EU court decisions can be recognized in Croatia, as this country is a member state of the European Union (EU). If a decision concerning a Croatian party was issued in another court located in one of the EU member states, it can be recognized under the local legislation in Croatia and then, enforced accordingly.
The recognition of a EU court decision can be used for cases related to debt collection in Croatia, where one party (the claimant) is located in a given EU country, while the other party (the debtor) is a Croatian entity. This situation can appear in a wide range of civil and commercial matters and our team of debt collection lawyers in Croatia can assist foreigners with legal advice on the legislation in the field.
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Which court establishes a legal decision?
The recognition of a EU court decision in Croatia designates the fact that the case refers to a cross-border situation, which involves two entities located in different EU states. As a general rule, in a debt collection case that involves a creditor and a debtor, the courts located in the country of residence of the creditors are the ones that are entitled to issue a decision regarding the case. This is established under the Brussels I Regulation.
What is the Brussels I Regulation?
The Brussels I Regulation is the main rule of law through which cross-border cases can be ruled, recognized and enforced in the countries that are members states of the EU. The regulation is addressed to both commercial and civil matters and it is also important to know that there is no minimum or maximum threshold on the value of the claim stipulated under this law, in order for its provisions to become legally applicable; our team of debt collection lawyers in Croatia may provide more information on its stipulations.
What should a claimant do for the recognition of a EU court decision in Croatia?
Under the stipulations of the Brussels Regulation, the decision that was ruled in an EU court has legal validity in the other European countries, but the claimant has to address to the local institutions in Croatia in order to enforce the respective decision. The decision that is established under a EU court is generally recognized in Croatia, but exemptions may apply. A claimant should expect to perform the following procedures:
- the claimant who has obtained a decision in his or her favor in a given EU country is the entity that has to address to the Croatian institutions;
- further on, the claimant must provide proof on the existence of the judgment;
- this is done through a certificate issued by the competent court in the EU, where the decision was taken;
- the claimant must also provide in-depth details on the judgment, as well as a copy of the judgment issued by the EU court, which requests the enforcement of the decision;
- although the EU court granted its final ruling concerning the case, the Croatian debtor is entitled to refuse the validity of the document;
- thus, the debtor can appeal the case in front of the Croatian courts.
What can a Croatian debtor do for the refusal of enforcement?
The recognition of a EU court decision in Croatia generally has as an effect the enforcement of the respective ruling, as long as debtor does not oppose to it. In the case in which the Croatian debtor refuses the recognition of the EU ruling, he or she can address to the municipal courts in the region where the person resides; these courts can be selected in civil matter cases, and our team of debt collection lawyers in Croatia can assist Croatian natural persons with further advice on the procedures imposed by the municipal courts.
Provided that the Croatian debtor refers to a legal entity and that the EU ruling concerns a commercial matter, the case can be addressed to the commercial courts in Croatia. Appeals on the ruling of the municipal courts can be addressed to county courts, while in the case on the decisions issued by the commercial courts in Croatia, the case can be further heard in the High Commercial Court.
In the case in which the Croatian debtor has completed the hearing in these two types of courts (High Commercial Court and county courts), it is necessary to know that the decisions of such courts will be final and that there are no other competent courts that may provide an additional ruling.
Thus, if these courts decided that the EU court decision is entitled, the party will be held liable and the enforcement procedures will start. The enforcement procedure in this country is done in accordance with the provisions of the Enforcement Act; our team of debt collection lawyers in Croatia can provide an extensive presentation on the obligations and rights debtors can have when they must repay their debts as a consequence of enforcement.