Plaintiff (for legal persons ever applicant ) is called in the civil proceedings the person against the defendant , the process through action initiates. Also in the proceedings before the administrative , social , labor and financial courts , the parties (or participants) are referred to as plaintiff and defendant . In family matters and in the voluntary jurisdiction to be called § 113 FamFG the plaintiff when applying the Code of Civil Procedure as applicants . Plaintiffs can be represented by a lawyer, in certain cases this is mandatory ( lawyer process ).
In the criminal case is instead charged by the public prosecutor charged and at the hearing on attorney represented. In the case of private criminal offenses, however, the injured party can also bring a lawsuit if the public prosecutor has denied that there is a public interest in prosecuting. One then speaks of the private plaintiff . In the event of interference with highly personal legal interests, the injured party or his relatives can act as joint plaintiffs .