Recognition foreign decisions
Following the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU as regards the recognition and enforcement of judgments and other acts passed in other EU Member States, EU law and the norms established and incorporated in the CPC are applicable. Ie. there is also a clear and relatively easy procedure for the enforcement of judgments and other acts passed in other EU Member States.
The Civil process Code does not contain provisions on recognition and enforcement of decisions and acts of countries other than EU Member States.
We share the notion that the regulation of Art. 621 et seq of the Civil process code, as the procedure under the CPC is based on the principle of the already harmonized law in the EU Member States, the existence of uniform norms that all EU Member States apply, especially in the area of family law , there is a direct application of EU regulations and others .
Recognition and enforcement of judgments rendered in non-EU countries should be subject to different procedures and procedures, that is to say, the order established in the Code of international private law act.
In Part Four, Chapter 12, Articles 117 to 124 of the Code of international private law act, the procedure for recognizing and admitting the enforcement of foreign decisions and other acts (of non-EU countries) in Bulgaria is outlined.
According to part four of the CMR, the conditions introduced in Art. 117 The Code of international private law act for recognition and enforcement is as follows:
The decisions and acts of foreign courts and other bodies are recognized and their execution is permitted when:
– the foreign court or authority was competent under the provisions of Bulgarian law but not if the sole ground for foreign jurisdiction over property disputes was the nationality of the plaintiff or his registration in the state of the court;
– the defendant was served with a copy of the application, the parties were regularly summoned and the basic principles of Bulgarian law related to their defense were not violated ;
– if between the same parties, on the same grounds and for the same request, no decision of a Bulgarian court has entered into force;
– if there is no pending trial between the same parties, on the same grounds and for the same claim, before a Bulgarian court , which was formed prior to the foreign case in which the decision was pronounced and whose recognition and enforcement is sought;
– recognition or admission of performance is not contrary to the Bulgarian public order.
According to Art. 118 – Recognition of the foreign decision is made by the body before it. In the event of a dispute over the conditions for recognition of the foreign judgment, a settlement action may be brought before the Sofia City Court.
A claim is made before the Sofia City Court to allow enforcement of a foreign judgment. The application shall be accompanied by a copy of the decision certified by the court which issued it and a certificate by the same court that the decision has entered into force.
These documents must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. The court shall examine of its own motion the conditions under Art. 117. The defendant in the procedure for recognition and enforcement of the foreign decision can not invoke violations under Art. 117, item 2, which he could have pointed out before the foreign court.
The court does not go into the examination of the substance of the dispute, resolved by the foreign court. The debtor may object to the discharge of the obligation on the basis of circumstances that have arisen after the entry into force of the foreign decision.
The debtor may not object to the discharge of the obligation on the basis of the circumstances under para. 2 after the enforcement decision has entered into force.
Regarding the recognition of the consequences of foreign enforcement and security acts – the regulation is in Art. 124 International law act in Bulgaria- The civil consequences of foreign enforcement or security acts are respected in the Republic of Bulgaria for the purposes of their submission if the acts are issued by an authority internationally competent under Bulgarian law and do not contradict the Bulgarian public order.
Ie. if there is a claim before a Bulgarian court for the recognition of a judgment given in a non-EU country and there are no other international instruments in the field of family law that have been signed and ratified by both Bulgaria and the foreign state at the same time as the CPC does not contain provisions on recognition and enforcement of decisions and acts of states other than EU Member States, the recognition procedure will be Part Four of the CMR, considering the legal conditions under Art. 117 KMCP.
A decision certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria must be submitted to the court, that it is apparent that the same has entered into force – through an express marking or a certificate issued by the respective court.
After assessing the conditions under Art. 117 CMMR and to check whether it is contrary to the Bulgarian public order, the court decides whether it admits or not – on the ground. Art. 117 CMM the respective court decision and does not allow its execution in the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
It is important to note that, according to the provision of Art. 121 para. 1 Code international private law act, the court in the exequatur procedure does not examine the merits of the dispute.
Also, there is a mandatory practice of the Supreme Court of Cassation under Art. 290 CPC – Court decision No. 248 of 26 October 2012 of the Supreme Court of Cassation under No. 241/2012, II r., GC, according to which in pending trial the court before which the case is pending should take into account the consequences of a court judgment enacted by a foreign court which is represented by a party to the case and when the prerequisites under Art. There is no dispute between the parties about these preconditions. This respect for the legal consequences of a foreign judgment constitutes an accidental recognition of a foreign judgment within the meaning of Art. 118 Code of international private law act.