Request for a preliminary ruling from the Sofiyski rayonen sad (Bulgaria) lodged on 14 May 2020 — ‘Toplofikatsia Sofia’ EAD, ‘Chez Elektro Balgaria’ AD and ‘Agentsia za kontrol na prosrocheni zadalzhenia’ EOOD

(Case C-208/20)

Language of the case: Bulgarian

Referring court

Sofiyski rayonen sad

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: ‘Toplofikatsia Sofia’ EAD, ‘Chez Elektro Balgaria’ AD and ‘Agentsia za kontrol na prosrocheni zadalzhenia’ EOOD

Questions referred

Must Article 20(2)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in conjunction with the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the principles of non-discrimination and the equivalence of procedural measures in national judicial proceedings and Article 1[(1)](a) of Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 1 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters be interpreted as meaning that, where the national law of the court seised provides that the latter is to obtain, of its own motion, information regarding the defendant’s address in its own State and it is established that the defendant is in another State of the European Union, the national court seised is obliged to obtain information regarding the defendant’s address from the competent authorities of the State in which he resides?

Must Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 2 of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, in conjunction with the principle that the national court must guarantee procedural rights for the effective protection of rights arising from EU law, be interpreted as meaning that, when determining the habitual residence of a debtor as a condition required under national law for the conduct of unilateral formal proceedings in which evidence is not taken, such as order for payment procedures, the national court is obliged to interpret any reasonable suspicion that the debtor is habitually resident in another State of the European Union as a lack of a legal basis for issuing an order for payment or as a basis for the order for payment not acquiring the force of res judicata?

Must Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, in conjunction with the principle that the national court must guarantee procedural rights for the effective protection of rights deriving from EU law, be interpreted as meaning that a national court, which, after having issued an order for payment against a particular debtor, has established that that debtor is unlikely to be habitually resident in the State of the court and, provided that this constitutes an obstacle to the issuing of an order for payment against such a debtor under national law, is obliged to annul, of its own motion, the order for payment issued, despite the absence of an express statutory provision to that effect?

If the third question is answered in the negative, are the provisions referred to in that question to be interpreted as obliging the national court to annul the order for payment issued where it has carried out a check and established with certainty that the debtor is not habitually resident in the State of the court seised?

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1 OJ 2001 L 174, p. 1.

2 OJ 2012 L 351, p. 1.