Amendment to the Court Fees Act brings an increase in the costs of court proceedings
As of 28 June 2013, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia is reviewing a proposed amendment to the Court Fees Act (ZST-1), which is due to come into force this autumn. The Amendment imposes certain new fees, a change in the amount and method of assessment regarding some of the existing fees, and a change in the procedure for the exemption from, delay, or payment of fees in instalments. In this article we comment on the latest published draft of the Act’s amendment, which might change further during the legislative process.
The draft provides for the introduction of some “new” court fees, namely a court fee for the procedure on individual labour disputes of a financial nature, but also for a counter proposal regarding the enforcement of civil claims, for the procedure on a proposal for the entry of derived rights, which thus far have not been taxed, for the copying of documents from judicial files or from a collection of documents kept by an external provider, as well as for some other procedures.
The majority of the proposed changes determine a fee increase. The most important is the 10% rise in the general fee according to the value of the disputed subject (ZST-1, Article 16), as this fee is applicable for most court proceedings. The following will also increase: the fees for the procedure on marriage disputes and parent-child disputes, for procedures pursuant to the Enforcement and Securing of Civil Claims Act, (where increases are deemed to be the highest), the general fee for non-litigation procedures, and fees concerning inheritance, the procedure for preparing and depositing a will, and the procedure for determining compensation. For a better illustration of the effect of the changes, we have prepared the following table with some examples:
Procedure (some examples)
Court fees according to the current regulation
Court fees according to the new regulation
Proposal for enforcement in electronic form
Proposal for enforcement in written form
Litigation concerning a value amounting to €10,000.00
Individual labour disputes of a financial nature with a value of €10,000.00
Proposal for the entry of a material easement into the Land Register
The proposed amendment also contains a change in the procedure on the exemption from, delay, or payment of fees in instalments. Now only the recipients of social support are entitled to an exemption from the full fees, while others will only be partially exempted from paying fees, but will be able to delay or pay in instalments. Substantively, the conditions for the acceptance of a motion have thus been restricted, procedurally, however, the procedure will be somewhat eased. Furthermore, it will be now possible to file a motion until the expiry of the deadline for the payment of fees (hitherto, it was only possible until such obligation arose, e.g. upon the filing of the action).
Another proposal is a new way of assessing the court fees in the event of the accumulation of civil claims, in accordance with which in the event of a possible accumulation, the sum of the whole fee will have to be paid for the first claim, and only a third of the sum of the fee will have to be paid for every subsequent civil claim. In alternatively established civil claims, fees will only have to be paid for the claim which has the highest fee prescribed.
In an offences procedure, the court fee will not be determined following the finality of an imposed or rescinded sanction, but rather before such. Such fees and the deadline for the payment thereof will be determined in the decision on the offence or a decision on the legal remedy, which will include a request for the payment of the court fee and which will fall due upon the finality of the decision.