The European Small Claims Procedure


The European Small Claims Procedure can be used for civil cases concerning minor claims across EU borders.

The rules apply to all EU member states except Denmark, which has opted out of the EU cooperation in the field of justice. This means that the European Small Claims Procedure cannot be applied by Danish courts. So neither Danish nor foreign consumers or businesses can bring a case in Denmark under the European Small Claims Procedure.

However, Danish consumers and businesses may use the European Small Claims Procedure at foreign courts of law. What matters is whether the rules apply in the member state where the case is brought.

Terms & conditions for small claims

  • The European Small Claims Procedure may be used in cases where the claim does not exceed 2,000 EUR (approx. 15,000 DKK).
  • The other party must disagree with your claim
  • At least one of the parties must be resident in another member state than the one where the competent court is located

Starting a small claim

To start a small claim, you must submit a small claims form (Form A) to the competent court. This is typically the court in the jurisdiction where the business is located.

Correspondence with the court must take place in the language of the court. Evidence may be presented in another language, but the court may demand that documents be translated if it finds this relevant for the consideration of the case.

Procedure

As a main rule, preparation of the case takes place in writing. However, the court may summon the parties to a hearing if it finds this necessary. The same applies if one of the parties wants a hearing. If possible, such a hearing may be held as a video conference or similar.

During the preparation of the case, the court seeks to mediate between the parties, so a judgment is delivered only if such mediation is not successful.

The court usually delivers its judgment within 30 days after having received the comments from the defendant, unless the court finds that further information is required.

As a main rule, the losing party pays both its own and the other party’s costs. Add to this a court fee for using the European Small Claims Procedure. The fee is determined according to the rules applying in the member state where the case is brought.

 

Further information:

12. October 2016

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