lawsuit to court, specific preparation should take place.


In the context of a dunning procedure, the court can at Monetary claims up to 75,000 euros issue a conditional order for payment without hearing and without questioning the defendant.

Go to advice centers

Going to a counseling center and having an initial interview with a lawyer are definitely recommended steps to get individual advice and support for civil proceedings.

The bar associations in the federal states have certain advice centers "First Legal Information" was set up as a service offer. In a first free orientation talk Help is offered regarding the legal situation and how to proceed in a specific case. More information about Where These consultations take place can be found on the websites of the bar associations of the federal states (→ RAK).

Legal representation

In principle, every person can act himself in court. However, there are exceptions to this principle:

Absolute legal requirement

In the following proceedings before a civil court got to a party by one Lawyer be represented:

  • Proceedings before the district courts with a value in dispute of more than 5,000 euros, provided that the district courts do not have jurisdiction. The district courts have independent jurisdiction regardless of the amount in dispute, e.g. for paternity, maintenance, border, disputes over disputes, marital disputes and disputes in registered partnerships, certain disputes arising from existing contracts (e.g. rental contracts) and disputes due to lack of cattle
  • Proceedings before all higher courts (regional and higher regional courts, supreme court)

In the case of an absolute legal obligation, a litigant cannot take effective procedural acts without a lawyer.

Relative legal requirement

In the case of a relative legal obligation, the parties do not have to be represented. If but if one party is represented, it has to be represented by one Lawyer be. Relative lawyer duty exists in the following cases, provided that at least two lawyers have their seat at the place of the court:

  • In matrimonial matters
  • In proceedings that fall under the jurisdiction of the district courts with a value in dispute of more than 5,000 euros (e.g. border or property disputes)

If neither absolute nor relative legal requirement exists, the parties can act in court themselves or be represented by an adult. This applies, for example, to proceedings before the district courts with an amount in dispute of up to EUR 5,000 or the conclusion of settlements before a district court (even if the amount in dispute is over EUR 5,000).

Further information on the subject of "those involved in civil proceedings" can also be found at The costs for legal representation can sometimes be considerable. Who has to bear it can be found in the chapter "Costs and legal aid" on

Preparing documents

It is recommended to collect all documents and keep notes, including the names of potential witnesses, in order to be able to present the respective version of the facts to the judge without any doubt. More information can be found in the chapter "Civil Procedure" on

Related Links

Directory of Lawyers (→ ÖRAK)

To the form

Claim for payment of a sum of money not exceeding 75,000 euros

For all personal designations, the chosen form applies to both genders and thus corresponds exactly to the legal terminology of the civil procedure code in this text (Art. 5 ZPO).

Last updated: March 2, 2021

Responsible for the content: