Maturity determined by a specific day

(Decision of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic No. 20 Cdo 4788/2017, from 14 February 2018)

In this case the courts considered a contract containing the following maturity arrangements on individual monthly instalments of the owed amount: "the monthly instalment of CZK 3,000 is payable every fifteenth day of a given month." The courts of lower instances considered the concerned clause as a time-limit. As a result of that, according to them, if the last day of the time-limit fell on Sunday, the debtor was entitled to pay the instalment also on the following day. In view of the fact that the debtor paid this amount exactly this next day, this conclusion of the courts of lower instances led to the cessation of the execution ordered by the creditor for the non-enforceability of the executory title, as according to these courts, the debtor fulfilled its obligations in accordance with the instalment schedule.

The Supreme Court disagreed with this legal assessment of the lower-level courts. It decided that if the due date is specified on a particular day, it is not a time-limit in the sense of the law, which means that it does not extend to the next working day if the due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a holiday. The wording used in the above given clause provides for a specific moment, as to which a certain legal action has to be performed.

According to this clause, the debtor's obligation to pay the instalment is thus firmly determined by the maturity date of the receivable, i.e. on the fifteenth day of each month, and is not extended to the next working day if the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday. A default as to the due date results in the debtor's delay.