15

Oct

2015

Regulation 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure: presentation

Zahia

What is the goal of the Regulation ?

The regulation, which has applied since 2008, establishes a European procedure for orders for payment.

The procedure simplifies, speeds up and reduces the costs of litigation in cross-border cases concerning uncontested pecuniary claims.

The regulation permits the free circulation of European orders for payment throughout European Union countries.

What is the scope of the Regulation ?

The European order for payment procedure applies to civil and commercial matters in cross-border cases, whatever the nature of the court or tribunal.

The regulation applies to all EU countries except Denmark.

The procedure does not extend to revenue, customs or administrative matters or the liability of a state for acts and omissions in the exercise of state authority.

The following are also excluded:

  • matrimonial property regimes;
  • bankruptcy, proceedings relating to the winding-up of insolvent companies or other legal persons, judicial arrangements, compositions and analogous proceedings;
  • social security;
  • claims arising from non-contractual obligations, unless they have been the subject of an agreement between the parties or there has been an admission of debt or they relate to liquidated debts arising from joint ownership of property.

What do I need to do to start a claim ?

The regulation includes a form to be used to apply for a European order for payment.

You have to fill in and make a request at the court.

What will happen next ?

The court to which an application for a European order for payment has been made considers whether the applicability conditions have been met (the cross-border nature of the case in civil and commercial matters, the jurisdiction of the court in question, etc.) as soon as possible, and examines the well-foundedness of the claim.

Then, there are four options:

The court can ask to complete the claim :

If the application form is not complete, the court gives the claimant an opportunity to complete or rectify the application by a certain date, unless the claim is clearly unfounded or the application inadmissible.

The court can ask to rectify the claim :

If the requirements are met for only part of the claim, the court may propose that application be amended.

The claimant is asked to accept or refuse the proposed European order for payment for the amount specified by the court within a certain timescale.

Claimants must be informed of the consequences of their decision.

They are to reply by returning the standard form.

The court can reject the claim:

In this case, the court informs the applicant of the reasons for which the claim has been rejected.

There is no right of appeal if an application is rejected.

The rejection of an application does not, however, prevent a claimant from pursuing a claim by means of a new application for a European order for payment or using any other procedure available under the law of an EU country.

The court can issue the order:

If the conditions for applying for a European order for payment are met, the court issues the order as soon as possible and normally within 30 days of the lodging of the application.

The order becomes enforceable unless the defendant lodges a statement of opposition with the court of origin.

Once you have the order of payment, what you have to do ?

A European order for payment is served on a defendant in accordance with the national law of the state in which service is to be effected.

A defendant’s address must be known with certainty for a European order for payment to be served.

Does the defendant can lodge a statement of opposition ?

Yes.

The person who receives a European order for payment may lodge a statement of opposition with the court that issued the order for payment.

The statement of opposition must be sent within 30 days of the order being served on the defendant. Defendants indicate in their statement of opposition that the claim is contested, without having to specify their reasons.

When a defendant lodges a statement of opposition, the proceedings continue before the competent courts of the EU country of origin in accordance with the rules of ordinary civil procedure.

The regulation authorises also the defendant to apply for a review of the European order for payment before the competent court after the expiry of the 30-day time limit for lodging a statement of opposition, provided that:

  • the order for payment was served without acknowledgement of receipt by the defendant and service was not effected in time to enable him or her to prepare a defence;
  • the defendant was prevented from objecting to the claim by reason of force majeure or due to extraordinary circumstances;
  • the order for payment was wrongly issued.

If the court rejects the defendant's application, the European order for payment remains in force.

If, on the other hand, the court decides that there is a case for a review, the European order for payment becomes null and void.

Enforcement is also refused by the competent court in the EU country of enforcement if the European order for payment is irreconcilable with an earlier decision or an order previously given in any EU country or in a non-EU country, upon application from the defendant.

The decision must involve the same cause of action between the same parties and must have been recognised in the EU country of enforcement.

 

Nasser Merabet
Lawyer
avocat@nmerabet.fr