European Enforcement Order (EEO)
How do I claim against a debtor in England or Wales from another European country?
People who normally reside in a particular Member State of the European Union (EU) must, whatever their nationality, be sued in the courts of their Member State.
If your debtor is officially resident in England or Wales MoneyClaimsUK can help you prepare your claim and support you through the court process in England and Wales and then enforcement of judgment.
The judgment you win in a court of England and Wales can be enforced in any EU state. The European Union has ensured that judgments obtained in one EU country can be recognised and enforced in any other EU country.
How do I enforce a judgment against a debtor in England and Wales from another European country?
Once you have obtained a judgment in your favour, that judgment will be recognised in every EU country. It can only be refused in highly exceptional cases.
However, to enforce it in any EU country, you must ask the court in the country where you seek enforcement to issue a declaration of enforceability.
Once you have this declaration, you must then use the enforcement mechanisms of the EU country where you seek enforcement.
What is a European Enforcement Order?
The EU has agreed that to speed up enforcement of civil cases the claimant should be able to use a European Enforcement Order (EEO) certificate.
The first step to getting a EEO is to go before the courts in the defendant's residence member state and get a judgment in your favour against the debtor.
Even where the case is uncontested, the debtor must be properly served under Pre-action Protocol (PAP) with a document telling him/her the reason for the claim, the amount (including interest, if claimed) and the names and addresses of the parties. The subsequent judgment will order the debtor to right the wrong you have suffered, by paying a sum of money.
Once you have judgment you apply to have the judgment certified as a European Enforcement Order (EEO). Judges in England do this using a standard form attached to the Regulation.
Once the EEO has been issued by the court, it must be sent to the enforcement authority of the EU country where the debtor lives / trades or where his/her assets are. (The only reason that enforcement in one EU country can be refused is if it is irreconcilable with another judgment in another EU country between the same parties).
As well as the EEO, you will have to provide a copy of the original judgment given in your favour, and you may be asked for a translation of the EEO certificate. This depends on what languages are accepted by the enforcement authority in the other EU country.
You can then enforce the judgment in the other EU country. The enforcement is done under the normal rules of that EU country concerned. For example, if they normally use an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) to enforce a judgment, you must do the same.
Even if you decide with the defendant an official agreement before the court, called court settlement, you can apply to the court to have your court settlement agreement certified as European Enforcement Order.
What enforcement methods are used in England and Wales?
If your judgement is against a debtor resident in England or Wales MoneyClaimsUK can help you choose the most effective enforcement method for you.