At the proposal of the Ministry of Justice, the Government approved during its Wednesday session, June 26, 2013, the Emergency Ordinance on judicial stamp duties, according to a Ministry of Justice news release.
Changing the legal framework for the civil trial by adopting the Civil Procedure Code and also implementing institutions adopted by the new Civil Code, required a revision of legislation regarding the judicial stamp duties, which must reflect the new structure and dynamics of civil trial and the new procedural guarantees provided to ensure a fair trial for parties and to cover additional costs for infrastructure development and personnel training in the justice system.
In this regard, the act regulates the situations and new procedures stipulated in the two codes, such as: the regularization phase for the lawsuit application of summons , the procedure for payment ordinance, resolving low value claims, divorce proceedings, settlement of the review as an extraordinary appeal.
Through the Emergency Ordinance proposed for adoption, the Ministry of Justice aims to update the judicial stamp duties and to corelate them with the actual costs of the judicial process, given the fact that the majority of the fixed fees were established at a very low value in the year 1997 with a last index in 2010. These fixed duties were increased so that the incomes will cover, even if only partially, the real costs of a trial, taking care that the fees remain at an appropriate level according to the general economic situation, to not burden the litigants and to not constitute an obstacle in the exercise of free access to justice. As levels increase, on average there was an increase of 4.5 times of fixed duties, but there was an exceptionally case, such as the request for recusal or removal (where tax has increased from 4 to 100 RON), but this increase can be explained by the tendency to be used as a mean to delay the litigation. However, there were provided for these cases, control mechanisms when such requests shall be justified (½ of the fee shall be refunded if the judge withdraws or if the application for recusal or removal is permitted).
Other changes made by the emergency ordinance include:
– increasing the number of situations in which judicial tax is refunded and settling the procedure and competence to solve restitution claims;
– establishing a more balanced system of sanctions for applications with multiple requests, insufficiently stamped;
– setting standards of competence and procedure for the recovery of state claims or local budget claims.
According to the law, certain categories of incomes – such as amounts from judicial expenses advanced by the state on criminal trials, that are beared by the parties or other participants; the tax on income from activities performed by lawyers, notaries and bailiffs – will unitary highlight, allowing a transparent assessment of receipts and expenditures of the system.