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Last update: 09-01-2009
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Enforcement of judgements - Slovenia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What does enforcement mean in civil and commercial matters? 1.
2. What are the conditions under which an enforcement title or decision are enforceable? 2.
2.1. Procedure 2.1.
2.2. Conditions for enforcement 2.2.
3. Object and nature of enforcement measures 3.
3.1. What kind of assets can be subject to enforcement? 3.1.
3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures? 3.2.
3.3. What is the legal validity of enforcement measures? 3.3.
4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting an enforcement measure? 4.
5. What must a person do for a decision issued by the court of another Member State to be recognised and enforced in Slovenia? 5.
5.1. What form does the proposal for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision take and what annexes should it contain? 5.1.
5.2. What body or court should the proposal for enforcement be sent to? 5.2.
5.3. What language should the proposal for enforcement be drafted in? 5.3.
5.4. Is it necessary to pay court charges? Do any other charges have to be paid? 5.4.
5.5. Is it necessary to be represented by a lawyer in these cases? If so, how is it possible to find out the name of a lawyer in Slovenia? 5.5.

 

1. What does enforcement mean in civil and commercial matters?

In the Republic of Slovenia enforcement is regulated uniformly by the Execution of Judgments in Civil Matters and Insurance of Claims Act - ZIZ.

  • (please define the term enforcement)

In the Slovenian legal order, enforcement means the compulsory, judicial enforcement of executory titles that are issued for the fulfilment of a claim (viz. a charge, service, exemption or permission). By way of an exception, in family matters, enforcement may also cover execution of claims for a change in a legal relationship.

  • (Please summarise the enforcement measures that may make the defendant do something, refrain from doing something, or fulfil payment).

The enforcement measures for discharging claims on money are the sale of the debtor's moveable property, the sale of immoveable property, the transfer of a debtor's claim on money, the liquidation of other financial rights or material rights and book entry securities of the debtor, the sale of a partner's shareholding and the transfer of the balance held with organisations authorised to conduct payment transactions (i.e. banks).

The enforcement measures for non-monetary claims are: delivery and supply of moveable property, vacation and delivery of immoveable property, replacement service at the expense of the debtor, coercion of the debtor by means of a monetary sanction, return of a worker to work, division of objects, indication of wishes and withdrawal of a child.

2. What are the conditions under which an enforcement title or decision are enforceable?

Courts permit enforcement on the basis of an enforceable title.

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Enforceable titles are as follows:

  • an enforceable court decision (judgement or arbitration ruling, decision and payment order or other court or arbitration order) and court settlement (reached before a court or through arbitration),
  • enforceable notarial act,
  • other enforceable decision or instrument stipulated to be an enforceable title by a law, a ratified and published international treaty or a legal act of the European Union that is directly applicable in the Republic of Slovenia.

An enforcement title is suitable for enforcement if it states the creditor and debtor, and the subject, type, scope and time of fulfilment of the obligation (Article 21(1) of the ZIZ)

If a proposal for enforcement is submitted to a court that did not decide on the claim at first-instance level, the court must be provided with the original or a certified copy of the enforceable title on which the declaration of enforceability is based (Article 42(1) of the ZIZ).

2.1. Procedure
  • (Are both court and out-of-court decisions enforceable?)

As stated in the answer to the previous question, in addition to court decisions and court settlements, notarial acts, other decisions or instruments are also enforceable if they are defined as enforceable acts by any law, ratified and published international treaty or legal act of the European Union that is directly applicable in the Republic of Slovenia, subject to conditions laid down by the ZIZ.

  • (Is it necessary to request a court decision to form the basis for enforcement?)

A court decision is required; an enforcement decision authorising enforcement is required.

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  • (Which court is competent for enforcement?)

The district court is competent for enforcement.

  • ( Bailiffs - status, role, responsibility and competence?)

Bailiffs are persons who carry out the direct actions of enforcement and insurance of claims (who thus physically carry out enforcement - they carry out attachment, determine security, etc.). Bailiffs are appointed by the Minister for Justice for the territory of individual district courts. In specific enforcement cases, they are designated by court decision, and a creditor himself/itself may also choose a specific bailiff. In specific enforcement cases, a bailiff may perform actions on the entire territory of the Republic of Slovenia. The bailiff service is a public service which bailiffs perform independently.

