Overview of the Costs of Civil Judicial Proceedings
Under the Hungarian Civil Procedure Code (Act III of 1959 on Civil Procedures), the losing party pays the costs of the litigation in general. If the court does not accept the claim of the plaintiff in full, both parties are winners and losers at the same time in the proportion to the amount accepted by the court from the amount claimed. In this case, the costs are funded proportionately. The court decides on the litigation costs ex officio unless the winning party requests the court not to do so.
The most significant cost of the court fees is the court fee duty regulated by the Duty Act (Act XCIII of 1990) The amount of the court fee duty which has to be paid before or simultaneously with the filing of the complaint. This duty amounts to 6 per cent of the disputed claim, i.e. this is not a fixed costs, but is proportional to the disputed amount. Notwithstanding the disputed amount the amount of the stamp duty is minimized in 15 000 HUF, and maximized in 1 500 000 HUF The court fee mentioned herein relates to the first instance procedure and does not include the costs of appeal.
In Hungary, the fees of experts, translators, interpreters and the compensation of witnesses are also regarded as procedural costs. Other costs emerging in connection with the court procedure are the costs of administrators, the costs of survey conducted on premises, or costs of the circuit court, and the costs of the courts' correspondence.
In Hungary, there are several opportunities available to those who face difficulties in accessing justice. First of all, during open hours the courts provides information and help about the applicable procedural and material laws to all without legal representation. If the costs of justice would be a substantial burden, the party can apply for exemption from the costs on a personal basis under the Civil Procedure Code. In addition to the above possibilities, the party can apply for state legal aid if his/her income is below a certain limit.
As a conclusion, it is hard to estimate the total amount of the litigation costs in advance, since the number of hearings, experts and witnesses required can not be. At the same time, this uncertainty does not deter parties from initiating legal proceedings since the costs are reimbursed to the winning party.
Please, do not hesitate to contact us, if any further information is needed in connection with the subject.