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Last update: 18-07-2007
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Simplified and accelerated procedures - France

 

Order for payment procedures

1. Existence of an order for payment procedure

A simplified procedure known as the procedure for an injunction to pay is provided for in sections 1405 to 1425 of the new code of civil procedure.

1.1. Scope of the procedure

a) What types of claims are eligible (e.g. only pecuniary claims, only contractual claims, etc)?

This procedure can be applied to the recovery of all debts arising from a contract or a statutory obligation, up to a predetermined amount.

b) Is there an upper limit regarding the value of the claim?

The judge to whom the request for an injunction to pay is referred has jurisdiction whatever the amount concerned. However, this does not mean that this judge will have jurisdiction to hear the case arising from any opposition expressed by the debtor. If opposition is expressed, the case will have to be referred to the appropriate court in accordance with the rules of ordinary law.

c) Is the use of that procedure optional or obligatory?

This procedure is optional.

d) Is the procedure available if the defendant lives in another Member State or in a third country?

This procedure is exclusively brought before the judge who has jurisdiction in the place of residence of the debtor, or one of the debtors, being sued; this excludes the possibility of resorting to this procedure when the sole debtor is based abroad.

1.2. Competent court

The application is in principle brought before the court of first instance. It is brought before the local court and the presiding judge of the commercial court in as far as their jurisdiction applies.

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Exclusive jurisdiction is enjoyed by the judge of the place of residence of the debtor, or one of the debtors, being sued. This rule is one of public policy and the judge must automatically decline jurisdiction.

This rule of jurisdiction is specific to the procedure for an injunction to pay, and is not prejudicial to the application of the rules of jurisdiction based on the ratione materiae of the ordinary law when the court trying the substantive issue has the debtor’s opposition referred to it.

1.3. Formal requirements

a) Is the use of a standardised form obligatory? (Is yes, where can that form be obtained?)

The form is regulated by the notes and information that must appear on the petition, namely:

  • the names, forenames, professions and domiciles of the creditors and debtors, or in the case of artificial persons their form, name and head office
  • a precise indication of the total sum being claimed, together with a breakdown of the various elements of the debt, plus its foundation.

Although use of the form is not compulsory, it is strongly recommended. The form in question is formulaire CERFA n°10-0099 fr (27 KB pdf), available on the French Administration’s website and from the offices of all courts of first instance, local courts and commercial courts.

b) Do I have to be represented by a lawyer?

The petition is presented by the creditor himself, or by any person representing him.

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c) In how much detail to I have to describe the reason for the claim?

Proof of the debt does not have to be presented in detail, only in a cursory manner (cf response 1.3.a).

d) Do I have to present written evidence of the claim at issue? If yes, which documents are admissible as proof?

The petition must be accompanied by documentation proving the legitimacy of the debt (invoices; contracts for leasing, sales, or credit; detailed accounts, etc.) The rules of common law for civil proceedings are applicable.

1.4. Rejection of application

The judge, who must examine the legitimacy of the application before issuing a ruling on an injunction to pay, may reject the petition in its entirety or in part if the debt does not appear to him to be legitimate.

1.5. Appeal

If the petition is rejected, the creditor has no appeal, but may proceed by means of common law; namely, he may bring an action before the competent judge in accordance with normal procedure.

1.6. Statement of opposition

The debtor has one month to register opposition by a statement to the office of the court that issued the injunction, or by a registered letter to this same office. There are no specific formal requirements for this.

The period of one month runs from the moment the order, once issued, is served on the debtor. However, if it has not been served on the debtor in person, the one-month deadline only commences when the first document has been served personally, or, failing this, from the moment the first measures are applied rendering non-disposable all or part of the debtor’s assets.

1.7. Effect of statement of opposition

Opposition is referred to the court. The court office calls all the parties involved together (even those who have not expressed opposition) to the hearing. The court, in as far as it has jurisdiction based on the ratione materiae, deals with the initial application, but also with incidental applications and the means of defence as to the merits.

The transition from procedure of injunction to pay to a normal procedure takes place automatically as soon as the court office receives the document of opposition.

1.8. Effect of lack of statement of opposition

a) What needs to be done in order to obtain an enforceable decision?

The creditor, once the period of one month after notification has elapsed, asks the office of the court that issued the order to put its official stamp on the order for enforcement. This request is made informally (by declaration or in an ordinary letter). The official stamping of the order of enforcement confers on it all the legal effects of a judgement after trial

b) Is this decision final or is there still a possibility for the defendant to appeal against that decision?

No appeal against this decision will be possible, including one made to the supreme court of appeals. Only the conditions for the official stamping of the order of enforcement by the court office may be contested, by means of an appeal to the supreme court of appeals.

Further information

  • Site du Ministère de la Justice français (French Ministry of Justice site)
  • Site Légifrance français

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Last update: 18-07-2007

 
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