Ukraine - Time Bars

Time Bars (TB) is the period of time allowed for filling a claim to court for the protection of civil rights or interests (art. 256 Civil Code of Ukraine).

The duration of general TB is three years (art. 257 CCU).

For separate types of claims the law can establish special TB: shorter or longer as compared to the general TB (art. 258 CCU).

The TB established by the law can be prolonged but it cannot be reduced on the agreement of the parties. The agreement of the TB prolongation is to be concluded in a written form (art. 259 CCU).
The TB shall be calculated based on general rules for determining terms (art. 260 CCU). The order of determining the terms of the TB cannot be changed on the agreement of the parties.  The calculation of the TB shall begin from the day following the day of the corresponding calendar date or the occurrence of the event connected with its beginning (art.253 CCU). The term defined in years shall expire on the corresponding month and day of the last year of the term. The term defined in months shall expire on the corresponding day of the last month of the term. If the term defined in months expires on a month that does not have the corresponding day, the day of termination shall the last day of this month. If the last day of the term falls on a day-off, holiday or another non-working day, determined on conformity to the law at the place of committing a certain action, the day of expiration of the term shall be the first working day (art. 254 CCU). If the term was established before the commitment of the action, it can be committed before the expiration of the last day of the term. If this action must be committed at the institution, the term shall expire on the time when certain operations in this institution terminate according to the established rules.  Written applications and notices mailed to a post office before the end of the last day of the term shall be considered mailed in time (art. 255 CCU).

The calculation of the TB shall begin from the day when a person became aware of the violation of his right or of the person who violated it. As concerns the obligations with defined deadline, the calculation of the TB shall begin after the expiration of the date of performance. For the obligations with non-defined deadline or defined as the moment of demand, the calculation of the TB shall begin from the day when the right of dement to execute obligations arises with the creditor. If a grace period is given to the debtor for meeting the demands, the TB shall begin after the expiration of such period. In case of recourse liability, the TB shall begin from the day of fulfillment of the main obligation (art. 261 CCU).

The substitution of parties in the obligation shall not change the order of calculation and the duration of the TB (art. 262 CCU). The duration of the TB can be terminated (art. 263 CCU).

The duration of the TB shall be interrupted by committing an action by the person, which gives evidence of the recognition of his debt or another obligation, or in case of taking an action by the person against one of several debtors, or if the subject of the suit is only a part of the claim, to which the plaintiff is entitled. After the interruption, the TB shall be counted anew. The time that passed before the interruption of the TB shall not be counted in the new term (art. 264 CCU).

Dismissal of the claim shall not terminate the TB. If the court should dismiss a claim in a criminal proceedings, the period from the day of bringing of a suit till day of the court decision, by which the suit was dismissed, coming into force shall not be included in the TB. If the remaining part of the term is less than six months, it shall be prolonged to six months (art. 265 CCU).

After the expiration of the TB in connection with the principal claim it shall be considered that the TB has also expired in connection with ancilliary suit (award of a penalty, recovery against mortgaged property, etc.) (art. 266 CCU).

The person who satisfies obligations after the expiration of the TB shall have no right to claim the recovery of the satisfaction, even if at the moment of doing so such person was not aware of the expiration of the TB. The application for the protection of a civil right or interest must be accepted by the court for consideration irrespective of the expiration of the TB. The TB is used by the court only on the application of the party in a dispute submitted before the adjudication. The expiration of the TB, the use whereof being declared by a party in a dispute, shall be the grounds for dismissal of action. If the court should recognize the reasons for missing the deadline a reasonable excuse, the violated right shall be subject to protection (art. 267 CCU).

As far as the judgment on the merits is accepted by the court of the first instance, the court of appeal shall only verify the legitimacy and relevancy of the court decision (art. 303 CPC of Ukraine), the petition of using the TB can be considered if it was submitted during the period of considering the case by the court of the first instance.

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