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A. Uzelac

cumstances of urban life. Also, rules about delivery insisted to a large extent on per- sonal delivery of the communication to the addressee, while some other types of de- livery, e.g., substitute, presumed or fictional deliveries were provided only for very exceptional cases. However, it should be noted that the abuse of existing rules was intensified in practice through extreme formalism in their application and reluc- tance to use some of the alternative methods offered by the law.47

One more reason led to inefficiency in delivery in spite of elaborate rules of court delivery; in practice it was carried out by postal employees. As postmen, they were not trained in the application of the rules of court delivery. They, therefore, of- ten confused postal rules with rules of court delivery, resulting in irregularities. Court bailiffs, who existed as well, were not adequately trained, equipped and mo- tivated either for the adequate carrying out of their job.

For example, in the typical situation of delivery in cities, delivery was carried out on ‘a working day, by daylight’ when there was often no one at home, if both spouses were employed and the children went to school. Other persons who were allowed to receive delivery in place of the addressee were often not helpful – the concierge has practically died out in residential buildings in Croatia, and neigh- bours in urban areas (if they could be found at all) were rarely ready to assume the risk of accepting court deliveries. In such situations, a letter which could not be de- livered would be returned to the court and the delivery would be repeated – even an unlimited number of times – while the proceedings as a rule came to a halt.

All these reasons induced the authors of the Amendments to change the rules of delivery quite extensively. The new law thus introduces a series of new articles authorizing alternative modes of delivery.

One new type of delivery anticipated by the law is delivery through a public notary. This possibility is conditioned upon a request from the party who will bear the expenses of notarial delivery. The second possibility consists in delivery to an address agreed on by the parties (including delivery to a person stated in the agree- ment). However, for the validity of such an agreement concluded before the filing of a suit, a written form and a certified signature of the defendant are required (except in commercial agreements). The third possibility consists in using private delivery services (‘legal entities registered in this country or abroad for the delivery of writ- ten shipments’). However, for their usage a previous written agreement is also re- quired, as is the case for the delivery to an agreed address. During the proceedings (but not before!) parties may agree that pleadings be directly exchanged between parties by registered mail. If both parties are represented by attorneys-at-law, such a manner of communication can be established by the court.48

The new delivery methods created by the 2003 Amendments were surely de- signed to accelerate civil proceedings. It seems likely, however, that the changes were again incomplete.



E.g., the power of the court to determine the delivery of communications ‘in another place and/or in another time’ from those prescribed by the law. Article 140, paragraph 2 Code of Civil Procedure (now amended as paragraph 3). See the new Articles 133a to 133d Code of Civil Procedure.


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