The principle of compulsory representation by a lawyer and the injunction to pay procedure

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Representation by a lawyer is in principle mandatory for any claim exceeding 10 000€ before the judicial court (article 760 of the Code of Civil Procedure) or the commercial court (article 853 of the Code of Civil Procedure), unless otherwise provided.

This is because the procedure is generally adversarial, meaning that the judge hears the arguments raised by the parties before rendering his decision.

According to article 1407 of the Code of Civil Procedurethe injunction to pay procedure is a non-adversarial and therefore specific procedure: the petition is filed by the creditor before the court, and the judge makes his order without hearing the adversary. The adversarial procedure may be re-established later if the order, which will have been served on the debtor, is opposed before the court within one month of its receipt.

It is therefore from this opposition that the injunction to pay reverts to a classic civil trial where the principle of compulsory representation by a lawyer applies again. If the claim is higher than 10 000€, the parties will have to be represented by a lawyer at the hearing.

The provisions relating to theinjunction to pay procedure are special. Because they are non-contradictory, they derogate from the principle of compulsory representation by a lawyer for claims exceeding 10 000€. The initiation of the order for payment procedure does not need to be carried out by a lawyer.


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