You can use the ESCP for civil and commercial cross-border claims whose value does not exceed €5 000. For instance you can use it for:
- payment of money;
- damages arising from an accident;
- delivery of goods or other moveable property;
- requiring someone to perform a contract;
- stopping or seeking to prevent an illegal act
Claims related to revenue, customs or administrative matters, family law cases and maintenance matters, employment and social security matters, and cases relating to bankruptcy are excluded.
The ESCP is particularly useful if you do not wish to be represented by a lawyer. Furthermore, it is designed to be relatively speedy, easy to use and less costly than other procedures.
In most EU Member States, it will be necessary to pay a fee to the court for starting the ESCP. The amount of the court fee varies depending on the country. However, you might incur other expenses such as the travel ones if the court decides to hold an oral hearing. Usually, the party losing the claim is asked to refund the costs of the proceedings to the other party.
You have to fill in the Claim Form (form A), available in all the competent court or on the European e-Justice portal and to accompany the claim form with the supporting documents. Information about how to submit your claim to the competent court are available on the European e-Justice portal.
The jurisdiction is regulated by Brussels I-bis Regulation. You can use the search function available on the European e-Justice portal to find detailed information (address, telephone number, etc.) on the competent court for each Member State.
The Claim Form and the supporting documents should be provided in the language of the competent court or into another language accepted by the court. You will find this information on the European e-Justice portal. The dynamic form helps you to translate part of the content of the claim form into the language of the court through a translation tool. It might not be necessary to translate all the supporting documents. Ask the court directly about this.
You can submit again the application taking into account the reason for dismissal. Indeed, the dismissal, at this stage, is based on a procedural matter and is not related to the substance of the claim.
The ESCP is basically a written procedure. If necessary, the court can decide to hold an oral hearing and to convene the parties. The oral hearing takes place within 30 days from the summons of the parties. The court might dispose to use digital tools such as video conferencing to hold hearings, or to take evidence.
The court notifies the judgement to the parties once it is issued. In the event of delay, it is advisable to contact the court to receive information about the timeline of its issuing and notification.
If the judgment is in your favour, you can proceed to have it enforced. You can do it by obtaining from the court a copy of the judgment and a specific certificate, the Form D, filled in by the Judge into the language of country where the judgment should be enforced.If the judgment is not in your favour and you want to appeal it, check the appealing procedures established by each Member State.