Key facts of the case:
The Complainant and the Defendant had concluded a loan contract based on which the Complainant extended a loan to the Defendant. The Defendant subsequently breached the terms of the contract by failing to repay the loan in a duly and timely manner, making the loan fully repayable in 2008; however, the Complainant did not take legal action against the Defendant before the district court until 2012, i.e. after the general 3-year limitation period had expired. HOOS – the Association for the Protection of Citizens and Consumers became part of the proceedings in the capacity of additional party, supporting the Defendant’s plea that the Complainants claim had forfeited. In the decision, the district court also addressed the Complainant’s attempt to enforce the contract by trying to make the Defendant sign a liability acknowledgment agreement although the Defendant did not know about the forfeiture. The district court decided to halt proceedings on one part of the complaint and reject the remaining parts. It also ordered the Complainant to pay legal charges for the additional party. The Complainant appealed the verdict before the Regional Court of Prešov, objecting to the district court’s decision that bound him to pay legal charges for the additional party; the Complainant considered it as running against good manners as he believed that this type of legal person should be exempt from proxy regulations. The regional court upheld the district court’s decision. The case deals with the consumers’ rights therefore it falls within the scope of EU law. The court did not refer to a CJEU judgmenet, but to the EU Charter itself – Article 47.
The Complainant’s argumentation was obviously unconvincing and clashed with the basic principles of civil court proceedings. Most importantly, the Complainant failed to state a single reason why exactly this type of legal person should be exempt from proxy regulations as no provision of any generally binding legal rule supports this claim. This argumentation is not supported by the judicature of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which on the contrary does not see any reason to exclude legal persons from providing legal protection. “The principle of effective judicial protection as stipulated by Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights should be interpreted in a way that it is possible to be provided by legal persons; the assistance provided in line with this principle may include especially exemption from paying legal charges or representation by attorney” (please compare to verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C279/09). If the court was to accept the Complainant’s argumentation, the same logic would have to apply to the Complainant given his apparent expertise in the field of debt recovery, which would also render his legal representation excessive and unnecessarily increasing legal charges.