1 Is it possible to initiate court proceedings via the internet?
Yes, it is possible.
2 If so, for what types of cases is it available? Are any proceedings available exclusively via the internet?
Civil proceedings falling within the competence of regional courts (törvényszék) at first instance – and, if the law provides, other proceedings as well – may be initiated via the internet; however, proceedings initiated on the basis of orders for payment and proceedings referred by district courts (járásbíróság) to regional courts remain paper-based. If a party chooses to proceed by electronic means, he or she must keep contact with the court by electronic means during the first-instance proceedings and court documents will also be served on such party by electronic means.
It is possible to proceed by electronic means in the case of payment procedures and actions brought for the enforcement of orders for payment. Applications and other documents related to the procedure (such as applications for the issue of an order for payment, statements of opposition, or applications for enforcement) can also be submitted electronically. For parties having a legal representative as well as companies and other legal persons, it is compulsory to submit applications for enforcement by electronic means unless they wish to submit attachments on paper – as provided for by the law – with their applications. In this case, they may submit their application on paper as well.
Procedures for the registration of companies (or a change in company data) may only be instituted by electronic means.
In the enforcement process, independent court bailiffs keep contact with the parties, other persons involved in the proceedings, other bailiffs, the Chamber, the court and authorities, persons and organisations to which a request was addressed by electronic means, by means of the delivery system designed for this purpose, if they so request or if it is an obligation laid down by the law. In this case, documents addressed to the bailiff in the context of the proceedings must be submitted by electronic means and the bailiff will also serve the documents to the party by electronic means.
If property (a business share or, subject to certain conditions, moveable property or securities) is auctioned in the course of enforcement proceedings, auctions may be attended – and bids submitted – in the electronic auctioning system established for this purpose.
3 Is the facility available at all times (i.e. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or just during specific hours? If so, what are those hours?
Yes, the facility is available at all times except for periods of scheduled maintenance works and unforeseen malfunctions in system operation.
4 Should the details of the claim be provided in any particular format?
There are no specific provisions regarding the format of the details provided but if a standard form is available for submitting an application (document) or attachment, that form is non‑editable and thus the format of the data cannot be changed either.
5 How is transmission and storage of data secured?
In electronic procedures, the secure transmission and storage of data is ensured by the IT tools protecting the communications, delivery and internal administrative systems.
With respect to communication by electronic means during the proceedings, such tools include for example the following: Mail sent can be encrypted. The parties may send their documents to the court encrypted with the public key of the electronic signature of the court and if the parties also send the public key of their electronic signature to the court as part of the submitted document, the court will serve the relevant court document on the party encrypted with this key. In addition, as part of its duties, the National Office for the Judiciary (Országos Bírósági Hivatal) must keep a log of data traffic as well as the operations supporting data traffic within its system for electronic communication with the courts.
6 Is it necessary to use any kind of electronic signature and/or time record?
Yes, it is required. In civil proceedings falling within the competence of regional courts at first instance, at least a digital signature and timestamp must be used. In the case of orders for payment procedures and actions brought for the enforcement of orders for payment it is compulsory to use a certified electronic signature and timestamp. To be able to use the enforcement delivery system of the court, it is necessary to have at least an electronic signature creation device suitable to create a digital signature, a timestamp and a certificate for encryption and authentication. Certified electronic signatures and timestamps are also required in the case of procedures for the registration of companies (or a change in company data).
7 Are court fees payable? If so, how can they be paid and are they different to those for non-electronic procedures?
Court fees and the fees payable for procedures are the same for both paper-based and electronic proceedings.
Pursuant to the Act on the Rules of Civil Procedure, a party choosing to proceed by electronic means must pay the fees by bank transfer to the account of the regional court kept for this purpose with the Hungarian State Treasury, indicating the file number of the relevant submission and the name of the party.
In the case of procedures for the registration of companies (or a change in company data) the fees for the procedure and the publication cost are payable, by electronic means, prior to the submission of the application for registration (or change of data), indicating the identification number of the fee or cost, downloadable from the website of the Company Information System. Fees must be paid by transfer to the account of the Commercial Court kept for this purpose with the Hungarian State Treasury while the publication cost is payable to the Treasury account of the ministry headed by the Minister for Justice.
When proceeding by electronic means, the fees payable for order for payment procedures and enforcement procedures following such procedures as well as the bailiff fees must be paid by transfer with a bank card, using an online payment interface. Payers also have the possibility to transfer a predefined amount, based on a prior agreement with the Hungarian Chamber of Civil Law Notaries, to the payment account of the Chamber kept for this purpose, in order to allow the Chamber to debit the account during the period laid down in the agreement with the amount of the fee of the procedure instituted by the debtor. Court fees for appeals, submitted electronically, against decisions issued by notary publics under an order for payment procedure or and enforcement procedure based on an order for payment are payable by bank transfer to the account – specified by the civil law notary – of the competent regional court kept for this purpose with the Hungarian State Treasury.
