The European injunction procedure or, rather, the European Payment Order is an instrument used in cross-border disputes, that is, in disputes involving two different European Union countries. It is used, for example, when an Italian entrepreneur is a creditor of a debtor residing in Germany or vice versa. In such a case, the dispute can be called cross-border. The proceedings take place before a judicial authority (in Italy, the competent regional court or justice of the peace, depending on the amount in dispute), except in Hungary, where notaries have jurisdiction.
A cross-border dispute is one in which at least one of the parties has its domicile or habitual residence in a member state other than that of the court seised (Article 3 of EC Regulation 1896/2006). Example: the creditor is Italian, and the debtor resides in Germany or vice versa.
The procedure is simple and fast:
-it is conducted in writing by filling out a standard form,
-there are no hearings (except in case of opposition),
-there is no obligation to attach documents, but it is advisable to do so.
The European Payment Order can be issued in all
- civil and
- commercial law cases.
For example, contractual liability, non-payment for goods or services.
The following areas are excluded:
- customs, administrative and tax matters,
- bankruptcy, composition and similar proceedings,
- economic relations within marriage,
- wills and succession claims,
- social security
- state liability for acts or omissions in the exercise of sovereign authority (so-called “acta iure imperii”).
After notification of the payment order, the debtor has 30 days to oppose the payment order, even without giving specific reasons.
If the debtor does so, the court seised will initiate normal declaratory proceedings, if this option has been chosen, otherwise the proceedings will be halted.
If the order for payment is not challenged within the stipulated period, it becomes enforceable and is declared by the court after presentation of the proof of service.
An order for payment that has been declared enforceable can be enforced throughout the European Union,
meaning that seizures of bank accounts, real estate, etc. can be enforced throughout the European Union.
Regarding European proceedings for civil and commercial disputes, the following legal provisions should be noted:
Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007, as amended by Regulation (EU) No. 2421/2015, for civil and commercial disputes of small amounts (value less than 5,000 euros);
EU Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006, as amended by Regulation (EU) No. 2421/2015, for European injunction proceedings;
EU Regulation 805/2004 for the European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims;
EU Regulation 655/2014 for the attachment of bank accounts.