Sub-district court

The sub-district court deals with cases with a value of up to €25,000 as well as all cases involving disputes about:

  • labour matters
  • rental arrangements
  • leasing arrangements
  • consumer purchases
  • consumer credit (loans up to €40.000)

You can represent yourself before the sub-district court – you do not have to hire a lawyer. In a number of cases, you can also bring your case before the (Dutch-language) eKantonrechter (electronic Subdistrict Court).

The civil court

The civil court deals with cases worth more than €25,000. The civil court also rules on bankruptcy cases, for example. You are obliged to hire a lawyer for cases before the civil courts.

Court of Appeal

If you do not agree with the decision of the sub-district court or the civil court you can file an appeal and the Court of Appeal will then review your case. This is only possible, however, in cases that are worth more than €1,750. You are obliged to hire a lawyer for cases before the Court of Appeal.

Court fees

You pay court fees as a contribution towards the costs of the court proceedings at the court where your case is heard. The amount depends on the type and/or value of your case.

Subsidised legal assistance

If you have a low income, you might be eligible for subsidised legal assistance. The Dutch authorities will pay a portion of your lawyer expenses. You do not qualify for subsidised legal assistance if the dispute is related to your company.