Higher Regional Court of Hamm
The Hamm Higher Regional Court is one of the three higher regional courts in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and with its 46 civil panels , eleven panels for family matters , five criminal panels and currently (as of June 30, 2020) 933 employees - including 224 judges - the largest in Germany .
Seat and District of the Court
The court has its seat in Hamm , Westphalia . Almost nine million people live in the 21,600 km² judicial district . Ten regional courts and 77 local courts belong to the district. The district is mainly in Westphalia and Lippe ( Westphalia-Lippe ), only the district of the Essen regional court is partially in the Rhineland . Hamm is the only remaining higher regional court for Westphalia since the reform of the Reich judiciary that came into force on October 1, 1879. At the Higher Regional Court are 13,648 lawyers and general counsel attorneys admitted (as at 1st January 2018).
Subordinate are the regional courts of Arnsberg , Bielefeld , Bochum , Detmold , Dortmund , Essen , Hagen , Münster , Paderborn and Siegen with a total of 75 local courts subordinate to these courts . The Dortmund and Essen district courts are special because, as so-called presidential district courts, due to their size, they are equal in organizational terms to a regional court and have a president instead of a director as the head of the authority.
The subordinate district courts include the central dunning court responsible for the higher regional court districts of Hamm and Düsseldorf , the Hagen district court with its central dunning department.
In November 1815, the Prussian judicial administration relocated the Higher Regional Court Commission , which had only been set up in Emmerich at the beginning of the year, to Kleve , which had previously been the seat of an important court for many years. The Higher Regional Court Commission was responsible for the areas on the right bank of the Rhine of the former Duchy of Kleve (with the cities of Emmerich, Wesel, Dinslaken and Duisburg). Incidentally, their district extended to the areas of the former Grafschaft Mark (with the cities of Bochum, Hagen and Hamm) as well as Essen, Werden, Limburg, Dortmund, Lippstadt, Broich and Recklinghausen. The Kleve Higher Regional Court emerged from the commission in March 1817.
1820 to 1848
The cabinet order of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. of April 20, 1820 ordered the Higher Regional Court to be moved from Kleve to Hamm on July 1, 1820. Reason was u. a. that Hamm, one of the first Prussian possessions in Westphalia, did not become the seat of a district government or a higher regional court after 1815 - as initially planned. The city should be "compensated" for this. It was also - unlike Kleve - in what was then the judicial district. The fact that the royally ordered move could be “completed” on time is thanks to the first President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court, Friedrich Wilhelm Berthold von Rappard, who had previously prepared the move as the second (Vice) President of the Klever Higher Regional Court. A commercial building belonging to the Prussian state on Hammer Markt served as the court building of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm, and until the French occupation, it housed the Prussian War and Domain Chamber . The higher regional court in Hamm was next to the higher regional courts in Münster, Paderborn and the court in Arnsberg one of the four state higher courts of the Prussian province Westphalia. Approx. 300,000 inhabitants lived in the Hammer Higher Regional Court district.
Von Rappard, who was appointed President of the Higher Regional Court in 1820 at the age of 71, retired on June 30, 1830. He was followed on December 4, 1830 by Christian Friedrich Bernhard von Steltzer , who already moved to the Halberstadt Higher Regional Court as President on March 28, 1831 and of whom it is not known whether he ever worked at the Hamm Higher Regional Court. On May 9, 1831, the 51-year-old Karl August Ferdinand von Scheibler took over the office of president. On October 1, 1840, he moved to Münster as President of the Higher Regional Court, where he also took over the management of the revision board, which at the time had to be appealed to after first-instance decisions by the Hamm Higher Regional Court. Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Lent, previously Vice President at the Higher Regional Court in Münster, was appointed as the successor to Scheiblers as the Higher Regional Court President in Hamm on October 1, 1840. He was to hold the office for almost 28 years until his death on February 12, 1868, making him president with the longest term in the history of the Hamm Higher Regional Court.
1849 to 1879
The revolutionary years 1848/1849 led to significant changes in the Prussian court system and in court proceedings based on the constitution of the Prussian king. The Prussian higher regional courts were given the designation ʺ Appellationsgericht ʺ, which expressed that they were only courts of appeal. In the first instance, collegial district courts took the place of the earlier regional and city courts , which had single judges. From now on, 10 district courts in Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Hagen, Hamm, Iserlohn, Lüdenscheid, Soest and Wesel belonged to the district of the Hamm Court of Appeal, which remained unchanged in size. The number of residents in the judicial district had meanwhile risen to around 515,000, a consequence of the beginning industrialization in the Ruhr area. On July 4, 1870, the Hamm Court of Appeal celebrated its 50th anniversary in Hamm. The Westfälische Anzeiger in Hamm dedicated a four-page festival edition to the court. Approx. 833,000 inhabitants now lived in the district of the Hammer Court, which had developed into the largest of the four Westphalian higher courts. After the death of the President of the Appellate Court, Lent, on February 12, 1868, Ludwig Hartmann had headed the court since July 1, 1868 . In addition to Hartmann as president, the council of the appellate court in 1870 included a vice-president and 16 appellate judges.
