This page offers you information about the costs of justice in Hungary. For a more in-depth analysis on the costs of proceedings, please consult the following case studies: Family law - Divorce (Családjog - válás) Family law – custody of the children (Családjog - szülői felügyeleti jog) Family law – alimony (Családjog - tartásdíj) Commercial law – contract (Kereskedelmi jog - szerződés) Commercial law – responsibility (Kereskedelmi jog - felelősség)
The amount of the bailiff’s fee depends on the purpose of the enforcement order (végrehajtható okirat) issued (whether it is to collect a debt or enforce a specific action). If the enforcement involves the collection of a debt (pénzkövetelés behajtása), the bailiff’s fee is proportional to the amount of the debt to be collected. If the enforcement involves a higher claim, the bailiff is paid a higher fee. If the duty involves the enforcement of a specific action (meghatározott cselekmény végrehajtása), the fee depends on how long this takes.
The Hungarian word ügyvéd is used for attorneys, advocats, solicitors, lawyers, and barristers. As a general rule, an attorney’s fee is set by agreement between the party and the attorney. If no settlement is reached, the fee is decided by the court on the basis provided in law (5 percent of the claimed amount and at least 10,000 HUF). The parties can ask the judge to apply the fee stipulated by law if they do not want the settlement to become public.
Fixed costs for litigants in civil proceedings
In first instance cases, the fee (illeték) for court proceedings is 6 percent of the value of the claim (between a minimum of 10, 000 HUF and a maximum of 900,000 HUF). If the value of the claim cannot be determined, the law stipulates that 6% of a fictitious amount is to be paid.
The costs/duties of the court are always determined by law, as well as in the following cases:
Stage of the civil proceeding where fixed costs must be paid
The obligation to pay court duties in civil proceedings arises when the request for litigation is made. Therefore, the court duties must be paid together with the request of litigation. If the party does not pay the court duties, or pays less than is required by law, the court must ask him/her to pay the remaining court duties on submission of the request. The court must also inform the party that the application will be rejected if the court duties are not paid in full.
The payment of the attorney's fee based on an agreement between the party and the attorney. The bailiff’s fee must be paid in advance at the beginning of the enforcement procedure.
Fixed costs for litigants in criminal proceedings
In the case of proceedings conducted solely under private prosecution involving private actions (magánvádas eljárás):
If a civil justice claim (polgári jogi igény) arises from criminal proceedings, the only fees payable are for filing the application and the appeal.
Stage of the criminal proceeding where fixed cost must be paid
Fixed costs must be paid at the beginnig of the procedure on the document initiating the procedure by way of a stamp.
According to article 28 of Act XXXII of 1989 (az 1989. évi XXXII. törvény 28. cikke), proceedings before the Constitutional Court (Alkotmánybíróság) are free of costs.
However, an applicant who does not act in good faith when submitting a motion may have to pay costs.
When practising their profession – with the means and in the manner provided for by law – attorneys help their clients to assert their rights and fulfil their obligations. Legal advisers (jogtanácsos) also help assert the rights of the organisations they represent.
This obligation covers the duty to provide the necessary information about rights and obligations, chances of success and the foreseeable costs of proceedings.
Information about cost sources is available on the homepage of the European Judicial Network (Európai Igazságügyi Hálózat):
The homepage of the Budapest Bar Association (Budapesti Ügyvédi Kamara) also contains information on attorneys’ fees.
Information on cost sources is available on the homepage of the European Judicial Network. Here you can find the relevant information in every official language of the European Union.
The homepage of the Budapest Bar Association contains information on costs in Hungarian only.
Information on mediation may be found on the following websites:
You can find additional information concerning costs on the website of the Budapest Bar Association
Information on the length of proceedings can be found on the website of the Courts of the Hungarian Republic (Magyar Köztársaság Bíróságai).
Other relevant links are:
Information on statistical tables is available in Hungarian only.
The costs indicated above for attorneys are net costs, so VAT (HÉA) will be added.
In Hungary, the VAT rate was 20 percent until 1st July 2009, after which it increased to 25 percent.
There are two minimums:
Legal aid payments can be made in advance.
In criminal proceedings, the suspect or the accused may receive free legal representation if:
The income threshold is 86 percent of the average national income (approximately 130 000 forint). Legal assistance for victims includes legal representation.
Besides the set income thresholds, the victim must fulfil two other conditions:
There are no other conditions attached to granting legal aid to defendants.
The following are exempt from duty in civil cases:
The followings are exempt from duty in criminal proceedings:
Besides the subject-oriented exemption, personal duty exemption may also be granted.
Personal exemption is granted among others to non-governmental organisations, public corporations, churches, association of churches, religious institutions, foundations, public foundations, non-profit business associations of the status of public benefit organization or priority public benefit organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Communities, their institutions and bodies, agencies and separate funds.
In its final decision, the court requires that the losing party pay the costs incurred by the winning party within a period of 30 days. The losing party pays the costs directly to the winning party and, if she or he fails to do so, enforcement proceedings are initiated.
As a general rule, the experts’ fees are paid by the losing party, and if (in specific cases) the state is responsible for paying the costs, it also bears the costs of experts. Where the costs are prepaid by the state, experts’ fees are also included.
As a general rule, translators' and interpreters' fees are paid by the losing party, and if (in specific cases) the state is responsible for paying the costs, it also bears the costs of experts. Where the costs are prepaid by the state, these fees are also included.
Homepage of the Budapest Bar Association (A Budapesti Ügyvédi Kamara honlapja)
Hungary's report of the Study on Transparency of costs (Magyarország jelentése a költségek átláthatóságáról szóló tanulmányról)
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