There are various kinds of deadline under Austrian law.
Firstly, a distinction is drawn between procedural and substantive deadlines. Procedural deadlines (deadlines for action) are deadlines by which a party to the legal action or a person associated with it in some other way can or must carry out a particular legal measure. Substantive deadlines are deadlines by which a particular event must have taken place if certain substantive consequences are to follow on from it under the legal system (e.g. the deadline for complaints in matters of possession under Section 454 of the Judicial Code [ZPO] or the deadlines for giving notice under the law on renting under Section 560 of the Judicial Code). An important point is that the time taken by the postal service is not included in procedural deadlines (the situation is different for substantive deadlines). This means that, where a procedural deadline is concerned, an action is brought in time if it is posted on the last day of the period allowed (date as postmarked), even if it does not reach the court until a long time after the deadline.
Legal, judicial and inquiry deadlines:
Under Austrian law, a distinction is also drawn between situations in which the period allowed is directly determined by the law (e.g. deadlines for bringing actions) and those in which it is determined by the judge in accordance with the requirements of the individual case (e.g. the deadline for lodging security to cover costs). The inquiry deadlines represent a combination of both situations; in this case the law merely stipulates a particular framework (minimum and maximum duration or an approximate value, as in Section 257(1) of the Judicial Code, for the convening of a preparatory meeting).
Absolute deadlines are determined by the time at which they end (usually a calendar day); whereas the beginning and duration are given relative deadlines.
Deadlines can usually be extended by the judge (extensible deadlines). Exceptional cases in which the law prohibits extension are known as non‑extensible or mandatory deadlines (e.g. deadlines for commencing actions).
The distinction between changeable and non‑changeable deadlines is based on whether reversion to the previous state of affairs is possible in the event of failure to meet a deadline. As a general rule, deadlines can be altered; however, if reversion to the previous situation is prohibited - an exceptional situation - the deadline is known as a preclusive period or ad hoc deadline. Procedural preclusive periods include the deadline for complaints relating to revocation and for complaints concerning the resumption of proceedings (Section 534 of the Judicial Code).
The non-working days in Austria are Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday and legal holidays: New Year's Day (1.1.), Epiphany (6.1.), Easter Monday, May Day (1.5.), Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Corpus Christi, Assumption (15.8.), Austrian National Day (26.10.), All Saints' Day (1.11.), the feast of the Immaculate Conception (8.12.), Christmas Day (25.12.) and St Stephen's Day (26.12.).
Most provisions relating to deadlines may be found in Sections 123-129 and Sections 140-143 of the Judicial Code (ZPO) and Section 89 of the Court Organisation Act (GOG).
The starting point is generally the moment at which the service of the decision determining or giving rise to the deadline takes effect; in other cases it is the moment at which that decision is announced (Section 124 of the Judicial Code).
No. As set out under point 4, the day of service is generally the event giving rise to a procedural deadline. This has nothing to do with the way in which service is carried out.
The limited period starts with the service or announcement of the decision stipulating or giving rise to the said period.
No, the limited period does not include the day on which the event giving rise to that period (e.g. service of the relevant document) occurs.
Does the starting time for any time limit depend in any way on the receipt by or knowledge of the action by the recipient? If so, how?
Time limits are calculated in calendar days.
For example, if a person must act or is served a document on Monday, 4 April 2005 and he or she is requested to answer within 14 days of service, does this mean that he or she is required to answer before:
i) Tuesday, 19 April (the last day available for the answer is Monday, 18 April).
Time limits are calculated in calendar days in these cases too.
Periods of one week, one month or one year end on the day in the last week or month which corresponds in name or number to the first day of the period in question (Section 125(2) of the Judicial Code). If there is no such day in the last month of the period in question (if, for example, a one-month period begins on 31 January), the period ends on the last day of the last month (Section 125(2) of the Judicial Code). Non-working days have no bearing on the beginning and the duration of limited periods of time.
Are there any starting points for time limits which apply exceptionally or particularly in certain civil procedures?
Yes. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, public holiday or Good Friday, it does not end until the first following working day.
Is this extension applicable even when the period in question has a future event as a starting point?
This does not apply to Austria.
This does not apply to Austria.
The deadlines for appeal depend, as a matter of principle, on the type of decision (judgment or decision) and the nature of the case. In civil cases the deadline for one type of appeal (Rekurs) is generally 14 days, while the deadline for another type (Berufung) is four weeks.
Deadlines can usually be extended by the court. In those exceptional cases in which the law prohibits extension, they are known as non-extensible or mandatory deadlines (e.g. appeal deadlines).
All deadlines can be shortened by agreement between the parties concerned, for which documentary evidence must be produced. The court can decide to shorten a deadline at the request of one of the parties if it is credibly demonstrated that this is needed in order to avoid potential substantial drawbacks, and if the party whose actions are subject to that deadline is readily able to take the legal proceedings concerned within the shortened deadline (Section 129 of the Judicial Code).
A deadline can be extended on request if the party benefiting from the extension has unavoidable and very serious reasons for being unable to carry out the legal proceedings covered by the deadline in good time, and, in particular, if it would suffer irreparable damage if the deadline were not extended (Section 128(2) of the Judicial Code). Deadlines cannot be extended on the basis of an agreement between the parties (Section 128(1) of the Judicial Code).
No, because the issue at stake here is the timeliness of legal proceedings in relation to an Austrian court.
As a general rule, failure to comply with an element of legal proceedings results in the party concerned being excluded from the following stage of legal proceedings (preclusive effect, Section 144 of the Judicial Code). There are some exceptions, including Section 289(2) of the Judicial Code (concerning the consequences of failure to appear for the hearing of the evidence) and Section 491 of the Judicial Code (concerning the consequences of failure to appear for appeal proceedings).
Delayed legal proceedings are generally be rejected on legal grounds, although in some cases they may be rejected on the basis of an application only.
Failure to comply may also have particular consequences in addition to its usual results. These vary very considerably. The most significant particular consequence of failure to comply is that where one party fails to comply, the other party can apply for a judgment by default on grounds of failure to comply (Sections 396 and 442 of the Judicial Code). To give a further example, under Section 170 of the Judicial Code, failure by both parties to appear in court results in the suspension of proceedings (for at least three months). Should the complainant in matrimonial proceedings fail to appear, the complaint is declared withdrawn but not abandoned, at the request of the accused party (Section 460 Z 5 of the Judicial Code).
The following remedies are available to expunge the legal consequences of failure to appear in court or to carry out an act that comprises part of legal proceedings:
Last update: 24-05-2007