Improve your legal awareness – answers to your questions
Clarification from DPR Ombudsman on pension for persons with visual impairment
In the Donetsk People’s Republic, great attention is paid to the support of vulnerable groups of the population, including disabled persons, who are entitled to pension under the DPR legislation.
Currently, there are 2695 people with disabilities living in the Republic, of which 1385 have visual impairment category 1 and 1310 have visual impairment category 2, for whom it is challenging to put a handwritten signature on various types of documents, and, in particular, on documents confirming the receipt of pensions. Due to their health issues, most people with disabilities are unable to properly testify the fact of receiving social payments.
In this regard, the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman clarifies that in accordance with the Guidelines on payment and delivery for pensions, social benefits by the national postal operator, approved by order of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of Ukraine dated April 28, 2009 No. 464/156, as well as a decree of the Pension Fund of Ukraine dated April 28, 2009 (which is temporarily in force in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic), if a pension recipient cannot put their own hand-written signature in records confirming receipt of pension due to health issues, the said entity authorizes another person to sign the papers in his/her presence (however, except for employees of medical institutions, Pension Fund bodies, staff of labor and social protection bodies, and communication workers). At the same time, the column “Signature of the recipient” indicates “…signed on behalf of the recipient”, after which the relevant data of the person who put his/her signature in the paper (the name and initials, registration (residence), passport number series, or the number of other identity document).
In addition, the Notaries Act of the Donetsk People’s Republic dated December 21, 2018 No. 08-IINS provides for the right of notaries, consular officers and designated officials of local self-government bodies of the Donetsk People’s Republic to attest the identity of the visually impaired person’s hand-written signature with facsimile reproduction of his/her own signature (paragraph 21 of part 1 of article 43, paragraph 9 of part 2 of article 44, paragraph 12 of part 1 of article 45, article 94 of the aforementioned Law).
Thus, notaries of the Donetsk People’s Republic attest the identity of the handwritten signature of a visually impaired person with the facsimile reproduction of their handwritten signature in the event that this category of persons needs to carry out various legal operations.
It should be noted that the system of state-guaranteed support for visually impaired people, which facilitates for overcoming, substitution (compensating) restrictions related to health condition, provides for the possibility of receiving pensions, other social payments, as well as various legal operations. Meanwhile, the mechanism that allows for exercising of the rights and freedoms of this category of citizens includes additional safety measures aimed at avoiding the possibility of abuse of their rights and freedoms by other persons due to their health condition.
Clarification from the Ombudsman on the procedure for transfer of convicts to Ukraine
The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic continues to receive requests from persons convicted before the conflict regarding the transfer to the territory of Ukraine to continue serving their sentences.
We hereby clarify that the transfer of convicts is carried out under the Decree of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 12.11.2015 No. 424 “On the transfer of convicted prisoners, who are under custody in penitentiary institutions of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and criminal files, kept in the courts and investigative bodies of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to Ukraine”.
This mechanism has been developed with the view to ensure the rights of persons convicted by the courts of Ukraine and serving sentences in correctional institutions of the DPR. Most of them used to live in and have registration in the areas controlled by Ukraine. In addition, relatives of convicts living outside the Republic do not have the opportunity to regularly visit the convicts for objective reasons (health condition, the need to look after children or dependants, hostilities, long distances etc.)
Despite the unilateral character of the transfer of convicts, the Donetsk People’s Republic prepares lists of persons to be transferred, following the established procedure. The lists are being compiled by the State Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic based on the requests from convicts.
Having received the relevant information, the Ombudsman organizes the transfer of convicts and their criminal files, kept in the courts and investigative bodies of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to Ukraine.
Under the legislation in force, the following convicts are eligible for the transfer:
- those convicted by Ukrainian courts in the territory of Donetsk region before the conflict;
- those who expressed the desire to continue serving their sentence in the territory of Ukraine;
- those who filed the appropriate request with the State Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Clarification from DPR Human RIghts Ombudsman on Declaration of absence
In connection with numerous appeals of citizens to the public reception of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic on issuing a declaration of absence, the Ombudsman provides the following information:
In accordance with the provisions of Article 43 of the Civil Code of Ukraine (as revised in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic), a natural person can be recognized by the court as missing if there hasn’t been any information about their whereabouts at their place of permanent residence during one year.
The procedure for issuing a declaration of absence has been established by Art. 246, 248, 249 of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine (as revised in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic).
The statement for issuing a declaration of absence is filed with the court at the applicant’s place of residence or at the last known place of residence (stay) of an individual whose whereabouts are unknown, or at the location of his/her property.
