An impropriety with regard to the requirement of legal certainty, as well as to the right to good administration and the right to legal remedy was caused by the procedural malpractice of the bailiff when the statement of objection regarding the foreclosure was not submitted to the court in due time, as was established by Ombudsman Dr Ákos Kozma in his inquiry.

The complainant who turned to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights as the party seeking enforcement complained of the procedural actions performed by the bailiff acting in their case. The complainant turned to the bailiff’s office in person with their complaints about the procedural actions and they also submitted a complaint to he Hungarian Chamber of Court Bailiffs (Hungarian acronym: MBVK). In this complaint, they claimed that they had not been notified of the date of the enforcement, and that the bailiff performed the seizure of the movables in ten minutes, which suggests that he did not act with proper care and due attention. Furthermore, the enforcement protocol was not in compliance with the statutory requirements either.

After no information had been provided to the complainant on the assessment of their complaint for over four months and as they assumed that their complaint qualifying as a statement of objection based on its content had been sent to MBVK by the bailiff, they contacted MBVK via e-mail and requested information on their complaint. After the letter of the complainant had arrived, MBVK requested information from the bailiff acting in the case on the very same day. In their letter, MBVK asked the bailiff to send them the binding decision that assessed the substance of the objection submitted by the complainant and they also told the bailiff that as long as he had not yet submitted the statement of objection to the court, he should take the necessary measure to ensure the forwarding of the statement of objection to the competent court.

In his response, the bailiff informed MBVK that the statement of objection submitted by the complainant as a complaint had not been submitted to the court yet, as the complainant had not yet paid the fee for the statement of objection.

In his report on Case No. AJB-881/2020, Dr. Ákos Kozma concluded that in the case of this complainant, the statement of objection had not been submitted to the court within the predefined deadline. The procedural malpractice committed by the bailiff caused an impropriety with regard to the requirement of legal certainty, as well as to the right to good administration and legal remedy. Independent court bailiffs have no discretion to decide on whether to submit the statement objection to the court or not, it is their statutory obligation to forward the statement of objection to the court within the predefined deadline, based on which the court has primary competence to take measures.

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights called on the bailiff to remedy the impropriety exposed, to accurately observe the procedural deadlines, and to fulfil their information obligations.

For the report, please click on the following link: AJB-881/2020.