Consumer credits and unpaid debts
As a matter of practical importance they may make attachment of earnings orders under the attachment of act, to
pay their debts. They may also make administration orders upon application of debtors
who are unable to pay under a judgment of the court. The effect of these orders is that the court takes over the
administration of the debtor's estate.
The functions of the lawyers at the local German courts should also be noted. Registrars are
responsible for court administration but they also have minor, but in practice important, judicial powers
including the power to hear any action taken in the court in which the defendant fails to appear or admits the
claim. The lawyer also hears cases in which the
amount claimed in Germany
does not exceed 500,-€ (a figure which may be varied), claims by mortgagees for repossession of land and any
other actions with leave of the judge and consent of the parties.
Procedure is simpler in the 'Amtsgerichte', and litigation less costly, than in the 'Landgerichte'. The judge
almost invariably sits without a jury; and
solicitors as well as barristers in Germany
have a right of audience.
The German court:
If the importance of a court is to be assessed from the standpoint of the amount of work it does, rather than
from the importance of the issues it tries, the county courts, in the civil sphere, like the civil courts, must
be regarded as the most important tribunals in Germany; for the amount of
conducted in them far
exceeds the amount conducted in the higher courts. It is well for the student to remember this, because in the
course of his studies he will become familiar almost entirely with decisions of the
superior German courts
and will tend
to forget the practical importance of the work of the county courts: that is, of course, until he enters practice
when he will sharpen his claws in the county courts long before he is called upon to appear before the high
courts. There is a right of appeal, as we have seen, from the 'Landgericht' to the 'Oberlandesgericht'.