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What the courts do during the vacation…

2013-07

The Courts Act (ZS) provides a period of so-called judicial vacations. This lasts every year from July 15 to August 15 and during that time the courts only hear and decide on urgent matters (as provided by the ZS). That also means that the courts in that period do not serve any written submissions or applications, which is why clients or their authorised representatives can expect to receive them a week after August 15 (some of the judges are, during the period of judicial vacations, present at the workplace in any case, as they do not necessarily use the annual leave during that time).

Process periods do not run during the judicial vacation period, i.e. deadlines set for performing procedural measures, such as the submission of legal actions (appeals, objections, and other applications).

In the event the court is submitted court documents before the judicial vacation period, the process running period, which would otherwise expire during the judicial vacation period, stops running on July 15 and continues to run on August 16.

If such court documents are submitted during the period of judicial vacations, the process period starts to run on the next working day after the judicial vacation period, thus, August 16.

It is necessary to distinguish process running periods from material periods, i.e. periods, whose expiry entails the termination of the right itself. These run (and can expire) during the period of judicial vacations. To avoid the consequences of the expiry of such material period, appropriate legal action (e.g. a lawsuit) must be submitted or filed during the period of judicial vacations as well. Lawsuits, proposals for execution, and other legal means can be submitted during the period of judicial vacations as well.

Urgent matters are exempt from the above-described regulation during the judicial vacation period, as courts nonetheless hear and decide on such matters, and also serve written documents due to which process periods begin to run. ZS and other regulations provide that the urgent matters include:

  1. investigations and trials in criminal and violation cases in which the accused is deprived of their liberty or such is restricted, and in criminal matters involving aliens who do not reside in the Republic of Slovenia;
  2. proceedings involving insurance matters (e.g. proceedings on temporary injunctions);
  3. non-litigation and execution matters related to the upbringing and care of children and maintenance obligations arising from the law,
  4. non-litigation matters on the detention of persons in psychiatric healthcare institutions;
  5. billing and checking disputes and billing lawsuits (i.e. eventually served execution orders on the basis of a bill of exchange or a check, where the time for appeal is limited to only 3 days!);
  6. disputes on the publication of corrected published information;
  7. an inventory of a decedent’s assets;
  8. composition and bankruptcy cases;
  9. other matters, provided by law.

…and administrative bodies?

Regulations that regulate administrative and similar procedures (tax, customs proceedings) do not determine any administrative vacations. The ZS provision that provides that process periods do not run and that written documents are not to be served during the period of judicial vacations only relates to procedures conducted by courts, but not to administrative procedures as well.