Recovery of demands in Hungary – the assertion of a civil law claim within a criminal procedure

A pecuniary claim can have not only civil law relations, but also criminal consequences. In most cases it is simpler and more cost-effective, if we try to assert our claim within the frame of a criminal procedure. The means to do that is the recovery of the civil claim. Using this method we have a good chance to avoid a very long and expensive procedure.

I. The term of a civil law claim

When we talk about the assertion of a claim, mostly comes a classic civil or – when we think of the State’s claim for punishment- a criminal procedure in our mind. However, there is a special method that possesses the characteristics both of these legal fields, named as the adhesion procedure, which means the assertion of a civil law claim during a criminal procedure by the victim of a crime. On the basis of the Hungarian Code of Criminal Procedure, we need to fulfill three important requirements to put forward our claim within a criminal procedure, which requirements need to exist side by side at the same time: only the victim can enforce the claim and only against the defendant, furthermore the claim needs to arise as a result of the crime, which is the subject of the criminal procedure. The law refers to every victim, who asserts a civil law claim within a civil procedure, as the “private-party”.

II. The advantages of the civil law claim

So let’s see the advantages, which are proving us, that it is worth make up our mind for the recovery of the civil law claim instead of a civil procedure.

II. 1. Quickness and cost-effectiveness:

A matter of course, but a very important advantage of the adhesion procedure is its quickness and cost-effectiveness. With asserting our claim in the procedure that is already proceeding, we can avoid the long deadlines and other difficulties that would come along with a new procedure. Besides, when we assert our civil law claim within a criminal procedure, we are not obligated to pay the fee of the civil procedure and if the court admits our claim, all costs – that arise as the result of the recovery of the claim- will burden the defendant.

II. 2. We can enforce our claim against a private person:

With using the method of the recovery of a civil law claim, we have better chances to collect our demand. Let’s think of a liquidation of a Limited Liability Company. In this case there is no available cover for the recovery of the claim, because – unless there is a different provision- the associate is not obligated to stand up for the liabilities of the company. On the other hand, if the managing director of the company commits a crime, we have the chance to enforce our claim directly against him.
On the basis of the Hungarian Code of Criminal Procedure we can assert not only claims caused directly by the crime, but also claims, which raised as a result of the crime.

II. 3. More procedural advantages:

Within the frame of civil procedure, the respondent can assert a compensation plea or a counterclaim against the claimant, but in a criminal procedure he cannot take these opportunities.
There is another advantage for the “private-party”: in that case, when the court not completely admits his claim, the private party has the right to assert the rest of his claim in a civil procedure.
But he can of course also appeal the judgement in a criminal procedure.

So we can see, that with using the recovery of a civil law claim we have nothing to lose, moreover, in most cases we can assert our claim quicker, less expensive and more effective.

If you have any questions related to business law, civil law or to recovery of claims, please contact us through the “Contact” menu item of our website.