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District Court of Nicosia Rules that a Russian Court Creditor Cannot Seek Directly its Enforcement Against Foreign Defendants

 

30 June 2014

 

The District Court of Nicosia considered if it had jurisdiction to order the registration and enforcement of a Russian Court Judgment on the direct application of a Russian Judgment Creditor against a foreign Judgment Debtor. The Respondent, i.e. the foreign Judgment Debtor, applied successfully for the dismissal of the application for registration and enforcement of a Russian Court Judgment on the ground that the Russian Judgment Creditor does not have a direct right to apply for such recognition and enforcement.

 

Background

 

General Application No. 378/2014 of the District Court of Nicosia, Between VTB Bank v Sergey Taruta

 

Sergey Taruta was represented by Soteris Pittas & Co LLC.

 

VTB Bank filed with the District Court of Nicosia the aforesaid General Application seeking the registration and enforcement of a Russian Court Judgment issued against Sergey Taruta. In the context of the said General Application, VTB Bank obtained on an ex parte basis certain interim orders.

 

Sergey Taruta disputed the jurisdiction of the District Court of Nicosia to register and enforce the relevant Russian Court Judgment, and consequently to issue the interim orders, in that VTB Bank did not have a direct right to seek such enforcement under Article 27 of the Treaty between Cyprus and the Russian Federation on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, as none of the Applicants and the Respondent had any permanent or temporary residence in Cyprus.

 

The Decision

 

The President Judge of the District Court of Nicosia, T. Economou, accepted the arguments of the Respondent as to the interpretation of Article 27of the Treaty between Cyprus and the Russian Federation on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, which provides that:

“1. Αn application for the enforcement of a judgment shall be submitted to a judicial authority at the place where the judgment was given. This authority shall transmit the application to the competent court of the other Contracting Party.

 2. If a person applying for enforcement has his permanent or temporary residence in the territory of the Contracting Party where the judgment is to be enforced, the application may also be sumbitted directly to the competent court of this Contracting Party”.

 

The President Judge dismissed the Application of VTB Bank, cancelling also the ex parte interim orders, and held that VTB Bank filed the Application and obtained the ex parte interim orders in contravention of the Treaty between Cyprus and Russian on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, as VTB Bank, having no residence in Cyprus, does not have a direct right to seek the enforcement of a Russian Court Judgment against a foreign respondent. 

 

For further information on this topic please contact Mr. Soteris FlourentzosDirector at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC, by telephone (+357 25 028460) or by fax (+357 25 028461) or by e-mail (sflourentzos@pittaslegal.com).

 

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