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Procedural costs advance

Effective from 1 January 2012 the institute of procedural costs advance was introduced in Slovak legal system.

It aims to reduce the number of trials and to ensure enforceability of the compensation of procedural costs. According to the legal diction, the number of trials should be reduced only in financial disputes, specifically if the enforced amount exceeds the 400 multiple of the living costs for one natural person of full age (currently EUR 198,09).

In connection with Section 141a code of civil procedure, the court will order a claimant who does not fulfill the conditions for being free from the procedural costs in whole extent and who claims a payment exceeding EUR 79 236 to deposit a procedural costs advance in the amount of 5% of the enforced amount (collaterals are not considered)within no longer than 60 days.

This means that the decision to issue the order does not depend on the assessment of the court. If the legal conditions are fulfilled, the court has to issue the order, whereas it can only do so if the defendant files a respective application. The court cannot issue the order from its own initiative or upon request of the claimant and cannot consider the specifics of the case.

If all conditions are fulfilled at the same time, the court will request the claimant to deposit the procedural costs advance and request the defendant to deposit an advance in the same amount. No appeal against this decision or against a decision repealing the defendant's request to order the procedural costs advance is possible.

If the claimant does not deposit the procedural costs advance and the defendant does, the court will end the proceeding within 15 days from the deadline for the deposit of the advance. The act does not explicitly solve situations, where the defendant does not deposit the advance or neither party does. Since in such cases the court has not legal reasons to end the proceeding, it will be duly continued. In this respect note, that the order to deposit procedural costs advance by the claimant is an enforcement order, cannot be dismissed and the court is obliged to enforce it towards the claimant. This does not apply to the defendant, since the court does not oblige the defendant to deposit the procedural costs advance with an order but only requests him to fulfill this obligation.

According to the statutory regulation an exception applies to the state and to persons for which the state is responsible and liable. These subjects (as claimants or defendants) are not obliged to deposit a procedural costs advance.