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Czech law

The costs of bringing the defamation/libel claim in the Czech republic

The court fees

In the Czech Republic, the court proceedings are subject to payment of court fees. The court fees are regulated by Act no. 549/1991 Coll., on Court Fees.[1]

The obligation to pay fees for proceedings  arises when the action is lodged or another motion for the commencement of proceedings is submitted.[2]

There are two types of court fees – court fees for (whole) proceedings (meaning proceedings within one court instance) and court fees for particular acts of court (e.g., motion for a preliminary ruling).

The amount of the fees are fixed in the Act according to type of the claim.

1€ = 25 CZK (Czech Crowns)

1£ = 30 CZK

1$ = 18 CZK

The court fee for a motion to commence proceedings with a pecuniary performance:

a) to obtain pecuniary satisfaction up to 200,000 CZK (8,000€; 6.666£) is the court fee 2,000 CZK (80€; 66£)

b) to obtain pecuniary satisfaction for amounts above 200,000 is the court fee 1% of the required amount.

 The court fee for a motion to commence proceedings with non-pecuniary performance is in respect of the claims in defamation/libel proceedings 2,000 CZK.

There are no specific court fees in cross-border litigations.

The court fee is fully reimbursed to the winning party.

Barristers´consulting and representation fees

Lawyers´ consulting and representation fees are governed by the Regulation No. 177/1996 Coll., on remuneration of lawyers for their provision of legal services (the lawyer´s tariff) http://www.cak.cz/scripts/detail.php?id=2239

The provision of legal services is subject to the agreement on provision of legal services concluded between the barrister and the client (contractual fee). It is also possible to agree on contingency fee if the fee is reasonable. If no contractual fee is set, remuneration is determined in accordance with the Tariff. VAT is applicable on baristers’ fees if is VAT registered. VAT rate is 21 %.

In case of cross border litigation the Tariff allows higher non-contractual fees. According to the tariff, a lawyer is entitled to increase fees maximum three times in cases with foreign element.

Where a client is awarded compensation of costs of proceedings by the decision of a court or any other body, the amount of the lawyer´s fee shall be set in compliance with provisions for non-contractual fees unless special legislation provides otherwise. The lawyer is obliged to notify his client of this fact when he negotiates a contractual fee with the client. In other words, the winning party will be reimbursed only in amount of the legal fixed rate (set in Tariff), not in the amount of the payment made by the client to the lawyer according their contract.

In case of the fees according to the Tariff, the amount of fees is determined by the each type of the act of legal service and by the number of such acts, which has the lawyer done in a legal case (proceedings).

The rate for a non-contractual fee for one act of the legal service is:

In defamation/libel cases without an application for compensation of non-property damage – 2,500 CZK (100€; 83£) per act.

In defamation/libel cases/right to reply with an application for compensation of non-property damage – 3,100 CZK (124€; 103£) per act.

The act of legal services means:

a) acceptance of and preparation for representation or defence under a contract for the provision of legal services,

b) initial advice to the client including the acceptance and preparation of his representation or defence where the lawyer is appointed by a court,

c) subsequent advice to the client exceeding one hour,

d) a written application to a court or any other body in relation to the merits.

Additionally, a lawyer shall be entitled to compensation of his cash expenditures reasonably spent in relation to the provision of legal services, in particular, paying court and other fees, travel costs, mail costs, telecommunications, expert reports and other specialists opinions, translations, true copies and photocopies.

In cases of the foreign element, the Translation and interpretation fees might be required if the plaintiff required the court proceedings held in foreign language. The rates are regulated by Act 36/1967 Coll., on Experts and Interpreters and its implementing Decree No. 37/1967 Coll.

In total from the practice

 

From the practice I could generalize that the defamation/libel case with an application for compensation of non-property damage not exceeding 200,000 CZK might not cost more than the 30,000 CZK in case of the lost case (including court fees and fees of the barrister of the winning party). One must also count the contractual fee with the barrister that could be agreed on hourly rate or the total amount of the act. The rate of the barrister is between 2,000 – 5,000 CZK according to the circumstance of the case and clients.

To conclude, if the party wins, than is reimbursed fully except the contractual fees agreed and paid to the barrister. If the party lost than the amount that is required usually not exceed 30,000 CZK to the winning party + own payment to the own barrister, in total max. 50,000 CZK (2,000€; 1666£).


[1] English version available

[2] Under certain circumstances there are exemption from court fees. The court fee is usually paid at the time a case is filed. The fee has to be paid in fee stamps (up to 5.000 CZK) or by bank transfer.

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About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights

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Barrister

Dear readers and followers, I would like to make an announcement that I have opened my own legal office. The website of the office is www.ondrejova.cz

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