1879 to 1918
The Reich Justice Acts that came into force on October 1, 1879 after the founding of the German Reich changed the court system and procedural law again. A higher regional court has been set up in almost every Prussian province. The district of a higher regional court comprised the districts of newly created regional courts, whose districts were in turn composed of the districts of the district courts subordinate to them. This is how the structure of the judicial system, which is still valid today, arose in the ordinary jurisdiction.
There was intense dispute about the higher regional court responsible for the province of Westphalia . In addition to Hamm, Münster in particular also filed claims for the seat of this higher court. The then President of the Court of Appeal Hartmann succeeded in getting a decision in favor of Hamm. As a result of the rapid industrial development of the Ruhr area, the district of the Hamm Court of Appeal had become the most populous of the four court of appeal districts in the previous years. Added to this was the central location of Hamm in the middle of the province and the good transport links thanks to the railway lines that have since been expanded. As of 1879, the district of the Hamm Higher Regional Court included 8 regional courts in Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Hagen, Münster and Paderborn, as well as 108 local courts.
After the death of the first President of the Higher Regional Court, Hartmann, on January 6, 1882, the former Prussian Minister of Education, Paul Ludwig Adalbert Falk , took over the office of President of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm on July 1, 1882. He found a higher court, which had been in existence since 1879, consisting of the President of the Higher Regional Court, four Senate Presidents and 25 Higher Regional Court Councilors. During his term of office, the regional court district of Bochum was established in 1892. In the years 1890 to 1894 a new courthouse was built on what was then Friedrichsplatz in Hamm, into which the Hammer Higher Regional Court, the District Court and the High Public Prosecutor moved on July 4, 1894. After Falk, who died on July 7, 1900 in Hamm and was buried in the Ostenfriedhof in Hamm, Anton Holtgreven succeeded as the new President of the Higher Regional Court. His tenure were the last years of the empire. Even after the separation of the Duisburg Regional Court district in 1906, the number of judges working at the Hamm Higher Regional Court increased. In 1905, in addition to the President of the Higher Regional Court, seven presidents of the Senate and 32 members of the Higher Regional Court were already active in the jurisdiction of the Higher Regional Court.
1918 to 1933
After the First World War, in which 27 officials of the judicial authorities and lawyers of the Hammer district had died, the then Reich judge Franz Ludwig Reiff took over the office of the higher regional court president in Hamm in 1919 . During his term of office, the 100th anniversary of the Higher Regional Court fell, which - taking into account the circumstances at the time - was celebrated on a modest scale. In 1924 Paul Jockwer replaced Reiff as President of the Higher Regional Court. When he retired, the Hammer Higher Regional Court district was considered a model district.
In 1933 the judicial administration established the district court district Siegen. The resolution of the Arnsberg Regional Court district, which was ordered at the same time, was withdrawn a few months later after massive protests from the region.
The time of National Socialism 1933–1945
At the beginning of the Third Reich , Rudolf Schneider became President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court. His selection and appointment took place before the National Socialist seizure of power; they were not the result of a National Socialist legal career. In the nearly ten years of his presidency at the Hamm Higher Regional Court, however, Schneider unreservedly supported the National Socialist upheaval from the start. He accepted National Socialism as the only state regulatory power and was anxious to implement his political and ideological radicalism as far as possible in the district of the Higher Regional Court.
During Schneider's presidency, many judicial employees made themselves available to the National Socialist regime. The judiciary of the Hamm Higher Regional Court thus developed into a pillar of the National Socialist dictatorship. Up until 1945, the political criminal senates of the Hamm Higher Regional Court alone sentenced more than 15,000 opponents of the regime to long prison sentences for “preparation for high treason” or - after the start of the war - also for degrading military strength . The special courts in Bielefeld, Dortmund, Essen and Hagen , which are subordinate to the Higher Regional Court, punished a further approx. 12,000 defendants under the treachery law , the ordinance against pests and the war economy ordinance . The Hamm Higher Regional Court and the special courts imposed at least 350 death sentences during this time. No other German court, not even the notorious People's Court in Berlin, tried more people in political proceedings between 1934 and 1945 than the Hamm Higher Regional Court. There were no legal remedies in these proceedings. The Wuppertal trade union trials gained international attention . In addition to the Higher Regional Court and the aforementioned special courts, the local courts, in their function as “ hereditary health courts ”, ordered the compulsory sterilization of a large number of women, men and children.
