Syllabus

Summary proceedings

In the Netherlands, summary proceedings are used to obtain an interim or provisional judgment from the courts. A provisional judgment can be used inter alia to enforce compliance with obligations, to stop infractions or cancelling a provisional attachment.

 

How it works

To initiate summary proceedings, the plaintiff’s attorney will presents a draft writ of summons to the court to request a date and time for a hearing, after which the process server will serve the writ of summons on the defendant.

During the hearing, both parties have their case argued by their attorneys and a judge will typically review whether an amicable settlement is feasible, in which case the hearing may be adjourned. If the parties fail to reach a settlement, the court will issue its summary judgment, typically two weeks after the hearing. But if circumstances require, a summary judgment may be issued immediately.

 

Costs

The following costs and expenses are incurred in summary proceedings:

  • Court fees: minimum € 626 and maximum € 3,946. The court fees are determined based on the monetary value of the dispute.
  • Process server: € 95
  • Fees ABLD: fixed fee of € 9,990 for handling summary proceedings, whether as plaintiff or defendant (drafting a writ of summons or defense, court filings, coordination with the process server and acting in court).

Additional costs and fees may be incurred with respect to inter alia translations and negotiations parallel to proceedings.

In certain circumstances, a plaintiff situated outside the European Union may, upon request of the defendant, be ordered to post security for possible litigation costs that would be due if the plaintiff loses his case. The bond is typically around € 5,000 which is returned in full if the judgment does not include an obligation to indemnify the prevailing party.


Risks

The main risks associated with summary proceedings are:

  • Inadmissibility of the application in summary proceedings: In order to be admissible, a plaintiff must argue that the matter at hand is urgent and suitable for provisional relief.
  • Denial of the application: The judge may deny the request of the plaintiff.
  • Appeal: While interim judgments are typically accepted as final by the parties, they are subject to provisional appeal at the Court of Appeals and provisional appeal at the Supreme Court. Furthermore, summary proceedings do not preclude either party initiating ordinary proceedings on the merits.