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Varadinov & Co.
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State Gazette, issue 102 /December 1st, 2020
Absolute limitation period for receivables against individuals, but with large exceptions for certain categories, provide amendments in the Law on Obligations and Contracts. Upon expiration of the ten-year limitation period, monetary receivables against individuals are repaid, regardless of the interruption, except when the obligation is deferred or rescheduled. The statute of limitations does not apply to receivables: from the commercial activity of sole traders or of natural persons - partners in a company under Art. 357; for impermissible damage; for unjust enrichment; for maintenance; for remuneration; for benefits under the Labor Code; on the occasion of a privatization deal; on the occasion of property restituted by the order of a normative act. The rules for suspension under Art. 115 and for the voluntary payment under art. 118 of the CPA. For existing cases, the absolute statute of limitations begins to run from the day on which the claim has become due. In case of pending enforcement proceedings, the limitation period begins to run from the first enforcement action, and when such is not formed - from the day of entry into force of the act by which the claim is recognized. The introduction of the absolute statute of limitations has been postponed and shall enter into force within 6 months from the day of the promulgation of the amendments in the State Gazette.

State Gazette, issue 103 /December 4th, 2020
Extended opportunities to challenge paternity are included in the amendments to the Family Code. If the circumstances refuting paternity are later known for reasons beyond the plaintiff’s control, the action may be brought within one year of learning of those circumstances, but not later than the child’s coming of age. The child may challenge paternity from the age of fourteen to one year from the age of majority. A third party who claims to be the biological father of the child may challenge paternity until one year after learning of the birth. This claim must be combined with a claim for establishment of origin. A person who claims to be a biological father may also be a party to paternity claims.
The Social Assistance Directorate at the child’s current address may challenge the recognition by objection in the same manner, if it is in the best interests of the child. Recognition may also be challenged by any person who claims to be the parent of the recognized, through a claim filed within one year of learning of the recognition. This claim must be combined with a claim for establishment of origin. The recognition may also be challenged by the prosecutor in defense of the public interest through a claim filed within one year of learning of it. The defendant, the recognized and the other parent are summoned as defendants. The court resolves the dispute, taking into account the best interests of the child.

State Gazette, issue 109 /December 22nd, 2020
The most significant package of amendments to the Law on Administrative Violations and Penalties in decades introduces both new rules and new institutes. An administrative violation committed repeatedly or systematically may be punishable by unpaid labor for the benefit of society, which may be imposed independently or simultaneously with another punishment. Unpaid work is work that is done for the benefit of society without restricting other rights to punishment. The duration of the penalty unpaid work for the benefit of society may not be less than 40 hours and more than 200 hours per year for not more than two consecutive years. The administrative penalty of unpaid labor is imposed by the district court in the region where the administrative violation was committed or completed, for which the respective penalty is provided, and for violated flocks committed abroad - by the Sofia District Court. The decision imposing a penalty of unpaid labor in favor of society is subject to cassation appeal before the administrative court on the grounds provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure and Chapter Twelve of the Code of Administrative Procedure, unless otherwise provided by law. The appeal or protest shall be filed within 14 days from the issuance of the decision. The Administrative Court shall hear the case in a panel of three judges in open court no later than three days from the date of receipt of the appeal or protest. The decision of the administrative court is final.
When for the administrative violation it is envisaged to impose unpaid work in favor of the society, the official under art. 37, para. 1 shall send the file to the administrative sanctioning body, which shall submit it for decision in the respective regional court within three days from the receipt. The district court hears the case in a panel only by a judge and in open court. The parties to this proceeding are the administrative sanctioning body and the infringer. The file is considered in the presence of the infringer. When the offender, regularly summoned, does not appear without valid reasons, the file shall be considered in his absence, if this will not prevent the disclosure of the objective truth. The offender has the right to legal protection. When considering a case against a juvenile offender aged 16 to 18, his parents or guardians are summoned. Failure to appear shall not be an obstacle to the hearing of the case, unless the court finds their participation necessary. The court may question witnesses if it deems it necessary to reveal the objective truth. A witness who is regularly summoned and does not appear without valid reasons shall be forcibly brought by the bodies of the Ministry of Interior. If the witness gives valid reasons for not appearing, the compulsory bringing shall be revoked. Based on the evidence gathered, the court issues a decision by which: it imposes a penalty and a coercive administrative measure; sends the materials to the respective prosecutor for initiating criminal proceedings, when there are sufficient data for a committed crime of a general nature; acquits the offender when the conditions for imposing a penalty are not met. With the decision the court shall also rule for the confiscation in favor of the state of the things and objects under art. 20 and 21. The punishment unpaid work for the benefit of the society shall be executed by the probation service at the present address of the punishment. The decision of the court imposing the sentence shall be sent to the relevant probation service and shall be organized by a probation officer. Unpaid work may not be performed for the benefit of natural persons, sole traders or commercial companies in which there is no state or municipal participation.
