Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Não conta

Innumeracy abroad

My faithful reader and commenter João Paulo has shared with me the results of a 2008 hearing in the 8th District of Lisbon's Civil Court. (How else would you translate 8.o Juízo Cível da Comarca?) My ability to read Portuguese is limited and not enhanced by the legal terminology in the report on the court's proceedings, but I think I've puzzled out the key points.

Here is the summary of the court's decision:
8.o Juízo Cível da Comarca de Lisboa

A fls. 189 vem o executado apresentar um requerimento intitulado de "oposição a penhora", em que alega ter sido ordenada à penhora de 1/6 do vencimento que aufere, sendo que atentas as despesas correntes que apresenta ter, o deixa numa situação de grave carência económica.

Conclui, pedindo a isenção de penhora.

Notificado o exequente, vem este requerer a manutenção da penhora.

For ordenado a elaboração de um relatorio sócio económico do executado, o qual se mostra junto a fls. 213.


O Tribunal deve ponderar entre o interesse do exequente em ver o seu direito assegurado, e o do executado em cumprir o pagamento da quantia a que se encontra vinculado, interesse esse que tem de ser proporcional.

Pese embora os factos relatados pelo executado, e sendo certo que não competindo ao Tribunal restringi-lo de refazer a sua vida como entender, também não pode o Tribunal prejudicar os compromissos anterioremente por aquele assumidos.

Assim, determina o Tribunal proceder à redução da penhor dò vencimento do executado para 1/5 do vencimento.
You see, some hapless guy got slammed with a “penhora,” which translates into English as “distrainment”—the seizure of personal property to enforce the payment or discharge of an obligation. In this particular case, the subject of the distrainment had suffered the seizure of 1/6 of his assets (garnishment of his wages). He petitioned the court for relief, claiming that he was suffering grave economic hardship.

The court solemnly pondered the petitioner's request, noting the necessity of proportionately balancing the petitioner's well-being against his responsibility to discharge his legal obligations. Upon consideration, the court ruled that the distrainment of 1/6 of the petitioner's assets had been too severe and ordered a relaxation of the order. The new order instead stipulated a seizure of 1/5 of his assets.

And thus is justice done by those with limited skill in matemática.

Muito obrigado, João Paulo!


Sue VanHattum said...

I thought I knew how to read Portuguese, until I tried to read this. Legalese is hard in any language, I guess.

Pobrecito de ele.

And of course it costs money that he doesn't have to try to get out of this crazy-making change.

Interrobang said...

I was definitely having trouble with this one, and my ability to read Portuguese even though I don't speak it (based on my French and Spanish and my knack for cognates, which also gets me Italian, Ladino, and Galician as a bonus) was failing me utterly.

João Paulo said...

"Vencimento" means salary or monthly wage. Apart from that you got everything right and let me tell you it is not easy to read, even for the average Portuguese. Sue and Interrobang should not feel bad for not understanding it.
I'm glad you liked the story and even more that you decided to make a post out of it.
O prazer foi meu. Um abraço.
João Paulo

Zeno said...

Thanks, João Paulo. I thought it meant "expiration date" and it really puzzled me.

Now please tell me what "fls" stands for.

João Paulo said...

Hahahaha. I thought you knew that. "Fls" is the abbreviation of "folhas" so it should read "A folhas 189 vem o Executado..." which means "On page 189 the petitioner presents..."

Anonymous said...

a friend of mine asks why are they even using fractions in a country with the metric system?


João Paulo said...

It is true that Portugal uses the metric system but that doesn't mean that fractions are banned altogether from our lives. For example, the payment of a loan to the bank should never exceed 1/3 of your monthly income. Nevertheless, in general we tend to use percentages instead of fractions.

Ana said...

E viva Portugal!
(btw, I arrived at this blog via Pharyngula and just couldn't resist bookmarking. I'm Portuguese - alfacinha de gema - and I love math and cience in general.)
Ana Coelho