When applying to court with a procedural document declaring absence of a person, you must indicate:
– for what purpose the applicant needs to declare an individual missing;
– circumstances of disappearance of the missing person, or circumstances that were dangerous to their life, or circumstances giving reason to assume his/her death from a certain accident.
According to paragraph 10 of Part 1 of Art. 4 of the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 03.20.2015 No. 26-INS “On Court Fees” the application filed with the court must be paid in the amount of 400 Russian rubles.
It should be noted that a person who submits an application to the court does not need to additionally apply to other competent authorities. By virtue of the provisions of Part 1 of Art. 248 of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, before hearing the court shall:
1) identify individuals (relatives, employees, etc.) who can give evidence about an individual whose whereabouts are unknown;
2) requests the relevant organizations at the last place of residence of the missing person (housing maintenance organizations, internal affairs bodies or local government bodies) and their last place of work about any information available on an individual whose whereabouts are unknown.
Consequences of a declaration of absence
After the entry into force of a court decision recognizing a person as missing, a notary registers the property belonging to the missing person and appoints guardianship for the care of his/her property at the last place of residence, in accordance with Part 1 of Art. 44 of the Civil Code of Ukraine. It should be noted that the court takes measures through the guardianship and custody bodies on establishing guardianship over the property of the physical person, whose whereabouts are unknown if the custody of the property has not been established yet (Part 2 of Article 248 of the Code of Civil Procedure of Ukraine). And such guardianship can be established before the court makes a decision on the application to the notary of the interested person or the guardianship and trusteeship body, according to part 2 of Art. 44 of the Civil Code of Ukraine.
For further advice regarding the norms of the current legislation, citizens may approach the Public Reception of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Office at the address: 34 Pushkina blvd., room 101.
Below you will find a sample application for issuing a declaration of absence of a natural person
Clarification on conditional release
The court has rejected my request for parole. After what time can I re-apply to the court with a similar petition, if there were 10 months left at the time of the refusal?
According to the provisions of Part 5, Art. 434 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 24.08.2018 No. 240-INS, if the court rejects the conditional release of a convicted person or commutation to lighter sentence of unserved portion of a sentence, the resubmission of such a request by persons convicted of grave crimes to imprisonment for a period of not less than five years, may take place no earlier than one year from the date of the court decision, and no earlier than six months for those convicted for other crimes and juvenile convicts. Unfortunately, the crime you had been sentenced for has not been specified in your question, and therefore, the Ombudsman cannot provide a more specific explanation to your situation.
On vacation of court order
In July 2018, the court issued a court order to recover my household debt for the supplied heat in favour of SE “Donetskteploset”. I became aware of the above court order only in January 2019. I was not present at the court session, and I do not agree with this court decision. How can I vacate it?
A court order is a special form of judicial decision, delivered by the courts on the basis of the application of the plaintiff. Consideration of this application is carried out in absentia of the debtor.
Articles 95 and 96 of the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine as revised in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic by virtue of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 02.06.2014 No. 9-1 “On application of the Law in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic during the transition period” (as amended and supplemented). It specifies the grounds on which a court order may be issued.
A court order is issued in the following cases:
– if there is a claim for the recovery of the wage accrued but not paid to an employee;
– if there is a claim for compensation of expenses to search for a respondent, a debtor, a child or a vehicle of a debtor;
– if there is a claim for the recovery of a debt for housing and communal services, telecommunications services, television and radio broadcasting services, taking into account the inflation index and three per cent per annum charged by the applicant to the amount of the debt;
– if there is a claim for awarding child maintenance in the amount of 30% of the subsistence minimum for a child of corresponding age, unless this claim is related to the establishment or contestation of paternity and the involvement of other interested persons;
– if there is a request on an amount of money spent for non-conforming goods, provided that there is a court decision that has entered into legal force establishing the fact that non-conforming goods had been sold, rendered in favour of an indefinite number of consumers.
Thus, the recovery of debt on utility payments can be court-ordered.
In the view to protect the rights and interests of the debtor, who was court-ordered to recover the debt for utilities, there is a procedure for appealing and vacating a court order.
A debtor who has received a court order for the recovery of payment has the right to file an application in due order to vacate it within 10 days from the date of its receipt. The day of receipt of the court order is deemed to be the day of actual receipt of a copy of the court order or the date of putting a mark in the postal notification of the refusal of the debtor to receive a copy of the court order or a record of the absence of the debtor at the indicated address. An application for vacation of a court order is submitted to the court that issued it.
An application for the vacation of a court order must be considered by a judge within 10 days from the moment of accepting it.
Based on the above, we recommend that you apply to the court that issued the court order with the appropriate application for its vacation.
