Organisation of justice - Greece
There are two levels of jurisdiction:
First instance jurisdiction
The competent courts at this level are
a) the Courts of the Peace and
b) the Single- and Multi-Member Court of First Instance.
Courts of the peace
These courts have jurisdiction :
- over all disputes assessable in monetary terms whose value does not exceed € 5,900,
- over all disputes whether main or supplemental arising from rental agreements if the agreed rental fee for each month does not exceed € 290.
Regardless of the value of the item at dispute the following disputes are subject to the Courts of the Peace's jurisdiction:
- Crop-leases, in other words the leasing of an agricultural plot where the rental fee is agreed as a percentage of yield according to local custom, if no provision otherwise is made, which relate to the delivery and use of the
rented property or its return to its owner for any reason.
- Damage to trees, vines, fruit trees, crops, roots, and plants in general as a result of illegal grazing of animals or in any other manner.
- Restrictions on ownership, emission of fumes, vapours, smoke, heat or noise or other similar activities which derive from another real estate property if they significantly affect use of the property.
- Construction and maintenance of installations on an adjacent real estate property where it is certain that illegal activities are being carried on there.
- Risk of collapse of a structure or other works with threat of harm to an adjacent real estate property.
- Excavation of a neighbour's foundations to such an extent that that real estate property is deprived of the necessary support.
- Entry or growth (in the case of branches) of roots or branches of trees from an adjacent real estate property where they impede use of the real estate property affected.
- Fruit falling into an adjacent real estate property.
- Determination of the distances required by law or regulations or local customs for the planting of trees or orchards or erection of fences or digging of ditches.
- Obstructing the unrestricted use of roads or pathways as well as loss caused by such obstruction.
- Use of running water or obstruction of its use.
- Disputes arising from the activity of hoteliers or their guests as well as those persons in possession of stables, warehouses, depots, airports to animals, carriages, cars, airplanes and related items which guests bring with them.
- Claims of persons referred to or their assigns against their customers or their assigns.
- A contract for the carriage of persons by any means of transport for claims arising therefrom held by carriers, or agents or their assigns.
- Claims of unions and cooperatives against their members or their assigns for contributions owed as well as disputes relating to claims members have against unions or cooperatives or their assigns for financial or other benefits.
- Claims of attorneys at law or their assigns for fees and expenses where such fees and expenses relate to services provided by them before the Courts of the Peace or the Police Court.
- Fees or compensation or expenses of witnesses examined before any court or arbitrators as well as those disputes relating to fees or compensation or expenses of interpreters, escrow agents and bailiffs regardless of their
manner of appointment, and the assigns of all such persons.
- Disputes arising from the sale of animals due to true defects or absence of agreed characteristics.
Single-Member Court of First instance
Disputes which can be expressed in terms of monetary are subject to these courts where the value of the object at dispute is above € 5,900 but does not exceed € 44,000. Regardless of the value of the item at dispute, the Single-Member Court of First Instance has jurisdiction over:
- Disputes between professionals or small industries either between themselves or with their customers arising from the provision of work or goods manufactured by them.
- Disputes arising from a collective work agreement or provisions with similar effect to those of a collective agreement either between those bound by such agreements or between those persons and third parties.
- Disputes between social security organizations and persons insured with them or their successors or those persons who under law have rights deriving from the insurance relationship.
- Disputes relating to pay, remuneration and expenses of lawyers (apart from those disputes which relate to fees for services at trials before the Police Court or Court of the Peace), public notaries, lower attorneys pleading before Courts of the Peace who have been appointed in accordance with legal form, unsalaried court process servers, doctors, dentists, professional midwifes, veterinarians, engineers and chemists holding degrees from universities and higher schools, agents who have been appointed in accordance with legal form or the assigns of all such persons, regardless of how the relationship from which the matter arises is characterized and regardless of whether there is an agreement or not on fixing of the level of the fee or the manner in which it is to be paid.
- Disputes which relate to claims of arbitrators and executors of wills in relation to horizontal properties or administrators appointed by a judicial authority, liquidators of companies or legal entities, or the heirs and assigns of all the aforementioned persons for their fees and expenses regardless of whether there is an agreement or not on fixing of the level of the fee or the manner in which it is to be paid.
- Disputes relating to the percentage or payment of insurance premiums.
- Disputes relating to the fixing, reduction or increase in the contribution of both spouses to cover family maintenance needs which is due as a result of marriage, divorce or familial relationship, childbirth expenses and maintenance of an unmarried mother and maintenance of the mother from a share of an inheritance which had been bequeathed to the child she is carrying.
- Disputes relating to the fees, remuneration and expenses of experts, expert arbitrators and assessors regardless of the manner in which they were appointed, or their assigns.
- Disputes relating to claims for compensation in any form for losses from an automobile vehicle between the beneficiaries or their assigns and those obliged to compensate or their assign as well as claims from an automobile vehicle insurance contract between insurance companies and the insured, or their assigns.
- Disputes from challenges to ownership or possession of movable or immovable property.
- Disputes relating to the maintenance and guardianship of children as well as those relating to deciding on the location of the family home and the allocation of movable property between spouses in the case where they cease to co-habit.
- Disputes between owners of floors or apartments resulting from horizontal property relationships as well as disputes between administrators of buildings containing horizontal properties and owners of floors or apartments.
- Disputes relating to the quashing of decisions of general meetings of unions or cooperatives.
- Disputes arising from the leasing of objects or other profitable items or from crop-leases which do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Peace.
- Disputes arising from contracts of work or from any other cause relating to such work, between employees or their assigns or those to whom the law gives the right from the provision of work of the former, and employers and their assigns.
- Disputes arising from the provision of work under contract or from any other cause relating to that work between those who work together for the same employer.
Multi-member Court of First Instance
This court has jurisdiction over:
- All disputes over which the Courts of the Peace or the Single-Member Courts of First Instance do not have jurisdiction
- Appeals against the decisions of Courts of the Peace within their district.
Second Instance Jurisdiction
Appeals against the decisions of the Single-Member and Multi-Member Courts of First Instance within their district fall within the jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeal.
Supreme Court (Areios Pagos)
- The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear actions for cassation only on matters such as errors in law in decisions made by any civil court.
- Unless there is provision to the contrary petitions for referral, in the case of removal of judges from multi-member civil courts if the court which issued the decision challenged by the judicial remedy no longer exists.
The judicial remedies of re-opening of a default decision or the re-opening of a contested decision are tried by the court which issued the decision being challenged.
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