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Procedural time limits - Czech Republic

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Various types of deadlines applicable under the various procedural rules in civil matters; 1.
1.a) substantive law periods 1.a)
1.b) procedural law periods 1.b)
1.c) limitation periods 1.c)
1.d) prescription periods 1.d)
2. List of the various days envisaged as non-working days pursuant to the Regulation (EEC, Euratom) n° 1182/71 of 3 June 1971. 2.
3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the various civil procedures? 3.
4. When an act or a formality has to be carried out within a given period, what is the starting time - i.e. the initial moment from which the period runs ("terminus a quo") - of this act or of this formality? 4.
4.a) Can the starting point from which the period runs be affected or modified by the method of transmission or service of documents (personal service by a huissier or postal service? 4.a)
5. From when does this period begin to run: 5.
5.a) When such a period is expressed in days, does the actual date of the act, of the event, of the decision or of the [date of service and/or intimation which begins it count? 5.a)
5.b) When a time limit is expressed in days, does the indicated number of days include calendar days or only working days? 5.b)
5.c) When such a period is expressed in months or in years? 5.c)
5.d) When do such deadlines expire? 5.d)
6. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday or non-working day, is it extended until the first following working day? 6.
7. When the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in the mainland territory of the Member State (for those which comprise entities apart from the metropolis or have geographically separate entities 1), are deadlines increased for persons who live/reside in one of these entities or for those which live/reside abroad? If in the affirmative for how long ? 7.
8. Conversely, when the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in one of these entities distinct geographically from the mainland, are deadlines increased for persons who do not live/reside in these entities or for persons who live/reside abroad? 8.
9. Are there time limits for appeals specific to certain civil matters? 9.
10. Can courts, in an emergency or for any other cause, shorten the appearance time limits or fix a special date for appearance? Conversely can such periods be extended? 10.
11. When an act intended for a party resident in a place where he/she would benefit from an extension of a time limit is notified in a place where those who reside there do not benefit from such an extension, does this person lose the benefit of such a time limit? 11.
12. What are the sanctions in case of non-observance of the periods? 12.
13. If the deadline expires, what remedies are available to defaulting parties? 13.

 

1. Various types of deadlines applicable under the various procedural rules in civil matters;

Periods of prescription and limitation are governed by the substantive law of the Czech Republic. Art. 122 of the Civil Code mentioned below contains general rules for calculation of time limits (which apply also to prescription and limitation, however not to procedural law periods). There is not any provision on time limits concerning procedural rules in civil matters in the Constitution.

There is a difference in the concept of termination of the substantive law period (under which a duty has to be executed by the last date of the period otherwise it comes under the statute of limitation) contrarily to the procedural law period where e.g. an appeal has to be handed over to the post by no later than on the last date of the period.

1.a) substantive law periods

Civil Code (Act No. 40/1964 Coll.), § 122 – general rule for counting the time limits

  1. A time period specified in days shall start running on the day after it came to the event decisive for commencement of the period. Half of a month shall be defined as fifteen days.
  2. A time period specified in weeks, months or years shall end on the day whose name or number is identical with the day when it came to the event from that the period is reckoned. If there is no such day in the last month, the time period shall end on its last day.
  3. Should the end of the period fall to Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday, the time period shall end on the nearest working day.
1.b) procedural law periods

Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.), § 55 et sequentia

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Time Limits

§ 55

If this act does not establish a time limit for carrying out a task, the president of the senate determines the time limit, if it is necessary. The president of the senate can extend the time limit that he or she has set.

§ 56

  1. A time limit does not start to run in relation to a person who has lost the eligibility to be a participant of the proceedings or the eligibility to act before the court, or in relation to a person who the court has decided must be represented by a legal representative (§ 23).
  2. If in proceedings another participant, a legal representative, or the guardian of the participant enters the proceedings, a time limit starts to run against that person from the time at which the person entered the proceedings.

§ 57

  1. The day on which the circumstances that determined the start of the time limit period occurred is not counted into the period of the time limit; this does not apply if the time limit period is set in terms of number of hours.
  2. Time limit periods set in terms of weeks or years end on the day which is the same date as the day on which the circumstances which determined the start of the time limit period occurred, and if there is no such day in the month, on the last day of the month. If the end of the period falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday, the last day of the time limit is the first subsequent working day. Time limit periods set in hours end on the hour that is identical in designation with the hour when the fact determining the start of the time limit occurred.
  3. A time limit period is complied with, if on the last day of the period the task is performed at court or the submission is handed over to the body which has the duty to deliver it.

