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Official Gazette

Monday, September 26, 2022

Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments

Updated: 15:49’ - 14/06/2011

From July 1, 2009, the 2008 Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments, the first of its kind, will replace the 2004 Ordinance on Enforcement of Civil Judgments (the Ordinance).

The nine-chapter and 183-article Law contains stricter provisions on the order of and procedures for judgment enforcement and clearer provisions on the legal position of judgment enforcement agencies.

The Law perpetuates many time-tested provisions of the Ordinance and relevant guiding documents, while amending and adding other provisions in order to promote the effectiveness of civil judgment enforcement, tackling the prolonged enforcement of judgments.

Judgment enforcement agencies

The organizational system of civil judgment enforcement agencies is decisive to the effectiveness of civil judgment enforcement. That is why the Law clearly defines civil judgment enforcement management agencies and civil judgment enforcement agencies as a basis for the Government to specify the organizational model of civil judgment enforcement agencies.

Under the Law, there are two civil judgment enforcement management agencies, one under the Ministry of Justice and the other under the Ministry of Defense.

Civil judgment enforcement agencies are organized in provinces and centrally run cities, districts, towns and provincial cities, and military zones or the equivalent.

The Ordinance had only one article defining the responsibilities of agencies, organizations and individuals involved in civil judgment enforcement, which caused confusion to civil judgment enforcement management agencies and ineffective coordination among enforcers, civil judgment enforcement agencies and agencies, organizations concerned. To redress this problem, the Law devotes a whole chapter to specify judgment enforcement tasks and powers of agencies competent to manage civil judgment enforcement, agencies responsible for participating in civil judgment enforcement, and agencies and organizations in responding to requests of enforcers or civil judgment enforcement agencies.

Statute of limitations for requesting judgment enforcement

To protect the interests of involved parties, the Law stipulates that the statute of limitations for requesting judgment enforcement is five years, instead of three years under the Ordinance. Accordingly, within five years after a judgment or ruling takes legal effect, the judgment creditor and judgment debtor may request a competent civil judgment enforcement agency to issue a judgment enforcement decision. If a time limit for fulfilling an obligation is set in the judgment or ruling, the five-year statute of limitations will be counted from the date the obligation is due. For judgments and rulings subject to periodical enforcement, the five-year statute of limitations will apply to each period and be counted from the date the obligation is due.

Judgment enforcement security

The Law listed three measures to secure judgment enforcement: blockade of accounts; seizure of assets or papers; and suspension of registration, transfer or change in the current state of assets.

It also defines the competence and procedures for applying three measures. Specifically, enforcers may, at their own will or when requested in writing by involved parties, promptly apply the measures without advance notice to prevent judgment debtors from dispersing or destroying assets or shirking their judgment execution obligation.

Parties that request enforcers to apply security measures are responsible before law for their requests and will pay compensations in case they make a wrongful request, causing damage to third parties or parties against whom security measures are taken.

The Law provides a totally new mechanism for handling assets to secure judgment enforcement. Current regulations under which assets used for judgment enforcement must be valuated by a valuation council with its chairman being an enforcer have proved inappropriate. To improve the valuation of distrained assets, the Law requires assets be valuated, re-valuated or auctioned by a professional valuation or auction organization. At the same time, the re-valuation will be conducted only when violations of valuation regulations are detected and when so requested by involved parties.

Coercive enforcement

Under the Law, subject to coercive enforcement are not only assets being objects but also assets being intellectual property rights and valuable papers of judgment enforcement debtors. It also introduces the measure of coercive exploitation of assets for judgment enforcement.

Measures to coerce judgment enforcement include deduction of money on accounts, recovery and handling of money and valuable papers of judgment debtors; subtraction of incomes of judgment debtors; distraint and handling of judgment debtors’ assets, including assets held by third parties; exploitation of assets of judgment debtors; forcible transfer of objects, property rights and papers; and forcible performance or non-performance of certain jobs by judgment debtors.

Procedures for applying each specific measure are clearly defined in the Law.

Coercive reemployment of laborers

To make enforcement of labor-related judgments more effective, the Law specifies measures and strict procedures for enforcing court rulings on forcible reemployment of laborers in case employers delay judgment enforcement or, due to objective causes, cannot arrange new jobs for unlawfully sacked laborers under judgments or rulings.

Simultaneously with the passage of the Law, the National Assembly adopted the Resolution on the implementation of the Law as a legal ground to socialize some civil judgment enforcement activities. This Resolution also allows the Government to pilot regulations on executers in certain localities for three years, starting from July 1, 2009.-

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