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Civil trial: how to act quickly before the court?

Verified 23 December 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

To act quickly before the court, you can use the application for interim measures. It's a urgent legal proceedings which allows, in compliance with adversarial debateto take interim and prompt measures to settle a dispute.

An application for interim measures is an urgent procedure which allows the judge to take interim measures.

The application for interim measures does not allow to settle the dispute definitively.

The trial that resolves the dispute, which we call lawsuit deep down, may take place later.

The trial on the merits may concern the totality problems to solve. Measures taken in theordinance applications for interim measures may be reviewed at the trial on the merits.


it is possible where the law so provides, in case of emergencyto obtain a decision in the main proceedings in accordance with a procedure called accelerated procedure on the merits. Unlike interim relief, it allows the judge to make a quick and final decision. For example, to force a co-owner to pay a sum of money for urgent work.

In some very urgent cases, an application for interim measures is possible within a few hours, it is called time-to-time. The judge can be seized very quickly, including on weekends and holidays. It may, for example, for a preliminary ruling prohibit the dissemination of an illegal image or content on the Internet.

For interim measures, the following measures may be requested:

  • Investigative measures, which can no longer be carried out later or which will lose their interest if they are delayed. For example, an expert's report to establish facts, pending trial.
  • Measures that cannot be challenged by your opponent because you are within your rights (for example, asking for the departure of a tenant whose lease has expired)
  • Measures, even if challenged by your opponent, that are necessary to prevent harm that will occur or to stop an obvious disruption of the law. For example, it could be a request to stop noisy work or a building that might collapse.
  • Payment of a sum of money on an interim basis (advance...) or the performance of an obligation (e.g., to deliver a good). In such a case, the debt or obligation must be indisputable (e.g. existence of a contract).

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General case

You must refer the matter to the President of the Judicial Court or the judge in the protection dispute.

Who shall I contact

Labor dispute

You must contact the President of the prud'homme council for a labor law dispute.

Who shall I contact

Dispute between traders

You must contact the President of the commercial court for disputes between traders.

Who shall I contact

Bring the matter before the court

To bring an action for interim measures, you need to address to your opponent a subpoena.

This summons must be issued by a commissioner of justice (former bailiff and judicial auctioneer).

However, representation by a lawyer is not not obligatory in the following disputes:

  • Parental authority
  • Protection of adults (guardianship, curatorship,...)
  • Expulsion
  • Residential lease
  • Consumer credit
  • Disputes up to €10,000

For disputes with an amount equal to or greater than €10,000, you must hire a lawyer.

Who shall I contact

If you do not have enough income to pay the costs of the Commissioner of Justice and the lawyer, you can apply for theLegal aid.d.


in order to bring proceedings before the conseil de prud'hommes for interim relief, it is possible to make a request.

Decision of the court

At the hearing, the court ensures that your opponent has had time to prepare his defense before making his decision.

Please note

the proceedings may take place without a hearing. In that case, you must have given your consent.

The decision may be rendered directly after the hearing or at a later date set by the court.

If the decision does not suit you, you can appeal within a period of 15 free days after the notification or the significance of the ordinance. Your opponent can also appeal.

Whether the decision was rendered in last resort, you can make a appeal in cassation in the 2 months the service of the order.

However, the decision is applied immediately, even if there's an appeal. They say it's enforced on a provisional basis, pending the appeal decision or the main judgment.

Proceedings for interim measures before the court of law, the local court and the labor court are free of charge.

You must pay the commissioner of justice, who issues the summons, and lawyer's fees.

If you do not have enough income to pay for the Commissioner of Justice and the lawyer, you can apply for legal aid.

Proceedings for interim measures before the Commercial Court are subject to payment of a provision. In this case, it is necessary to inquire at the competent registry, as the rates are not the same for all commercial courts.

Who shall I contact

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