Stages of court litigation in Bulgaria
Bulgarian Legislation has a several levels of court litigation. Basically yhe court litigation in Bulgaria has been created and settled in four different instances (stages).
The first instance court litigation in Bulgaria – the city court
The first instance court litigation in Bulgaria involves the investigation and filling up the statement of claim. During the first stage of the litigation in Bulgaria, a lawyer starts the investigation of the factual basis of the claim and the legal theories of liability.
After the claim is filed together with all available written evidence, the defendant party in the litigation in Bulgaria shall be officially notified by the court and shall submit its position, also known as a “response”.
Usually it denies the allegations, filed by the offender party and denies any liability for the claim.
The judge shall schedule open court hearings for the litigation in Bulgaria where witnesses and experts appointed by the court may be questioned by the judge and the parties. Once the judge decides that all
facts on the case of the litigation in Bulgaria are clear, the parties present their final oral arguments, and the case is closed.
The judge renders the decision in close chambers and officially notifies the parties on its content. The first court instance of the litigation in Bulgaria may take one to three years depending on the complexity of the dispute.
The second instance court litigation in Bulgaria – the appealing court
Within two weeks after the notification for the first instance court decision in the litigation in Bulgaria the parties are entitled to appeal it before the second instance court.
Under certain conditions the panel of three judges may allow new written and oral evidence. This stage of court litigation in Bulgaria usually takes one and a half year.
The third (last) court instance litigation process – the Supreme Court of BG
The third final stage of court litigation in Bulgaria is the cassation stage, which in contrast to the previous stages is not applicable to all cases.
Both parties are entitled to file a cassation appeal, however, the Supreme Court of Cassation decides which cases will be heard depending on their subject matter and significance for the development of the law.
The cassation decision of the litigation in Bulgaria is mandatory not only for the parties but also for the judges when deciding on similar cases. This stage of court litigation in Bulgaria usually takes one and a half year.
Execution stage of court litigation in Bulgaria
The fourth and last stage of the court litigation in Bulgaria is the execution of the final decision on the case. A writt of execution shall be issued by the court, then public and private bailiffs are vested with enforcement powers.
In case the debtor does not pay voluntarily, the bailiff shall attach and sell its property (i.e. money in bank accounts, real estate assets, movables, etc.) until the final satisfaction of the creditor.
Execution tends to be more successful if the creditor has been granted interim relief prior or during the court litigation stages securing its claim in advance.