Yes, in France there exists a simplified procedure, heard by the court of first instance; known as a declaration to the court office, it is governed by sections 847-1 and following of the new code of civil procedure. The matter is referred to the court by means of an oral or written declaration to the office of the court of first instance that has jurisdiction. The court office calls the parties together for the hearing by means of registered letters with advice of receipt. At the hearing, the judge attempts to bring about an agreement between the parties, and may, with their consent, appoint a conciliator. In the absence of conciliation, the proceedings take their course. Before the court of first instance, representation by counsel is not compulsory. Parties may be represented by their spouse, their parents and direct or collateral relatives, and persons in their service.
The application must not exceed 3800 euros and must fall within the jurisdiction of the court of first instance.
The procedure of declaration to the court office is optional.
There is no option of transforming the declaration to the court office into a normal procedure.
The form is not compulsory, since the declaration to the court office may be in oral form. However, there exists a form for submitting the case to the court, namely form CERFA n°10-0099 (51.55 KB pdf) available on the French Administration’s website and from the offices of all courts of first instance.
As this is a simple procedure concerning sums not exceeding 3800 €, with the parties being heard by the judge, no legal aid is provided for in legislation.
The rules with regard to proof are similar to those of normal procedure.
There exists no purely written procedure within the framework of this simplified process.
The rules applicable to the judgement are the same as for the normal procedure.
The rules that apply are the same as for other procedures. However, since this procedure does not necessitate the serving of a summons and representation by counsel, costs are therefore reduced.
Due to the value of the dispute, the possibility of appeal is excluded. The judgement is only liable to be subject to an appeal to the supreme court of appeal.
Last update: 18-07-2007