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Ordinary courts - Bulgaria

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This section provides information on the Bulgarian judicial system.

Organisation of justice — judicial system

First instance courts in civil and criminal matters

District Court (District Court)

The district court (rayonen sad) is the main court of first instance. It has jurisdiction over all cases other than those assigned by law to another court. Deals with civil, criminal and administrative criminal cases. The decisions of the district courts are open to appeal before the relevant regional court.

The District Court is composed of judges and chaired by a President.

District Court (GC)

The District Court shall, in the first instance, hear:

civil matters — actions for the establishment or challenge of origin, for the termination of an adoption, for purposes of incapacity or for annulment; ownership of or real rights over a property if the value of your claim is higher than BGN 50 000, a civil or commercial dispute over a sum of more than BGN 25 000 (unless your case is about maintenance payments, a claim under labour law or the recovery of unauthorised expenditure), an inadmissible, void or incorrect company registration for which the law provides that the provincial courts have initial jurisdiction, or if the law otherwise provides that your case comes under the provincial courts.

Criminal cases — offences under Articles 95-110, 115, 116, 118, 119, 123, 124, Article 131 (2) (1) and (2), Article 142, Article 149 (5), Article 152 (4), Article 196 (199), Article 203a (206) and (4), Article 212 (5), Article 213a (3), Article 4 (214), Article 2 (219) and (224), Article 225 (225) (b) and (242), Article 243 (246) and (248), Article 250 (252) and (260), Article 277 (278) and (282), Article 283 (287), Article 301e (307) and (319), Article 319 (330), Article 2e (3) and Article 333 (334) and Article 340-342a of the Criminal Code, except for the jurisdiction of the Specialised Criminal Court under Article 343a of the Link opens in new window Criminal Code.

In Sofia, the District Court (GC) has also been set up with the powers of the GA. The Sofia City Court at first instance has jurisdiction to hear cases concerning crimes of a general nature committed by persons with immunities or by members of the Council of Ministers.

The county courts are located in the county centres. There is one or more district courts in the judicial district of each district court.

Second instance court in civil and criminal matters

The regional court hears, at second instance, the contested acts in the cases of the district courts, as well as other cases assigned to them by law.

The appeal court hears, at second instance, the contested acts in the cases of county courts, as well as other cases assigned to them by law.

Third instance courts in civil and criminal matters

The Supreme Court of Cassation is the court of final instance in criminal and civil cases. Its jurisdiction covers the whole country.

Legal database

Each court in Bulgaria has a website which meets the needs of citizens, legal persons and administrative bodies. Information on the structure and activities of the court as well as information on ongoing or past cases can be found on the courts’ websites.

Name and URL of the relevant databases

The website of the Link opens in new windowSupreme Judicial Council (Висшия съдебен съвет) provides a detailed list of Bulgaria’s courts, with their addresses and websites (in Bulgarian only).

This is a machine translated version of the content. The owner of this page accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the quality of this machine translated text.

Last update: 25/10/2019