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Slovak law makes a distinction between interim measures and securing evidence.
In civil proceedings an interim measure constitutes a provisional (temporary) arrangement preserving the status quo between the parties and designed to ensure that the proceedings on the merits can go ahead smoothly. An interim measure can also serve to guarantee that any judgment subsequently issued by the court can be effectively enforced. It is a temporary decision that is confined to serving an interim purposes and does not prejudge the outcome of the trial. While serving their precautionary purpose, any such measures should involve as little interference and impact as possible on the legal position of the person they are imposed on.
Securing evidence takes place before the trial begins. It may involve any type of evidence (hearing a witness, obtaining an expert opinion etc.) and is done only in response to an application rather than on the court's own initiative. Such an application must be made by the person authorised to bring to court the case in which the results of securing the evidence could be used.
Before the trial begins, a court may order an interim measure if it is necessary to temporarily freeze the status quo between the parties or if there are fears that the enforcement of the judgment may be frustrated. Interim measures are ordered by the court that has jurisdiction for the substantive proceedings. In cases involving minors at risk, if the court that has jurisdiction is either not known or unable to intervene in time, the court in the area where the minor resides may intervene and order an interim measure in accordance with Section 75a of the Code of Civil Procedure. This court must, however, refer the matter to the court that has jurisdiction as soon as possible.
The court orders an interim measure on the basis of an application. No application is needed for interim measures for proceedings the court can initiate without an application.
There is no legal requirement making representation by a lawyer compulsory.
Applications for an interim measure to be imposed or lifted are subject to a court charge, which the relevant legislation has set at SKK 500.
Before the start of the substantive proceedings, evidence may be secured on the basis of an application, where there are fears that this evidence would subsequently be impossible or extremely difficult to obtain. The court with jurisdiction to secure the evidence is the court with jurisdiction to hear the substantive proceedings or the court in whose area the evidence at risk is located. There is no legal requirement to be represented by a lawyer in such cases either.
Securing evidence is not subject to any charge; costs of furnishing evidence not covered by a deposit are met by the State. The court may, however, require a claimant who is not eligible for exemption from court charges to pay a deposit for the costs of furnishing evidence, although this does not mean that the person thereby loses the right to subsequently have these costs paid.
For an interim measure to be ordered there must be either a need for the status quo between the parties to be preserved or fears that the enforcement of the court's judgment will be frustrated; this applies to both contentious and non-contentious proceedings.
Securing of evidence can also take place in both contentious and non-contentious proceedings.
An interim measure imposed by a court may order the person concerned to:
The interim measures listed are only examples, which means that a court could impose other types of interim measures or combine types of interim measure in order to achieve the purpose of temporary protection.
An interim measure ordering the defendant to leave certain items or rights alone may be imposed because, for instance, there is a fear that he or she may try to dispose of them in some way by, for example, transferring them to another person, destroying them or damaging them.
A court can issue a decision imposing an interim measure without hearing the parties to the proceedings. This means that the parties do not have to appear before the court in order for an interim measure to be ordered; this rule is connected with the fact that any questioning could thwart the purpose of the interim measure and the fact that ordering interim measures does not in principle involve the taking of evidence. A court may, however, order the parties to be questioned, but then it must apply all the procedural rules governing the taking of evidence. Where a court takes evidence only in the form of documents, this is not done at a public oral hearing; the court draws the necessary conclusions without any input from the parties.
An interim measure ceases to apply, if:
Where the reasons for which an interim measure was ordered no longer apply, the court cancels the measure.
Appeals may be made against decisions ordering an interim measure by the party who does not agree with the measure ordered. Likewise, if the court rejects an application for an interim measure, the claimant has the right to appeal against this decision. The court with jurisdiction to hear the appeal submitted is the relevant appeal court, i.e. the second-instance court superior to the first-instance court that ordered the interim measure.
Appeals against decisions ordering an interim measure must be made at the court whose decision is being contested within 15 days of receipt of the decision. Appeals do not have suspensory effect.Top
Last update: 26-04-2007