Pursuant to § 34 (1) of the Federal Constitutional Court Act, proceedings before the Federal Constitutional Court are in principle free of charge. No one shall be prevented from asserting his or her fundamental rights for financial reasons.
Pursuant to § 34 (2) of the Federal Constitutional Court Act, parties to proceedings may be charged a fee of up to EUR 2.600 if a complaint or application for a preliminary injunction constitutes an abuse of rights. Constitutional complaints or other applications constitute an abuse of rights if the free-of-charge access to the Federal Constitutional Court is used in an irresponsible manner to file applications that from the outset clearly have no prospects of success or to pursue purposes that are unrelated to ongoing proceedings. In the course of time, several groups of cases have been identified in this regard. For instance, procedural motions that irresponsibly burden the Court with deliberately deceiving statements or a random reasoning fall under this rule.
The parties can be reimbursed for their own expenses – in particular lawyer’s fees – if their applications were successful (cf. § 34 a of the Federal Constitutional Court Act). For successful constitutional complaints, expenses are always reimbursed, reimbursement for other types of proceedings lie within the discretion of the Federal Constitutional Court. Only the statutory fees pursuant to the Lawyers’ Remuneration Act (Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz – RVG) are reimbursable, higher fee agreements are not. Apart from that, all necessary expenses may be claimed. Moreover, expenses may completely or partially be reimbursed on grounds of equity. This might be the case e.g. for successful complaints concerning the scrutiny of an election or if the constitutional complaint, even though it was unsuccessful, contributed to clarifying a question of general constitutional significance.