Appeal - Berufung

December 16, 2022

Decisions of courts can be challenged by means of an appeal. The appeal is thus a legal remedy by which judgments of courts of first instance can be reviewed once again.

If a judgement of a district court is challenged, the appeal must be filed with the regional court. Judgments of the Regional Court are reviewed by the Higher Regional Court. It is important to note that an appeal must be submitted to the court by a lawyer. The notice of appeal must be filed within one month after service of the judgment. Within two months, the court must receive the legal document with the specifically formulated appeal. This must clearly indicate which parts of the judgement are in doubt and which parts are to be reconsidered.

However, it must be determined in advance whether a judgement can be challenged by an appeal at all, because this is not always possible. For one thing, the value of the subject matter of the appeal must be more than 600 euros or the court must have expressly allowed an appeal in its judgment.

It is also important that filing an appeal does not render the legal binding of the first-instance judgment. However, judgments from the first instance are also enforceable. The conditions for when enforcement is permissible always depend on the respective operative part of the judgment.

In the appeal, there is no trial identical to that of the first instance. Rather, the court of appeal reviews the judgment of the court of first instance in factual and legal terms. The submission of new facts is not possible without restrictions. If the appellate court considers an evidentiary hearing not to have been fully conducted or has doubts about its correctness, the evidentiary hearing may be conducted again. If the appeal is well-founded, the judgment of the court of first instance is set aside.