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April 2022

Provisional Order of the Athens Court of First Instance on the Suspension of the Process of Eviction of a Hotel Unit


The interim order of 4.4.2022 issued by the Athens Court of First Instance was recently issued. The latter suspended the accelerated immediate enforcement against our client, a real estate management company, by a credit institution in special liquidation. Specifically, the court, assessing the damage suffered by the alleged debtor company from the commencement of the enforcement proceedings and considering the proposed grounds for opposition against a cheque for the execution of a notarised leasing document following an alleged debt of more than €7,000,000 to be valid, ordered the non-return of a 32,000 m² property which houses a five-star hotel establishment. In particular, the interim order in question reads as follows: 'The application for an interim order is granted. Suspends the enforcement proceedings initiated by the service of the cheque for execution drawn by ...... under the exact copies of the first executor's copies of the first executory deeds of the property no. .... and .... leasing contracts drawn up before the Athens notary ....'. Critical allegations of our client company, at least one of which was presumed to be well-founded, related mainly to deficiencies in the accelerated enforcement procedure. In particular, the institution in special liquidation improperly (a) handed over the contested cheque for execution to a person who was not an employee of the alleged debtor company, (b) assigned for execution a legal person other than the one contracted in the executory title without producing the necessary documents of the merger of companies carried out, (c) submitted unauthenticated documents to prove the alleged termination of the lease in question without proving the power of attorney of the attorney who signed it; and (d) requested the assignment of the property in question to the name of the institution in liquidation, which did not have the capacity to act in court, and not to the special liquidator with legal capacity, without at the same time obtaining the necessary authorisation from the Bank of Greece to carry out the contested execution. It is important to note that the suspension of immediate enforcement is also possible with the new changes to the Code of Civil Procedure, where Article 938 now provides for the following: "With the exception of the seizure of immovable property, to which par. 2, as well as with the exception of the seizure of movable property subject to deterioration, the suspension of enforcement with or without security may be ordered on application by the opposing party, if the court considers that the enforcement action would cause irreparable damage to the applicant and if it is likely that the opposition will succeed'.

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