For a minor case of administrative violation, the sanctioning body does not impose a penalty on the offender, warning him in writing that in case of another administrative violation of the same type, representing a minor case, within one year from the entry into force of the warning, an administrative penalty will be imposed. With the warning the sanctioning body applies art. 20, para. 2 - 4 and Art. 21, as the act for its imposition shall contain: the date and the place of its issuance; the first, middle and last name and position of the person who issued it; the date of the act on the basis of which it is issued and the name, position and place of office of the compiler of the act; the first name, patronymic and surname of the offender, his exact address, unique civil number, and in case he is a foreigner - names, exact address, date of birth, and if there is information about this - place of birth, passport or substitute travel document indicating the number, date of issue and issuer of the document; a description of the breach and the circumstances which indicate that it is a minor case; the legal provisions that have been violated; the warning; the things that are confiscated in favor of the state; the disposal of physical evidence; within what term and before which court is subject to appeal; signature of the issuing authority. The warning shall be served on the violator by the order of art. 58. In case the warning has been disposed of with material evidence or things have been confiscated in favor of the state, which do not belong to the infringer, a copy of the warning shall be handed over to their owner. The warning is subject to appeal and protest under Chapter Three, Section V, the rules for its imposition also apply to a minor case of administrative offenses committed by minors, as well as to a minor case of non-performance by a sole trader or legal entity to the state. or municipality. The time during which for the same violation the punished person has been deprived by administrative order or in fact of the opportunity to exercise a certain profession or activity shall be deducted upon execution of the punishment temporary deprivation of the right to practice a certain profession or activity.
A person who is: victim of the violation or is the spouse or relative of the offender or the victim in a direct line without restriction and in a collateral line - up to the fourth degree may not draw up an act for establishing an administrative violation; interested in the outcome of the administrative proceedings or has a special relationship with the offender or the victim, which raises reasonable doubts about his impartiality. In the presence of any of the grounds specified in the grounds, another person with competence shall act as a document compiler, and in the absence of such - another person authorized by the sanctioning body for the specific case.
In the act for establishing an administrative violation, the infringer may indicate that he wishes the penal decree to be served on him by sending a message to a personal profile registered in the information system for secure electronic service as a module of the Unified portal for access to electronic administrative services. The Law on Electronic Government. Upon service of a transcript of the act, the violator shall be notified in writing of his right within 14 days to submit a proposal to the sanctioning body for concluding an agreement for completion of the administrative penal proceedings. Items subject to rapid deterioration are sold with the permission of the sanctioning body through state and municipal companies, and the amount received, after deducting the costs incurred, is deposited in a commercial bank serving the state budget or in the Bulgarian National Bank.
