2012/8/30 - 20 Cdo 3785/2010 (summary)

Czech Republic – Supreme Court – Decision No. 20 Cdo 3785/2010 – August 30, 2012

(enforcement of a judgment – Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001)

In this case, a District Court declared a judgment rendered by a Dutch court based in Utrecht enforceable, and ordered enforcement against the property of the debtor. The appellate court then vacated the enforcement order and refused to order enforcement on the grounds of unenforceability of the judgment in accordance with Article 49 of the Brussels I Regulation, since the amount of the penalty related to the obligation to pay had not been finally determined.

The Supreme Court arrived at the conclusion that the creditor’s extraordinary appeal from the judgment of the appellate court was justified. The subject matter of the Supreme Court’s ruling was the question of whether or not the legal determination of the case under Article 49 of the Brussels I Regulation was erroneous. In assessing the enforceability of the judgment, the appellate court restricted its review only to the issue of final determination of the penalty, but did not take account of the fact that the judgment contains 7 statements, of which penalty is not the primary obligation. However, such incomplete assessment is not sufficient to examine enforceability. In the extraordinary appeal, the debtor also specified other claims that had not been addressed by the appellate court. By acting in that manner, the appellate court caused an error in the proceeding that may have resulted in erroneous determination of the case. For that reason, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic vacated the judgment of the appellate court and remanded the case for further proceedings, where it will be necessary to examine the justification of the claims raised by the debtor.