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Au service de la profession d’huissier de justice dans le monde depuis 1952
At the Service of the Profession of Judicial Officer in the World since 1952
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Handbook on the Service of Documents in the EU: Case Law of the EUCJ

1. ECJ, 8 November 2005, Götz Leffler versus Berlin Chemie AG, aff. C-443/03, Europe 2006 com. nº 28 p. 24, note Idot, Droit et procédures internationales, La Revue des Huissiers de Justice 2006 p.9, note Menut, Gaz. Pal. 2006 nº 102-103 I Jur. p.38, obs. Nicolella ; Revue de droit commercial belge 2006 p.366, note Ekelmans.

The ECJ decision clarified the consequences of the faculty for the recipient to refuse a document without translation considering the terms of Article 8 of the Regulation. The Court explained that the sender has the opportunity to remedy the lack of translation by quickly sending the requested translation according to one channel offered by the Regulation 1348/2000. It adds that, to address this problem, national courts have to apply their domestic law while taking care to ensure the full effectiveness of the Regulation, in accordance with its purpose. This solution was included in Article 8 of Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 of 13 November 2007.

2. ECJ, 9 February 2006, Plumex contre Young Sports NV. aff. C-473/04, Europe 2006 Com. nº 140 p. 32, obs. Idot ;, 2006, nr.1 pp. 63-69, note V. Retornaz.

In that case, the document was sent simultaneously by several channels. The ECJ explains that the Regulation does not establish any hierarchy among the channel provided by articles 4 to 11 and the channel provided by article 14. Therefore, it is possible to serve a judicial document by any of these two means or to use them cumulatively. However, if both channels are used at the same time, it is necessary to determine for the recipient the starting point of a procedural delay associated with the fulfillment of the service. The Court stated that the date is the one of the first service validly carried out.

3. ECJ, 8 May 2008, Weiss und Partner aff. C-14/07, and Dr. proc., 2008, p. 319, note Chardon; RCDIP, 2008, p. 665, note Cornette.

In that case, the questions the court has to deal with are linked to the scope of the required translation, and especially, the need to translate or not the appendices. It considers that the sender should identify the elements needed by the recipient to be able to defend himself in the document instituting the proceedings but also in the appendices. These components should be translated. It adds that the choice of a language of correspondence by professional parties to a contract is only a clue of the understanding of this language, but this choice does not create a presumption. However, the Court stated that such language choice deprives the recipient of his right to refuse the document as provided in article 8, if the appendices are in that language.

4. ECJ, 25 June 2009, Roda Golf & Beach Resort SL, aff. C-14/08; JCP éd. Notariale et Immobilière, 28 août 2009, p. 1249, note Nourissat ; Europe 2009 Com. nº 344 p.46, note Idot. ; JT 2009, p. 654, note Bambust.

The question asked to the Court concerns the nature of the documents that can be served in application to the Service Regulation. The ECJ considers that a deed falls into the scope of the Regulation even without any link with a court action.

EUCJ 19 December 2012, Krystyna et Ewald Alder c. Sabina Orlowska et Czeslaw Orlowski,- aff. C-325/11
D. 2013. 1503, obs. F. Jault-Seseke, RCDIP 2013, p. 700 note Cornette, Lettersblogatory, note Cornette.

This decision concerned the scope of the (EC) Regulation 1393/2007. The Court specified that the legislation of a Member State, here the Polish law, which organizes a mechanism of fictitious service, when the party that lives abroad did not designate a representative to receive the documents served in the State of the court, is contrary to Article 1 of the Regulation. The document to be served should have been sent to the address of this party in the Member State of her residence.

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