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Enforcement in civil and commercial cases
Forms of direct enforcement are those that relate to the object of an obligation as established by the enforcement order, i.e. the seizure of movable/immovable assets and the enforcement of an obligation to carry out or refrain from carrying out a particular action. In the case of enforcement of obligations to carry out a particular action, the law distinguishes between an obligation that can also be fulfilled by a person/entity other that the debtor and an intuit personae obligation.
Indirect enforcement refers to the means of obtaining a sum of money that is the subject of an enforcement order through the forced sale of assets of the debtor (attachment of sums of money or seizure followed by sale of assets).
Obligations likely to be subject to enforcement are monetary obligations, the handing over of an asset or the handing over of its use, the demolition of a building/abandonment of a plantation/discontinuation of works, etc.
Authorities competent for enforcement
Court judgments and other enforceable titles are executed by a judicial enforcement officer serving the appeal court in whose area of jurisdiction the immovable asset is located (in the case of seizure of immovable assets) or (in the case of seizure of movable assets) the debtor is domiciled or the assets are located.
Attachment is carried out, on the basis of the creditor’s application, by a judicial enforcement officer whose office is located in the area of jurisdiction of the court of appeal covering the domicile of the debtor/third party subject to attachment or, in the case of attachment of bank accounts, covering the registered office of the credit institution concerned.
The court of enforcement is the district court in whose area of jurisdiction the domicile of the debtor is located. The court of enforcement will deal with applications for a declaration of enforceability, applications opposing enforcement, etc.
Conditions under which an enforcement order or enforceable judgment may be issued
Enforcement may take place only pursuant to a court judgment (final judgments, provisionally enforceable decisions) or other written act (notarial authentic deed, debt security, arbitration award, etc.).
After receiving an application for enforcement filed by a creditor, the judicial enforcement officer registers it and may issue a decision concerning a declaration of enforceability, without summoning the parties. The decision is served upon the creditor. In the case of refusal, the creditor may lodge a complaint, within 15 days of the date of service, with the court of enforcement.
Subsequently, the enforcement officer will apply for a declaration of enforceability by the court, to which he or she will submit the creditor’s request, the enforceable title, the decision and proof of payment of fees. A ruling on the application will be handed down in closed session, without the parties being summoned. The court may refuse the application if: it falls within the jurisdiction of a different body; the judgment is not an enforceable title; the document does not meet all the formal requirements; the claim is not certain, of a fixed amount and due; the debtor enjoys immunity from enforcement; the instrument contains provisions that cannot be enforced, etc. A court ruling granting an application for a declaration of enforceability is not open to appeal, but it may be reviewed if the enforcement itself is contested. A ruling rejecting such an application may be appealed against by the creditor within 15 days of its service.
The order for enforcement, reading as follows, is added to the final part of the ruling on the declaration of enforceability:
"We, the President of Romania,
hereby grant powers and instruct judicial enforcement officers to enforce the title (here are inserted the identification details of the enforcement title) for which this ruling on the declaration of enforceability was issued. We instruct public law enforcement bodies to support the prompt and effective performance of all the enforcement actions, and prosecutors to insist on compliance with the enforcement title under the law. (To be inserted: the signature of the president of the panel of judges and of the clerk of the court)"
The National Union of Judicial Enforcement Officers (Uniunea Naţională a Executorilor Judecătoreşti) establishes and updates, subject to the approval of the Minister for Justice, the minimum fees for the services provided by judicial enforcement officers.
Any procedure can be initiated if the debtor is summoned.
Object and nature of enforcement measures
A debtor’s income, amounts in bank accounts, movable and immovable assets, etc. may be subject to enforcement.
After movable assets have been identified, they are seized. If the amount due is not paid, the judicial enforcement officer will sell the seized goods at a public auction, or by direct sale, etc.
Any sums of money owed to the debtor by a third party may be subject to attachment. Any and all attached sums of money and assets are frozen from the date when the attachment injunction has been sent to the third party subject to attachment. From the time of freezing until full payment of obligations, the third party subject to attachment must not make any other payment. Otherwise, the matter may be referred to the court of enforcement with a view to having the attachment validated. The final validation decision has the effect of an assignment of claim and constitutes an enforcement order against the third party subject to attachment. After the attachment has been validated, the third party subject to attachment must make a deposit or payment within the limits of the amount concerned. Failure to do so will result in enforcement being initiated.
As regards enforcement against immovable property, if the debtor does not pay the debt, the judicial enforcement officer initiates the selling procedure after the declaration of enforceability has been served and has been entered in the land register.
The time limit applicable is six months if the creditor has let this period elapse since the deadline for compliance with any enforcement action without having undertaken any other recovery actions. The limitation period is three years.
Possibility of appeal against the decision granting such a measure
An appeal may be lodged against enforcement actions. If enforcement is carried out in accordance with a court judgment, the debtor cannot contest it by invoking reasons in fact/in law that they could have brought at the proceedings before the court of first instance or before a court of appeal.
The competent court is the court of enforcement.
The appeal may be lodged within 15 days from the date on which: the appellant was made aware of the enforcement instrument; the party concerned was notified of the imposition of the attachment; the debtor was served the summons or the date on which they were made aware of the first enforcement instrument.
If it sustains the appeal against enforcement, the court will annul the enforcement order appealed against and will order the cessation of enforcement or execution of the enforcement act. If the appeal is rejected, the appellant may be obliged to pay compensation for the damages caused by delayed enforcement.
Limitations on enforcement, in particular related to debtor protection or time limits.
Certain assets and property are exempt. Exempt movable assets are: essential goods for personal use/household items, religious items; items indispensable for disabled persons or intended for care of the sick; a three-month food supply; a three-month winter fuel supply; personal letters, photographs, paintings, etc.
The debtor’s salary/pension may be subject to seizure of up to half of such net monthly income in the case of maintenance obligations, and up to one third for other types of obligation.
If such income falls short of the national net minimum wage, seizure may be effected only on the amount by which it exceeds half the minimum wage.
Categories of income excluded from enforcement are: State benefits and child allowances, payments for the care of a sick child, maternity benefits, death benefits, State study grants, daily subsistence allowances, etc.
Applications for refusal of recognition, applications for a decision that there are no grounds for refusal of recognition, and applications for refusal of a declaration of enforceability are within the jurisdiction of Tribunals (Article 1 of Article I4 of Government Emergency Order No 119/2006 on measures necessary to implement certain Community Regulations from the date of Romania’s accession to the EU, approved by Law No 191/2007, as amended, and Article 95(1) of Law No 134/2010 on the Code of Civil Procedure, republished, as amended).
pursuant to Article 2 of Article I4 of Government Emergency Order No 119/2006 on measures necessary to implement certain Community Regulations from the date of Romania’s accession to the EU, approved by Law No 191/2007, as amended, applications based on Article 54 of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 which refer to adapting a measure or an order laid down in a judgment, a settlement which has been approved or concluded, or authentic instruments officially drawn up or registered in another Member State of the EU, may be lodged in cases where the subject matter is a refusal of recognition, a decision that there are no grounds for refusal of recognition, or a refusal of enforcement, or separately. Applications for adaptation of a measure or an order which are lodged separately are within the jurisdiction of Tribunals.
- in Romania, the court of appeal (‘Curtea de apel’)
- in Romania, the High Court of Cassation and Justice (‘Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie’)
- in Romania, Articles 1065-1081 under Title I 'International jurisdiction of Romanian courts' in Book VII 'International civil procedure' of Act No 134/2010 on the Code of Civil Procedure
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