European Small Claims Procedure


Simplified procedures in the EU Member States are often very differentiated and therefore difficult for many to seek redress. This resulted in an inequality of contractors within the common market. To this end, Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure (OJ 2007 L 199/1) was introduced.

European Small Claims Procedure - when can you benefit from a Polish court?

In any case of a cross-border nature where the value of the dispute does not exceed the amount of EUR 2,000. However, there is a closed catalog of excluded claims, which include:

  1. marital status, legal capacity and legal capacity as well as statutory representation of natural persons,

  2. property rights arising from a matrimonial relationship, wills and inheritance, and maintenance obligations,

  3. bankruptcy proceedings, proceedings related to the liquidation of insolvent companies or other legal persons, composition proceedings and other similar proceedings,

  4. social security,

  5. arbitration,

  6. labor law,

  7. rental or lease of real estate, with the exception of actions related to pecuniary claims,

  8. violation of privacy and personal rights, including defamation.

When is a case cross-border?

When at least one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State other than the Member State whose court (tribunal) is hearing the case. The relevant moment for assessing the cross-border nature of a case is the date on which the claim form is received by the competent court. It should be noted here that the regulation does not apply to Denmark.

How to start the European Small Claims Procedure?

The claimant initiates the small claims procedure by submitting Claim Form A to the competent court, which is attached as Annex 1 to Regulation 861/2007. The use of the form is obligatory. The submission of the form can be made directly to the court, by post or by other means of communication that are accepted in the Member State concerned.

What is the fee for the European Small Claims Procedure?

The small claims fee is PLN 100 and is a fixed fee.

How is the small claims court procedure?


After filing the statement of claim, the court completes part I of the statement of defense (form C - response form attached as Annex III to Regulation No. 861/2007) and serves the defendant with a copy of the statement of claim and attachments. The dispatch should take place within 14 of the receipt of the duly completed claim form. The defendant, within 30 days of the delivery of these documents, in time to submit the response to the statement of claim.This can be done by completing Part II of the Answer Form C and attaching the relevant supporting documents. However, the respondent does not need to use the answer form C to file a defense; may submit it in another appropriate manner, i.e. in an ordinary procedural document. A copy of the response to the statement of claim is sent to the claimant, together with the documents attached to it, within 14 days of its receipt by the court. The defendant may file a counterclaim; it is admissible if it is based on the same contract or facts as the main claim. As a rule, the proceedings are secret.

When will the court make a judgment on small claims?

If there are no formal grounds for returning the statement of claim, the court may, within 30 days of receiving the response to the statement of claim, issue a judgment based on the results of the written procedure or:

  1. request the parties to submit, within any period of time, however not more than 30 days, further information about the claim,

  2. take evidence in accordance with art. 9 of Regulation No 861/2007,

  3. summon the parties to a hearing which should be held within 30 days from the date of the summons.

The judgment is then issued within 30 days of the closing of the hearing or receipt of all information necessary to issue the judgment. The judgment is delivered to both parties. If the court does not receive a response to the statement of claim, the court issues a judgment based solely on the statement of claim within 30 days.

Is it possible to appeal against the judgment of the Small Claims Court?

Whether there is such a possibility, the Member States are free to decide on their own. In the Polish civil procedure, it is possible to appeal against judgments in cases of small claims (Article 5059 in conjunction with Article 50527 of the Code of Civil Procedure).

How is the small claims judgment enforced?

There are also significant facilitations at this stage of the procedure. A judgment given in one Member State in the European Small Claims Procedure shall be recognized and enforced in another Member State without any need for a declaration of enforceability and without the possibility of opposing its recognition. At the request of a party, the court of the Member State of origin issues a certificate for such a judgment using form D in Annex 4 to Small Claims Regulation 861/2007.