Joseph K is arrested in his lodging house by two officials for a crime which is never explained. Frau Grubach, Joseph K's landlady, in an attempt to help him, ends up hurting his sensibilities when she mentions the illicit carryings-on of Frau Grubach, another lodger for whom K. has some attachment. When he later meets Frau Grubach, in a clumsy effort not to, he actually manages to kiss her. After being told to report to court, and finding the location to be an empty room, he proceeds to investigate the edifice and after some time finds another room where he finds the Examining Magistrate, but the result of the meeting is to K's disadvantage as he is told he has lost any goodwill the court might have had for him by his accusatory attitude. Later he comes upon the wife of the Magistrate as she is perusing what first appears to legal books but which turn out to be a form of erotica. Subsequently she makes a play for him to which he is gets a slap in the face to the Magistrate but she is taken away by a student before this can happen. When he meets up with a court Attendant, K. has a chance to view the court offices where a numerous number of defendents await their own trials, and he is aided by two functionaries in leaving the offices when he becomes overcome by the thick and breathless atmosphere.
In a bizarre scene K. comes upon the two officials who originally arrested him, being whipped by another person who accuses them of seeking bribes, and despite Joseph's protestations, he continues the whipping. Later K's uncle, a man not without connections in the world of the court, is upset with K after he visits with the nurse of the Advocate ‘Leni'. When a collegue at K's bank suggests he seek out the artist Titorelli he finds him to have not details but a true understanding of the dynamics of how the court works, and it bodes not well for K from his descriptions.
This report prepared by Charles Grierson