Reimbursability of detective costs

Az: 8 AZR 1026/12

The decision of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm of January 9, 2015, Case No. 6 WF 83/14, stipulated that detective costs must generally be reimbursed by the opposing party as procedural costs in legal proceedings, insofar as they were incurred in preparation for a specific legal dispute.

The background to the decision was that the spouses disputed the existence of a maintenance claim after their separation. The husband demanded payment of alimony from the wife, but this was rejected by the court of first instance because the husband had violated the marital fiduciary duties towards his wife. The wife had hired a detective agency to prove that the husband had breached the marital fiduciary duties. Thus, the detective costs were necessary for an appropriate legal prosecution or legal defense against the husband’s asserted claim for alimony. The findings sought by the detective agency were necessary in order to be able to demonstrate the husband’s breach of the marital fiduciary duties.

For this reason, detective costs incurred to obtain evidence are also procedural costs that must then be reimbursed by the other party.

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