2012/7/17 - 28 Nd 195/2012 (summary)

Czech Republic – Supreme Court – Decision No. 28 Nd 195/2012 – July 17, 2012

(Council Regulation No. 44/2001 EC – Article 24 – international jurisdiction)

The Plaintiff, a banking house (CZ) sought that the Defendant, a national of Slovakia, be ordered to pay CZK 9,028.22 under a loan agreement entered into between the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The Defendant was in default of payment of loan installments. As a result, the Plaintiff eventually terminated the loan agreement. The District Court (CZ) ruled in its resolution that it did not have local jurisdiction to hear the case and referred the case to the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, stating that the Defendant had, at the time of the filing of the petition, a permanent address in the Slovak Republic. With reference to Article 16(2) and Article 26 of the Brussels I Regulation, the referring court arrived at the legal opinion that until the defendant expresses his will not to submit to the jurisdiction of the Czech courts, the international jurisdiction is deemed to have been established by the lack of conditions for the determination of local jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, being aware of Article 16 and Article 24 of the Brussels I Regulation, determined that the case, previously heard in a District Court, should be heard and decided by the same District Court, since the Defendant did not attempt, in his observations concerning the extraordinary appeal, to challenge the international jurisdiction of that court. For that reason, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic held that the Defendant, who should otherwise be (Article 16(2) of the Brussels I Regulation) sued in the court determined according to his place of residence in the Slovak Republic, thereby voluntarily submitted (within the meaning of Article 24 of the Brussels I Regulation) to the jurisdiction of that court in the Czech Republic and established the international jurisdiction of the Czech courts to hear the case.