– Mario Dusi.
When dealing with small claims, the right of access to justice unfortunately often remains just theory.
Filing a lawsuit before the Italian “Small Claims Judge” (Giudice di Pace) is not easy: there is no online civil trial, hearings are held face to face (not remotely) and the ordinary trial procedure is not applicable. The problem moreover increases in case of international disputes.
Not everyone is aware of the EU Regulation number 861/2007 (dated 11 July 2007), subsequently amended and made more operational by the EU Regulation N. 2421 dated 2015, which is part of the so-called “SCAN” Project(Small Claims Analysis Net), funded by the European Union, in which the University of Naples “Federico II” also played an important role, together with eight other European partners.
Like most recent EU Regulations, also this Regulation on small claims provides standard forms (which are attached to it and available in all languages), that can be used directly by private individuals to personally file small claims at Court.
The competent Court, where the claim is filed, will then be responsible to send a copy of the claim (together with the attached documentation) to the debtor, who shall respond within 30 days, by filling out a reply form.
In the next 30 days the plaintiff may respond, subsequently the judgement will be issued and it will be enforceable in all Member States of the European Union, without particular formalities.
More information is freely available at www.scanproject.eu.
This EU Regulation offers the opportunity to remind
- all companies to always check the possible application of EU Regulations to their cases and
- all lawyers to keep constantly updated on EU Regulations, which too often are disregarded, while practicing the day-to-day proffession.