Frequently asked questions

1. What is a service by electronic means? 

Judicial officers are responsible for serving writs as well as other duties. This means that judicial officers hand over a writ to the addressee for communication purposes in an official capacity.

The writ may consist of a summons to appear in court, the transfer of an enforceable document (very often a judgment), etc.

Until now, judicial officers needed to go to you to serve a writ. Judicial officers could also serve the writ directly to your letterbox when you were not available to accept it.

Judicial officers will have a choice from now on. Depending on the circumstances, judicial officers may decide not to go to the address and try to serve whichever writ by electronic means (by email), which has the same legal consequences as a 'traditional' serving of a writ. Article 32quater of the Belgian Judicial Code forms the legal framework of this new serving method.

Specifically, judicial officers will send you an email with the invitation to connect you with the platform where you can consult the writ. The writ shall only have been served if you have given your consent expressly twice and you have been identified electronically in advance based on your Belgian identity card. These steps must be taken within a time period of 24 hours as from the time that the judicial officer has sent his/her first email (“request for consent to the service by electronic means”).

2. Why do I receive a service by electronic means? 

The judicial officer has been instructed to serve you with a writ. The judicial officer will choose the method of service depending on the circumstances of each case. If he/she so desires, he/she may attempt to serve the write to your electronically. There is, however, one exception. The public prosecutor may decide that the service must be executed in the traditional manner (the judicial officer comes to you) in criminal cases.


3. How is it possible that the judicial officer is aware of my (private or professional) email address? 

Whatever email address you use can be regarded as an address of “electronic address of residence choice” (in the sense of article 32, 6°, of the Belgian Judicial Code). This may concern either a personal or a professional email address.

The judicial officer may therefore become aware of your email address in different ways (old exchange of correspondence, through the Internet, etc.) or can simply find it on the list of electronic addresses of residence choice kept updated by the Belgian National Association of Judicial Officers. This list includes only the email addresses with which a successful e-service has been executed.

The law explains that this list may only be consulted by judicial officers exclusively to perform their judicial duties and that the Belgian National Association of Judicial Officers may not pass on this data to anybody.

4. How do I know whether the request for consent actually comes from a judicial officer?

The authenticity of the request for consent can be checked on the basis of the following points that must be listed in the relevant email:

  • the name and office address of the judicial officer;
  • the date of the service;
  • more details about the time period in which you may give consent and the consequences of such service;
  • a button with which you can give consent and a second button with which you can refuse the electronic service.

Finally, the email will also contain a symbol that proves that it was signed digitally by the Belgian National Association of Judicial Officers.

5. Is a service by electronic means the same as a traditional service?

A service executed by electronic means has exactly the same consequences as a traditional service from a legal perspective. The only difference is that the original of the writ is a digital one instead of a paper version. The legal terms start as from the moment that the service has been deemed to have been executed. When executing a service by electronic means, the time of service matches the time when the judicial officer sends the request for consent by email.

6. What are the advantages of being served by electronic means?

- First and foremost, the costs linked to a service by electronic means are lower when compared to being served using the traditional method (because the judicial officer does not have to physically travel).

- Secondly, granting your consent to a service by electronic means offers you the opportunity to prevent a judicial officer visiting your home.

- Thirdly, you cannot lose the originally served writ. It will continue to be available on the secure platform so that you can consult it at any time. The writ will remain accessible to you for a period of one year by connecting to After this period, you can still access the writ by contacting the judicial officer.

- Fourthly, if you are no longer effectively residing at your address for a long or medium term, using the service by electronic means allows you to stay informed even if you are temporarily living abroad. For example, a summons to appear in court. This is not an insignificant writ. It is important that you are informed as soon as possible.

- Fifthly, if you are an executive of a company on whom a writ must be served, you can specify the person or persons to whom the email must be sent directly (instead of, for example, the person at reception).

7. How can a company consent to a service by electronic means?

Consent may be given for the electronic service on behalf of the company:

  1. Each executive or director who is appointed and registered in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises;
  2. Each employee who is expressly authorised to do so. For this second option, the executive must provide the details of these employees (email address, surname, first name and national register number) to the Belgian National Association of Judicial Officers. For this, please contact (see question no. 8).

8. What must I do to act as the representative of my employer?

If you are not registered in the Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, an authorised person of your company must carry out a specific mandate. For now, this is carried out through a form. The electronic version (PDF) is available under the Downloads section.

Complete and sign this form and send it to, after which they will do what is needed. In the future, a secure web application will automatically be made available to manage the mandates of companies.

9. How can I consent to a service by electronic means and what are the consequences?

Phase 1: You receive an email with, as the topic, "request for consent" for a service by electronic means. It concerns a certified email that contains the required explanation. You can make a choice between agreeing with the service by electronic means or to reject it at the bottom of the email. If you reject it, the judicial officer may possibly proceed with the service using the traditional method.

Phase 2: You click the “consent” link and will be guided to a web page (online secure platform).

Phase 3: You are invited to identify and authenticate yourself based on your electronic identity card and PIN.

Phase 4: Once you have identified yourself, you must still confirm your consent expressly.

Once you have given your consent and it is confirmed, you will have access to the writ and you can save and/or print it. A confirmation of the service is sent to you and to the judicial officer.

Please be aware that your email address will be kept in an electronic email file that is only accessible to judicial officers within the framework of a possible service in the future.

Only when the four steps have been completed within the period of 24 hours after the judicial officer has sent the request for consent, will the service be regarded as having been completed and that this will be deemed to have taken place on the date when the first email was sent.                                                                                          

In other words, the writ is regarded as having been served officially with the same legal consequences as if the writ had been served using the traditional method.

The original of the writ is the digital version and you can consult it on the platform at any time (for a period of one year). You can also obtain a copy of the writ from the judicial officer.

10. What happens if I do not give my consent on time?

If you have not opened the email or have not followed the different steps of the service by electronic means (see question no. 10) within a strict period of 24 hours after the judicial officer has sent the request for consent, the service by electronic means shall be regarded as not having been sent and the judicial officer shall possibly serve the writ by other means.

You can always contact the judicial officer to ask him/her to send the request for consent for the electronic service again by email.

11. I have agreed to a service by electronic means. Do I have to agree every time again for possible new services?

Yes, you do. For every new service by electronic means your prior express consent will be requested.

12. How can I reject a service by electronic means and what are the consequences?

You can reject a service by electronic means by clicking “reject” at the bottom of the email with as the subject “request for consent for a service by electronic means”. The service by electronic means will be regarded as impossible and the judicial officer will probably serve the writ using the traditional method. A lack of response from you or responding after the period has elapsed (outside the 24 hours) will have the same consequences.

13. Can I agree to a service by electronic means if I am living abroad?

Judicial officers have territorial jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction depends, in the first instance, on your home address or the address of your registered office. Regardless of your nationality, if you are domiciled in Belgium but live abroad when you receive the email, you can agree to the service. To that end, you must possess a Belgian identity card with which you can connect to a card reader. Access by means of itsme is being developed.

14. Can the judicial officer execute one and the same writ using both the traditional and the electronic means?

No, he/she must make a choice: either he/she immediately executes a traditional service or he/she chooses a service by electronic means.

15. Is it possible to forward a request for consent?

Yes, every request for consent that is received by email can be forwarded.

This makes it possible for the employer and administrator of the general mailbox of the company to forward an email to an employee with a specific mandate to give consent for electronic service.

As a natural person, you can also forward this email address to another private (or business) email address.