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Parliamentary questions
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21 February 2019
Question for written answer E-000961-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
István Ujhelyi (S&D)

 Subject:  Hungarian defendant trapped in legal vacuum
 Answer in writing 

I am contacting the Commission at the behest of a constituent. The matter concerns a Belgian citizen who launched proceedings against a Hungarian citizen in a Hungarian court. The court has sent several letters to the address of the plaintiff in Belgium but they have not, however, been collected, so that they are returned to the court marked ‘not collected’.

Under Belgian law, this constitutes ‘proper delivery’, meaning that the Hungarian court cannot dismiss the case because of a failing on the part of the plaintiff by rejecting the claim and obliging the plaintiff to reimburse the costs incurred.

The plaintiff has, however, caused considerable costs to be incurred, as the court has had to request translations from an agency and send the protocols to the plaintiff, who has not taken delivery of them. The defendant has incurred sizeable costs, having had to pay for legal representation.

The defendant has appeared at all the court hearings. According to the lawyer who contacted me, the Belgian legislation on this is untenable and the case highlights a legal vacuum which should be dealt with at EU level.

1. What action can the Commission take in such a case as this?

2. From whom and in what way can an EU citizen thus affected and their MEP seek help and legal or other advice?

Original language of question: HU 
Last updated: 6 March 2019Legal notice