§ 58

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  1. The court shall excuse failure to meet a time limit, if the participant or his representative failed to meet it for excusable reasons and was as a result excluded from an act he was entitled to. It is necessary to place the submission within fifteen days after the reason has ceased to exist and it should be accompanied by the missed act.
  2. A court can recognize a delayed submission of a participant, so that the failure to meet a time limit is excused.
1.c) limitation periods

Civil Code (Act No. 40/1964 Coll.), § 101 et sequentia

§ 101

Unless anything else is stipulated in the following provisions, the limitation period shall be three years long and shall start running from the day when the right could be exercised for the first time.

§ 102

 As for rights that are to be asserted at first with an individual or a legal entity, the limitation period shall start running from the day when the right was asserted in this way.

§ 103

If the parties agreed on instalment performance, the limitation period of the individual instalments shall start running from their due day. If the whole debt becomes due because of non-fulfilment of one instalment (§ 565), the limitation period shall start running from the due day of the non-fulfilled instalment.

§ 104

cancelled

§ 105

As for right of the lawful heir to demand surrendering the inheritance (§ 485), the limitation period shall start running from the moment when the decision finishing the inheritance proceedings became final and conclusive.

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§ 106

  1. Right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred in two years from the day when the damaged person learnt of the damage and of the liable person.
  2. The right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred no later than in three years and, as for damages caused by intention, in ten years from the day when it came to the event from that the damage arose; this rule shall not apply to damages to health.
  3. If the damage was caused by violation of the legal obligation consequent to corruption, the right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred no later than in three years from the moment when the damaged person learnt of the damage and of the liable person, at latest in ten years from the day of the corruption behavior.

§ 107

  1. Right to demand surrendering of an unjustified enrichment shall become statute-barred within two years from the day when the entitled person learnt of the unjustified enrichment and of the enriched person.
  2. The right to demand surrendering of the unjustified enrichment shall become statute-barred no later than in three years and, as for an unjustified enrichment gained by intention, in ten years from the day when it came thereto.
  3. If participants of an invalid or cancelled agreement are obliged to return to one another all that they received according to it, the court shall take the limitation plea into consideration only if also the other participant could appeal to the statute of limitation.

§ 108

Rights from transport shall become statute-barred within one year except for rights to compensation of damages from the transport of persons.

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§ 109

Right corresponding to an easement shall become statute-barred unless it is exercised for ten years.

§ 110

  1. A right that was awarded by a final and conclusive decision of the court or other authority shall become statute-barred within ten years from the day when the liable party was to perform according to the decision. A right that was acknowledged by the debtor in writing as for its title and sum shall become statute-barred within ten years from the day when it came to the acknowledgement; however, if a performance period was mentioned in the acknowledgement, the limitation period shall start running from the lapse of this performance period.
  2. The same limitation period shall apply also to individual instalments into that the performance was divided in the decision or the acknowledgement; the limitation period of the individual instalments shall start running from their due day. If the whole debt becomes due because of non-fulfillment of one instalment (§ 565), the ten-year limitation period shall start running from the due day of the non-fulfilled instalment.
  3. Interest and repeated performance shall become statute-barred within three years; however, if they were finally and conclusively awarded or acknowledged in writing, this limitation period shall apply only to interest and repeated performance that became due after the decision became final and conclusive or after the acknowledgement was done.

Commercial Code (Act No. 519/1991 Coll.) § 397 provides the prescription period of 4 years in cases governed by this code.

Unless this Code provides otherwise with regard to individual rights, the period of the statute of limitations is four years.

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1.d) prescription periods

Civil Code (Act No. 40/1964 Coll.), § 134

  1. A lawful possessor shall become owner of a thing if he holds the thing uninterruptedly for at least three years as for movable things and for at least ten years as for a real estate property.
  2. Ownership to things that cannot be subject to ownership or to things that can be owned only by the state or legal entities specified by an act (§ 125) cannot be acquired in this way.  
  3. The period mentioned in paragraph 1 shall include the period during that legal ancestor lawfully held the thing. 
  4. Provisions regulating the course of the limitation period shall adequately apply to the commencement and course of the period under paragraph 1.

2. List of the various days envisaged as non-working days pursuant to the Regulation (EEC, Euratom) n° 1182/71 of 3 June 1971.

