The help desk - what is it?
The help desk for filing suits and petitions (Rechtsantragsstelle) provides assistance in legal matters.
Demands for relief and petitions can be recorded in writing subject to the condition that there is no statutory requirement to be represented by a lawyer in the matter in question. The same applies to certified statements and declarations as long as there is no requirement for these to be issued or attested by a notary public.
However wide the range of tasks and functions may be, there are a number of areas where the help desk is in no position to offer assistance. This particularly applies to giving legal advice which is the exclusive competence of the lawyers.
The help desk at the regional courts
The help desk at the regional courts offers to record in writing further appeals in matters of non-contentious jurisdiction such as further appeals in guardianship matters and appeals from decisions in matters governed by the Cooperative Apartments and Proprietary Leases Act (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz, WEG). Moreover, appeals and statements of grounds for an appeal in criminal proceedings can be lodged at the regional court help desks.
However, statements in civil law cases and in other criminal proceedings before a regional court cannot be recorded in writing at the help desk given the statutory requirement that parties to such proceedings before a regional court must be represented by a lawyer admitted to practise before a local or regional court.