What is a civil litigator

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A brief overview of the civil law process

In a civil process, two parties litigate against each other, there is no charge by the public prosecutor's office.

A civil process can take place at a local court or a regional court. The court at which the process is conducted depends on the area of ​​law involved, for example a question of family law, and how high the amount in dispute is, for example how much compensation or compensation for pain and suffering is involved. Anyone who has suffered damage as a result of a criminal offense and would like to have it compensated can initiate civil proceedings. For this, the person concerned must file a lawsuit before the competent court. You cannot submit your complaint yourself to the regional court; you have to be represented by a lawyer.

The so-called statement of claim must contain the exact name and address of the plaintiff and the defendant. It must also be described exactly what the action is aimed at, i.e. what the court should award to the plaintiff. Last but not least, the plaintiff must describe all the facts that show what his claim is based on and, ideally, name witnesses or attach appropriate documents, such as a copy of the contract or bank statements, as evidence.

In civil proceedings, the court does not investigate itself and neither does the public prosecutor's office. The plaintiff must explain and prove on his own initiative what happened and what the claims are based on. At the end of the process there is the judgment of the court. The judgment is usually announced separately and then served in writing. However, the parties can also agree on a settlement, the action can be withdrawn or the defendant accepts the claim. Then no judgment is pronounced.

What claims can victims of criminal offenses assert in civil proceedings?

Plaintiffs can assert various types of claims in the event of a successful lawsuit in court. In some cases, several claims can be enforced at the same time, for example injunctive relief and claims for damages.

  1. Forbearance and removal claims
    The perpetrator undertakes to refrain from certain harmful behavior in the future if a repetition is to be expected. In addition, he or she must do everything possible to repair the damage caused so far. This includes, for example, deleting intimate photos or films that the perpetrator took of the injured party.
  2. Claims for damages
    Compensation in the form of monetary compensation can be awarded to those affected by a crime, for example for repair costs, lost wages or hospital costs. The so-called compensation for pain and suffering, which is intended to compensate for the suffering after an injury, can also be claimed. The amount of compensation for pain and suffering is determined by the court on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific pain suffered and the duration of healing or the permanent consequences of the injury.
  3. Return and compensation claims
    Stolen or illegally acquired items must be returned by the perpetrator. If this is not possible, the injured party is entitled to compensation for the value.
  4. Claims for compensation for use
    If the perpetrator owned something that he or she earned money using (e.g. a rented apartment or a financial investment), then he or she must compensate the person concerned if unjustified advantages were obtained from the use of the thing. This can be the case, for example, with income generated.
  5. Claims for reimbursement of expenses
    If the person concerned had to spend money, for example for notary fees or transport costs, because the perpetrator did not provide his or her contractual services, then the perpetrator must reimburse these costs.