Where the infringement relates to the submission of information by electronic means, the sanctioning authority in whose territory the seat of the authority to which the information was submitted or should have been submitted shall be competent to examine the file. Where the breach relates to the processing of information on a computer network or is committed in cyberspace, the competent authority to examine the file is the sanctioning authority in whose area the offender’s permanent address or the address of management of the sole trader or legal entity is located. non-fulfillment of an obligation to the state or municipality is allowed. When the violator does not have a permanent address in the country or the sole trader or the legal entity does not have an address of management in the country, the sanctioning body with territorial competence - Sofia is competent to consider the file. The sanctioning body shall issue a penal decree imposing an appropriate administrative penalty on the offender when it establishes in an unequivocal manner the fact of the committed violation, the identity of the person who committed it and his guilt, if there are no grounds for termination of the proceedings. of Art. 28 or no agreement has been concluded with the offender. The penal body shall terminate the administrative penal proceedings with a motivated resolution: when the act described in the act for establishing an administrative violation has not been committed or does not constitute a violation; when the infringement has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt; when the participation of the person against whom the act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up in the commission of the violation has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt; when the act for establishing the administrative violation has been drawn up after the expiration of the terms under Art. 34, para. 1 or 2; when within the term under Art. 34, para. 3 no penal decree has been issued, the violator has not been warned by the order of art. 28 or no agreement for conclusion of the proceedings has been concluded; when a substantial violation of the procedural rules has been committed during the drawing up of the act for establishing an administrative violation; when against the same person for the same act there is an entered into force penal decree, warning, agreement or entered into force judicial act; in the cases of established signs of a crime. When an act for establishing an administrative violation for two or more violations has been drawn up, the sanctioning body may terminate the proceedings only in respect of any of the violations. When the sanctioning body terminates the proceedings with a motivated resolution, it decides to return the seized items, unless their possession is prohibited, or to pay their equivalent.
The items, the possession of which is prohibited, are not returned, but they are dealt with in accordance with the procedure established in the respective normative acts. The resolution terminating the administrative penal proceedings shall be subject to appeal and protest under Chapter Three, Section V. When the court annuls the resolution, the sanctioning body shall exercise its powers under Art. 52 within one month from its notification of the entered into force judicial act.
The administrative penal proceedings may end with an agreement between the sanctioning body and the violator, concluded within the term under Art. 52, para. 1, if the grounds for inadmissibility under para 1 are not present. 2. The sanctioning body shall make a proposal for concluding an agreement within 14 days from the receipt of the file by the document compiler, and the violator may make a proposal within 14 days from the service of the act. Agreement is not allowed: for repeated violation; for a violation committed within one year from the entry into force of an act by which the violator has been imposed an administrative penalty outside the cases under item 1, or a warning for a violation of the same type has been issued; in case the act for which an act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up constitutes a crime; in case the proceedings before the sanctioning body are instituted by the order of art. 36, para. 2; when the confession of the offender is not supported by the evidence gathered in the file.
The agreement shall be prepared in writing and shall contain the consent of the parties on the issues of whether an act has been committed, whether the act constitutes a violation and its legal qualification, whether it has been committed by the person against whom the act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up. The agreement contains: the date of concluding the agreement; the first, middle and last name and position of the sanctioning body; the first name, patronymic and surname of the offender, his exact address and unique civil number, and in case he is a foreigner - the names, exact address, date of birth, and if there is information about this - place of birth, passport or substitute travel document indicating the number, date of issue and issuer of the document; the date of the act on the basis of which the proceedings have been instituted and the name, position and place of office of the compiler of the act; a description of the infringement, the date and place where it was committed, the circumstances in which it was committed and the evidence supporting it; the legal provisions that have been violated culpably; the type and amount of the administrative penalty; the things that are confiscated in favor of the state; the disposal of physical evidence; bank account to pay the due fine. The agreement shall be signed by the sanctioning body and by the person against whom the act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up. When an act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up for several violations, an agreement may be concluded only for one of the violations. The confession of the person with whom an agreement has been concluded may not be used as proof of his guilt for the other violations for which the act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up. When the agreement imposes an administrative penalty of a fine - alone or with another penalty, the sanctioning body determines the fine in the amount of 70 percent of the minimum or of the precisely determined amount provided for the committed violation, and when the law does not provide a minimum punishing body set the amount of the fine at no more than 70 per cent of half of the maximum.
