Timeliness of e-filing is judged by the time of arrival

It will no longer be possible to rely on electronic submissions sent to the court at the last minute. According to the Constitutional Court, the timeliness of an electronic submission made by e-mail must be assessed according to the moment when the submission reaches the court, not according to the moment when it is sent by the applicant.

žena odesílající elektronické podání na soud
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In the case under review, the situation arose where, from the complainant’s point of view, the cassation complaint was lodged with the Supreme Administrative Court in time, on the last day of the time limit, at 23.44, i.e. 16 minutes before the time limit expired. Subsequently, however, there was a delay of approximately three hours between the sending of the e-mail and its arrival at the Supreme Administrative Court’s electronic filing room, so that the submission did not reach the court until after the deadline. According to the complainant, the delay was caused by technical deficiencies in the transmission of the e-mail message, which cannot be blamed on him.

In its current opinion, the Constitutional Court has overcome the previous legal opinion according to which timeliness is assessed precisely in relation to the moment when the submission was sent to the court.

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The Full Court has now concluded that the legal opinion in the earlier ruling of the Constitutional Court should be changed and it should be established with certainty that the timeliness of an e-mail submission should be assessed according to the moment of its delivery (arrival) to the court. The Constitutional Court also dealt with the objection of lateness due to technical problems in the e-mail servers, for which the State was responsible. If a party relies on such a claim, it must be credibly proven and it is not sufficient to simply provide a copy of the e-mail sent.

Tip: We have dealt with fundamental human rights and their protection by the Constitutional Court and other institutions in a separate article.

If it is indeed proven that the e-mail submission was not forwarded to the court in time due to technical defects caused by the operator of the e-mail server of the Ministry of Justice (or the court), which could not have been foreseen by the party to the proceedings, this cannot be attributed to the party to the proceedings and the relevant submission cannot be rejected as late. On the contrary, however, the expiry of the time-limit does not depend on the intention and conduct of the sender or on technical problems of the operator of the e-mail server, for which the State is not responsible. Nor is it relevant for the assessment of the timeliness of an e-mail submission whether the e-mail submission contains a guaranteed electronic signature.
Read the full opinion of the Constitutional Court (PDF document) on the issue of timely delivery of electronic submissions.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

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  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
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