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In the civil trial, before the judicial court, the purpose of the summary procedure is to quickly obtain interim measures in court.

The so-called "substantive" procedure is longer and allows the dispute to be settled by getting to the bottom of things.

The appeal makes it possible to contest, before the appeal judge, the decision rendered within the framework of these procedures.

Until then, only the summary procedure made it possible to obtain a hearing and a binding decision quickly.

The procedure on the merits was much longer and did not in principle lead to a binding decision if an appeal was lodged. Hence abusive calls formed to drag things out.

In broad outline, the reform of civil procedure undertaken in 2021 aims to boost this procedure on the merits by reversing the principle.

The first instance on the merits is made more dynamic, more threatening and more attractive by:

– Setting a hearing date before summons, which makes visible, from the summons stage, the date of the first hearing, and can thus reassure both the plaintiff and the summoned.

– Provisional execution in principle renders the decision enforceable without waiting for the result of an appeal. The decision is no longer suspended even if an appeal is lodged.

These two measures, which are not the only ones of the reform, thus bring the "substantive" procedure closer to the summary procedure, and make this substantive procedure more attractive, more dynamic, more threatening, by avoiding the suspensive nature of the appeal and the risk of abusive appeal.

The parties to the trial are therefore summoned, in principle (exceptions exist), to make their best efforts to really have the dispute settled at the first trial, without waiting for an appeal procedure, and to bring all their arguments from this first trial, without dragging things out.

Within the framework of this procedure on the merits, the pre-trial judge, the one who prepares the file for the court, now has more powers, which will in certain cases make it possible to put an end to the dispute without even having to involve the court, or to limit the intervention of the court to the most serious questions, with the effect of accelerating the procedure in the most complex trials.

Rates :

A claim that does not exceed 5,000 euros must be the subject of prior conciliation, and allows referral to the court by request, as well as the application of special regimes for the treatment of small disputes (certain matters are exceptions).

The rate of competence and mandatory representation by lawyer before the judicial court and the commercial court is 10,000 euros: A request that does not exceed 10,000 euros, falls under the local chamber (within the judicial court) and is exempted from the ministry of a lawyer and from the written procedure (certain matters are exceptions and it is therefore advisable to check the rule on a case-by-case basis).

Spring rate: A request that does not exceed 5000 euros is not subject to appeal (some matters may be exceptions).

The rates are exclusive of legal and incidental costs.

Undetermined demand (not quantifiable) escapes these rates, and is assimilated to demand exceeding 10,000 euros (some materials are exceptions). There is no distinction between the merits and the summary procedure, but the summary procedure remains a so-called “oral” procedure with specific rules for appearance at the hearing.

These rate rules are also intended to facilitate the settlement of "small claims", and to strengthen the authority of the court's decision when the latter, concerning a claim which does not exceed 5000 euros, is not subject to appeal.

Main texts:

Decree No. 2020-1452 of November 27, 2020 laying down various provisions relating in particular to civil procedure

decree no. 2019-1333 of December 11, 2019 reforming civil procedure

Law No. 2019-222 of March 23, 2019 on programming 2018-2022 and reform for justice

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Internet regulations: the reform in preparation (DSA – DMA)

The right of reply on the internet