Claims made under Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure are submitted either to the district courts (tribunaux d'instance), which have jurisdiction if the claim is of a civil nature (Article L. 221-4-1 of the Code of Court Organisation) or to the commercial courts (tribunaux de commerce), which have jurisdiction if the claim concerns traders, commercial companies or finance companies (Article L. 721-3-1 of the Commercial Code, code de commerce).
Where Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters designates the courts of a Member State without further specification, the court with territorial jurisdiction is that of the place of residence of the defendant or of any of the defendants.
A request for institution of legal proceedings can be submitted to the court by post.
Parties to a proceeding commenced under Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure can communicate with the courts by post.
The litigants may request information for filling in the forms annexed to the Regulation in accordance with Article 11 from:
Service of the documents in question by electronic means is not authorised. There are therefore no technical means available.
Communication with the French courts with competence to handle claims lodged under the Small Claims Regulation is by post only.
No person or professional is obliged to accept a document served by electronic means under Article 13.
The following appeals can be brought under French law in accordance with Article 17 of the Regulation:
If the decision is final, the parties may lodge an appeal on points of law (pourvoi en cassation) before the Court of Cassation (Articles 605 to 618-1 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
In the event of wilful circumvention of jurisdiction (fraude au jugement), the parties may bring an application for revision of the judgment (recours en révision) before the court that delivered the judgment being challenged (Articles 593 to 603 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
The languages accepted pursuant to Article 21a(1) are: French, English, German, Italian and Spanish.
The competent authorities with respect to enforcement are bailiffs (huissiers de justice) and, in the case of attachment of remuneration (saisie des rémunérations) authorised by a district court judge, the chief clerk (greffier en chef) of the court.
For the purposes of the application of Article 23,
● in the case of a judgment by default, the court with which an objection is lodged can, before examining the substance of the case again, withdraw any provisional enforcement order it has granted, which has the effect of staying enforcement (Article 524 of the Code of Civil Procedure);
● in all cases, the enforcing judge, after service of a notice of distraint (commandement) or distraining order (acte de saisie), may defer enforcement by granting a period of grace to the debtor (Article 510 of the Code of Civil Procedure).
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