2012/6/26 - 32 Nd 166/2012 (summary)

Czech Republic – Supreme Court – Decision No. 32 Nd 166/2012 – June 26, 2012

(enforcement of a judgment against a debtor – Council regulation No. 44/2001 EC – Article 22)

On February 3, 2012, a judicial enforcer filed, with a District Court (CZ), an application for authorization to carry out the enforcement of a judgment against a debtor with a permanent place of residence in Romania. The District Court held that it did not have local jurisdiction and referred the case to the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic to rule which court should hear and decide the case.

The claim being enforced occurred as a result of the conduct of the debtor, who, as a truck driver (with a permanent address in Romania) used the D2 Expressway (CZ) without a valid vignette, whereby he committed a driving offense, for which he was imposed a fine by the relevant administrative authority. According to Article 22(5) of the Brussels I Regulation, the courts of the country in which the judgment has been or is to be enforced have exclusive jurisdiction in proceedings concerned with the enforcement of judgments, regardless of domicile. Since the debtor is not domiciled in the Czech Republic and does not stay in the Czech Republic either, the court having local jurisdiction to hear and decide the case would be the court within the area of jurisdiction of which the debtor’s assets are located. The finding of whether or not the debtor actually has any assets in the Czech Republic that may be subject to enforcement is part of the fact-finding activities of the authorized judicial enforcer. In accordance with the principle of procedural economy, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic determined that the District Court before which the proceeding had been initiated had local jurisdiction to hear and decide the case.