From 1933, over a hundred mostly Jewish judicial officers in the district of the Hamm Higher Regional Court were expelled from their offices. a. 36 senior Jewish civil servants were dismissed from service on the basis of the Professional Civil Service Act of April 7, 1933 and the Nuremberg Race Laws that came into force in 1935 . By 1938, 166 lawyers lost their livelihood due to the law on exclusion from the legal profession .
Hans Semler , Schneider's successor as President of the Higher Regional Court since 1943, was a staunch National Socialist and as early as 1933 an “ old fighter ” of the movement. That is why the lawyer, who had previously worked as a lawyer and notary in East Westphalia, first became Public Prosecutor in Hamm in 1936 at the age of 34 and then President of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm on March 1, 1943, at the age of 41. Behind both decisions was the NSDAP as a party and not Semler's professional qualification related to the offices transferred. At his own initiative, Semler was drafted into the Wehrmacht in September 1944. He did not resume his office as President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court.
From 1943 the events of the Second World War made work in the Higher Regional Court building difficult. At the beginning of 1945, operations came to a complete standstill. Multiple bomb hits had seriously damaged the courthouse, but unlike large parts of the city of Hamm, it was not completely destroyed.
At the end of May / beginning of June 1945, the administration of the Hamm Higher Regional Court resumed its business following an order from the Allied occupying powers and prepared the reopening of jurisdiction in the district and regional courts of the district and at the Higher Regional Court, which was completed by the end of 1945. The Senate President Ernst Hermsen , who was appointed President of the Higher Regional Court by the occupying powers after the end of the war , resigned his office in 1946 after it became known that as chairman of two criminal panels of the Hamm Higher Regional Court from 1933 to 1937, he played a major role in the politically motivated criminal justice system.
Hermsen was followed in 1946 by Josef Wiefels, who then headed the Hammer Higher Regional Court for almost 15 years. During his term of office, the union of the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lippe fell, as a result of which the district of Detmold was added to the district of the Hamm Higher Regional Court. Wiefels also achieved the new construction of the Higher Regional Court building at its current location on Heßlerstrasse in Hamm, which was completed between 1955 and 1959. The old courthouse on Friedrichsplatz - today Theodor-Heuss-Platz - was taken over by the city of Hamm and is now used as the town hall.
In the 1950s, the Hammer Higher Regional Court District consisted of ten regional courts and 111 local courts. Since the end of the war it has been the largest higher regional court district in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Wiefels was followed by Heinrich Rempe from 1961 to 1967 and Franz Hense as President of the Higher Regional Court from 1967 to 1975. During Hense's tenure, the Higher Regional Court celebrated its 150th anniversary on July 1, 1970. The municipal territorial reform, which was essentially carried out by the mid-1970s, led to the dissolution of numerous smaller district courts - 78 remained in the Hammer district - and to the restructuring of the district court districts. This also changed the layout of the ten regional courts, the number of which was not reduced. The district of the Hamm Higher Regional Court was also retained. In 1970 about 8,550,000 inhabitants lived in it. At the time, 115 judges worked in 22 civil and five criminal panels at the Hamm Higher Regional Court.
From 1975 to 1988 Otto Tiebing held the office of Hammer Higher Regional Court President. During his tenure in 1977, Senates for family matters were set up for the first time at the Hamm Higher Regional Court, a consequence of the reform legislation on marriage and family law at the time. The number of civil senates also increased due to an overall increase in business. Since the court building on Heßlerstrasse did not have enough space, from 1977 units of the court administration were increasingly relocated to premises rented in the city.
After Tiebing, Heinz Palm was President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court from 1989 to 1995. The reunification of Germany fell during his term of office. In the first years of German unification, numerous colleagues from the Hammer district were able to help establish the judiciary in the young state of Brandenburg. It was not until Gero Debusmann , President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court from 1996 to 2008, that the urgently needed building to expand and modernize the courthouse on Heßlerstrasse was implemented. After around four years of construction work, the work was completed in 2004. Since then, a modern judicial building with approx. 35,000 m² of usable space has been available to the Higher Regional Court and the General Public Prosecutor in Hamm. The Hamm Higher Regional Court has been headed by Johannes Keders as President since 2009 .
