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International News

The Background Investigator Investigates Germany

February 09, 2020 posted by Steve Brownstein

As part of an ongoing series, The Background Investigator, sent an attorney to Germany to explore the availablility of criminal records. The results of this first investigation appear below.
Investigating Germany
by Fred Frankel, Attorney at Law
It is well established that one may obtain a search in Germany by filling out the proper application and paying the appropriate fee to the (German Central Records Bureau).  The difficulty in this process is that the (German Central Records Bureau) requires a Power of Attorney in both English and German.  The Power of Attorney must be approved by the (German Central Records Bureau) and still the (German Central Records Bureau) may not release the information to a third party.  This process is further found to be impractical due to the rising costs involved. The last price I was quoted was 11 English pound or around 17 dollars.
I recently made a trip to Munich Germany in an effort to gain access to criminal records.  
I went to the Amstgericht and found that they do not have public access computers for criminal records.  
Access to records at the courts is very limited and unless you are a party to the case or the attorney you are not granted access.  
However, when I went to the office of the prosecutor and asked to have a name of a client searched I was provided with the results of the search.  
Based upon the results if necessary I would be able to pull the file at the courts.  
This process was similar at the Landsgericht although I found the clerk in the court more helpful when I provided my attorney card.  
Additionally, providing the clerk with a signed authorization is most helpful in getting them to perform the search.
Obtaining records from the Prosecutor’s office for the entire State of Bavaria is the best method.  
While the computer database holds the records for all of Bavaria the physical file will be at the Court in which the Case was heard (or at the local prosecutor’s office).  
This search, unlike the one obtained by the National Criminal Records in Bonn, is not National only State Wide.

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