With the agreement the parties cannot agree on a regime of confiscation of property in favor of the state, different from the one under Art. 20 and 21. When the agreement disposes of material evidence or confiscates in favor of the state items that do not belong to the offender, for its conclusion requires the written consent of the owner of the property, which becomes an integral part of the agreement. In case the owner does not consent to dispose of material evidence or confiscation of property in favor of the state or cannot be found, the sanctioning body shall rule on the issue of material evidence and confiscation of property in favor of the state by a penal decree, which is subject to appeal under Art. 63. When an administrative penalty is imposed by the agreement, the violator agrees to pay the amount of the fine within 14 days from the conclusion of the agreement. The agreement enters into force from the date of its signing, and if an administrative penalty of a fine is imposed by it, it enters into force from the date of payment of the fine. The agreement is final and has the consequences of an effective penal decree. If, prior to the conclusion of the agreement, the victim has made a request to the sanctioning body for compensation for the damages caused to him, the sanctioning authority shall notify him of the concluded agreement and of the possibility to file his claim in the general order. In case the fine is not paid within the term under par. 10, the sanctioning body shall declare that an agreement has not been reached with a motivated decree, which is not subject to appeal and protest, and shall issue a penal decree. When no agreement is reached, the sanctioning body shall issue a penal decree and may not use the confession of the person against whom an act for establishing an administrative violation has been drawn up as proof of his guilt. The issuance of a penal decree without a proposal for an agreement does not constitute a material breach of procedural rules. The above rules do not apply when a special law provides otherwise.
The district court may conduct summary proceedings: when the penal decree has been appealed only in the part on the type or amount of the administrative penalty or the amount of the pecuniary sanction, or on the items confiscated in favor of the state or the disposal of material evidence, or on the amount of compensation awarded and the infringer, the sole trader or the legal person acknowledges the facts set forth in the circumstantial part of the penal decree and agrees not to collect evidence of those facts; in the cases under Art. 79b, para. 3. A request for summary proceedings may be made: with the appeal, in which case the court shall summon only the parties to the case; 2. in a court hearing, at the latest until the commencement of the court investigation. The court with a ruling announces that when issuing the decision it will use the confession without collecting evidence for the facts set forth in the circumstantial part of the penal decree. The court in the reasons of the decision accepts as established the facts set forth in the circumstantial part of the penal decree, referring to the confession made and to the evidence supporting it. In these cases, the court declares with a ruling that in rendering the decision it will accept as established the facts set forth in the circumstantial part of the penal decree. The court in the reasons of the decision accepts as established the facts set forth in the circumstantial part of the penal decree, referring to the evidence that supports it. The district court may amend the penal decree by: a) reducing the amount of the imposed administrative penalty or replacing it with a lighter type than the ones provided for the same violation; b) replace the imposed administrative penalty with a lighter one; c) reduce the amount of the imposed property sanction; d) revoke or amend the penal decree in the part regarding the application of art. 20 and 21 or the disposal of the physical evidence; (e) reduce or increase the amount of compensation; confirm the penal decree; annul the penal decree and terminate the administrative penal proceedings when this is provided by law. The court may increase the amount of the determined compensation only if there is a corresponding appeal from the person who has requested compensation. The decision of the district court is subject to cassation appeal before the administrative court on the grounds provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure and under the procedure of Chapter Twelve of the Code of Administrative Procedure.
In the cases provided by law, the court may terminate the proceedings with a ruling, which is subject to appeal with a private appeal before the administrative court. In the proceedings before the district and administrative court, as well as in the cassation proceedings, the parties have the right to award costs under the Administrative Procedure Code. If the lawyer’s remuneration paid by the party is excessive according to the actual legal and factual complexity of the case, the court may, at the request of the other party, award a lower amount of costs in this part, but not less than the minimum amount according to Art. 36 of the Bar Act. Remuneration in favor of legal entities or sole traders is also awarded in the amount determined by the court, if they have been defended by a legal adviser or another employee with legal education. In favor of the institution or organization, whose body has issued the act under Art. 58e, shall be awarded remuneration in the amount determined by the court, if they have been defended by a legal adviser or another employee with legal education. The amount of the awarded remuneration may not exceed the maximum amount for the respective type of case, determined by the order of art. 37 of the Legal Aid Act.
