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Last update: 07-05-2007
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Enforcement of judgements - Slovakia

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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 enforceable title or decision may be issued? 2.
2.1. The procedure 2.1.
2.1.1. Jurisdiction of the court 2.1.1.
2.1.2. Status, roles, responsibilities and powers of enforcement agents 2.1.2.
2.1.3. Court fees 2.1.3.
3. Object and nature of enforcement measures 3.
3.1. What types of assets can be subject to enforcement? 3.1.
3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures? 3.2.
3.2.1. Vis-à-vis the debtor: 3.2.1.
3.2.2. Vis-à-vis third parties: 3.2.2.
3.3. What is the validity of these measures? What is the validity of judgments ordering enforcement of a judgment? 3.3.
4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting such a measure? Objections to enforcement 4.

 

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

Under Section 251 of Act No 99/1963 (Code of Civil Procedure), where the party subject to an enforceable judgment fails to comply with it, the claimant can submit an application for the judgment to be executed in accordance with the special legislation governing this (Act No 233/1995 of the National Council of the Slovak Republic governing court bailiffs and enforcement: "Enforcement Code"); in the case of a child custody judgment, the claimant party applies for judicial enforcement. 

Methods of enforcement under the Enforcement Code:

  1. where based on an enforcement order imposing an obligation to pay a sum of money, it may take the form of:
    • deductions from a salary or other income;
    • a garnishee order (in respect of a bank account or other cash receivables);
    • sale of movable property;
    • sale of stocks;
    • sale of immovable property;
    • sale of a business.
  2. where based on an enforcement order imposing an obligation other than payment of a sum of money, the method of enforcement depends on the nature of the obligation imposed. It may take the form of:
    • eviction;
    • removal or destruction of property at the liable party's expense;
    • division of joint property;
    • performance of work and services.

2. What are the conditions under which an enforceable title or decision may be issued?

Conditions for issuing an enforcement order:
2.1. The procedure

An enforceable court decision recognising a right, laying down an obligation or affecting property constitutes an enforcement order. Enforcement is also possible on the basis of:

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  • decisions by European Union bodies;
  • decisions certified as European enforcement orders;
  • notarial acts containing a legal obligation and specifying the entitled party and the liable party, the legal grounds and the subject and date of the transaction concerned, if the liable party has agreed to enforceability in the notarial act;
  • enforceable decisions by arbitration committees and settlements approved by them;
  • certificates of inheritance, enforceable decisions by former state notary's offices and agreements approved by them;
  • enforceable decisions by public administration and local authority bodies, including orders to pay fines not paid on the spot;
  • payment demands and statements of arrears regarding taxes and dues, as well as settlements approved by the relevant bodies;
  • enforceable decisions and statements of arrears in respect of welfare provision, social insurance and old age pension savings;
  • other enforceable decisions and approved settlements enforceable by law.

Within 15 days of receiving an enforcement application from a claimant (or, if there are any errors in it, within 15 days of having them corrected), the bailiff must forward it together with the enforcement order to the court, requesting authorisation to execute enforcement. The court examines the enforcement authorisation request, the claimant's enforcement application and the enforcement order. Provided that the court does not find any of these documents to be at odds with the law, within 15 days of receiving the request it authorises the bailiff in writing to carry out enforcement. If the court does find a legal problem affecting any of the three documents, it issues a decision rejecting the enforcement authorisation request.

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The bailiff may not start execution of an enforcement measure until authorisation for it has been granted by the court.

2.1.1. Jurisdiction of the court

The court with jurisdiction to authorise the bailiff and to act as the court of execution is the relevant district court, except where some special provision stipulates otherwise. The court with territorial jurisdiction is the general court of the defendant's place of residence. If the defendant does not have a general court in the Slovak Republic, the court with jurisdiction is the one in whose area he or she has property; where more than one court has jurisdiction, the decision is taken by the court to whom the request was first addressed.

Where enforcement is based on an enforcement order under Section 41(2) of the Enforcement Code, the court with jurisdiction to authorise the bailiff and to act as the court of execution is the general court of the defendant's place of residence. If the defendant does not have a general court in the Slovak Republic, the court with jurisdiction is the one in whose area he or she has property; where more than one court has jurisdiction, the decision is taken by the court to whom the request was first addressed.

2.1.2. Status, roles, responsibilities and powers of enforcement agents

Bailiffs are state-appointed officers authorised to execute enforcement of court judgments and other decisions. In carrying out their enforcement duties they have the status of public officials.

Bailiffs carry out their enforcement duties on an impartial and independent basis. In carrying out their duties they are bound by the Slovak Constitution, constitutional acts, international treaties within the meaning of Section 7(2)-(5) of the Slovak Constitution, acts of law, other generally binding legal provisions governing their activities and court judgments issued in enforcement proceedings. They must act in the interests of the claimant, while safeguarding the rights of the defendant.

