Court costs in Germany
Court costs are laid down by law and also depend on the value of the matter in controversy.
The court fees are calculated pursuant to the Court Fees Act (Gerichtskostengesetz, GKG) and depend on the value of the claim/the amount in dispute, which corresponds to a fixed base fee defined by statute.
Advance costs in order to initialize litigation
Plaintiffs must advance court costs for general civil matters. The court fees therefore are paid when the action is brought or the application is filed.
"Loser pays" rule
Final court judgments always contain a decision on costs, without the need for a specific motion to this effect being requested by the parties.
As a consequence the losing party has to bear the costs of the proceedings including the statutory court fees and reasonable expenses as well as the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees. However, attorneys’ fees will only be reimbursed up to the legal statutory amount.
In case a partial judgment on costs is rendered by the court that declares partial success and/or defeat for each party, the costs will be split proportionately (pro-rata).