REALWorld Law


Dispute resolution in the courts

Which courts specialize or deal with construction disputes? Can decisions be appealed?



Due to the amounts involved in such cases (usually above €5,000) the Regional Courts (Landgerichte) deal with legal disputes relating to construction projects. The Local Courts (Amtsgerichte) deal with cases involving smaller amounts. Some Regional Courts have special chambers for construction matters. In accordance with the new construction contract law, the Regional Courts and the Higher Regional Courts (Oberlandesgerichte) now have to set up civil chambers and senates which are specialized in disputes arising out of construction contracts.

The local jurisdiction of the civil courts depends on the location of the registered office of the debtor. The location of a branch office of the contracting party may also be chosen as the venue for any disputes. In addition, the location where the construction work is performed may determine the venue for legal proceedings. Because of these various possibilities, the parties usually agree on a specific venue.

Judgements or decisions of the Local Courts can be appealed in the Regional Court or the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) and judgments or decisions of the Regional Courts can be appealed in the Higher Regional Court or the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), depending on the specific matter in question. The ultimate court of appeal in Germany is the Federal Court of Justice.