Litigation department

Actions for binding determination of legal relationship (declaratory judgements)

An action, also known as petition, constitutes the central institution of the civil procedure. It incorporates a specified demand of the person initiating the proceedings, as well as the factual circumstances held as the basis of the demand. It also delimitates the scope of the suit, which filing initiates the civil lawsuit. In other words, an action is a demand directed at court to issue a given verdict based on the presented facts and evidence.

Taking into consideration the subject matter of the aforementioned demand, three general kinds of actions can be discerned:

  • Action for adjudging a performance
  • Action for binding determination of existence or nonexistence of a legal relationship or of a right (declaratory judgment)
  • Action for shaping a legal relationship or a right

In line with article 189 of the Civil Procedure Code, the claimant is entitled to demand a court’s binding determination of existence or nonexistence of a legal relationship provided he or she is properly interested. A legal relationship under civil law is, simply put, a relationship within which the parties (entities of civil law) hold the rights and obligations stemming from a disposition of a given legal norm.

For the court to allow an action, according to article 189, two essential prerequisites have to be met.

  • A proper legal interest in demanding legal protection through issuing a declaratory judgment must exist.
  • Existence or nonexistence of a given legal relationship or a right (depending on the character of the demand)

The above prerequisites must be jointly met until the day of closure of the court hearing, and not on the day of filing the suit. As stated in the judgments of the Supreme Court, a proper legal interest occurs when the sole effect, caused by the final and legally binding declaratory judgment, shall ensure the protection of the legally protected interests of the claimant. Thereby, definitely resolving an existing dispute or preventing a potential dispute in future. On top of that, the protection of the interest with the use of other measures must be unavailable.

Consequently, that the lack of proper legal interest will be asserted if the state of legal uncertainty can be removed through an action for adjudging a performance. The determination of existence or nonexistence of a legal relationship, in such case, shall serve as a prerequisite only.

As already pointed out, the subject of an action for a declaratory judgment can be a right or a legal relationship of either property, or non-property character.

CGO Legal law firm provides legal assistance and represents Clients before courts in cases concerning legal and binding determination of (among others):

  • Ownership rights
  • Existence or nonexistence of an agreement, especially when it had been concluded orally and not in writing
  • Invalidity of legal acts, especially agreements, resolutions of authorities of legal entities, testaments
  • Existence or nonexistence of marriages
  • Existence or nonexistence of paternity
  • Nonexistence of acknowledgement of paternity
  • Existence or nonexistence of maternity
  • A right of order of satisfaction in the execution of the claimant’s claim
  • Existence of a right to sale an ownership right to premises
  • Effective revocation of a donation
  • Determination of unlawfulness of a breach of personal interests
  • Determination of gender