Bailiffs are responsible for any damage caused in the performance of acts of enforcement and insurance of claims due to their action or failure to meet their obligations under implementing regulations and court orders.

In the case of very serious failure to meet their obligations, bailiffs may be relieved of their duties by the Minister for Justice.

  • (Is it necessary to submit a proposal for enforcement via a lawyer or other legal representative?)

No. A proposal for enforcement may also be submitted directly by the creditor. However, proposals for enforcement are usually submitted via a lawyer who has the necessary legal knowledge.

  • (Please provide the scale of costs for each enforcement action).

If a creditor acts independently in an enforcement procedure, he/it is obliged to pay the court the judicial fee for the individual application and for the decision issued by the court on that application. However, if a debtor acts through a lawyer in the enforcement procedure, he/it also pays for the lawyer's services on the basis of the lawyer's tariff.

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The Court Fees Act (ZST) regulates the fees for the civil and enforcement procedure in fee tariff No I. The amount of the fee that must be paid by the person who proposes a specific enforcement action depends on the value of the claim.

a) Court costs (dependent on the value of the claim)

Court costs depend on the value of the claim brought. If, for example, the value of a claim is €1 000, the costs are as follows (the calculation is purely for information purposes):

  • Proposal for enforcement: €28
  • Decision on enforcement: €28 
  • Any appeal: €56

b) Costs and payment for bailiff

  • fixed costs and payments: actual travel expenses, expenses for board and lodging, expenses for examination of the dossier (€10), expenses for personal service of a document (€10), costs for preparation of a calculation of default interest (€10), costs for the preparation of a calculation of costs (€4);
  • variable costs and payments that depend on the amount of the claim brought (if the claim amounts to €1 000, the costs are as follows: attachment of cash - €83, voluntary payment of cash by the debtor - €10, attachment of moveable property - €312, conduct and organisation of a public auction - €312, sale of moveable property by direct contract - €156, sale by a broker - €62, physical division of objects - €156);
  • Other types of costs: costs for any safekeeping of attached moveable property, which vary on the basis of the weight of the moveable property (e.g. for a weight of up to 100 kg, the payment amounts to €0.42 for each period of seven days of safe-keeping or any part thereof, but not less than €3), costs for handling of attached moveable property, which also depend on the weight of the moveable property (e.g. for property weighing up to 30 kg, the payment amounts to €2.50).
2.2. Conditions for enforcement
  • (what are the criteria for authorisation of enforcement)

The first condition for authorisation of enforcement is the existence of an enforceable enforcement title or authentic instrument in accordance with the regulations which form the basis for enforcement (which is actually the basis for enforcement).

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The second condition is the submission of a proposal for enforcement, which must mention the following: creditor and debtor, enforcement title or authentic document, obligation of debtor, enforcement measure and subject of enforcement and other information required for enforcement (a proposal for enforcement on the basis of an authentic document must also include a request for the court to order the debtor to pay the claim together with the assessed costs within eight days of the service of the decision, or within three days in the case of lawsuits concerning treasury bills and cheques).

When the Court receives the proposal for enforcement together with the enforceable enforcement title or authentic document, it checks them (to see whether they are in keeping with the provisions of the ZIZ) and issues a decision on enforcement, authorising enforcement, rejecting the proposal for enforcement (as unjustified for substantive reasons) or refusing the proposal (for procedural reasons).

  • (concerning a claim) 

The claim must have arisen and the period for voluntary fulfilment of the obligation must have expired.

  • (as regards the debtor)

The debtor must be clearly mentioned (must be apparent) from the enforcement title or authentic document. Moreover, the debtor must be clearly mentioned by name and address (or place of establishment) in the proposal for enforcement.

The debtor must be an existing person (must not have died or have been removed from the judicial register). If a proposal for enforcement is submitted concerning a non-existent person, it must be refused, but if the person ceases to exist during the enforcement procedure itself, this constitutes a reason for the suspension of the procedure ex lege (and does not require any special act to be issued).

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Pre-requisites apply to enforcement as well, for both the debtor and the creditor (legal capacity, professional capacity), which must also be met for the civil procedure in accordance with the provisions of the ZPP in conjunction with Article 15 of the ZIZ.