The administrative penal proceedings shall be subject to resumption when: with an effective sentence or decision it is established that any of the evidences, on the basis of which the act was issued, is untrue or with false content; with an effective sentence or decision it is established that a document compiler, a punitive body, a judge, a court secretary, a prosecutor, a party or a participant in the proceedings has committed a crime in connection with his participation in the administrative penal proceedings; new circumstances or new evidence essential for the disclosure of the objective truth are discovered, which were not known to the offender, the sanctioning body or the court when issuing the act; with an effective sentence it has been established that the act for which the administrative penalty has been imposed constitutes a crime; the act for which the administrative penal proceedings have been completed constitutes a crime; a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights has established a violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which is essential to the file or case; as a result of a substantial violation of the procedural rules, the person in respect of whom the act was issued, the sanctioning body or the owner of the items that were disposed of or confiscated in favor of the state, if not an infringer, was deprived of the opportunity to participates in the administrative penal proceedings or has not been duly represented, as well as when he has not been able to participate in person or through a proxy due to an obstacle which he has not been able to remove; with an effective court decision, an administrative act is revoked, the findings of which are taken into account by the sanctioning body when issuing the specific act. The request for reopening may be made in due time through the body that issued the act, which shall immediately send a copy of it to the prosecutor and the other parties who have not filed a request for reopening, and the case - to the administrative court.
In case of legal succession of the legal entity after drawing up the act for establishing an administrative violation, the administrative penal proceedings shall continue in respect of the legal successor. The drawn up act for establishing an administrative violation shall be presented and handed over to the legal successor. The terms under this law for the successor run from the date of service of the act. In case of legal succession of the legal entity after the issuance of the penal decree, warning or resolution of the sanctioning body, the administrative penal proceedings shall continue in respect of the successor. The issued penal decree, warning or resolution shall be served on the successor. The terms under this law for the legal successor run from the date of service of the act. In determining the amount of the pecuniary sanction, the gravity of the committed crime, the financial condition of the legal entity, the assistance for detection of the crime and for compensation of the damages from the crime, the amount of the benefit and other circumstances shall be taken into account. The liability of the legal entity shall be repaid upon expiration of a term equal in duration to that under Art. 81, para. 3 of the Penal Code, as of the date of commission of the crime from which the legal entity has been enriched or would be enriched.

State Gazette, issue 110 /December 29th, 2020
The performance of procedural actions in electronic form is regulated by amendments in the Civil Procedure Code. Service may be effected at an electronic address for service served by the party through: the single portal for electronic justice; qualified service for electronic registered mail according to art. 3 (37) of Regulation (EU) № 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and certification services in electronic transactions in the internal market. When no service option has been chosen, but the party has indicated an e-mail address, service shall be effected at the address indicated. The consent for electronic service may be withdrawn at any time, provided that the withdrawal does not affect the regularity of the actions already taken. When electronic service cannot be performed, the message is delivered to the current address of the country, and in the absence of such - to the permanent one. The party may indicate an e-mail address for service on an expert, witness and third party, who is obliged to present a document in his possession.
The person who has performed a procedural action in electronic form shall be obliged to indicate an e-mail address for notification to certify the receipt of the electronic statement and for the result of the technical verification of the performed action. When performing a procedural action in electronic form, the person may agree to accept electronic statements and electronic documents from the court in the case in the proceedings before the respective instance or before all instances. The person who has performed a procedural action in the unified portal for e-justice agrees to accept electronic statements and electronic documents, notices, subpoenas and papers in the proceedings before the respective court instance and before all instances. The consent may be withdrawn at any time, provided that the withdrawal does not affect the regularity of the actions already taken.
When service is effected by electronic means, the message containing information for the withdrawal of the summons, the message or the papers shall be deemed to have been served on the day of its withdrawal by the addressee. In case the message is not downloaded within 7 days of its sending, it is considered delivered on the first day after the download deadline. Where service is effected by electronic means, the message containing information for the withdrawal of the summons, the message or the papers shall be deemed to have been served on the day on which the addressee acknowledges receipt. In case the receipt is not confirmed within 7 days from its sending, the message shall be served in the general order. When the notice is not served in the general order, as well as in cases of disasters, accidents and other unforeseen circumstances, the court may exceptionally order the service to be done by a court employee by telephone, e-mail, telex, fax or telegram. The electronic service is certified by: an electronic record from the information system of the portal, stamped with a qualified electronic seal of the court with certified time or with a qualified electronic time stamp; electronic record of service by a qualified electronic certification service provider. The service of credit and financial institutions, including debt collectors, insurance and reinsurance companies and traders supplying energy, gas or postal, electronic communications or water and sanitation services, to notaries and private individuals. bailiffs is carried out only by the order of art. 38, para. 2 to the e-mail address indicated by them.