Please note that the vacation of a court order does not discharge the debtor from proving his non-indebtedness, since the plaintiff may later file another claim with the court.
On search for missing persons in the DPR
I live in Belgorod, Russian Federation. I am searching for my son, who left to Donetsk in March 2016 and has not been in contact with me since that time. Please tell me where to turn for help.
Under the current legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the establishment of the whereabouts of missing persons is entrusted to law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic. According to Art. 12 of the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 07.08.2015 No. 85-INS; the police conducts the search for missing persons; persons who have lost contact with relatives. Thus, you need to make a relevant application to the law enforcement agencies and provide all the necessary information for the search (passport details, physical description, distinguishing marks, etc.)
In addition, the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman keeps the record of missing persons. You may contact the Ombudsman through hotline (+38071-301-73-52) in order to add your son in the list of missing persons in the DPR.
Under Part 1 of Art. 53 of the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 20.02.2015 No. 12-INS “On Forensic Expert Activities”, a number of forensic examinations, including DNA tests, are carried out in state forensic institutions. Now, the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the DPR is working on genotyping of the remains of unidentified bodies and their subsequent identification wherever there are blood samples from direct relatives of wanted persons for comparative analysis.
Based on the above, in order to exclude the possibility that your son is in the list of unidentified individuals who died as a result of hostilities, you may approach the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medicine at the following address: 14 Ilicha Str., Donetsk, block 9 (phone: +38-099-229-30-90; +38-071-326-15-93, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00). You have to download, print and fill in a questionnaire at the official website of the Ministry of Health of DPR, which will be necessary for the Republican Bureau of Forensic Medicine.
On assistance to persons in difficult life circumstances
“My flat was damaged as a result of hostilities. The block of flats has been included in the list of objects of the third phase of the restoration project. However, the restoration process has been temporarily suspended. At the moment, I am unemployed, as I am undergoing treatment, I am raising a minor daughter on my own. Please advise me where I can turn for help in this situation.”
In the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, there is a public organization United Donbass Foundation, which provides assistance to Donbass citizens in difficult life circumstances.
The following categories of citizens are eligible for material assistance:
- Disabled people of 1 and 2 disability category;
- Single mothers/fathers, widows/ widowers raising children under 18;
- Families with at least three underage children;
- Families raising children with disabilities;
- Families of guardians, trustees, foster families and family-type orphanages in which orphans and children deprived of parental care are raised;
- Citizens at the age of 65 and older;
- Citizens at the age of 90 and older;
- Citizens who have the status of a war disabled veteran (except from persons who had served in OUN and UPA).
- Pregnant women registered at healthcare institutions;
- Children younger than 3 years old;
- Persons in difficult life circumstances (that fall into more than one category, have housing destroyed as a result of hostilities, have illnesses).
Donbass residents in difficult life circumstances who are eligible for material assistance may approach the public organization United Donbass Foundation with the following set of documents:
— application in the established form (can be found on website http://gum-centr.su);
— copy of document proving identity of the applicant;
— copy of taxpayer registration card/taxpayer registration number of the applicant and his/her family members who seek material assistance (if any);
— copy of documents proving facts and arguments stated in the application.
The applicant can send the set of documents (scanned application and documents) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any post office of the state enterprise Pochta Donbassa.
The Fund’s Commission considers each application separately and then collectively decides on the amount of payment or the type of assistance, so it is highly recommended that you describe the complexity of your situation in the application and prove it with the appropriate documents.
In case you have difficulties while filling in the form for the aforesaid assistance, you may approach the Public Reception of the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman at the address: 34 Pushkina blvd., Donetsk, room 101, Monday to Friday from 10 am to 1 pm.
On implementing court order on visitation arrangements for one of the parents and the child
“I have an underage child. After divorce, my wife prevented my communication with the child and I had to go to court. However, the court decision that established visitation arrangements is not implemented by the mother of my son. Where can I turn to get this court decision implemented?”
According to Article 17 of the Interim Order on Enforcement Proceedings of the Donetsk People’s Republic, approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 31.05.2016 No. 7-37 (hereinafter referred to as the Order), enforcement action is carried out by the State Executive Service on the basis of enforcement documents. The bodies of the State Executive Service, which are part of the system of the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic, are responsible for implementation of enforcement documents.
Execution of the court decision on visitation arrangements for one of the parents and the child is classified as execution of the decision, under which the debtor is obliged to personally perform certain actions or refrain from taking them.
