In a judgment on November 7, 2017 (file no. 28 Cdo 5970/2016), the Supreme Court addressed the issue of unjust enrichment arising from a payment made on behalf of a third party.

The court held that unjust enrichment may arise from an act performed for another party, as foreseen by section 454 of Act no. 40/1964 Coll., the Civil Code in effect until December 31, 2013 (or section 2991 (2) of Act no. 89/2012 Coll., the Civil Code, as amended). This concerns cases where a party believes its performance has a legal basis though none actually exists and the performance is being rendered on behalf of a third party.

In other words, if one party seeks to pay off another party’s debt and the payer mistakenly believes itself to be bound by a valid obligation, which in fact does not exist, this may amount to unjust enrichment based on a performance provided for another party.

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