The European Small Claims procedure is a service to handle consumer or business claims where one of the parties lives in another EU country. You do not need to involve a solicitor. Deciding on whether or not to make a claim is a matter for yourself and only you can make that decision. Remember, there is little satisfaction to be gained from winning your case if the Respondent has no money to pay a judgment debt.
The maximum claim cannot exceed €5,000. The current fee to make a claim is €25.
Your local District Court Clerk, who is the Small Claims Registrar, processes claims.
The procedure is mainly dealt with by correspondence although a hearing before a court can be held if the court thinks it is necessary.
There are certain exclusions to the procedure. More information, as well as enforcement procedure, can be found on the Citizen’s Information website.
A judgment given in a Member State in the European Small Claims Procedure will be recognised and enforced in another Member State and the enforcement procedure will be governed by the law of the Member State where the judgment is to be enforced.
The European Small Claims Procedure is provided for in Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007 and the District Court Rules 1997 - 2014 - Order 53B refers.
S.I. No. 315 of 2018 District Court (European Small Claims Procedure) Rules 2018.pdf which came into effect on 2 September 2018.
Making a Claim
You can’t make a European Small Claim online at this time.
In making a claim you must be sure of the name and address of the person or company against whom you want to make a claim. These details must be accurate so that any court order (judgment) can be enforced.
The Small Claims Registrar will provide you with the application form or you can download the European Small Claims Application form from the European eJustice portal.
You should lodge the completed application form together with the fee of €25 with your local Registrar.
Remember, it is possible your claim will be disputed or a counterclaim made against you.
Where the defendant contests the claim the Registrar will attempt to negotiate a solution between you and the defendant. If this fails, the claim is referred to the District Court for judgment.
If the other party admits your claim he/she is required to notify the Registrar's office and make payment. If they do not respond to your claim, the District Court will make an order.
The registrar may request a party to provide a translation of any document relating to the claim.
Review of judgment
A respondent will be entitled to a review of a judgment given under the procedure where:
- service of the claim or the summons was not effected properly, and
- service was not effected in sufficient time to enable the defendant to arrange for his or her defence,
- the defendant was prevented from objecting to the claim by reason of force majeure or due to extraordinary circumstances.
You can locate contact details for the various district court offices in our ‘Find Us’ section.