General conditions for the implementation of decisions of this type are defined in Article 73 of the Procedure. In line with the aforementioned provision, after opening of an enforcement proceeding based on an enforcement document, obliging the debtor to perform certain actions, the state executor checks the execution of the decision. In the case of non-implementation of the court decision without good reason, the government executive imposes a penalty on the debtor and establishes a new deadline. In the case of a repeated non-implementation of the decision by the debtor without good reason, the government executive imposes a double penalty on him/her and turns to law enforcement bodies with a view to bringing the debtor to criminal responsibility in line with the legislation.
Thus, you need to contact the State Executive Service office at the place of residence of the former wife on the issue of implementation of this court decision. In case of non-fulfilment of the requirements of the state executive within the framework of the enforcement proceeding, the debtor will be subject to the above sanctions.
On obtaining permanent residence permit in the Donetsk People’s Republic
“I don’t have identity documents. I only have a passport of the USSR citizen. I approached the territorial office of the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR on issuing a passport of citizen of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and my request was rejected. Staff of the Migration service explained that I do not fall into any of the categories of citizens who have the right to obtain a passport of citizen of the Donetsk People’s Republic. I cannot be employed and receive social payments without identity documents. Please give me advice on my situation.”
In this situation, you are entitled to obtain a permanent residence permit in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, which is a document proving your identity and confirming the right of a person to reside permanently in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, including receiving social benefits.
The procedure for obtaining a permanent residence permit is governed by the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR No. 271. To obtain this document, you must:
- Undergo the identification procedure in accordance with the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR No. 182. For this procedure, you must contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR (local police station). There you will be asked to provide documents with photos that you have. In the absence of documents that can prove your identity, your relatives, neighbors or other persons (at least three) will be questioned. Based on their testimony, the act of identification is drawn up. The procedure is carried out during one month. If additional checks are necessary, the period is extended to two months.
- Appeal to the court with a claim to confirm the fact of residence in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic as at 07.04.2014.
- After receiving the certificate of identification and the court decision (that has entered into legal force) confirming the fact of residence in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic as at April 07, 2014, you should approach the territorial office of the Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR (“passport office”) for issuance of a permanent residence permit. The application must have the following attachments:
1) certificate of identification and court decision (copies and originals are required);
2) four personal photographs in color, size 35×45 mm with a clear image of the face in full face without any headwear. It is allowed to provide a photograph with a headwear that does not conceal the oval of the face for citizens whose religious beliefs do not allow them to appear in front of other people without a headwear. For citizens who always wear glasses, it is required to take the photographs with glasses on if they are not tinted;
3) documents that confirm effecting of all payments established by law, or the original and a copy of the document on exemption from such payments.
The decision to issue or not to issue the permit is made within two months from the date of accepting the application. If additional checks are necessary, the period may be extended to three months.
On provision of material assistance in the amount of 1500 roubles
“Who is eligible for the provision of material assistance in the amount of 1500 rubles? Please explain, what categories of citizens are eligible?”
According to the Order of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic of December 9, 2016 No. 211 “On Approving the Procedure for Providing Material Assistance in Monetary Terms to Certain Categories of Citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic”, the following categories of citizens are eligible for material assistance in monetary terms:
- persons who have reached the retirement age (men – 60 years old, women – 55 years old), who are not entitled to pension, disabled people who do not receive pension and are registered with the departments of labor and social protection of the population;
- pensioners receiving a minimum pension (since January 1, 2017, the minimum amount of pension is 2,600 rubles);
- families with three or more dependent children under 18 (if a child is a full-time student – under 23 years old, provided that he/she does not have their own family);
- persons in difficult life circumstances: persons whose housing was damaged as a result of hostilities and is not subject to restoration or needs major repairs and has not been restored at the time of filing an appeal;
- displaced persons;
- families of defenders of the Donetsk People’s Republic who have died; persons injured as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
- other persons at the discretion of the Commission.
The material assistance is granted if the size of the average monthly total family income for the previous six months for each family member does not exceed five thousand two hundred rubles.
An application for provision of material assistance must be filed with the territorial department of labor and social protection of the population at the place of registration of the applicant and be accompanied with a set of the following documents:
- a copy of passport or residence certificate (upon production of the original);
- a copy of TIN certificate;
- copies of documents confirming the status of the applicant (upon production of the original);
- a declaration of income and property status of persons who applied for provision of financial assistance in monetary terms (to be completed on the basis of certificates of income);
- a certificate of family composition; a copy of work record book (if available).
Citizens who find themselves in difficult life circumstances must additionally submit the following documents to receive the material assistance:
- a document confirming damage to housing;
- an act on examination of the living conditions of the applicant;
- a copy of the medical certificate of VKK (Medical Consultative Board), MSEK (Disability Evaluation Board) (if available);
- a document confirming that the applicant belongs to the family of the deceased defender of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
- other documents / certificates confirming that citizens are in difficult life circumstances (at the discretion of the Commission).
