Facebook Does Speak German: Valid Service of German-language Documents in Ireland

OLG DÜsseldorf - Facebook - picBack in December 2019, the headline to my post on that very topic still had a question mark: “Does Facebook speak German?” I had reported on what appeared to be only the second decision by a German court of appeals (Oberlandesgericht) on the issue whether Facebook Ireland, the legal entity operating Facebook’s German activities, is entitled to refuse service of German-language court documents under Article 8 of the European Service Regulation.* Continue reading

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Case of the Week: Does Facebook understand German?

OLG München 2The question whether Facebook understands German came before the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) München in the context of Article 8 of the European Service Regulation. Pursuant to this provision, the addressee of a document

“may refuse to accept the document to be served at the time of service or by returning the document to the receiving agency within one week if it is not written in, or accompanied by a translation into, either of the following languages: (a) a language which the addressee understands; or (b) the official language of the Member State addressed or, if there are several official languages in that Member State, the official language or one of the official languages of the place where service is to be effected.” Continue reading

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Case of the Week: No English Translation Required for Service of German Proceedings on Facebook in Ireland

Le_palais_de_justice_de_Littenstrasse_(Berlin)_(6303550695)This case of the week deals with the question if and when a translation is required if service of proceedings is effected abroad. It arose in an action brought by a German Facebook user against Facebook Ireland, the Facebook entity through which Facebook apparently conducts its business in mainland Europe. As always in matters of service, we are not really concerned with the underlying facts, but it appears that Facebook blocked the user’s account, and the user wanted to have this measure removed. Initial correspondence by email led to nothing. Facebook Ireland refused to de-block the account with an email; an email, it must be noted, written in German. The user then issued proceedings in the Local Court (Amtsgericht) Berlin-Mitte, filing a statement of claim in German. No translation was ordered, and all the papers were served on Facebook in Ireland in German only. Facebook challenged the validity of Service. Continue reading

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