Arbitration Office

Especially in disputes of daily life with neighbors or acquaintances, the atmosphere is quickly so tense that the participants can no longer speak out in peace. Until then, good relationships are too bad to put them at risk in a legal dispute because the hedge of the neighboring property has grown too high, your car was damaged when parking or the craftsman next door has poorly executed the repair order. It is precisely here that arbitrators can help to settle the dispute and to preserve neighbourly, family and friendly relations.

Since 01.12.2008, the State Arbitration Act stipulates for certain neighbouring rights and defamation disputes that an attempt at conciliation must be made before an arbitrator or other quality body before initiating legal proceedings.

The attempt at atonement is also a prerequisite for bringing the private action.

Prosecution is a matter for the state, but for some offences an arbitrator must be involved before you can turn to the court, namely in the case of so-called private lawsuits

  • Trespass
  • Insult
  • violation of the secrecy of letters,
  • Bodily injury
  • Threat
  • damage to property, or
  • Committing the aforementioned crimes while intoxicated.

If such offences are considered, the public prosecutor's office will only bring charges if it affirms the public interest in prosecution. If she does not see such a public interest, you will be referred to the private action. This means that you have to bring a lawsuit before the criminal court if you want to punish the offender.

However, you can only file such a private lawsuit if you have previously tried to reconcile with the other parties out of court.

Special forms are not required. 


In case of disputes over claims due to

  • effects  such as exposure to gases, vapours, odours, smoke, soot, heat, noise, vibrations from another property), unless they are effects of a commercial operation,
  • overgrowth,
  • Assault,
  • a border tree,
  • the neighbouring rights regulated in the State Neighbouring Rights Act (e.g. construction of a neighbouring or border wall, fastening of chimneys, ventilation shafts or antenna systems), provided that they are not the effects of a commercial operation, and
  • for violations of personal honour that have not been committed in the press or on the radio,

an attempt at conciliation is only dispensable if not all parties have their domicile, registered office or branch in Rhineland-Palatinate in the same or in neighbouring district courts when the conciliation procedure is initiated.

In principle, however, an attempt at arbitration before an arbitrator in all civil disputes makes sense and is possible. Only if it is a non-property dispute (for example, divorce, disputes over paternity, custody and access disputes), if property disputes involve more than 5,000 euros or in factually or legally particularly difficult cases (for example, disputes over statutory maintenance obligations) the arbitrator may not or should not take action.

Arbitration is excluded, for example, in the case of:

  • Divorces
  • paternity disputes,
  • disputes of access and custody,
  • from a value in dispute of 5,000 euros.

Related Links

  • Arbitration Office Regulations (SchO)
  • State Arbitration Act (LSchlG)
  • § 906 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 910 Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 911 German Civil Code (BGB)
  • § 923 Civil Code (BGB)

The proceedings are initiated by an application to include the names, occupation, marital status, date of birth and address of both parties, as well as a brief description of the dispute. You can forward the signed request to the arbitrator in writing or declare it "on record" with him orally.

The arbitrator shall now set a date for the parties to the dispute to be summoned. Before the appointment, you should consider what is important to you and whether and to what extent you are willing to compromise, taking into account the situation of the other party.

In the appointment, both parties have time and opportunity to present their view of things in peace and unlike in a court case without publicity.

The arbitrator will try to reduce existing tensions and reach an agreement. If successful, the settlement concluded will be recorded in minutes to be signed by the arbitrator and the parties. If necessary, such a settlement can also be enforced.

If an agreement is not reached or the other party to the dispute does not appear at the appointment, you still have the option of appealing to the court.

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