Please note that financial assistance in the amount of 1500 rubles is paid once every three months from the month of appeal per family, regardless of the number of persons in the family eligible for this assistance.
The material assistance is paid through the Central Republican Bank of the Donetsk People’s Republic and SE “Pochta Donbassa”.
On extended visits in a correctional facility
“My husband and I had been divorced since 2013, although we had been living together and raising three children in common. My husband has been convicted. At the moment, he is serving his sentence in a correctional facility. Can I have extended visits to him?”
According to Part 1 of Article 110 of the Criminal Executive Code of Ukraine (currently in force in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic by virtue of Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 9-1 dated 02.06.2014), convicts have the right to short visits of up to four hours and extended visits – up to three days. Short visits with relatives or other persons are held in the presence of a colony representative. Extended visits come with the right to live together with close relatives only (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, siblings, grandfather, grandmother, grandchildren). Extended visits may be granted to spouses who lived together but did not register their marriage, provided that they have common minor children. The cost of the use of rooms for short and extended visits is paid for by convicts or their relatives or other persons at their own expense.
Since you and your husband have children in common, you can file an application for extended visits with the administration of the correctional facility.
On the transfer of convicts to Ukraine to continue serving their sentences
“In 2013, my son was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment by Debaltsevo Municipal Court of the Donetsk Oblast. At the moment, he is serving his sentence in Torez Correctional Colony. I live in Artyomovsk, and I cannot visit him in view of my age and health state. Please facilitate his transfer to the territory of Ukraine to continue serving his sentence.”
The procedure for the transfer of convicts who expressed the desire to serve their sentences in the territory of Ukraine is regulated by the Decree of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 12.11.2015 No. 424 “On the transfer of convicted prisoners, who are under custody in penitentiary institutions of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and criminal files, kept in the courts and investigative bodies of the Donetsk People’s Republic, to Ukraine”.
The State Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic compiles the list of persons who have expressed a desire to serve their sentences in correctional facilities in the territory of Ukraine, based on appropriate statements by convicts. This list is submitted to the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic for the state bodies to carry out all necessary checks. Finally, the procedure is coordinated with the competent authorities of Ukraine.
Thus, the convict must personally submit a request for his transfer to a correctional facility in the territory of Ukraine to the Head of the State Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Comments on requirements for filing a complaint with the Human Rights Ombudsman
In accordance with Articles 15, 17 of the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of April 3, 2015 No. 30-INS “On the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic”, the Ombudsman considers complaints against decisions or actions (omission) of state bodies, local governments, officials, civil servants, if the applicant had previously appealed against these decisions or actions (omission) in judicial or administrative proceedings, but does not agree with the decisions taken on his/her complaint.
The complaint must be filed with the Ombudsman no later than a year after the day when the violation of the rights and freedoms of the applicant occurred or after the day when he/she became aware of the violation.
You may find the full requirements for filing complaints with the Ombudsman in section “How to file a complaint”
When deciding on admissibility of the complaint, the following grounds are considered:
- if the complainant has the right to file a complaint;
- the authority against which the complaint has been made – governmental authorities, local government bodies, officials;
- if the action (omission) had been subject to judicial or administrative proceedings.
Please note that if your complaint does not correspond to the above requirements, the following decision may be taken on your complaint:
- to provide clarification of the existing means that you may use to protect your rights and freedoms;
- to refer the complaint to governmental authorities, local government bodies or officials that are authorized to consider it on the merits;
- to dismiss the complaint.
Complaints filed with the Ombudsman are not subject to state duty.
Complaints submitted by citizens’ representatives must be accompanied by documents proving their authority.
The text of the complaint must be readable. Complaints made by hand must be written in clear, legible handwriting and have no corrections. It is prohibited to use obscene or offensive words or expressions in the text of the complaints.
The Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic is not authorised to interfere in the activities of independent preliminary investigation bodies, prosecuting authorities and judiciary, as well as to consider private law disputes between citizens, corporate structures and public organizations;
It is not within the competence of the DPR Ombudsman to verify the accounts of a crime being prepared or committed, including corruption.
Your complaint to ECHR: How to apply and how your application is processed
Rules of Court - Complaint to ECHR
Clarification of basic terms and concepts of the established amount of court fees and exemption from court fees, established by Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic “On Court Fees”
Dear citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic, in the view to raise legal awareness the DPR Ombudsman’s Office provides you with clarifications on basic terms and notions, the established fee and the procedure for its exemption established by the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 20 March 2015 No. 26-INS “On Court Fees” as amended and supplemented.