Act No. 245/2000 Coll., on Public Holidays:

01.01. Restoration of the Czech Independence Day; New Year's Day

Easter Monday

01.05. Labour Day

08.05. Liberation Day

05.07. Cyril and Method Day

06.07. Jan Hus Day

28.09. St. Wenceslas Day (Czech Statehood Day)

28.10. Independent Czechoslovak State Day

17.11. Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day

24.12. Christmas Eve

25.12. Christmas Day

26.12. Boxing Day

3. What are the applicable general rules on time limits for the various civil procedures?

See answer 1 b).

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4. When an act or a formality has to be carried out within a given period, what is the starting time - i.e. the initial moment from which the period runs ("terminus a quo") - of this act or of this formality?

Usually the starting time is the day which follows the day of a certain event.

4.a) Can the starting point from which the period runs be affected or modified by the method of transmission or service of documents (personal service by a huissier or postal service?

No.

5. From when does this period begin to run:

5.a) When such a period is expressed in days, does the actual date of the act, of the event, of the decision or of the [date of service and/or intimation which begins it count?

See answer 4.

[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?]

For the time limit concerning the compensation of damage see § 106 of the Civil Code (Act No. 40/1964 Coll.)

§ 106

  1. Right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred in two years from the day when the damaged person learnt of the damage and of the liable person.
  2. The right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred no later than in three years and, as for damages caused by intention, in ten years from the day when it came to the event from that the damage arose; this rule shall not apply to damages to health.
  3. If the damage was caused by violation of the legal obligation consequent to corruption, the right to compensation of damage shall become statute-barred no later than in three years from the moment when the damaged person learnt of the damage and of the liable person, at latest in ten years from the day of the corruption behavior.

For the time limit concerning an appeal according to the § 204 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.), the time limit is 15 days from the service of the judgment.

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§ 204

  1. The appeal may be filed within fifteen days after the delivery of a written execution of a decision with the court against whose decision the appeal is directed. If the court issued a correcting ruling concerning a verdict of a decision, this period shall start running again after the correcting ruling became final and conclusive.
  2. The appeal shall be considered timely if it was filed after the lapse of the fifteen-day period because the appealing person followed an incorrect instruction of the court concerning the appeal. If the decision contains no instruction about the appeal, about the appeal period or about the court with whom the appeal is to be filed or if the decision contains an incorrect instruction that no appeal is admissible, the appeal may be filed within three months after the delivery.
  3. Pardoning missing the period of appeal shall be decided by the first instance court. Missing the period of appeal shall not be pardoned in case of an appeal against a decision pronouncing that a marriage is divorced, null or non-existent; the provision of paragraph 2 second sentence shall not apply to these cases.

A default judgement  according to the § 153b of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.)

§153b

  1. If the lawsuit and the writ of summons were duly and personally (§ 45) delivered to the defendant at least ten days or, in the cases referred to in § 118b, thirty days before the day when the meeting is to take place, if the defendant was warned against the consequences of non appearing in the meeting and if he misses the first meeting to take place in the case without a well-grounded and timely apologize, the actor's statements in the lawsuit concerning factual circumstances of the dispute shall be considered indisputable; on that basis, the court may decide on the lawsuit by a default judgment if it is proposed by the actor.

Order for payment according to the § 172 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.)

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§172

  1. The court can issue an order for payment even without the explicitly request of the plaintiff and without hearing the respondent, if the complaint includes the right for a monetary payment, and the right stems from facts stated by the plaintiff. In the order for payment the respondent is asked to pay the claimed receivable and the costs of proceedings within 15 days from receipt of the order for payment, or within the same time limit to oppose the order at the court which issued it.
  2. It is not possible to issue an order for payment:
    1. if the subject matter concerned is one that a senate should hear and decide upon;
    2. if the whereabouts of the respondent are not known;
    3. if the order for payment should be delivered to the respondent abroad.
  3. If the court does not issue an order for payment, it orders a hearing.

It is also possible to file a suit for retrial in accordance with the § 233 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.), the time limit is 3 months from the day when the person who is proposing the suit learnt of the reason of the retrial, or from the moment when he could invoke it; however, the course of this period shall not end before the lapse of three months from the day when the contested decision became final and conclusive.

Also, a nullity suit may be filed in accordance with the § 234 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.), with the time limit of 3 months from the delivery of the contested decision.

A recourse may be filed ain accordance with the § 240 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.), the time limit is 2 months from the delivery of the decision of the court of appeal.

