Status of Digitalisation of ESCP Enforcement Procedures

No French text authorizes the use of the electronic way in this matter.

ESCP Procedural Aspects

1. Competent Enforcement Authority

The competent court to hear the European Small Claims Procedure is the local chamber of the judicial court (la chambre de proximité du tribunal judiciaire) (article L.211-4-2 of the Code of Judicial Organization, hereafter CJO) or within the limits of its jurisdiction, before the commercial court (article L.721-3-1 of the Commercial Code). The court with territorial jurisdiction is that of the place where the defendant resides (article 1382 of the Code of Civil Procedure, hereafter CCP).

There are currently no national statistics concerning the frequency of hearings in this matter.

The procedure followed is the written procedure. However, it follows the rules of oral procedure in French law.

2. Rules on Service

The competent authority to notify the decision is the Clerk of the competent court, this notification is done by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt (article 1389 of the CCP). There are no costs.

3. Language of the Certificate and Documents to be Appended

Different languages are accepted: English, German, Spanish and Italian. The costs of translation are to be borne by the parties, in the expertise proceedings, the tariff is free. The plaintiff can nevertheless ask to benefit from legal aid (Law of July 10, 1991, decree of December 19, 1991).

4. Enforcement Fees

There is no fee

5. Refusal, Stay, or Limitation of ESCP Enforcement Procedures

There is no provision in french law for such procedures. Only the European Regulation provides that enforcement may be limited or suspended where the decision settling a small claim is subject to appeal or review. Enforcement may therefore be limited to precautionary measures, made subject to the provision of security or suspended. Enforcement may be refused in the presence of an earlier incompatible decision given by any Member State or third party if:

– The earlier decision was given between the same parties, in a dispute involving the same cause of action,

– It was given in the State of enforcement or is capable of being recognized there,

– It could not be invoked in the course of the proceedings.

Critical Assessment

The European small claims procedure is not well known in France. It is marginal, which is why there are no statistics on the subject. To improve it, the first step would be to reinforce the training of the actors, especially lawyers and magistrates.