Court fee is a fee paid in cash or non-cash purportedly to cover costs for filing claims, appeals and complaints with the court, and also charged by the courts following consideration of the case, and for issuing documents.
Court fee payers are individuals, stateless persons, enterprises, institutions, organizations, other legal entities (including foreign ones), state bodies, local governments, other bodies, officials, organizations that do not have legal personality status, as well as private entrepreneurs.
According to Article 4 of the above-mentioned Law as amended and supplemented:
In cases considered in courts of general jurisdiction in accordance with the civil procedure legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the court fee shall be paid at the following rates:
1) when filing a property claim subject to appraisal – 2 per cent of the cost of action, but not less than 400 rubles and not more than 6000 rubles;
2) when filing a motion for judgment – 50 per cent of the court fee rate payable when filing a property claim;
3) when filing a property claim that is not subject to appraisal, as well as a non-property claim:
- a) natural persons – 400 rubles;
- b) private enterpreneurs – 600 rubles;
- c) legal entities and organizations without legal personality status – 2,000 rubles;
4) in cases of recovery of alimony – 2 per cent of the total payment for the year, but not less than 200 rubles, and if the court decides on the recovery of alimony, both for the maintenance of children and for the maintenance of the plaintiff, the amount of the court fee increases by two times;
5) when filing a divorce lawsuit – 400 rubles;
6) when filing a claim for the recovery of non-pecuniary damage – 400 rubles;
7) when filing claims for the protection of the honor and dignity of an individual and the business reputation of a natural or legal person, namely:
- a) claims for non-pecuniary damage with a cost of action of up to 10,000 rubles – 5 per cent of the cost of action, but not less than 400 rubles;
- b) claims for non-pecuniary damage with the cost of action from 10,000 rubles to 40,000 rubles – 7 per cent of the cost of action;
- c) claims for non-pecuniary damage with cost of action of 40,000 rubles – 10 per cent of the cost of action, but not more than 6,000 rubles;
8) when filing a claim or other application in disputes arising from administrative or other public legal relations – 200 rubles;
9) when filing a claim with the state authorities, local governments, regulatory, law enforcement or other authorities, their officials to appeal decisions containing the obligation to pay a monetary amount – 2 per cent of the cost of action, but not less than 400 rubles and not more than 6000 rubles;
10) when filing an application for special proceedings – 400 rubles;
11) when filing an application (petition) for recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision – 400 rubles;
12) when filing an application for providing evidence – 200 rubles;
13) when filing an application for securing a claim – 400 rubles;
14) when filing appeals against court decisions, applications for review of a court decision on newly discovered circumstances, on decisions that have entered into legal force on non-property disputes – 50 per cent of the court fee to be paid when filing a claim, and on property disputes – 50 per cent of the rate calculated on the basis of the disputed amount;
15) when filing, in cases established by law, a cassation appeal to a court ruling – 200 rubles;
16) for re-issuing copies of court decisions, as well as copies of other documents of the case file issued by the court at the request of the parties and other participants in the trial, for making a copy of the court record, for issuing duplicate documents – for natural persons – 6 rubles for each paper, for legal entities (private entrepreneurs) – 10 rubles for each paper;
17) for making a copy of a digital audio recording of the court session – 60 rubles for one CD.