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5.b) When a time limit is expressed in days, does the indicated number of days include calendar days or only working days?

It includes calendar days, however, if the time limit is to expire on Saturday or Sunday, see answer 6.

For example, if a person must act or is served a document on Monday 4th of April 2005 and he or she is requested to answer within 14 days from service, does this mean that he or she shall answer before:

i) Monday, 18th of April (calendar days)

14 days can be seen as 2 weeks, therefore the below mentioned article applies.

§ 57 Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.)

(2) Time limit periods set in terms of weeks or years end on the day which is the same date as the day on which the circumstances which determined the start of the time limit period occurred, and if there is no such day in the month, on the last day of the month. If the end of the period falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday, the last day of the time limit is the first subsequent working day. Time limit periods set in hours end on the hour that is identical in designation with the hour when the fact determining the start of the time limit occurred.

5.c) When such a period is expressed in months or in years?

By interpreting § 122/2 of the Civil Code, the period starts on the next day after the event (expressly defined is only its ending) – see answer 1 a).

5.d) When do such deadlines expire?

See answer 1 a), § 122/2 of the Civil Code.

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Are there any starting points for time limits which apply exceptionally or particularly in certain civil procedures?

No.

6. If the period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday or non-working day, is it extended until the first following working day?

Yes (§ 122/3 of the Civil Code).

Is this extension applicable even when the period in question has as a starting point a future event?

Yes.

7. When the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in the mainland territory of the Member State (for those which comprise entities apart from the metropolis or have geographically separate entities 1), are deadlines increased for persons who live/reside in one of these entities or for those which live/reside abroad? If in the affirmative for how long ?

This situation does not concern the Czech Republic.

8. Conversely, when the request is taken to a jurisdiction which has its seat in one of these entities distinct geographically from the mainland, are deadlines increased for persons who do not live/reside in these entities or for persons who live/reside abroad?

This situation does not concern the Czech Republic.

9. Are there time limits for appeals specific to certain civil matters?

No. For regular time limit to file an appeal, see answer 5 a).

10. Can courts, in an emergency or for any other cause, shorten the appearance time limits or fix a special date for appearance? Conversely can such periods be extended?

No.

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The institute of summons is governed by the following provisions of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.):

§ 115

(2) A summons must be delivered to participants in such a way that they have enough time for preparation, as rule at least ten days in matters given in § 118b, and at least thirty days before the hearing is due to take place.

§ 118b

(1) In matters concerning the protection of personality in accordance with the Civil Code, in matters relating to protection against publication of information such as the abuse of freedom of expression, speech, and the press, and possibly the protection of the rights of third parties in accordance with laws on the mass media, in disputes arising from bankruptcy and settlement, matters concerning the facts in disputes on the protection of economic competition, the facts in disputes on the protection of the rights breached or endangered by unfair competition, the facts in disputes arising from the breaching or endangering of rights to trade secrecy and in other cases given by the law, the participants can introduce facts about the matter itself relevant for the decision and designate evidence to prove them at the latest by the end of the first hearing that takes place concerning them; facts and evidence introduced later are not taken into account. This does not apply, if the facts or evidence concerned are aimed at casting doubt on the credibility of items of introduced means of evidence and occurred (arose) after the first hearing, or if the participant could not introduce them in time through no fault of their own.

(2) The participants must be instructed, in the summons to the first hearing, of the duties in accordance with paragraph 1 and of the consequences of not fulfilling these duties.

11. When an act intended for a party resident in a place where he/she would benefit from an extension of a time limit is notified in a place where those who reside there do not benefit from such an extension, does this person lose the benefit of such a time limit?

This situation does not concern the Czech Republic.

12. What are the sanctions in case of non-observance of the periods?

Non-observance of (usually) substantive law periods leads to the fact that the right comes under the statute of limitation or preclusion, meaning that the right is no longer enforceable by law.

In the case of procedural law periods, non-observance leads to the extinction of the legal right.

13. If the deadline expires, what remedies are available to defaulting parties?

For the procedural law periods see answer 1 b), § 58 of the Civil Procedure Code (Act No. 99/1963 Coll.). For substantive law periods (defined in the Civil Code) there are no remedies.

Further information

________________________

1 For example: The Azores or Madeira for Portugal, the Departments and territories overseas for France, the Canary Islands for Spain etc....)

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Last update: 16-04-2007

 
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