On 22 June 2021 the Ruling of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 18 “On some issues of the pre-trial mechanism examined in civil and commercial proceedings” was issued, in which the Supreme Court resolved a number of important issues connected with the rules of sending of a claim (including via electronic communication) as well as cases where sending of the claim is not required.

One of such clarifications is the provision on when it is not required to comply with the pre-trial procedure. Such cases include the recovery of penalty if the claim was sent earlier in the dispute in respect of the principal debt; submission of a counterclaim if the claim was sent earlier by a legal predecessor of a claimant; and in cases of amendments to the claim, applying to the court by a prosecutor or by public authorities.

A separate clause of the Ruling is dedicated to the issue of sending the claim via electronic correspondence. The Supreme Court clarified that the claim may be sent by email (and also by message via social media or messengers), but only in case if such procedure either is provided for in a contract or is the usual established business practice between the parties. In this case sending of the claim may be proved by screenshot certified by a party on its own behalf. Other clarifications of the Ruling are dedicated to the status of conciliation procedures during the pre-action resolution of disputes, the rules of interruption of the statute of limitations upon sending of the claim, as well as special aspects of the rules on the necessity of the pre-trial mechanism for certain categories of disputes.

(see Ruling of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dated 22 June 2021 No. 18)