The service of a lawyer is done through the single e-Justice portal or at any place where he is on duty. The lawyer may state on the portal that he is absent and will not accept notifications for certain periods of time, which within one calendar year cannot be more than 60 days in total, except for the days of absence due to temporary incapacity for work, which are also declared. Messages sent during the requested period of absence must be withdrawn within 7 days from the day following the expiration of the requested period of absence. The messages are considered delivered on the day of their download or in case they are not downloaded - with the expiration of the download deadline. The lawyer may not refuse to receive a notice from his client, except after the withdrawal of the power of attorney under Art. 35, waiver of power of attorney under Art. 36, as well as when it is clear from the power of attorney that it does not refer to the instance or the proceedings for which the notification is made. The refusal of the lawyer to accept the communication shall be stated electronically in the unified portal for electronic justice, respectively it shall be noted in the receipt and certified by the signature of the server. The unfounded refusal does not affect the regularity of service. The service of the state institutions and the municipalities shall be carried out only by the order of art. 38, para. 2 to the e-mail address indicated by them.
The electronic statement with which a procedural action is performed is considered to have been received by the court to which it is addressed, upon its entry into the system of the single portal for e-justice. When conducting procedural actions in electronic form, the courts clearly, unambiguously and unambiguously indicate the obligation to pay fees and expenses on their websites, respectively on the single portal for e-justice, indicating the ways of their payment electronically. The courts provide the parties with the opportunity to pay fees electronically. In case the request for protection and assistance is made in electronic form in the unified portal for e-justice, the due state fee shall be reduced by 15 per cent. Upon withdrawal of the consent for service in this way, the difference up to the full amount of the due state fee shall be replenished by the obligated person within 7 days.
The court issues the acts and performs all other procedural actions provided by law in electronic form under the terms of the Judiciary Act, unless due to their nature this is impossible or by law it is provided to perform them in another way. Procedural actions in electronic form are present when they exercise procedural rights, using devices for electronic processing, including storage of information, and the exercise of rights is carried out entirely through the use of wire, radio waves, optical or other electromagnetic means. Electronic statements of courts must meet the requirements of Regulation (EU) № 910/2014 and the Electronic Document and Electronic Certification Services Act. An act of the court issued in electronic form may be reproduced in a paper document, which has the meaning of an official transcript, after certification by an employee authorized by the head of the respective court. The courts are obliged to adopt procedural actions in electronic form. Courts may not refuse to accept electronic statements of procedural action where: the requirements of Regulation (EU) № 910/2014 and the Electronic Document and Electronic Certification Services Act have been complied with; the statements are signed with a qualified electronic signature when the law requires a handwritten signature for the validity of certain statements.
The courts provide an opportunity for persons to carry out procedural actions in electronic form in an accessible manner or in a convenient dialogue mode, including for persons with disabilities. The courts provide freely and free of charge detailed information on the possibility to carry out procedural actions in electronic form on their websites through its unified e-justice portal and in prominent places in their buildings. When performing procedural actions in electronic form, the court shall inform the person in advance in a clear, understandable and unambiguous manner regarding: the technical steps for the creation of the statement; the possibility of access to the electronic file; the technical means for identifying and correcting errors in entering information before the statement is submitted; the possibility to receive copies and copies of the electronic file reproduced on paper. The courts ensure the provision of information electronically on the progress of the case. If there is a technological possibility, the technical inspection of the performed action in the form of an electronic statement is performed automatically for compliance with the standards and requirements established by an ordinance adopted by the plenum of the Supreme Judicial Council after coordination with the Chairman of the State Agency. Judicial acts are prepared as an electronic document in the unified information system of the courts and are signed with a qualified electronic signature. When signatures of parties are to be affixed, the judicial act shall also be drawn up on paper. These acts are entered in electronic form in the unified information system of the courts.