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Italian Supreme Court Upholds Importance of Italian Law with PoA

  • August 12, 2022

The Italian Supreme Court confirmed, yet again, the crucial importance of complying with certain Italian law formalities for the validity in Italy of a power of attorney granted and notarized abroad (the “PoA”).

By decision no. 2866 of 5 February 2021, the Italian Supreme Court in Joint Session (Corte di Cassazione – Sezioni Unite) held that a PoA notarized abroad shall be considered null and void if it lacks the Italian translation of (i) the PoA itself and (ii) the notarization.

THE CASE

A German individual was notified of a fine by an Italian municipality as a consequence of an infringement of Italian road circulation rules. The individual challenged the sanctions before the Italian judges, alleging a number of violations of law. After the procedures before the court of the first tier (justice of the peace) and the following appeal before the Court of Florence were completed, the case was eventually brought by the individual before the Supreme Court. The lawyer assisting the individual had been appointed by means of a wide PoA executed and notarized outside Italy years before.

In this respect, the Supreme Court stated that the appeal before the Court of Florence was inadmissible due to the nullity of the PoA; the Supreme Court, in particular, ruled that the PoA, granted by the German individual to his Italian lawyer, was generic (as it did not explicitly mention the specific procedure) and lacked the translation into Italian language of the notarization of the signature. The Supreme Court also reiterated the principle that, in case of PoAs executed and notarized abroad, both the PoA document and the notarization (ie the notarial certification that the PoA has been executed before the notary and that identity and powers of the signatories have been duly ascertained) must be translated into Italian

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