- In cases considered in arbitration courts in accordance with the arbitration procedure legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the court fee shall be paid at the following rates:
1) when filing a property of claim subject to appraisal:
- a) natural persons – 2 per cent of the cost of action, but not less than 400 rubles and not more than 6,000 rubles;
- b) private entrepreneurs – 2 per cent of the cost of action, but not less than 600 rubles and not more than 10,000 rubles;
- c) legal entities and organizations that do not have the legal personality status – 3 percent of the cost of action, but not less than 1,000 rubles and not more than 50,000 rubles;
2) when filing a non-property claim – 400 rubles;
3) when filing a claim for the recovery of non-pecuniary damage – 5 percent of the cost of action, but not less than 1,000 rubles and not more than 6,000 rubles;
4) when filing a claim or other application in disputes arising from administrative or other public legal relations – 400 rubles;
5) when filing a claim with the state authorities, local authorities, regulatory, law enforcement or other authorities to appeal decisions containing the obligation to pay a monetary amount – 3 percent of the cost of action, but not less than 600 rubles and not more than 10,000 rubles;
6) when submitting an application for establishing facts relevant to the dispute – 1000 rubles;
According to Art. 5. of the Law of the Donetsk People’s Republic of March 20, 2015 No. 26-INS On Court Fees, as amended and supplemented:
- a) to replace the word “Justice” with the word “justice” in paragraph 16 of part 1;
- b) to supplement part 2 with paragraph 10 to read as follows:
“10) The State Property Fund of the Donetsk People’s Republic for matters related to the implementation of executive functions and powers within its competence, including the protection of property rights and interests of the Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as state executive functions and powers delegated in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic; “;
Privileges on court fees:
- Payers do not pay court fees in cases of filing:
1) applications for the restoration of missed procedural deadlines;
2) applications for the postponement of performance of an obligation;
3) applications to change the method or order of execution of the judicial decisions;
4) applications about overturning of execution of decision;
5) applications for correction of clerical, typographic or explicit computational errors in the court decision;
6) applications for an additional court decision;
7) statements for clarification of the court decision;
8) applications for the provision of compulsory psychiatric assistance to a person, for compulsory hospitalization at a tuberculosis institution, and also for the extension or termination of compulsory hospitalization;
9) applications to cancel a court order;
10) applications for divorce with a person recognized to be missing or incapacitated in accordance with the procedure established by law, or with a person sentenced to imprisonment for at least three years;
11) applications for establishing the fact of injury, if it is necessary for granting a pension or receiving benefits for compulsory state social insurance;
12) applications for recognizing a person as dead, who went missing in circumstances that were dangerous to their life, or circumstances giving reason to assume his/her death from a certain accident;
13) applications for restriction of legal capacity of an individual, the declaring a natural person to be incompetent, and the resumption of civil capacity of a natural person;
14) applications for granting a full legal capacity to an underage person;
15) a claim for damages caused to a person by unlawful decisions, actions or omission of a state or local government bodies, their officials or officers, as well as unlawful decisions, actions or omission of inquiry bodies, pre-trial investigation authorities, prosecutor’s office or court;
16) applications for the protection of the rights of minors or underage persons in the event that in accordance with the law or an international treaty they are represented in court by the Ministry of Justice of the Donetsk People’s Republic or by the guardianship and trusteeship bodies or children’s affairs offices.
- The following individuals may be exempted from court fees:
1) plaintiffs – on claims for the recovery of wages and other claims related to labor relations;
2) plaintiffs – on claims for the recovery of alimony;
3) plaintiffs – on claims for compensation for harm caused by injury or other damage to health, as well as the death of the breadwinner;
4) plaintiffs – on claims of persons suffering from mental disorders, and their representatives to consider the issues of protecting the rights and legitimate interests of persons during the provision of psychiatric care to them;
5) natural persons – when filing with the court applications for adoption of a child;
6) plaintiffs – persons assigned to categories 1 and 2, affected by the Chernobyl disaster;
7) the parties – invalids of the Great Patriotic War and the family of soldiers (partisans), dead or missing and persons of equivalent status;
8) parties – persons who have become disabled and injured during military service or fulfilling their duty in the Donetsk People’s Republic, and in the event of their death – family members;
9) disabled persons of 1 and 2 categories, legal representatives of children with disabilities;
10) The Pension Fund of the Donetsk People’s Republic and its bodies, the bodies of social insurance, labor and social protection, the social security of the population of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
11) supervisory authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic (tax, customs and other bodies) in cases established by law;
12) plaintiffs – on claims for compensation for material damage and (or) non-pecuniary damage caused by the crime;
13) plaintiffs – on claims for compensation for damage caused by unlawful decisions, actions or omissions of inquiry bodies, pre-trial investigation authorities, prosecutor’s office or court;
14) plaintiffs – for filing claims by rehabilitated citizens in disputes related to the payment of compensation, returning property, or for filing claims for disputes related to reimbursement of its value
15) plaintiffs – for filing claims for clarification of the electoral register;
16) parties – state bodies and organizations for damage recovery and protection of state interests;
17) the prosecution authorities in the exercise of their powers;
18) state executive bodies;
19) parties to the case – public organizations of persons with disabilities, their institutions, enterprises and associations;
20) legal entities and natural persons for issuing documents in criminal cases and alimony cases;
21) plaintiffs – on claims for the protection of consumer rights.
- Legislation of the Donetsk People’s Republic may provide for other instances of exemption from court fees.
On Approving the Procedure for granting material assistance in monetary terms to particular categories of citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 9 December 2016
On 9 December 2016, a Decree of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic No. 211 “On Approving the Procedure for granting material assistance in monetary terms to particular categories of citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic” dated 09.12.2016 came into force.
