Case study 5 - commercial law - responsibility - France

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In this case study on commercial law – responsibility, Member States were asked to advise the customer on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A heating equipment manufacturer delivers a heater to an installer. The installer on-sells (and installs) the heater to a customer to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Every participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies.

Case B – Transnational situation: A heating equipment manufacturer in a Member State B delivers heater to an installer in a Member State C. The installer on-sells the heater (and installs) the heater to a customer in Member State A to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Each participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured by an insurance company in its own Member State. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue in Member State A for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies in Member State A.


Costs of proceedings


Costs in France

Costs for legal proceedings, appeals and the alternative dispute resolution process


Case study

Legal proceedings

Appeal

Alternative dispute resolution process

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Is this option available in this type of case?

Costs

Case A

Court of first instance: there are no initial fees.

Commercial court: yes, initial fees are at least EUR 69.97

Court of first instance: no

Court of first instance: no

No

No

No

Yes

Conciliation

Judicial mediation

Extra-judicial mediation

Free

Fixed by the judge.

Agreement between the parties and the mediator.

Case B

Court of first instance: no

Commercial court: yes, initial fees are at least EUR 69.97

Court of first instance: no

Court of first instance: no

No

No

No

Yes

Conciliation

Judicial mediation

Extra-judicial mediation

Free

Fixed by the judge.

 Agreement between the parties and the mediator.



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgment costs

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Costs

Case A

Court of first instance: yes

Commercial court: no

Appeal court: yes

Lawyers:

Statistics not available.

Court advocates:

EUR 983

Yes

Summons: EUR 18.70

Service: EUR 26.70

Service: EUR 26.70

No

Fees fixed by the judge.

Case B

Court of first instance: yes

Commercial court: no

Appeal court: yes

Lawyers:

Statistics not available.

Court advocates:

EUR 983

Yes

Summons: EUR 18.70

Service: EUR 26.70

Service: EUR 26.70

No

Fees fixed by the judge.


Costs for witness compensation


Case study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Case A

Yes (decree of 27 December 1920 revising witness fees)

Case B

Yes (decree of 27 December 1920 revising witness fees)



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case study

Legal aid

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

When is aid total?

Conditions?

Case A

Legal aid can be requested before or during court proceedings by the buyer, as an individual or not-for-profit corporation. It is granted if:

- the action brought by the buyer does not appear manifestly inadmissible or without any foundation in law;

- the income declared does not exceed the limits set by law; and

- the costs of the proceedings are not covered by legal protection insurance.

The State pays all the costs of the proceedings if the buyer is awarded full aid.

Full legal aid is granted if the monthly income declared by the petitioner does not exceed EUR 911.

Partial aid is granted for those with income between this amount and EUR 1 367.

The upper limits for income are raised by EUR 164 for the first two dependants and EUR 104 for the third dependant and any subsequent.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem


Case study



Reimbursement

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

Case A

Yes

Total reimbursement of listed fees, unless otherwise decided by the judge.

Unlisted fees: indemnity fixed by the judge on an equitable basis.

When the judge’s decision awards costs to a party who does not benefit from legal aid, the party must reimburse the Treasury office with the costs advanced by the State in the defence of a party who benefits from legal aid.

Case B

Yes

Total reimbursement of listed fees, unless otherwise decided by the judge.

Unlisted fees: indemnity fixed by the judge on an equitable basis.

Idem


Costs for translation and interpretation


Case study

Translation

Interpretation

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Case A

Documents submitted to the judge must be translated.

There are no statistics available.

When the judge does not understand the language in which the parties communicate.

Fees fixed by the judge.

Case B

Documents submitted to the judge must be translated.

Part of the inquiry procedure under Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001.

There are no statistics available.

When the judge does not understand the language in which the parties communicate.

Part of the inquiry procedure under Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001.

Fees fixed by the judge.



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Last update: 07/06/2019