Communication, initiating an action and next steps

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All current rules and practices in ordinary non-NCC litigation apply.

To initiate an action by claim (dagvaarding):

  • in the writ of summons, the designation of the court is: “the Amsterdam District Court (NCC District Court)” or “the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (NCC Court of Appeal)”, as the case may be;
  • send your writ of summons, as served, to the NCC mailing address (Netherlands Commercial Court, Martijn Peerenboom, P.O. Box 1312, 1000 BH Amsterdam);
  • the calendar hearing (rolzitting) for NCC District Court cases is on Wednesday at 10:00 AM each week, except holidays;
  • the calendar hearing (rolzitting) for NCC Court of Appeal cases is on Tuesday at 10:00 AM each week, except holidays;
  • attach a B or H form as appropriate in accordance with current practice;
  • the ordinary time limits for notice to the adverse party apply.

The same rules apply to initiate an action by application (verzoekschrift) or to bring an action in the Court in Summary Proceedings (CSP), except that there is a calendar hearing on every business day.

eNCC has now been implemented. eNCC should be used for all written communications, including correspondence and the documents of process in all NCC cases, except where the Court directs otherwise. No hard copy is required. The only general exception is the original writ of summons served on the defendant, which should be submitted in hard copy to the NCC mailing address.

All acts of process, such as the submission of a claim or defence, may be carried out by a member of the Dutch Bar. The lawyer’s card ('A-pas') and the lawyer’s assistant’s card ('G-pas') are now operational and may be used to access eNCC. Visiting lawyers who are a member of the Bar in an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland may work in accordance with Article 16e of the Advocates Act (in conjunction with a member of the Dutch Bar). Other visiting lawyers may be allowed to speak at any hearing.

The steps in the proceedings typically will be:

  • An action is initiated by submitting an originating document.
  • Assignment: the case is assigned to three judges and a senior law clerk.
  • Defence: the defendant submits its defence.
  • Case management conference or motion hearing: if the claimant or the defendant makes a motion on procedural or other matters (such as jurisdiction or the production of documents) or for other reasons, a case management conference or motion hearing may be scheduled. Parties may present their arguments.
  • Judgment on motions: the court rules on the motions. Testimony may be taken, or an expert may be appointed, at this stage or earlier or later.
  • Further written submissions: the court may allow the parties to submit further written statements.
  • Hearing: a hearing is held in the action. The court interviews the parties and allows them to present their arguments. The court may enquire whether the dispute could be resolved amicably and, where appropriate, assist the parties in a settlement process. If appropriate, the court may discuss with the parties whether it would be advisable to submit part or all of the dispute to a mediator. At the end of the hearing, the court will discuss with the parties what the next steps should be.
  • Judgment: if so ordered, judgment is given in the action. This may be a final judgment on the claims or an interim judgment ordering one or more parties to produce evidence, allowing the parties to submit written submissions on certain aspects of the case, appointing one or more experts or taking other steps.