The following categories of citizens are eligible for material assistance in monetary terms:
- Persons who have reached retirement age (men – 60 years old, women – 55 years old), who are not eligible for a pension, and people with disabilities who do not receive a pension and are registered with the departments of labour and social protection of the population;
- Pensioners who receive a minimum pension based on information from the Pension Fund of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
- Families with three or more dependent children under the age of 18 (full-time students up to 23 unless they have their own family);
- Persons in difficult life situations;
- Persons whose housing has been damaged as a result of hostilities and is not subject to restoration / requires major repairs and has not been restored at the time of the appeal;
- Displaced persons;
- Families of the killed (deceased) defenders of the Donetsk People’s Republic;
- Persons injured as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The family includes: husband, wife, children and adopted children under the age of 18 (full-time students under the age of 23 unless they have their own family).
The family does not include persons on complete state provision.
The maximum monthly average total family income for the previous six months per each family member must not exceed 5,200.00 Russian rubles.
The amount of material assistance is 1,500 Russian rubles for the applicant’s family (if the applicant is single – for the applicant).
Material assistance is provided once every three months from the date of application.
Material assistance is paid at the cash department of the Central Republican Bank of the Donetsk People’s Republic and SE “Pochta Donbassa”.
Order of the President of the Supreme Court of the DPR No. 218-od dated 3 December 2015
Clarification from DPR Ombudsman Office in connection with changes to the procedure of application to the ECHR
For the purpose of legal education in the field of human and civil rights and freedoms, forms and methods of their protection, as well as raising the legal awareness of the population, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic informs about changes in legislation related to the signing of the Law of Ukraine On Ratification of Protocols.
On 30 October 2017, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Law On Ratification of Protocols No. 15 and No. 16 to the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. By signing this law, Ukraine, through its representatives, has expressed its consent to a number of amendments to the existing Convention.
One of the innovations is the reduced period of application to the European Court of Human Rights. In accordance with Part 1 of Art. 35 of the Convention, the ECHR can accept a matter for processing provided that a citizen has exhausted all national remedies, as provided for by the generally accepted norms of international law. Previously, the period of application was six months from the date of the final decision on the case by the national court. Currently, based on the adopted Protocol No. 15, the aforementioned period of application has been reduced to four months.
Based on the above, we bring these changes to the attention of citizens who have expressed a desire to apply for the protection of their rights and legitimate interests to the ECHR, since the preparation of relevant documents and the application is now to be done within a shorter period.
Obviously, the reduction of the period of application to the ECHR will affect the quality of preparation of applicants. The legal reasoning of the plaintiff, stated in the claim, must be motivated, reasoned and supported by evidence, the preparation of which takes much time. Subsequently, the number of citizens who are going to apply to the ECHR will decrease by several times due to the reduced four-month period for applying to the ECHR.
Another change imposed by Protocol No. 15 is related to relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber.
In accordance with Art. 30 of the Convention, where a case pending before a Chamber raises a serious question affecting the interpretation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, or where the resolution of a question before the Chamber might have a result inconsistent with a judgment previously delivered by the Court, the Chamber (consisting of seven judges) may, at any time before it has rendered its judgment, relinquish jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber (consisting of seventeen judges), unless one of the parties to the case objects.
Earlier, a case could be referred to the Grand Chamber only in the case of mutual consent of the parties to the trial, and now, after the amendments made by Protocol No. 15, the relinquishment of jurisdiction does not require the consent of the plaintiff and the defendant and is at the discretion of the judges, which limits the expression of their will in this matter.
Protocol No. 16 to the Convention provides for the right of the High Courts and Tribunals of the High Contracting Party (Ukraine) to request from the ECHR advisory opinion on the principles relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention and its Protocols.
Part 2 of Art. 1 of Protocol No. 16 regulates that a court or tribunal requesting an advisory opinion may request such an opinion only in the context of the case before it.
In addition, this request must be motivated and include the necessary information, namely, the legal and factual circumstances of the case under consideration.
Also, in order to make a decision on whether or not to satisfy the request for an advisory opinion, a panel of five members of the Grand Chamber is formed.
It should be noted that the amendments will allow the national courts of Ukraine in the event of controversial issues in a particular case, to approach the ECHR for a reasoned explanation, based on the knowledge and experience of the international court.
Advisory opinions are explanatory by nature and are not binding, and therefore the application of the opinion is the right, and not the obligation of the court.
In our opinion, the ratified protocol will affect the quality of the work of the national courts of Ukraine in terms of issuing fair judgments.
On amendments to the Interim Procedure of Supervisory Reconsideration of Cases, Approved by Order of the President of the Supreme Court of the Donetsk People’s Republic of 6 May 2015 No.44od as amended and supplemented
Practice Directions — International Court