There is no specific rule in Hungarian national law regarding the digitalisation of the enforcement of the ESCP judgments. During the enforcement proceedings, contacts with the court are essentially governed by the provisions of point 3 of this report.
Contact with a bailiff is possible by post or electronically. However, unlike those described in point 3 of this report, bailiffs operate their own electronically system: the Electronic System for the Service of Enforcement Documents (VIEKR). To use the system, you need to register separately, the link to this: https://mbvk.hu/szolgaltatasok/viekr-regisztracio/viekr-regisztracio-urlap/ (only available in Hungarian)
ESCP Procedural Aspects
1. Competent Enforcement Authority
Enforcement orders in Hungary may be issued, in cases falling within the scope of the Regulation, by the district court operating at the seat of the regional court in the territory of which the debtor is domiciled; in the absence of this, the district court operating at the location of the assets that may be subject to enforcement, at the location of a Hungarian branch office of a company registered abroad, or, in the case of direct commercial representation, at the location of the branch or agency; and in Budapest, the Buda Central District Court.
As a general rule, enforcement is implemented by an independent court bailiff in judicial enforcement proceedings. In enforcing money claims, the asset rights of the debtor are restricted to allow collection of the claim. The bailiff may subject the bank account held with the financial service provider, the wage, tangible property (motor vehicle) or real estate of the debtor to enforcement. The bailiff will hold an auction to sell the seized tangible property and the real estate, if the statutory conditions are met.
General information on the Hungarian enforcement procedure is available on the official website of the courts: https://birosag.hu/en/enforcement-proceedings.
2. Rules on Service
Pursuant to Article 13(1) of the Regulation, during the proceedings, documents are served by post. There is only one postal service provider in Hungary, official link: https://www.posta.hu. The fee for the service of an official document is approx. €8 – €10.
In Hungary, electronic service within the meaning of Article 13(1)(b) of the Regulation is excluded in civil proceedings. However, electronic communication within the meaning of Article 13(2) of the Regulation exists in Hungarian law. In order to ensure that communication with the court in court proceedings is carried out as comprehensively as possible and preferably electronically, the Code of Civil Procedure makes electronic communication with the court possible and partly mandatory. Therefore, under the Code of Civil Procedure, clients or their representatives may choose to communicate electronically, or, if they are required to do so, they must communicate with the court by electronic means. Clients communicating electronically send the request form, as well as all other submissions and documentary evidence, to the court using the form submission support service (by filling in electronic forms that meet technical specifications and by successfully identifying themselves electronically). There is no extra charge for the use of electronic communications.
Electronic communication with the courts takes place through three channels of communication:
– Mailbox requiring registration in the Central Customer Registration System;
– Official Mailbox (reserved for the official electronic communication for administrative bodies);
– Company Portal (a storage space considered as a secure service address available for business organisations and individual lawyers, European Community lawyers and individual patent attorneys).
Clients communicating electronically are notified by email of the receipt of documents, and access the documents by clicking on link to the document. Clicking on the link creates an electronic acknowledgment of receipt indicating the name of the sender and the addressee, the number of the case and the date of receipt of the document, and is sent both to the court and to the clients communicating electronically. The electronic acknowledgment of receipt and the postal acknowledgment of receipt referred to in Code of Civil Procedure meet the requirements of acknowledgments of receipt in Article 13(1) of the Regulation.
3. Language of the Certificate and Documents to be Appended
Pursuant to Section 113(2) of the CCP, all documents must, as a general rule, be submitted in Hungarian during the enforcement proceedings, and according to Paragraph 62 of the CCP, as a general rule, it is sufficient to use a simple translation.
4. Enforcement Fees
The order of judicial enforcement falls within the jurisdiction of the court, therefore a court fee must be paid. The amount of the court fee is 1% of the value of the subject matter pursuant to Section 42(1)(d) of Act XCIII of 1990 on fees, with a minimum of HUF 5,000 (about €12,5). After the order of enforcement, the bailiff is entitled to an advance payment at the beginning of the proceedings, the detailed rules are set out in Decree No 8/2021 of 29 October 2021 of SZTFH on executive fees. The amount of the advance is, as a general rule, 50% of the bailiff’s fees and flat rates, a minimum of HUF 9,000 (about €22,5) and a maximum of HUF 85,000 (about €212,5). For example, the amount of the advance payment is approximately €125 for a cash claim of €5,000. The advance payment shall be paid at the request of the bailiff, as a general rule by bank transfer. In the event of effective enforcement, of course, this amount will be paid definitively by the debtor.
5. Refusal, Stay, or Limitation of Enforcement Procedures
In connection with Article 22 of the Regulation (Refusal of enforcement), the procedure laid down in Sections 211 to 212 of Act LIII of 1994 on Judicial Enforcement applies: withdrawal of the enforcement sheet. There is no standard form for submitting this application, no court fees are payable. The application must be made to the court ordering enforcement. The court’s order is subject to appeal. If the enforcement sheet is withdrawn by the court, the enforcement procedure is terminated, and a situation must be created as if the enforcement procedure had not even been initiated (in integrum restitutio).
In the cases referred to in Article 23 of the Regulation, the court is not obliged to stay the enforcement proceeding, therefore the application must be justified in detail, the decision depends on the discretion of the court. The court may hear the parties orally or in writing on the subject of the application. The court decides on the stay of enforcement within 15 days, the suspension is communicated immediately to the bailiff. The stay of enforcement shall take effect at the time when the order is made. The court’s order can be challenged on appeal. The justification for maintaining the stay of enforcement shall be reviewed by the court ordering the stay at the reasoned request of either party. Suspended enforcement may continue on the action of the court which ordered the stay. Where the court suspends enforcement at the request of the debtor pursuant to Article 23 (a) of the Regulation, the stay shall, in the case of enforcement of a monetary claim, cover the attachment of the debtor’s wages, the drawing up of a notice of sale of movable property and immovable property, the sale of assets and the payment of sums received during enforcement; the other enforcement acts shall also be taken during the period of suspension.
The national rules relating to the stay or limitation of enforcement proceedings are set out in Paragraphs 48 to 51 of Act LIII of 1994 on Judicial Enforcement.
The Hungarian national procedural law contains, to the extent necessary, subsidiary provisions relating to the Regulation. The enforcement of ESCP judgments is properly regulated in legal terms, but the author of this report is of the opinion that, under the current rules, it would be very difficult for a person seeking enforcement from another Member State to initiate the Hungarian enforcement procedure without a Hungarian legal representative.
The solution could be to create an online platform capable of ordering the enforcement procedure in all Member States by filling in an online application and submitting it electronically.