In the event of offences belonging to the field of civil law you have the right of recourse to county or city courts. Disputes related to contracts, family matters, succession law or property law disputes, matters relating to the activities and management of businesses and non-profit organisations, as well as intellectual property disputes, bankruptcy matters and labour law matters – this is a short list of matters adjudicated in county or city courts on the basis of the Code of Civil Procedure.
If you want to take recourse to a court for protection of your rights (or those of another person), you have to file a statement of claim with a court. Action means a civil claim which has been filed through a court. The person who files an action is called the plaintiff; the person against whom a claim has been filed is called the defendant.
Participants in proceedings are the parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) and third persons (the persons whose rights or obligations may be affected by a court decision). Advocates representing the parties, witnesses, experts and other persons are not considered participants in proceedings.
In addition to the aforementioned disputes, matters on petition are resolved in civil proceedings as well. Unlike in the event of actions where the obligation of proving and provision of evidence lies first and foremost with the parties, the role of the court in matters on petition is more active.
Matters on petition include the following:
- declaration of a person dead and establishment of time of death of a person;
- establishment of the fact that a person is missing and establishment of custody over the property of a missing person;
- appointment of guardian;
- extension of the restricted active legal capacity of a minor;
- establishment of filiation from a person after the death of the person;
- application of estate management measures;
- proceedings to void and restore bearer debt instrument;
- deciding on the return of a child on the basis of the Hague Convention of 25October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
In matters on petition the participants in proceedings are the petitioner and other persons interested in the matter (persons whose rights the petition may affect).
The participants in proceedings have the right to examine the file, make copies of the file, participate in court sessions, know the panel of the court hearing the matter, submit petitions of challenge and other applications, give statements to the court, submit reasons and considerations related to all questions which arise in the course of the hearing of the matter in court, submit evidence, participate in the inspection and examination of evidence, contest petitions, reasons and considerations submitted by other participants in the proceedings, submit questions to other participants in the proceedings, witnesses and experts, receive certified copies of court decisions prepared as separate documents, and file appeals against the judgement and court rulings on the basis of and pursuant to the procedure provided by law.
In addition to the rights specified above, a plaintiff has the right to amend the cause or object of an action, increase or decrease a claim or discontinue an action, and a defendant has the right to admit a claim. The parties may also settle a matter if such settlement is not contrary to the law.