3. Object and nature of enforcement measures

3.1. What kind of assets can be subject to enforcement?

The ZIZ sets out several types of enforcement measures (Article 30 of the ZIZ), viz.:

  • the sale of moveable property, the sale of immoveable property, the transfer of a claim on money, the liquidation of other financial rights or economic rights and book-entry securities, the sale of a partner's shareholding and the transfer of funds held by organisations authorised to conduct payment transactions.

The abovementioned enforcement measures can apply to all objects of enforcement (to each object belonging to the debtor or financial or material right), except where exempted by law from enforcement or when enforcement on that object is restricted by law - Article 32 of the ZIZ.

  • Please state any objects or pecuniary claims which cannot be subject to enforcement.

The following may not be the subject of enforcement:

  • objects that are not the subject of legal transactions,
  • mineral resources and other natural resources,
  • facilities, apparatus and other objects urgently needed by the State or an independently administered local community for the performance of its tasks and moveable and immoveable objects intended for the defence of the state,
  • other objects and rights exempted by the law (e.g. resources intended for the maintenance of children, strictly personal objects, social assistance benefits, parental allowance, child allowance, disability benefit, food, heating fuel, working and breeding stock, crops, medals, disability aids, farmland and commercial premises required by the farmer for personal maintenance, etc.)
3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures?

The main effect and purpose of all enforcement measures is to pay off a creditor's claim.

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  • (in relation to a debtor who does not abide by enforcement measures):

An executing court may impose a fine on a debtor that acts counter to its decisions by, for example, concealing, damaging or destroying his assets, performs an act which may cause the creditor damage that is irreparable or hard to repair, acts counter to decisions on insurance of claims, cites false information on his assets or hinders or does not permit the examination and valuation of immoveable property.

If a debtor, in violation of a decision of an executing court, disposes of his assets, such disposal will be valid only if the property was amortised and if the opposing party acted in good faith at the time of the transfer or encumbrance of property (does not know and cannot know that the debtor does not have the right to dispose of the assets).

A debtor who, in order to prevent the creditor from being paid, destroys, damages, disposes of or conceals part of his assets during compulsory enforcement, thereby damaging the creditor, is also criminally liable and may be fined or imprisoned for this for up to one year.

  • (in relation to third parties):

a) Infringement by a bank

A bank is obliged to provide a court, at its request, with all explanations and documents showing whether and how it has executed the court decision on enforcement and how it has abided by the statutorily defined sequence of the settlement of claims. It is also obliged to notify the creditors and the court of the details of the debtor's bank accounts. The bank is obliged, on the basis of the enforcement decision, to block the debtor's funds that it holds to the extent of the obligation set out in the enforcement decision and to disburse the blocked amount to the creditor.

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A court may order a bank that, in violation of its decision, does not carry out attachment, transfer or disbursement of amounts owed, to disburse these amounts to the creditor from its own assets instead of the debtor. In this case, the bank is also liable to the creditor for damage because it did not act in accordance with the enforcement decision or because it violated the provisions of the law on the duty to supply data, the sequence, the scope and the manner of settlement of obligations set out in the enforcement decision.

b) Infringement by a employer

The employer is obliged, on the basis of an enforcement decision, to pay a sum of money or sums of money to the creditor that would otherwise be due to the debtor by way of remuneration. In so doing, it is obliged to leave the debtor at least the amount of the minimum wage for the current month. A court may order an employer that, contrary to its decision, did not withhold and disburse to the creditor the amounts owed, to settle these amounts itself from its assets instead of the debtor. In this case, the employer is also liable to the creditor for damage for not acting in accordance with the enforcement decision.

c) Infringement by other debtors of the debtor

A debtor of the debtor is obliged to declare whether it recognises the attached claim and, if so, of what amount, or whether its obligation to settle the claim is contingent upon the fulfilment of any other obligation. If it does not make a statement or does not make a truthful statement on this matter, it is liable to the creditor for damage.

3.3. What is the legal validity of enforcement measures?
  • (Is the validity of enforcement measures limited by law or by court decision?)

