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A date ( Latin terminus "boundary markers"; it later target , end or payment period ) is a fixed point in time generally time and by a calendar date and often a time specified.


Dates influence daily life of all economic agents ( individuals , companies , public administration and state ), whether they are internal appointments ( meetings , company meetings , business calls ) or external events ( interviews , general meetings , negotiations ). Strict adherence to agreed deadlines is an essential part of punctuality and reliability in western culture ; it is mutually assumed by the contracting parties . In private law, dates are a specific point in time at which something is supposed to happen or a legal effect occurs by itself, or in procedural law a point in time for litigation that is precisely determined in advance by the court .

If a business entity has to meet several appointments at the same time, scheduling is helpful. It is part of time management and the aim is to coordinate several appointments in such a way that they do not collide with each other. Any unexpected delays in appointments should be planned so that the sequence of appointments is not disrupted and there is no time pressure during an appointment . The appointment calendar or calendar programs support appointment planning.

Generally speaking, when meeting an appointment, one speaks of on- time / on-time or on-time / on-time , when exceeding a date of delay , when postponing the appointment of postponement or postponement . The fact that you have to meet one or more deadlines is called deadline pressure . A certain time window is usually available for compliance . The tendency not to meet deadlines or other contractual obligations is referred to as absenteeism .


The paromania “the appointment admonishes the people” ( Latin dies interpellat pro homine ) from common law also determined Roman law . The legal principle states that if an agreed performance time is exceeded, there is an automatic delay without the need for a reminder . The Temin ( Latin this ) had to be a certain event ( Latin certus an ). The court date was also important in Roman procedural law, so that lawsuits had to be filed within a certain period of time so that they were not forgotten, documents were not lost or witnesses did not die.

The oldest source for the medieval German legal term appointment can be found in Cologne in 1317. Both the Codex Maximilianeus Bavaricus Civilis (January 1756), the Codex Theresianus (December 1766) and the General Prussian Land Law (ALR) of June 1794 mention the date. The APL spoke of the date first in the Fund Law , according to which a pernicious Fundsache a short deadline was to offer at public auction (I 9, § 27 APL). It also provided, for example, that a payment made too early on a debt that was due on a certain date could not be reclaimed due to an error (I 16, § 168 APL).


There are private and business appointments. Private appointments are part of privacy , official appointments occur in a business context. Here they are used to determine the timing of meetings or negotiations as well as deliveries and services ( delivery deadline ) or payments ( payment deadline ). In the case of individual types of transaction ( time deposit , forward transaction , futures contract ), the date is even the part of the contract that determines the entire transaction. However, appointments can also be a specific or outstanding point in time at which an event takes place, such as a wedding date or a solar eclipse .

The doctor's appointment or the court appointment are also important . After the doctor's appointment became a problem, the Appointment Service and Supply Act (TSVG) is intended to prevent inappropriately long waiting times for treatment appointments with general practitioners, pediatricians and specialists and a lack of medical care in rural and structurally weak regions.

As Deadline ( English "line of death" , a date which must not be exceeded to German as "reprieve") refers to the expiration date of a deadline or due date (legally), the date ( balance sheet date ) or the closing of a time window (technical). The term was first in newspaper journalism used to refer to the last possible date on which the print lines ( English lines ) in the composing room were placed and fixed conclusion.

Legal issues

In § 186 BGB it is clarified that the interpretative provisions of §§ 187 to 193 BGB apply to the deadline and deadline provisions contained in laws , court orders and legal transactions . Deadlines are periods of time that end with a deadline - the last day of a deadline ( Section 188 Paragraph 1 BGB). On this date, for example, the due date occurs , the notice period or the term of a contract ends . It should be noted that declarations of intent that require receipt must be sent to the recipient during the appointment within business hours . If a date or a deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the next working day is decisive ( Section 193 BGB), so that this provision extends a deadline or postpones a date. The appointment can also be the subject of a time specification ( Section 163 BGB). Here the appointment is either a specific calendar date or a certain future event (such as a birthday or Christmas ). The start date ensures that the change in law begins, whereby the regulations apply to a condition precedent . The end date ensures a termination, the subsequent condition applies .

Legal consequences

Failure to meet deadlines can lead to adverse legal consequences .

The contract law protects the punctual contractor. If, for example, the furniture buyer forgets the agreed delivery date and is not present, he is automatically in default of acceptance and must pay the seller compensation for transport and storage costs in accordance with Section 304 BGB .

In labor is the compliance of the service appointments by workers , a part of the management right of the employer , the generally in work instructions or operating procedures may be controlled or as a concrete task-based in form of the instruction can be issued. Failure to meet deadlines is therefore a violation of the duty to work , which can lead to a warning if repeated .

In procedural law , the date is defined as the point in time at which those involved in the process meet for the purpose of performing process actions. In everyday life in German courts, the term appointment is mostly used synonymously for the next session in the context of a court hearing (e.g. “summons to the appointment” in accordance with Section 214 of the Code of Civil Procedure ). Through this charge arrange meals at trial the personal appearance of both parties on. If a party fails to attend the court hearing of a civil procedure without excuse, a fine can be imposed on him as against a witness who did not appear at the hearing ( Section 380 (1) ZPO ) ( Section 141 (3) ZPO). Missed a reimbursement of the report obligor expert 's deadline, so can an administrative fine will be imposed on him ( § 411 para. 2 ZPO). A default judgment is issued against a party if it is in default in the process. This applies to people who do not appear at an oral hearing without excuse or who do not get involved in a controversial hearing . If there is a case of default, the non-defaulting party can apply to the court for a default judgment to be issued ( Section 330 ZPO). In the criminal trial that is demonstration of the accused or to arrange an arrest warrant to be issued when the absence of the accused is not excuse enough ( § 230 para. 2 Code of Criminal Procedure ).

economic aspects

As only the calendar date for when doing business with due date fulfillment agreed upon and usually no time, so who debtors on said day during the business hours of the creditor to fulfill. For commercial transactions , Section 358 of the German Commercial Code requires that services can only be provided and demanded during normal business hours. In general to § 362 para. 1 BGB that the debtor the performance of action at the right of performance (z. B. residential or office ) and at the right time of performance has to provide (within office hours). If the deadline for a performance period is culpably not met, a contractual penalty can be agreed.

In everyday working life, appointments are given an urgency that increases with the passage of time. This affects scheduled events , meetings of committees or time specifications by superiors , often marked with a red exclamation mark or "asap" ( English as soon as possible , "as soon as possible").

The time remaining until the arrival of the event, the period ( "deadline"), exceeding the limit the Verfristung . Elapsed deadlines result in legal default ( civil law ) or loss of the complaint ( criminal law / administrative law ). Elapsed deadlines for a payment give rise to late payment surcharges or default interest and reminder fees .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Appointment  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 405
  2. Ludwig Julius Friedrich Höpfner, Theoretical-Practical Commentary on the Heineccian Institutions , 1798, p. 1045
  3. ^ Wilhelm Kisky, Die Regesten der Archbischöfe von Köln im Mittelalter , Volume IV, 1915, p. 220
  4. Ulrike Köbler, Werden, Wandel und Wesen des German private law vocabulary , 2010, p. 149 f.
  5. Christian Friedrich Koch, General Land Law for the Prussian States , Volume 1, Edition 1, 1870, p. 427 f.
  6. Hailka Proske / Johannes Friedrich Reichert / Eva Reiff, Prioritize correctly: TaschenGuide , 2015, p. 57