Uncertain and indefinite claim in the meaning of Section 1987 Subsection 2 of the Civil Code


On September 9, 2020, a judgment of the grand chamber of the civil law and commercial law collegium of the Supreme Court was issued in file No. 31 Cdo 684/2020. This judgment among other thing reacts on preceding decision of Supreme Court of 1 October, .2018, No. 28 Cdo 5711/2017 concerning of interpretation provision S. 1987 Subs. 2 Civil Code. Given different juridical opinions of different chambers of the Supreme Court a question arose, whether is it possible to judge claim as uncertain or indefinite only by substantive-law viewpoint. Grand chamber of the Supreme Court reached to the conclusion, that to judge, whether a claim is uncertain or indefinite is possible only by substantive- law viewpoint. It is no possible to decline objection of set off only, because the proving of active claim would extend court proceeding, but by substantive-law viewpoint was active claim undisputed.

An uncertain or indefinite claim can be defined as a claim, which is so-called illiquid, i.e. it is controversial in terms of amount, or at all in terms of base. However, as it is stated by the Supreme Court, a claim cannot be considered uncertain or indefinite just because the debtor does not accept it or the claim is disputed. Observed result is only, that debtor of defendant claim could not prolong the satisfaction of the creditor, if his claimed claim appears uncertain or indefinite by substantive-law viewpoint.

An uncertain or indefinite claim will be such, which is objectively disputed by substantive-law viewpoint, against which the plaintiff has relevant factual arguments and which (whether there is a claim at all) requires more extensive proof, which would disproportionately prolong the court proceedings of a defendant claim. On the other hand, we cannot consider as uncertain or indefinite such claim, if it only appears to be indefinite. The court should not reach premature conclusions, but at least should examine the circumstances of the claim, that active claim is qualified to offsetting, i.e. will comply with requirement of S. 1987 Subs. 2 Civil Code.