Chapters of the article
Practical situations for the use of interim measures
A model situation for the use of an interim measure may be a pending divorce proceeding. However, the parents are no longer effectively living together. However, one of them has appealed against the first-instance judgment, a final decision is pending and the other parent takes care of the children and pays for everything out of one salary or parental allowance. However, the money is far from sufficient, the family is on the poverty line and financial help from the other parent to care for the children would be appropriate. An interim order for temporary maintenance could be a solution.
But let us leave family law. Imagine that your neighbor is dumping water directly onto your property, which is in the hill below his house. He is therefore unaffected, while your garden and now the foundations of your house are waterlogged. You need to get him to stop this substandard practice quickly. By taking precautionary measures, you can achieve protection for your property.
In the situations described above, an interim measure would at the very least be offered for consideration. Obviously, obtaining a quick, albeit temporary, decision would be desirable in most proceedings, but not all situations can be decided that way by the court. So what is the legal framework for interim measures and what does the concept even mean in terms of legal theory?
Do you need to adjust your legal situation quickly?
With an interim measure, you can get a very quick decision from the court. However, it is essential to have it really carefully prepared, as there is no further evidence. We will prepare a careful analysis of your case and take care of the preparation of a pre-action notice, interim measure, action, appeal or straightforward representation in court, where we will vigorously enforce your rights.
What is meant by an interim measure?
It is a form of order which serves to provisionally or provisionally regulate the circumstances of the parties or where there is a fear that the enforcement of a court decision would be jeopardised. It may be issued before the actual commencement of the proceedings or afterwards.
The law gives some indication of what might be the subject of such an application, and gives examples of when such an order may be sought.
An interim measure may order another party to
- to pay maintenance to the extent necessary;
- provide at least part of the wages if the employment relationship is ongoing and the claimant is not working for serious reasons;
- deposit a sum of money or property in the custody of the court;
- has not disposed of certain property or rights;
- has done something, refrained from doing something or endured something.
Financial security for the application
In order to avoid the situation described above, where anyone files for an interim measure to expedite proceedings, the law has made it compulsory to deposit a so-called security with the filing of the application. However, this is not a normal court fee, but a separately set amount of money, namely CZK 10,000 for ordinary applications and CZK 50,000 if your application concerns a business. Alternatively, the President of the Chamber may decide that the security needs to be increased.
Thesecurity is intended to compensate for any damage or other prejudice that could potentially be caused by the interim measure. Should the interim measure prove to be unfounded later in the proceedings, the applicant will be required to compensate for the damage. This principle is intended to discourage the excessive use or abuse of this institution. However, if the application for interim measures is not granted or is granted but no action for damages is brought within the time limit, the security will be returned to the applicant.
The law also provides for exceptions for which the obligation to lodge a security does not apply. These are situations where
- an interim maintenance order;
- an interim measure in an employment matter;
- an interim measure for compensation for personal injury;
- the applicant certifies, together with the application for interim measures, that the conditions for exemption from court fees are met;
- there is a risk of delay which could result in prejudice to the claimant and the claimant certifies, together with the application for interim relief, that the security could not have been lodged without fault on his part.
The exceptions are primarily intended to avoid situations where the amount of the security could deter the applicant from bringing the application in situations where either the care of minor children, which is a state-protected interest, is at stake or the applicant is generally in a weaker position.
What should the application for interim measures contain?
If you are planning to apply for an interim measure, make sure to include:
- which court it is addressed to,
- your identification,
- the name, surname and place of residence of the other parties (company name or name and registered office of the legal entity, or registration number), and, where appropriate, their representatives,
- a statement of the facts showing that there is a need for provisional adjustment of the parties’ relations or that there is a fear that enforcement of the judgment would be jeopardised,
- a statement of the facts which justify the interim measure and must indicate what interim measure the applicant seeks;
- the date and signature.
Tip: Since no supplementation of the application or taking of evidence is foreseen in the interim measure procedure, it is necessary to have the application really precisely drafted and supported by documentary evidence. It is therefore not recommended to use the generic templates for interim measures that can be found on the internet. They may not cover your situation at all and may omit important facts that need to be stated. Instead, the preparation of the application should include consultation with a lawyer.
Proceedings for interim measures
The court which will subsequently decide on the case itself is in principle competent (both in terms of subject matter and location). It must decide on the application without delay, within 7 days at the latest (except for two special proceedings – see below). The court does not need to order a hearing and the parties do not even need to be heard. The court decides on the interim measure by order.
Since the decision is indeed very urgent and it is not desirable that the arrangement of the situation thus established should last indefinitely, the judge may at the same time determine the period for which the interim measure is valid. He will also always order the applicant to lodge with the court, within a specified period, an application for the opening of ordinary proceedings in which the standard evidence has already been taken. Should the applicant fail to comply with this instruction, the interim measure shall expire.
The only remedy against the interim measure is an appeal. However, the lodging of such an appeal is complicated by the fact that the order itself does not have to state reasons. Since no evidence is to be adduced in the proceedings themselves, no new evidence may be adduced in the appeal.
Tip: We have discussed the appeal in civil proceedings in detail in our article.
Special procedure for interim measures
Two types of interim measures have earned special legal treatment because of their importance and perhaps frequent use:
Interim proceedings for protection against domestic violence
Theapplication must also contain a statement of facts which establish that cohabitation is intolerable because of physical or mental violence against the applicant or another living in the household, or a statement of facts which establish unwanted surveillance or harassment of the applicant. This procedure therefore also allows interim measures to intervene in the case of so-called stalking.
The court may order that a specified person (the respondent) is, as a rule, to be stalked for one month:
- leave the common dwelling as well as its immediate surroundings, not to stay in the common dwelling or not to enter it,
- not to enter or remain in the immediate vicinity of the common dwelling or the complainant,
- refrained from seeing the complainant, or
- refrain from unwanted surveillance and harassment of the complainant in any way.
The court shall rule on the petition within 48 hours of service. Violation of this interim measure may constitute an offence of obstruction of official decision and expulsion under the Criminal Code.
Interim measures regulating the child’s circumstances
The second type of special procedure regulated by the law concerns minor children. It is intended to serve for acute cases where a minor child has insufficient proper care or his/her development (or other important interest) is seriously threatened or impaired. The court decides on the petition within 24 hours of receipt of the petition, even on weekends.
Such an interim measure may, for serious reasons, for example, provide for the custody of the child by another person, or for the custody of the mother or father, where the other parent may be restricted from contact with the child. The child may also be placed in the care of another relative or close person. In such a case, however, this must be done on the proposal of the child welfare authority.
Another relatively common case in which interim measures are used is the substitution of parental consent. Several cases have also been reported in the media recently in the context of covid, for example, where one parent did not agree to vaccinate their children and the other parent did not respect their consent. This institution could then be used to prevent the first parent from “disposing” of the child solely on the basis of his or her will.