As a result of the merger of the Gelsenkirchen and Gelsenkirchen-Buer district courts on January 1, 2016, there are now 77 district courts in the higher regional court district of Hamm.
Building of the Hamm Higher Regional Court
The first accommodation of the Higher Regional Court in Hamm was the old house of the Märkischen War and Domain Chamber for the county of Mark , of which Hamm had acted as the capital since 1226. The building, the former town house of the Barons von Plettenberg zu Heeren (so-called Heeren'sches Haus ), was on the north side of the market square. However, it could only be obtained after a makeshift repair for 1344 thalers , 11 groschen and 6 pfennigs in 1820.
Soon the space in the Heeren'schen Haus was no longer sufficient, so that between 1890 and 1894, under the President of the Higher Regional Court, Adalbert Falk, a new building was built south of the old town of Hammer and the Ahse . The new building, built according to plans by the Berlin building councilor Karl Friedrich Endell , is one of the oldest state buildings to be erected in Hammer Südstadt. In the following forty years, the southern city developed into a closed administrative center for the city of Hamm and the region. The old Heeren'sche house was used by the postal administration after the Hamm Higher Regional Court moved out and later merged into the town house complex.
The new building of the Higher Regional Court was used between 1894 and 1957. At the end of 1958 the Higher Regional Court moved into a new building on Heßlerstrasse, which had become necessary due to the growing importance and tasks of the Higher Regional Court. The representative old building was subsequently taken over by the city of Hamm, which still uses it today as its town hall .
The new building on Heßlerstrasse was renovated and expanded between 1999 and 2004. The Higher Regional Court has a total of 35,000 m² of usable space available there.
In a branch at Gutenbergstrasse 1, individual departments of the Justice Fund North Rhine-Westphalia are housed.
List of higher regional court presidents
- Friedrich Wilhelm Berthold von Rappard (1820–1830)
- Christian Friedrich Bernhard von Steltzer (1830–1831)
- Karl August Ferdinand von Scheibler (1831–1840)
- Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Lent (1840–1868)
- Ludwig Hartmann (1868–1882)
- Paul Ludwig Adalbert Falk (1882–1900)
- Anton Holtgreven (1900-1919)
- Franz Ludwig Reiff (1919–1924)
- Paul Jockwer (1924-1932)
- Rudolf Schneider (1933–1943)
- Hans Semler (1943–1945)
- Ernst Hermsen (1945–1946)
- Josef Wiefels (1946–1961)
- Heinrich Rempe (1961–1967)
- Franz Hense (1967-1975)
- Otto Tiebing (1975–1988)
- Heinz Palm (1989–1995)
- Gero Debusmann (1996-2008)
- Johannes Keders (since 2009)
Courts of Justice at the Hamm Higher Regional Court
The Higher Lawyers' Court of North Rhine-Westphalia
The Lawyers' Disciplinary Court for North Rhine-Westphalia is the highest regional court for professional law issues related to the legal profession.
The Lawyers' Disciplinary Court has its seat at the Higher Regional Court in Hamm and has 13 legal and six judicial members, who are divided between two senates. The Senates meet with three legal members, including the chairperson, and two judicial members.
The 1st Senate is responsible for procedures for admission, its revocation or the withdrawal of the same, including the specialist lawyer procedures as well as all proceedings to be decided under the Administrative Court Code (VwGO), with the exception of all those proceedings that fall to the 2nd Senate.
The 2nd Senate serves as an appeal body for disciplinary matters (e.g. violations of legal professional duties) and, as the first instance, decides on applications for a court decision on administrative acts that burden the lawyer and for which no special rules on contestation have been made in the Federal Lawyers' Act.
The service court for judges at the Hamm Higher Regional Court
The service court for judges at the Hamm Higher Regional Court is the highest regional court for disciplinary and service law issues of judges in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the appellate instance for judgments of the service court , which is located at the Düsseldorf Regional Court , and is responsible as the first instance in all cases assigned to it by the for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
With one chairperson, two permanent and two non-permanent assessors, the service court negotiates and decides on appeals against judgments and on complaints against decisions of the service court as well as in all cases in which the Judges and Public Prosecutors Act for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the procedural rules to be applied thereafter order the jurisdiction of the court of second instance.
The members of the service court for judges are made up of the various branches of the judiciary: The chairman and a permanent assessor must belong to the ordinary judiciary, and their regular representatives to the administrative judiciary. The other permanent assessors and their regular representatives are each appointed for one term of office from the judges of the administrative, labor and social jurisdictions in this order.