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The bailiff's job is to recover on the claimant's behalf whatever the defendant is liable for under the enforcement order. The bailiff may encroach on the defendant's rights only to the extent necessary to satisfy the claimant's entitlement under the enforcement order.

Applications for enforcement under the Enforcement Code are submitted by the claimant. There is no legal requirement for claimants to be represented by a lawyer for the purpose of submitting an application.

2.1.3. Court fees

applications for a judgment to be enforced

on the claim recovered, 2%

minimum SKK 500

maximum SKK 100 000

 

if a cash value cannot be put on the claim recovered

SKK 500

applications for the enforcement of a judgment or execution to be suspended or deferred

SKK 500

applications for a court bailiff to be granted authorisation

SKK 500

court proceedings handling objections to an execution measure carried out under the Enforcement Code

5% of the claim recovered

minimum SKK 500

maximum SKK 200 000

3. Object and nature of enforcement measures

Object and nature of judgment enforcement methods:
3.1. What types of assets can be subject to enforcement?

The following assets can be subject to enforcement (execution): salaries, other income, other cash receivables, bank accounts, interests in a commercial company, businesses, rights in property, movable goods, immovable goods and stocks.

The following assets may not be subject to enforcement:

  • funds on an account up to SKK 3000 and funds explicitly declared by the defendant as being intended for the payment of the salaries of his or her staff in respect of the payment period closest to the date on which the bank was instructed in the form of a garnishee order to initiate an enforcement measure; if the defendant has more than one account, the exemption from enforcement applies to the first SKK 3000 on only one of them;
  • items belonging to defendants that they absolutely cannot do without in order to meet their own material needs and those of their family or in order to do their job or carry out their business activity, and other items the sale of which would be unethical;
  • ordinary items of clothing, linen and footwear;
  • essential household items, such as the defendant's bed and the beds of their family members, a table, a chair for each family member, a fridge, a cooker, a stove, a heater, fuel, a washing machine, duvets and bedclothes, basic kitchen equipment and a radio;
  • pets, with the exception of those kept for business purposes;
  • items used by defendants for doing their job or for business purposes up to a value of SKK 10 000;
  • medical requisites and other items the defendant needs because of an illness or physical condition;
  • items for which the defendant has been granted welfare benefits or cash contributions to make up for the social consequences of a serious health condition;
  • engagement rings and wedding rings;
  • cash up to SKK 3 000;
  • study material and toys;
  • assets of defendants working on the land, if subjecting these assets to enforcement would jeopardise the proper cultivation of the agricultural land or the uninterrupted operation of crop or livestock production in accordance with the relevant legislation, and breeding animals, such as milk cows, high-yield heifers, breeding bulls, breeding sows, breeding boars, ewes and breeding rams;
  • savings account holders' shares of assets in a pension fund.
3.2. What are the effects of enforcement measures?
Legal effects of enforcement:
3.2.1. Vis-à-vis the debtor:

The bailiff authorised to carry out enforcement notifies the debtor and the claimant regarding the initiation of the enforcement measure, how it is to be carried out and any interim costs, as well as informing the debtor that, as of the date on which the enforcement notification is received, he or she is forbidden to dispose of the assets subject to the enforcement measure. Failure to comply with the prohibition carries penalties. If the debtor does dispose of his or her assets after receiving the notification, the transactions may be contested under Sections 42a and 42b of the Civil Code and the debtor is liable for criminal prosecution under Section 256 of the Criminal Code (for acting to the detriment of the creditor).

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3.2.2. Vis-à-vis third parties:
  • At the written request of the bailiff, banks are required to communicate bank account numbers, the names of the account holders, the account balances and any changes made to accounts.
  • On receiving the garnishee order, the bank where the debtor has his or her account freezes the amount of the claim and associated costs in that account. Failure by the bank to perform this duty constitutes grounds for the claimant to lodge a complaint in accordance with Section 103 of the Enforcement Code.
3.3. What is the validity of these measures? What is the validity of judgments ordering enforcement of a judgment?
  • There is no time limit on the validity of a judgment.

4. Is there a possibility of appeal against the decision granting such a measure? Objections to enforcement

Within 14 days of being notified that an enforcement measure has been initiated, debtors may submit their objections to the enforcement measure to the bailiff authorised to execute it, if, since the enforcement order was issued, circumstances have arisen that prevent the claim from being recovered or mean that it no longer applies, or if there are other grounds that rule out enforcement. This also applies to objections claiming that the creditor or the debtor are not the legal heirs of the person referred to in the enforcement order. Objections must state the grounds on which they are based; no account is taken of reasons added later on.

Bailiffs must forward objections to the court within 5 days of receiving them. The relevant district court takes the decision on the objections within 60 days of being sent them.

Objections to an enforcement measure have suspensive effect. Until a decision is taken on the objections, no enforcement order may be issued and enforcement cannot go ahead.

« Enforcement of judgements - General information | Slovakia - General information »

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Last update: 07-05-2007

 
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