Slovak legal news: Changes to Prescription of Ownership Rights

What is going on?


We already wrote about the institute of prescription on our Facebook page. Its function is to “enable the acquisition of ownership of a holder who has long controlled the case in good faith that he owns it, and this good faith (good faith) is given, in the light of all the circumstances, under the current arrangements”, as the Supreme Court said in 2011. It is used when it is necessary to reconcile the long-term factual state with the legal status. In short, it is the acquisition of title to a property that does not belong to a person but takes care of it. Currently, the institute of prescription is governed by Civil Code and a certificate of prescription itself is drawn up by a notary. A title to a land or other real property may be acquired after ten years of good-faith possession.


Why is it important?


As we have already mentioned, until now, a notary was the institution that issued an order about both the beginning of a prescription procedure as well as a certificate of prescription. However, this procedure consisted only of a formal assessment of an application and was performed solely by a notary. Therefore, mostly in the late 1990s, this institute was often abused. For this reason, the Ministry of Justice had submitted a bill with the aim to change it.


What will happen next?


The bill concerning changes in the institute of prescription was approved on 27 January 2021 by the National Council. The biggest difference from the previous legislation is its systematic inclusion in the legislature; the regulation has been implemented to Code of Civil Procedure for Non-Disputes. After this change, issuing a certificate of prescription will be transferred to courts, which quite significantly interferes with the previous (and nowadays still applicable) legislation.

Under the new legislation, the procedure of confirming prescription will be initiated by filing an application to a competent court, determined according to the location of the property in question. Subsequently, the court examines whether the applicant has sufficiently certified the acquisition of title to the property.

The Ministry of Justice expects that this legislative change will contribute to the institute of prescription becoming much stronger and more reliable. The amendment will enter into force on 1 May 2021.


Falath & Partners

Ján Falath

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