The Czech Supreme Court addressed the issue of a co-owner’s statutory right of first refusal in its judgment file no. 30 Cdo 789/2016 on September 21, 2016. In contrast to the previous law (Act No. 89/2012 Coll.), the Civil Code ("CC") does not embed a right of first refusal. Under the transition provisions of the CC (Art. 3062), the statutory first refusal right expires one year after the effective date of the CC.

The Supreme Court also held that the statutory first refusal right lapses at the end of this one-year period, however it added that there is a need to clarify whether actions arising from a breach of first refusal rights may be brought during this one-year period and, if so, how this may happen.

On this point, the Supreme Court found that “if during this one-year period, there was a breach of a co-owner’s statutory right of first refusal and this co-owner brought an action concerning its claim under the previous substantive law, then the court must decide on this claim under Act No. 40/1964 Coll., the Civil Code, as amended. This does not apply if the co-owner attempts to enforce a former co-owner’s rights to the real estate after January 1, 2015 since that person will no longer have an urgent legal interest in bringing the suit due to the expiry of its statutory first refusal right on January 1, 2015.”

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