2016/5/26 - 21 Cdo 2826/2015 (summary)

Judgement of the Supreme Court dated 26 May 2016, file number 21 Cdo 2826/2015
(international jurisdiction, respondent’s action)

In this case the plaintiff applied for invalidation of a purchase contract under which his debtor transferred a real estate to a third party. The real estate should have been used to satisfy the plaintiff’s receivable. The real estate was transferred to the debtor’s daughter living in the Federal Republic of Germany. The plaintiff deduced jurisdiction of the courts of the Czech Republic from location of the real estate as it is located on the territory of the Czech Republic. However, the court of first instance stated that the courts of the Czech Republic had no international jurisdiction and discontinued the proceeding. The decision on discontinuation of the proceeding was affirmed by the appellate court in which the plaintiff sought vacation of the decision. According to the appellate court the defendant’s act (act of the plaintiff’s debtor’s daughter) may not have been considered delictual or quasi-delictual in accordance with Art. 5 para. 3 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001, and jurisdiction of the courts of the Czech Republic was not constituted by Art. 6 para. 4, Art. 22 para. 1 and Art. 24 of the given Regulation. The plaintiff filed an application for appellate review against the decision of the appellate court, in which he sought vacation of the decision. He argued that the defendant’s action was within the applicability of Art. 5 para. 3 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001, and there was close connection between the courts of the Czech Republic and the dispute, and considering the fact that it was decided on title to the real estate, jurisdiction of the courts of the Czech Republic may have been deduced from Art. 6 para. 4 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001.



The Supreme Court dismissed the application for appellate review filed by the plaintiff, and this way it affirmed the decisions of the lower courts on lack of the international jurisdiction of the courts of the Czech Republic. It based its decision on judicial decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union stating in similar cases that application of Art. 5 para. 3 of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 wasn’t possible because the respondent’s action does not aim at damages to be paid by the defendant. Aim of the respondent’s action is to prevent the effect of the act of disposition. Similarly, the Court concluded that deduction of international jurisdiction depending on the location of the real estate may not have been applied on respondent’s action. The Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that decision on the action authorized the creditor to satisfy itself in execution on the thing that was taken out of the debtor’s ownership. Subject matter of the dispute consisting in determination of ineffectiveness of the legal act was not the real estate itself or the rights related to it, but determination of ineffectiveness of the legal act. In the event of the respondent’s action in accordance with Section 42a of Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civil Code, effective since 31 December 2013, international jurisdiction may not be deduced from location of the thing that the challenged act related to.