Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Nejvyšší soud České republiky.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters — European order for payment procedure — Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 — Issue of an order for payment together with the application for the order — No translation of the application for the order — European order for payment declared enforceable — Application for review after expiry of the period for opposition — Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents — Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 — Applicability — Article 8 and Annex II — Informing the addressee of the right to refuse to accept a document instituting proceedings that has not been translated — Lack of the standard form — Consequences.
Outcome of the case:
For those reasons, I propose that the Court should answer the question referred by the Nejvyšší soud (Supreme Court, Czech Republic) as follows:
- Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure and Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents), and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000, are to be interpreted as meaning that, when a European order for payment is served on a defendant residing in the territory of another Member State, and where the application for the order has not been written in or accompanied by a translation into either a language which he understands or the official language of the Member State of enforcement or, where there is more than one official language in that Member State, in the official language or one of the official languages of the place of service, the addressee must be properly informed, using the standard form set out in Annex II to Regulation No 1393/2007, of his right to refuse to accept the document.
- In accordance with the provisions of Regulation No 1393/2007, where that procedural requirement has not been carried out, the procedure may be rectified by transmitting the standard form set out in Annex II to that regulation to the person concerned.
- As long as the procedural defect persists, affecting service of the order for payment together with the application for the order, first, the order does not become in any way enforceable, and, secondly, the period allowed for the defendant to lodge a statement of opposition does not start to run.