On Joseph K's 30th birthday, he was unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime.
You're under arrest
The agents boss later arrives and holds a mini-trial in Josephs neighbors front room. He is set free and told to await instructions from the Committee of Affairs.
K. receives a phone call summoning him to court, he receives the date and location but isn't told a time. He has no idea what he is charged with, or what authorises the process. After the court session, he returns home.
K. is visited by his uncle who seems distressed by his predicament.The uncle introduces K. to a lawyer, who is attended by a Leni, a nurse. The attorney tells him that he can prepare a brief for K., but since the charge is unknown, it is difficult.
K. is asked by the bank to show a client around. The client asks K. to take him to the cathedral, he sets a time to meet there but the client doesn't show up. The priest calls K.'s name, he approaches and the priest berates him for his attitude toward the trial. The priest tells K. that the parable is an ancient text of the court, many generations of court officials have interpreted it differently.
On the eve of K.'s thirty-first birthday, two men arrive at his apartment. K. leads them to a quarry where the two men place K's head on a discarded block. One of the men holds his shoulder and the other man stabs him in the heart and twists the knife twice. K.'s last words are: "Like a dog!"