The period of validity of an individual measure of an executing court depends on the type of measure. As a rule, the enforcement procedure (and thus the effects of the decision authorising enforcement) end in the settlement of the creditor's claims. However, if enforcement cannot be carried out due to legal and material obstacles, it must be concluded with termination of enforcement, the result of which is the annulment of all enforcement actions unless this would interfere with the acquired rights of third parties (e.g. purchasers of attached moveable property). The creditor can always propose that the enforcement procedure be postponed for a set amount of time and in this way maintain the validity of the decision authorising enforcement also in cases when the debtor has no assets at the time of issue of this decision (and there are therefore material obstacles preventing the settlement of the creditor's claim).

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In the event that there are no funds in the debtor's accounts at the time of enforcement of the debtor's claims in relation to the bank, or the debtor cannot dispose of them due to binding, the bank is obliged to keep the enforcement decision in the records for one more year and to settle with the creditor when funds enter the debtor's account or when the debtor obtains the right to dispose of them. Until this time, enforcement may not be terminated.

In the event that, during the attachment of moveable property, the bailiff does not find objects that can be the subject of enforcement, or the attached objects are insufficient to settle the creditor's claim, the creditor may submit an unlimited number of proposals to the bailiff, within one year of the date of attachment, for a new attachment to be carried out. Enforcement may not be terminated until this time.

4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting an enforcement measure?

An ordinary appeal against a decision issued at first-instance level is a complaint. A decision authorising enforcement is an exception. The debtor and a third party who has a right to the object of enforcement that prevents enforcement may file an objection against such a decision. As a rule, cassation is not permitted in the enforcement procedure.

(Who may contest such a decision?)

An ordinary appeal against a decision of an executing court may be brought by a debtor, a creditor, a third party with a right to the enforcement object that prevents enforcement and a purchaser in the procedure of the sale of goods.

(Which is the competent court to which an appeal is to be submitted?)

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An appeal and an objection are to be submitted to the court that issued the decision against which the appeal is submitted. As a rule the same court that issued the enforcement decision decides on an objection, whereas a court of second instance decides on an appeal.

(What is the deadline for submitting an appeal?)

An objection and an appeal may be submitted within eight days of the servicing of the decision of the court of first instance. In exceptional cases, it is also possible to file an objection after this deadline, right up to the end of the enforcement procedure, if such an objection is based on a fact that relates to the claim itself, that appeared after the enforceability of the decision and that could not be invoked by the deadline.

(What kind of effect does this objection have?)

An appeal and objection do not delay the performance of enforcement actions in the enforcement procedure, except for the settlement phase. As a rule, a creditor may not be repaid until the enforcement decision becomes final.

5. What must a person do for a decision issued by the court of another Member State to be recognised and enforced in Slovenia?

As far as the procedures in Slovenia for recognising the enforceability of decisions issued by courts of another Member State are concerned, the Brussels I and Brussels II bis Regulations and the European enforcement order apply directly. The ZIZ provides that a declaration of enforceability of a decision or an authentic instrument on the basis of a directly applicable EU act is to be issued at the request of a party by the body that decided on the claim at the first-instance level or that drew up the authentic instrument. As regards the competence of a Slovenian court to recognise and enforce a decision of another Member State, the competent court is the district court on whose territory the debtor is permanently or temporarily resident. The body that issued the declaration of enforceability is competent to correct and annul that declaration.

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5.1. What form does the proposal for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision take and what annexes should it contain?

A proposal for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision does not have to be submitted in any particular form: it is an application to which the foreign court decision or a certified copy thereof and the declaration of enforceability are attached, in accordance with the annexes to European legal acts.

5.2. What body or court should the proposal for enforcement be sent to?

The proposal for recognition and enforcement should to be sent to the district court on whose territory the debtor is permanently or temporarily resident.

5.3. What language should the proposal for enforcement be drafted in?

The proposal should be drafted in the Slovenian language.

5.4. Is it necessary to pay court charges? Do any other charges have to be paid?

As regards the procedure for the recognition of enforceability, it is necessary to pay a court fee for the application, which amounts to approximately €8 and a decision fee of approximately €16. As far as the enforcement charges are concerned, see the answer to 2.1.

5.5. Is it necessary to be represented by a lawyer in these cases? If so, how is it possible to find out the name of a lawyer in Slovenia?

Before a district court, a party may be represented by a lawyer or a person who has passed the state examination in law. The list of lawyers in Slovenia may be found at the following internet address: http://www.odv-zb.si/eng/

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Last update: 09-01-2009

 
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