Home > Uncategorized > Big changes to the european small claims

Big changes to the european small claims

I hope that the excellent firm of Scottish debt recovery solicitors, Yuill and Kyle, will not mind me reproducing their text on this development. As ever, they have summarised these changes well

In June the European Council of Ministers approved a compromise with the European Parliament on a regulation amending the European Small Claims Regulation and the European Order for Payment Regulation, which have been in force since 1 January 2009.

The objective of the amending regulation is to make the European Small Claims Procedure more efficient, reflecting the technological progress made in the justice systems in the Member States, and to make the procedure accessible in a larger number of cases, in particular for businesses.

The threshold for a small claim will increase from €2,000 to €5,000, reflecting the need for a wider application of the procedure, particularly for SMEs; this amount may be increased further subject to a later review. The application of the Small Claims Procedure to remuneration in case of cross-border employment will also be considered in the same review.

The Member States will have to ensure that the court fees charged for the European Small Claims Procedure are not disproportionate or higher than the court fees for national simplified court procedures. Member States will also be obliged to offer remote means of payment for these court fees.

Although the procedure is normally a written one, the court can hold oral hearings. This will only happen, however, in cases where the court feels it’s not possible to render the judgment on the basis of written submissions or where a party requests one. The court may also refuse such a request, by giving reasons in writing, if it feels that an oral hearing is not necessary for the fair conduct of proceedings. Where there is an oral hearing, distance communication technology will normally be used and evidence will be taken via the simplest and least burdensome method. However if a party expresses their wish to be physically present at the oral hearing they will always be entitled to appear before the court.

The translation requirements (and related costs?) for the certificate of enforcement of a judgment given in the European Small Claims Procedure are minimised by limiting the compulsory translation only to the part which contains the judgement itself; claimants are able to use the European Small Claims Procedure when a statement of opposition has been lodged against a European Order for Payment.

For the purpose of serving documents, postal service and electronic means are considered equal. The judgments delivered under this procedure will be recognised and enforceable in other Member States without the need for a declaration of enforceability. The procedure is optional, offered as an alternative to the possibilities existing under the national laws of the Member States.

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