Action for annulment (civil law)

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The nullity action in German civil proceedings is a subtype of the retrial action , the other subtype is the restitution action . The purpose of the reopening is to eliminate a final judgment and bring about a new decision.

The annulment action takes place according to § 579 ZPO :

  1. if the trial court was not properly staffed;
  2. if a judge participated in the decision who was excluded from exercising the judicial office by law, unless this obstacle has been unsuccessfully asserted by means of a rejection request or an appeal ;
  3. if a judge was involved in the decision, although he was rejected because of concerns about bias and the request for rejection was declared to be well founded;
  4. if a party was not represented in the proceedings in accordance with the provisions of the law, unless they have expressly or tacitly approved the conduct of the proceedings.

In the cases of numbers 1 and 3, however, the action is inadmissible if the invalidity could be asserted by means of an appeal.

The action for annulment is of little practical importance because it is an exception.

In company law , a lawsuit seeking the nullity of the resolution of the general meeting of an AG , KGaA or SE or the shareholders' meeting of a GmbH is referred to as an action for nullity. This is regulated in Section 241 AktG .

The nullity action according to the code of civil procedure must not be confused with the nullity action (patent law) , which aims to remove a valid (German or European) patent .