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18 Jun 2021 Trial not suitable for summary proceedings

In summary proceedings, the court in Overijssel recently refused the provision requested by the plaintiff because the case was too complicated to be dealt with in summary proceedings.

Facts

In the case dealt with by the court, Maxus brought summary proceedings against BSE. The parties had concluded two cooperation agreements and related processing agreements. The collaboration was dissolved out of court by Maxus due to attributable shortcomings on the part of BSE. BSE had never been given notice of default by Maxus.

With the claimed amount, Maxus already intended to give effect and substance to the undoing obligations arising from the dissolution of the agreements. Part of the claims was based on unlawful acts that had to be terminated. BSE put forward a reasoned defence and took the view that the case was too complex to be dealt with in summary proceedings.

The question in summary proceedings was whether it could already be established at that point in time that it would be likely that the extrajudicial dissolution of the agreements would stand up in proceedings on the merits that were still to be instituted.

Judgment of the Court

The Court found that the complexity and scope of the disputes at issue make them unsuitable for assessment in summary proceedings. Proceedings on the merits are required for that purpose, in which instruction and evidence are available to establish what the parties have agreed upon regarding the content and scope of their cooperation and whether BSE has acted in conflict with those agreements and has acted unlawfully towards Maxus in this cooperation. The seriousness and extent of the alleged shortcomings will also have to be weighed by the judge on the merits when assessing whether the agreements could be dissolved without any notice of default. The judge therefore denied the injunction and ordered Maxus to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Criteria

The purpose of summary proceedings is to ask the court for a provisional order in urgent cases.

A number of criteria are important in order to determine whether a case is suitable for summary proceedings.

There must be an urgent interest which makes it impossible to wait for proceedings on the merits. The claimant must substantiate this in the summons.

In addition, the case must not be too complicated. Due to the character of summary proceedings as urgent proceedings, they do not lend themselves to extensive fact-finding. If a case is too complex, the judge will not deal with it, for example when the facts are unclear or when he cannot oversee the consequences of the decision he is to give. The judge should exercise restraint in this respect.

Only an order to give, do or refrain from giving may be sought in summary proceedings. This may, for example, be an order, prohibition or claim for compliance. The judge does not give a final judgment on a dispute but decides provisionally. As a result, no legal status can be established in summary proceedings, or, for example, dissolution or annulment of an agreement can be pronounced.

Do you have any questions about the above or do you need help in starting summary proceedings and/or proceedings on the merits? Please feel free to contact one of our lawyers without any obligation. We will be happy to assist you!

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

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