Injunction of payment in Italy
The order of payment issued by the judge
Decreto Ingiuntivo, the shortest way to get payment in Italy
The injunction (decreto ingiuntivo) in Italy is an order issued by a judge following the application submitted by the creditor to the judge, only when there is any written proof concerning the claimed credit.
The written proof is the condition for admission of the application of the order, it may consist of any document from the debtor or a third party, which the court deems worthy of belief as to authenticity and probative value.
The written proofs expressly indicated in the art. 634 of the Civil Procedure Code (ie policies, the unilateral promises, telegrams, as well as extracts of authentic company records); there are also any atypical written proofs suitable to be used to start the process of issuance of the decreto ingiuntivo, these are: copies of private documents, fax, electronic documents such as e-mail and the statement of condominium meeting.
If the application for the issuance of injunction is deemed fit by the judge (as mentioned, in the presence of appropriate written proofs), the claimant shall have to notice to the debtor a copy of the claim jointly with the judge's ruling (the "Decree") which is an order to the debtor to pay the amount indicated in it.
The decreto ingiuntivo is a procedure with a first phase in which the defendant cannot appear before the judge in order to expose his defensive proofs, so that the order of payment is issued without the celebration of an actual process.
Since the moment the defendant receive the notification of the injunction, he has 40 days to decide whether to pay the amount indicated (in addition to court fees, unless otherwise agreed between the parties) or to not pay anything and submit opposition against the injunction.
In the event of non-payment at maturity of 40 days, the decreto ingiuntivo will become effective enforceable and cannot be appealed. At this point, the creditor may act for the execution of the injunction against the debtor.
If the debtor should opt for the opposition to the injunction received, he will get an ordinary civil trial before the same court that issued the injunction; the process will be held according to the rules and times typical of a normal trial, during which the parties must provide proof of the respective reasons. The outcome of the case will be decided by the judge by issuance of the judgment.
In some special cases the injunction may also be issued already provided with a clause of provisional execution, so that although there is the term of 40 days for doing opposition against the injunction, the debtor will be required to fulfill the demand for payment immediately since the notification of the injunction, otherwise the enforcement will start soon; these mentioned cases include:
credit based on promissory note, bank check, cashier's check or certified by exchange settlement;
credit based on document received by a notary public or other authorized officer;
the risk of serious injury in the event of late payment (in this case, the court may impose a security to the creditor);
the creditor produces a document signed by the debtor in which the latter acknowledges his debt.
The refuse to receive notification of the injunction by the bailiff is absolutely useless, in fact, in this case, the law provides that the notification is fit with the deposit of the envelope with injunction at the municipal house and by sending a registered letter to the recipient.