What is legal aid? How do I apply for them and what do I have to consider?


Whoever wants to enforce his right (or his supposed right) at a court must in most cases first invest money. In particular, in the case of a low value of the litigation, litigation costs can easily reach this value again or even exceed the court costs and the legal costs incurred in the case of aggregation.

In the case of a civil dispute before a land court or an administrative court, the court fees must first be paid in advance in order for the court to act. In most cases, the trial court pays the costs of the court as well as that of a lawyer if you win the process, but you should not underestimate the process risk

Even if you think you are clearly in the right, you may be wrong in your legal opinion or simply can not prove the actual claims. In addition, as a plaintiff, both the court costs and the costs of one 's own lawyer must be borne even if the trial has been won, if these costs are incurred by the prosecutor (eg because the latter does not have property that can be pledged or disappears without a trace) ) Can not be invoked.


This could lead to the conclusion that low-income citizens prefer to voluntarily waive claims due to them than risk further costs. However, such a deprivation of needy people would not be compatible with the principles of the Federal Republic of Germany, which are based on the rule of law. Article 3 of the Basic Law, all persons are equal before the law.


For this reason, the legislature has introduced the so-called process-cost support, which should also enable people in need to enforce their rights in court.


However, the process cost support is not intended to enable useless processes.


The procedure for granting legal aid


There is an official form for the examination of the financial requirements for legal aid, which is provided by all courts and by all lawyers.


You can also request legal aid from a district court and ask them to provide you with a lawyer designated by them in the event of the granting of legal aid.


In addition, you can also submit the application for legal aid to the court and ask the court to provide you with a lawyer to be selected by the court, because you will not find one yourself. In such cases, the court shall appoint a lawyer if there is a need and a prospect of success. There are often lists of lawyers in the courts from which they are then selected.


The legal consequences of the granting of legal aid


If legal aid has been granted, the fees and expenses of the court will be borne by the state fund. A cost advance to the court is not to be paid.


In the case of courts where law enforcement is compulsory, the process of granting legal aid is always associated with the allocation of a lawyer. There is no legal obligation for the magistrate, although a lawyer is represented, even if the lawyer is represented by a lawyer or if the questions to be clarified in the process are difficult and the Court considers it sensible that the litigation is carried out by a lawyer .

In particular, the latter regulation is interpreted extremely generously by the courts in practice. It is only in extremely simple legal disputes that a court of justice will rule out the attribution of a lawyer in the event of necessity and the prospect of success, on the grounds that the plaintiff can also carry out his own case.

Unless administrative lawyers and special administrative courts have jurisdiction (as, for example, with the Administrative Court and the Social Court), the attorney's appointment is always admissible, since on the other side there is a legal authority to which an attorney is attached. The attribution of the lawyer leads to so-called "equality of arms".


You must complete this application yourself and send it to the court of your place of residence, together with the necessary documents (in duplicate).


You can find the district court responsible for you here by entering your postal code:



I would be pleased to advise you on the applications and the necessary documents.

However, such advice can not be provided free of charge; appliing to the RVG. The payment for this consultation can be paid either in advance as an advance by transfer or on the day of the consultation by you in cash.

This payment is necessary since this advice is not included, even if authorization is given or legal aid is granted.



Legal aid is a way state Loan which you must pay back if you attain within 4 years after position of the application and (its) approval, the financial means, so that you would not have been granted any legal aid in these circumstances.

In addition, the cost of the legal process (in particular its legal costs) is not covered by the granting of the legal aid. These costs are borne by the claimant who is in need of legal aid even if he loses the legal dispute.


Income improvements after the process:

The limit for such a retroactive review has been set at four years, which is the usual limitation period, e.g. Also for social benefits.This limit has been set because no one is to be expected to bear any costs all his life, because he has a legal dispute with legal aid years ago.


The examination of changes in income can not be avoided simply by silence, since there is a duty of information to this extent.