Special facilities at the Hamm Higher Regional Court
Central Paying Office Justice
After the state treasury tasks of the judiciary were transferred to the department of the Ministry of Finance, the former “Oberjustizkasse”, later “Justizkasse Nordrhein-Westfalen”, has been known as the “Central Paying Office Justice” since 2017. Around 240 employees work at the Central Paying Office for Justice. You enforce all cost claims of the judiciary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Central Paying Office for Justice is also the central depository of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and also oversees other state-wide projects, e.g. B. "Electronic cost stamp North Rhine-Westphalia".
Judicial Examination Office Hamm
The Judicial Examination Office Hamm is an independent institution at the Hamm Higher Regional Court. In addition to the two other North Rhine-Westphalian judicial examination offices in Düsseldorf and Cologne, it is responsible for the organization and handling of the state compulsory subject examination. Together with the university part, this forms the first examination that concludes the study of law, the former first state examination in law .
Data evaluation center of the North Rhine-Westphalia justice system
The data evaluation center, which is also located at the Hamm Higher Regional Court, is a facility under the supervision of the President of the Higher Regional Court and the technical supervision of the Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is primarily concerned with the preparation, evaluation and analysis of control-relevant statistical data for the judiciary.
Center for Integrated Accounting
A “Center for integrated accounting with the EPOS.NRW system in the judiciary of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (ZefiR)” has been set up at the higher regional courts in Hamm and Düsseldorf.
The Center for Integrated Accounting provides technical support and professional assurance of the coordinated operation of the EPOS.NRW program in the judiciary's budget units (with the exception of the penal system). The organization and operation of the ZefiR are a joint task of the Hamm and Düsseldorf Higher Regional Courts. The management of the ZefiR was entrusted to the Hamm Higher Regional Court. The Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is responsible for the technical supervision of the Center for Integrated Accounting.
Competence center for information security
The competence center for information security of the North Rhine-Westphalia judiciary is also an institution set up at the Hamm Higher Regional Court under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its task is to support the Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in developing and implementing information security measures.
IT operations center
The central IT service provider (ITD), which is subordinate to the President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, is housed in the building of the Hamm Higher Regional Court with Department ITD 6 “Central IT Operations and Operations Preparation”. This department also includes the employees of the former validation center (VZ) who, when they switched to the ITD, have been involved in the construction and operation of the central IT operating point and operational preparation since March 1, 2017.
- Administration of justice between Rhine and Weser. Festschrift for the 150th anniversary of the Hamm Higher Regional Court. Edited by the legal history association in the area of the Hamm Higher Regional Court, Hamm 1970, DNB
- 200 years of the Hamm Higher Regional Court: in particular , Ed. Johannes Keders, Hamm 2020 ISBN 978-3931283971
- 200 years of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm: das . Special , Ed. Johannes Keders, Hamm 2020 ISBN 978-3931283964
- Internet presence of the Hamm Higher Regional Court
- Overview of the jurisdiction of the Hamm Higher Regional Court
- Website of the OLG Hamm: facts and figures , accessed on January 31, 2020
- Federal Bar Association, www.brak.de: Large membership statistics as of January 1, 2018. (PDF; 37.3 kB) Accessed September 5, 2018 .
- Hans-Eckhard Niermann: The implementation of political and politicized criminal justice in the Third Reich, its development shown using the example of the OLG district of Hamm . In: Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ed.): Legal contemporary history . tape 3 : Criminal justice in the Third Reich . Düsseldorf 1995, DNB 947234047 , p. 54/55 .
- Hans-Eckhard Niermann: The implementation of political and politicized criminal justice in the Third Reich, its development shown using the example of the OLG district of Hamm . In: Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ed.): Legal contemporary history . tape 3 : Criminal justice in the Third Reich . Düsseldorf 1995, DNB 947234047 , p. 1/2 .
- Westfälischer Anzeiger of June 27, 2020, The Darkest Hour, special section "200 years OLG Hamm"
- Hans-Eckhard Niermann: The implementation of political and politicized criminal justice in the Third Reich, its development shown using the example of the OLG district of Hamm . In: Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ed.): Legal contemporary history . tape 3 : Criminal justice in the Third Reich . Düsseldorf 1995, DNB 947234047 , p. 41-49 .
- Westfälischer Anzeiger of June 27, 2020, Prussian splendor and thrift , special section "200 years OLG Hamm"
- Westfalenspiegel, February 1976, p. 26 f.
- Lawyers' Court of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
- The service court for judges at the Hamm Higher Regional Court. In: Higher Regional Court Hamm. The President of the Hamm Higher Regional Court, accessed on June 10, 2020 .
- Central Justice Paying Agency
- Judicial Office Hamm
- Data evaluation center of the NRW justice system