8 Is it possible to withdraw a claim that has been initiated via the internet?
It is not technically possible to withdraw a document once it has been submitted. Proceedings may be discontinued (or other applications or appeals withdrawn) strictly in accordance with the rules of civil procedure. Parties opting for an electronic procedure have the same rights and obligations as parties submitting their applications on paper.
9 If the claimant initiates proceedings via the internet is it possible and/or compulsory for the defendant to respond using the internet as well?
The defendant may freely choose whether he or she wishes to respond on paper or by electronic means. If the defendant chooses to proceed by electronic means (submitting documents by electronic means), he or she must communicate with the court during the procedure at first instance by electronic means and the court will also serve all court documents to such party by electronic means. If the defendant responds on paper, communication between him/her and the court will be paper-based for the rest of the procedure.
10 In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant responds to the claim?
The same rules of procedure apply in electronic and paper-based procedures. If the defendant responds to the court on paper, the court will keep contact with the defendant on paper, while if he or she responds by electronic means, the defendant and the court will communicate by electronic means for the rest of the procedure.
11 In terms of the electronic procedure what happens if the defendant does not respond to a claim?
See the answers under Sections 9 and 10.
12 Is it possible to submit documents to a court electronically and if so in what type of proceedings and under what conditions is it possible?
Documents submitted in civil proceedings falling within the competence of regional courts at first instance may have attachments. The parties must submit such documents and attachments on a standard form – if available – and the form to be used in this case is non-editable. If there is no standard form available for documents or attachments, the parties must submit such documents and attachments in a format which corresponds to any of the document formats approved by the President of the National Office for the Judiciary and published in the information material posted on the central portal used by the courts (http://www.birosag.hu/ugyfelkapcsolati-portal). Exemptions from the obligation to submit documents by electronic means are specified in the legislation.
In the case of order for payment procedures and enforcement procedures following such procedures, documents submitted by electronic means cannot have attachments. If the applicant wishes to submit permitted attachments with the documents – as provided for by the law – he or she may submit both the form and its attachments on paper or may choose to submit the form by electronic means, indicating that the attachments will be delivered to the notary public handling the case by registered mail within three business days, i.e. in such cases the applicant has three business days to send the attachments in hard copy. In such procedures, using a standard form is compulsory. The form can be downloaded from the dedicated website of the Hungarian Chamber of Civil Law Notaries (https://fmh.mokk.hu/fmh/#x) and it cannot be edited.
In the case of procedures for the registration of companies (or a change in company data) documents that form part of the request must also be submitted by electronic means. Therefore, documents not prepared by the legal representative must be converted into and submitted in electronic format by that representative. Documents issued by the authorities, payment service providers and other organisations with a certified electronic signature may be submitted – unless the law provides otherwise – as a direct attachment to the request.
13 Can judicial documents, and particularly judgments, be served via the internet?
Yes, it is possible. In civil proceedings falling within the competence of regional courts at first instance, court documents are served by the court by electronic means on parties proceeding by electronic means.
Orders issued in procedures for the registration of companies (or a change in company data) are also served by electronic means.
Orders for payment are delivered in hard copy. Documents – with the exception of documents which can be served immediately on the party present in person – must be delivered or sent by electronic means to claimants who have chosen to submit an application for an order for payment by electronic means.
If, in the enforcement process, electronic communication is used by a party based on a free choice or obligation, documents are exchanged between such party and the independent bailiff by means of the electronic delivery system.
14 Can judicial decisions be given electronically?
See the answer under Section 13.
15 Can an appeal be made and its decision served via the internet?
In civil proceedings falling within the competence of regional courts at first instance, the party proceeding by electronic means must submit also any appeal by electronic means.
In proceedings against companies, appeals may only be lodged by electronic means and the decision on the appeal is also served by electronic means.
In the case of order for payment procedures, persons other than companies with a legal personality or persons having a legal representative may lodge an appeal against an order rejecting an application for an order for payment only by electronic means (except if they enclose attachments to their application, as provided for by the law).
In judicial enforcement proceedings, a statement of opposition to the measures taken by the bailiff, made by parties who have opted for electronic communication, may be served on the bailiff by electronic means as well.
16 Is it possible to initiate enforcement proceedings via the internet?
Yes, applications for enforcement or precautionary measures lodged on the basis of a final order for payment may be submitted by electronic means on the form provided for this purpose. For parties having a legal representative as well as companies and other legal persons it is compulsory to submit applications for enforcement by electronic means unless they wish to submit attachments in hard copy – as provided for by the law – with their applications. In this case, they may submit their application in hard copy as well.
17 Can the parties or their legal representatives consult on-line cases? If so, how this can be done?
In certain proceedings they can. In the case of order for payment procedures and enforcement procedures following such procedures, applicants proceeding by electronic means may consult the documents available on his/her user interface which he/she is granted access to by law.
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