Judgments nº C-551/15 of Court of Justice, March 09, 2017

Issuing Organization:Court of Justice
Decision Number:C-551/15
Resolution Date:March 09, 2017
 
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(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Judicial cooperation in civil matters - Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 - Temporal and material scope- Civil and commercial matters - Enforcement proceedings relating to the recovery of an unpaid public parking debt - Included - Concept of ‘court’ - Notary who has issued a writ of execution based on an ‘authentic document’)

In Case C-551/15,

REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Općinski sud u Puli-Pola (Municipal Court of Pula, Croatia), made by decision of 20 October 2015, received at the Court on 23 October 2015, in the proceedings

Pula Parking d.o.o.

v

Sven Klaus Tederahn,

THE COURT (Second Chamber),

composed of M. Ilešič, President of the Chamber, A. Prechal, A. Rosas, C. Toader (Rapporteur) and E. Jarašiūnas, Judges,

Advocate General: M. Bobek,

Registrar: M. Aleksejev, Administrator,

having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 14 July 2016,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

- Pula Parking d.o.o., by M. Kuzmanović and S.L. Pacheco-Vinković, odvjetnici,

- S.K. Tederahn, by E. Zadravec, odvjetnik,

- the Croatian Government, by A. Metelko-Zgombić, acting as Agent,

- the German Government, by T. Henze and M. Hellmann, acting as Agents,

- the Swiss Government, by M. Schöll, acting as Agent,

- the European Commission, by C. Cattabriga, S. Ječmenica and M. Wilderspin, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 27 October 2016,

gives the following

Judgment

1 This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ 2012 L 351, p. 1).

2 The request has been made in enforcement proceedings between Pula Parking d.o.o. and Mr Sven Klaus Tederahn, regarding an application for recovery of an unpaid public parking debt.

Legal context

EU law

3 The legal basis of Regulation No 1215/2012 is Article 67(4) and Article 81(2)(a)(c) and (e) TFEU.

4 Recitals 3, 4, 10, 26 and 34 of Regulation No 1215/2012 are worded as follows:

‘(3) The Union has set itself the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, inter alia, by facilitating access to justice, in particular through the principle of mutual recognition of judicial and extra-judicial decisions in civil matters. …

(4) Certain differences between national rules governing jurisdiction and recognition of judgments hamper the sound operation of the internal market. Provisions to unify the rules of conflict of jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters, and to ensure rapid and simple recognition and enforcement of judgments given in a Member State, are essential.

...

(10) The scope of this Regulation should cover all the main civil and commercial matters apart from certain well-defined matters ...

...

(26) Mutual trust in the administration of justice in the Union justifies the principle that judgments given in a Member State should be recognised in all Member States without the need for any special procedure. In addition, the aim of making cross-border litigation less time-consuming and costly justifies the abolition of the declaration of enforceability prior to enforcement in the Member State addressed. As a result, a judgment given by the courts of a Member State should be treated as if it had been given in the Member State addressed.

...

(34) Continuity between the Convention [of 27 September 1968 on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (OJ 1978 L 304, p. 77.)], [Council] Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 [of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ 2001 L 12, p. 1)] and this Regulation should be ensured, and transitional provisions should be laid down to that end. The same need for continuity applies as regards the interpretation by the Court of Justice of the European Union of the Convention [of 27 September 1968 on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters] and of the Regulations replacing it.’

5 Chapter I of Regulation No 1215/2012 is headed ‘Scope and definitions’. It includes Article 1(1), which provides:

‘This Regulation shall apply in civil and commercial matters whatever the nature of the court or tribunal. It shall not extend, in particular, to revenue, customs or administrative matters or to the liability of the State for acts and omissions in the exercise of State authority (acta iure imperii).’

6 Article 2 of that regulation provides:

‘For the purposes of this Regulation:

(a) “judgment” means any judgment given by a court or tribunal of a Member State, whatever the judgment may be called, including a decree, order, decision or writ of execution, as well as a decision on the determination of costs or expenses by an officer of the court.

...’

7 Article 3 of that regulation is worded as follows:

‘For the purposes of this Regulation, “court” includes the following authorities to the extent that they have jurisdiction in matters falling within the scope of this Regulation:

(a) in Hungary, in summary proceedings concerning orders to pay (fizetési meghagyásos eljárás), the notary (közjegyző);

(b) in Sweden, in summary proceedings concerning orders to pay (betalningsföreläggande) and assistance (handräckning), the Enforcement Authority (Kronofogdemyndigheten).’

8 Article 66(1) and (2) of that regulation provides:

‘1. This Regulation shall apply only to legal proceedings instituted, to authentic instruments formally drawn up or registered and to court settlements approved or concluded on or after 10 January 2015.

  1. Notwithstanding Article 80, Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 shall continue to apply to judgments given in legal proceedings instituted, to authentic instruments formally drawn up or registered and to court settlements approved or concluded before 10 January 2015 which fall within the scope of that Regulation.’

    Croatian law

    9 Article 31 of the Ovršni zakon (Law on Enforcement, Narodne novine, br. 112/12, 25/13 and 93/14) provides:

    ‘(1) Under this law, an authentic document means an invoice … an extract from accounting records, a legalised private document or any document considered to be an official document under specific rules. The calculation of interest is also regarded as an invoice.

    (2) An authentic document shall be enforceable if it includes reference to the identity of the creditor and of the debtor, as well as the subject matter, nature, scope and due date of the pecuniary obligation.

    (3) In addition to the information referred to in paragraph 2 of this article, an invoice sent to a...

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