Skip to main content
A mock-up for an online civil court procedure on a smartphone shows the “My legal matter” area.

Online Civil Court Procedure

User-friendly, easy filing of claims

Before people in Germany even think about taking a matter to court, the value involved generally has to be around 2,000 euros at least. People hesitate due to high costs and potential financial risk with relatively little benefit. As a result, many monetary claims are never enforced in court.

We are working with the Federal Ministry of Justice to develop a solution for testing an online civil court procedure. The idea is to allow for simple, user-friendly, easy assertion of claims, especially small claims.

We are testing two approaches:

  1. Development of ongoing forms to support people in general with filing monetary claims up to 5,000 euros.
  2. Development of specific query dialogs for matters involving airline passenger rights.

Our hope is that simple formalities for filing online claims will shorten processing times and ultimately also enhance trust in democracy and the rule of law. The goal is not only to give constituents the tools they need, but also to relieve the strain on the judicial system. The project is a part of the German Digital Strategy (German only) and the Pact for Digital Government and Democracy (German only).

Special features

  • Close cooperation with courts for joint testing and development activities
  • Insights gleaned in this project contribute to legislation geared toward real-world practice
  • Overall legal framework still needs to be created – draft legislation to accomplish this is currently being developed

Facts and figures

Abstract graphic illustration as a symbol for cooperation in the federal justice ecosystem

Cooperation within the federal judicial ecosystem (with stakeholders including constituents, lawyers, state judicial administration bodies, academia)

Abstract graphic representation of two conversation bubbles as a symbol for user research

Nearly 60 interviews with constituents, lawyers, court employees, experts, and stakeholder groups conducted (as of November 2023)

Dr. Marco Buschmann, Federal Minister of Justice

Online procedures in the civil courts and digital clearinghouses for legal petitions create tools for obtaining modern access to the judicial system. (…) This not only makes it easier for people to reach the judicial system, but also strengthens constituents’ trust in democracy and the rule of law.

Read more about this project