When the judge rules on jurisdiction without ruling on the merits of the dispute, his decision can only be challenged by means of a contradiction, even though the judge has decided the substantive question on which jurisdiction depends.
Subject to the rules specific to expertise, the decision may likewise be challenged on the basis of jurisdiction only by means of a dispute when the judge rules on jurisdiction and orders an investigative measure or a provisional measure.
If the judge declares himself competent, the instance is suspended until the expiry of the time limit for filing a contradiction and, in the event of a contradiction, until the court of appeal has rendered its decision.
(Decree n ° 78-62 of January 20, 1978 art. 16 Official Journal of January 24, 1978)
The objection must, under penalty of inadmissibility, be motivated and submitted to the secretariat of the court which rendered the decision within fifteen days thereof.
If the contradiction gives rise to the collection of costs by the secretariat, the remittance is only accepted if its author has recorded these costs.
A receipt for this remittance is issued.
(Decree nº 78-62 of January 20, 1978 art. 17 Official Journal of January 24, 1978) (Decree nº 82-716 of August 10, 1982 art. 1st Official Journal of August 17, 1982)
The secretary of the court which rendered the decision notifies the opposing party without delay of a copy of the objection, by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, and also informs its representative if it has one.
He transmits simultaneously to the chief clerk of the court the file of the case with the contradiction and a copy of the judgment.
(Decree n ° 82-716 of August 10, 1982 art. 1st Official Journal of August 17, 1982)
The first president fixes the date of the hearing, which must take place as soon as possible.
The clerk of the court informs the parties thereof by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
The parties may, in support of their argument, file any written observations they consider useful. These observations, referred to by the judge, are placed in the file.
The court refers the case to the court it considers competent. This decision is binding on the parties and on the referring judge.
(Decree nº 76-1236 of December 28, 1976 art. 1 Official Journal of December 30, 1976) (Decree nº 82-716 of August 10, 1982 art. 1 Official Journal of August 17, 1982)
The court clerk immediately notifies the parties of the judgment by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
This judgment is not open to opposition. The time limit for appealing in cassation starts from its notification.
(Decree nº 78-62 of January 20, 1978 art. 18 Official Journal of January 24, 1978) (Decree nº 2001-373 of April 27, 2001 art. 1st Official Journal of April 29, 2001 in force on January 1, 2002)
Any costs relating to the dispute shall be borne by the party who is unsuccessful on the question of jurisdiction. If it is the author of the contradiction, it can, in addition, be condemned to a civil fine of 15 to 1500 euros, without prejudice to the damages which could be claimed from it.
When the court is a court of appeal in relation to the court it considers competent, it can raise the merits if it considers it fair, to give the case a final solution after having ordered itself, if necessary, an instructional measure.
When it decides to evoke, the court invites the parties, if necessary by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, to constitute a solicitor within the time limit that it sets, if the rules applicable to the appeal of decisions rendered by the jurisdiction from which the contested judgment emanates impose this constitution.
If neither of the parties constitutes a plea, the court may pronounce ex officio the striking out of the case by reasoned decision not open to appeal. A copy of this decision is brought to the attention of each of the parties by simple letter addressed to their domicile or residence.
(Decree n ° 82-716 of August 10, 1982 art. 1st Official Journal of August 17, 1982) When the court considers that the decision referred to it by way of contradiction should have been by that of appeal, it nevertheless remains seized.
The case is then investigated and judged according to the rules applicable to the appeal of decisions rendered by the court from which the judgment contested is issued.
If, according to these rules, the parties are required to constitute a confession, the appeal is automatically declared inadmissible if the party who formed the contradiction has not constituted a confession within one month of the notice given to the parties by the clerk.