On 15 May 2017, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia issued an authentic interpretation of the Article 82 paragraph 1 subparagraph 2 of the State Survey and Cadaster Act (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 47/2017). This provision provided for annotation of dispute or other proceedings before a court or other holder of the public authority, which can cause changes in the registration of the rights on an immovable asset.
The National Assembly explained that this provision should be understood in a way that only litigation proceedings for deletion of currently registered right on the immovable asset and establishing of previous registration status, initiated by the entity whose right on the real estate was previously registered, can be annotated. Other sorts of disputes, initiated by a third party can be annotated in the cadastral registry only if such third party claims ownership over the immovable asset on the basis of prescription, or in the cases of a claim challenging the transaction from the side of a debtor disposing the particular immovable asset (claw back proceedings). Litigation or non-contentious proceedings initiated by a third party upon the instruction of the court or other authority which could cause the change of registered right in the cadaster can also be subject to annotation.
The reason for issuing this authentic interpretation is found in the incoherent case law of the cadastral authorities and the courts, which allowed annotations of various disputes, even in cases where requests for annotation were abusive. In many cases these requests for annotation were filed by third parties where the outcome of annotated disputes could not affect the registration on particular immovable asset. These ungrounded requests for annotation were mostly driven by the intention of the parties to extend and distress the litigation processes, and to prevent owners from disposing with their immovable assets.
The above described interpretation is not a novelty in the Serbian law. The Land Registers Act (Zakon o zemljišnim knjigama, Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia nos. 146/30 and 281/31), which was applicable until the cadastral system was established, provided for annotations only in the limited number of cases: in case of a claim for deletion (claim for establishing of the previous registration status) and mortgage claim. However, even then third parties tried to abuse requests for annotations with some success.
Therefore, the newly issued interpretation should decrease the level of abusive annotation requests, but it will not extinct them.