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The news brought by Law no. 117/2019 of 13 September: In particular, the amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure


Law no. 117/2019, of September 13, amended the Code of Civil Procedure, in matters of review appeal, enforcement procedure and inventory process. In addition, the regime of procedures for compliance with pecuniary obligations arising from contracts of a value not exceeding the jurisdiction of the court of first instance, approved by Decree-Law no. 269/98, of September 1, was amended. 

It is now foreseen the possibility of appeal against the final decision by the Respondent, who was not aware of the writs due to a reason not attributable to him or could not submit the defense by reason of force majeure. the susceptibility of the contested decision to give rise to civil liability of the State for damages arising from the exercise of the judicial function, it also became an autonomous ground for a revision appeal, provided certain requirements occur, such as the Appellant did not contribute by action or omission to the alleged defect described to the decision and has exhausted all the means of contesting said decision as to the matter which may give rise to State liability. 

Regarding the enforcement process, we highlight:

  • The restriction on the admissibility of property attachment when said property is the permanent housing of the enforced - thus increasing the protection given to the family home - which is limited only to cases where the enforcement has a value of 10,000 euros or less (and only if the attachment of other assets presumably does not allow the full satisfaction of the creditor within 30 months), or when, in an enforcement of a value exceeding 10,000 euros, the attachment of other assets does not presumably permit the full satisfaction of the creditor within 12 months;
  • The inclusion of an autonomous provision on enforcements regarding obligations arising from contracts with general contractual clauses;
  • The extension of the grounds of opposition to sentence-based enforcement, now encompassing the respondent's lack of intervention in the declaration process, given certain circumstances;
  • The obligation imposed to the respondent of indicting the rights, burdens and unregistered charges that fall on the attached assets, such as their holders or beneficiaries, within the period of opposition under penalty of being convicted as a bad faith litigant. 

Finally, as regards the inventory process, the previous regime contained in Law no. 23/2013 of 5 March is revoked, and the process is now regulated in the Code of Civil Procedure. The division of powers between judicial courts and notary public offices is also changed, allowing the interested party, or all interested parties (by agreement), to initiate proceedings before the court or before notary public offices. However, there are specific cases in which jurisdiction is exclusive to the judicial courts, such as the case where the inventory is required by the Public Prosecutor. 

The amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure introduced by the law under consideration will take effect on 1 January 2020. However, as regards the legal regime of the inventory procedure, the new regime does not apply to pending cases.

Mariana Costa Pinto

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Mariana Costa Pinto