The exequatur Procedure before the French Court
Exequatur is a procedure that makes a judicial decision or arbitral award made abroad enforceable on French territory.
If you obtained a court decision rendered by a foreign court against a French national residing on the national territory and wish to be able to have it enforced, you must then initiate an exequatur procedure;
In France, almost all civil and commercial decisions rendered by a foreign court can be the subject of an exequatur procedure;
This is particularly the case for decisions pronouncing a sentence in payment of a debt of your debtor:
Thus and if you are a foreign company whose debtor is French and resides or has its registered office in France - whether it is a company or an individual - you have the possibility, as we have previously developed (see our previous article on attempts to collect debts amicably), to initiate proceedings before the French courts (place of location of the debtor/defendant).
This procedure should be conducted according to what your national law provides, to obtain a decision in your country;
Indeed, the provisions applicable to this procedure will depend on the country of the court that issued the decision to be enforced; The texts but also the case law, will have to lead the procedure to be followed;
It will also be necessary to check the possible existence of bilateral conventions between France and the country of origin of the decision, which may make it possible to "bypass" the procedure as defined by French texts and case law;
The French law, have laid down several conditions - cumulative - for determining whether the exequatur procedure can be applied to the decision submitted;
In the absence of one of these conditions, the decision may not be enforceable and shall therefore be deprived of any effect on the national territory, even if the sentence is acquired by the original decision;
Some bilateral agreements, binding on different countries, make it possible to proceed without these conditions;
In any case, and if the exequatur procedure must be carried out, only the High Court of the defendant's place of residence will have jurisdiction;
A summons will be issued and served on the defendant who, once affected, will have the opportunity to defend himself, thus ensuring respect for the contradictory and indeed the scope of the final exequatur decision;