Code of Civil Procedure (Germany)

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Basic data
Title: Code of Civil Procedure
Abbreviation: ZPO
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Civil procedural law , procedural law
References : 310-4
Original version from: January 30, 1877
( RGBl. P. 83)
Entry into force on: October 1, 1879
New announcement from: December 5, 2005
( BGBl. I p. 3202 ,
ber. 2006 I p. 431 ,
ber. 2007 I p. 1781 )
Last change by: Art. 2 G of December 12, 2019
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2633 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2020
(Art. 10 G of December 12, 2019)
GESTA : C092
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The German Code of Civil Procedure (abbreviated ZPO ; in the case of comparative law : dZPO) regulates the judicial procedure in civil proceedings and came into force in the first version on October 1, 1879 as part of the Reich Justice Acts. It basically includes all provisions relevant to questions of civil litigation. Few issues are dealt with in other laws and regulations. In addition, the are for jurisdiction and the internal structure of courts , the Judiciary Act and for the enforcement of court decisions law on foreclosure and sequestration to name.

In family disputes and matrimonial matters , according to § 113 FamFG, some parts of the ZPO apply accordingly .

The ZPO therefore comes into play primarily in civil legal disputes. As the “mother of all procedural rules”, however, the provisions on procedures in other branches of jurisdiction often refer to parts of the ZPO, for example in the Labor Court Act , the Social Court Act and the Administrative Court Code .

In Section 37 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, reference is also made to the ZPO rules for the service procedure.

Civil procedural law

Little appears in the ZPO about the essential process maxims .

The procedure is divided into two sections: the judgment procedure and the foreclosure procedure . In recognition procedure on the alleged by the applicant claim decided. In enforcement proceedings, the judgment or any other enforcement order is enforced.

Structure and conception

The normal judgment procedure (§§ 253 - 510b ZPO) is the rule in the investigation procedure. In addition, there is a special type of process, the document , bill of exchange and check process (§§ 592 - 605a) and as a procedure for provisional legal protection, the procedure for issuing an arrest or an injunction (§§ 916 - 945 ZPO), which is also included in a cognizance procedure and the foreclosure, but is systematically incorrectly regulated by the ZPO in the 8th book on the foreclosure. There is also the dunning procedure (§ 688 - 703d ZPO), which offers the possibility of creating an enforcement title quickly and easily in the event of claims for payment of a certain amount of money, but only one in those cases in which the respondent objects represents a special form of initiation of the judgment procedure. The ZPO also makes provisions on arbitration proceedings (sections 1025 - 1066), in which state courts only partially act.

In addition to the provisions on the procedure of the first instance, the ZPO contains regulations on the legal remedies of appeal , revision , complaint and legal complaint (§§ 511 - 577 ZPO) and on the resumption of the procedure (§ 578 - 591 ZPO).

In terms of types of action, civil procedure law in the ZPO provides for the performance action , the declaratory action , the interim declaratory action and the structural action .

The law of enforcement is regulated in the 8th book of the ZPO. The ZPO deals with enforcement by the individual creditor. The total enforcement by the entirety of the creditors, however, does not regulate the ZPO, but the bankruptcy code . The compulsory enforcement law of the ZPO is divided into general provisions, a section on compulsory enforcement for monetary claims and a section on compulsory enforcement to obtain the surrender of things and to obtain acts or omissions. The enforcement of monetary claims distinguishes between foreclosure in movable property, namely on the one hand in physical property and on the other hand in claims and other property rights, and foreclosure in immovable property, in the latter case the ZPO only partially regulates and through the law on the Foreclosure auction and compulsory administration is supplemented.

The Introductory Act to the Code of Civil Procedure (EGZPO) contains, in addition to some marginal provisions, above all transitional provisions, which were caused in particular by the Law on Reforming Civil Procedure of July 27, 2001 and the changeover to the euro .

Outline of the law

The following list results from the table of contents of the ZPO:
Book 1 - General Regulations

  1. dishes
  2. Parties
  3. Procedure

Book 2 - First Instance Procedure

  1. Proceedings before the regional courts
  2. Proceedings before the local courts

Book 3 - Appeal

  1. vocation
  2. Revision
  3. complaint

Book 4 - Resumption of the procedure
Book 5 - Document and bill of exchange process
Book 6 - Sample assessment procedure

Previously : Proceedings in family matters ceased to exist on September 1, 2009 and only applies to old proceedings; is now regulated in the FamFG

  1. General rules for proceedings in matrimonial matters
  2. General rules for proceedings in other family matters
  3. Procedures in divorce - and consequential matters
  4. Procedures for annulment and for establishing the existence or non-existence of a marriage
  5. Proceedings in child matters
  6. Maintenance proceedings
  7. Procedure in civil partnership matters

Book 7 - Dunning Procedure
Book 8 - Foreclosure

  1. General rules
  2. Foreclosure on pecuniary claims
  3. Foreclosure to obtain the surrender of things and to obtain acts or omissions
  4. Affidavit and detention (no longer applicable from January 1, 2013; see now §§ 802a - 802l; § 882b - 882h)
  5. Arrest and injunction

Book 9 - Public Notice Procedure dropped on September 1, 2009 and is now regulated in the FamFG.
Book 10 - Arbitration Procedure

  1. General rules
  2. Arbitration agreement
  3. Formation of the arbitral tribunal
  4. Jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal
  5. Execution of the arbitration proceedings
  6. Award and termination of the proceedings
  7. Appeal against the arbitral award
  8. Requirements for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards
  9. Judicial process
  10. Non-contractual arbitration tribunals

Book 11 - Judicial Cooperation in the European Union

  1. Delivery in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1348/2000
  2. Taking of evidence according to Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001
  3. Legal aid according to Directive 2003/8 / EC
  4. European enforcement order according to Regulation (EC) No. 805/2004
  5. European order for payment procedure according to Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006
  6. European procedure for small claims under Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007

European law references

Civil procedural law is traditionally autonomous (national) law.

However, due to the increasing economic networking due to the legal basis of Art. 61 lit. c) in conjunction with Art. 65 TEC judgment given European secondary legislation EC (see, International Civil Procedure (EC) ) in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters is becoming more substantial role. The following ordinances have been issued in the area of ​​civil procedural law:

See also


History of origin

  • Karl Hahn , Eduard Stegemann (ed.): The entire material on the Reich justice laws . 2nd Edition. tape 2 : Materials on the Code of Civil Procedure . Scientia-Verlag, Aalen 1983, ISBN 3-511-06983-1 (new printer of the Berlin edition 1881.).


Web links

Wikisource: Civil Proceedings Code (1877)  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Art. 111 FGG-RG
  2. Peter-Andreas Brand, Current Problems in Civil Law Disputes with a Foreign Reference - Jurisdiction, Service and Enforcement. In: Humboldt Forum Recht (HFR), 22–2007, online .
  3. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of December 22, 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (PDF; 188.6 kB) .
  4. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of November 27, 2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and proceedings relating to parental responsibility (PDF; 231.2 kB) .
  5. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 1393/2007 of November 13, 2007 on the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters in the member states ("Service of documents") and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1348 / 2000 of the Council (PDF; 15.5 MB) .
  6. Text of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of May 28, 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters (PDF; 100 kB) .
  7. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 21, 2004 on the introduction of a European enforcement order for uncontested claims (PDF; 180 kB) .
  8. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 12, 2006 on the introduction of a European order for payment procedure (PDF; 35.4 MB) .
  9. Text of Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 11, 2007 on the introduction of a European procedure for small claims (PDF; 7.6 MB) .