According to the 2008 Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum, Germany occupies top slot in the "Efficiency of Legal Framework" and "Judicial Independence" categories. Hence, companies and entrepreneurs can count on a reliable legal system. Numerous international law firms are represented in Germany.
The Order of Payment Procedure
In principle, the order for payment procedure is applicable to all claims relating to the payment of a specific sum of money. A small fee is charged for this procedure, and a lawyer doesn't need to be involved.
A written reminder is followed by an application to the local court for an order for payment procedure (Mahnbescheid). A standardized application form must be used. The competent court for the purposes of the order for payment procedure is the district court at which the applicant has his general jurisdiction.
The court issues the order for payment to the defaulting payer. The defendant can file an objection within two weeks. If no objection is filed, the court issues an enforcement order on application which is provisionally enforceable.
Notice of appeal can be filed against the enforcement order within two weeks. If the defendant disputes the claim within this period, it is no longer possible to issue an enforcement order for the compulsory enforcement of the claim asserted under the order for payment.
However, the procedure is not automatically transferred to normal (i.e. "adversary") proceedings. This requires a specific application for the contested procedure to be implemented - this can be submitted by either the order for payment procedure applicant or defendant. The applicant may also submit an application as soon as he becomes aware of the objection, or can link the application to the order for payment as a precaution.