May a court consider your case without you?
7 May 2021
Every year, the number of minor cases that are heard without the participation of parties increases. In 2020, there were 88,396 such cases in Ukraine; this year, it is more than 32,000 cases already.
If a court considers a case by following a simplified procedure, parties may not come to the trial. They learn the decision post hoc and cannot influence the court proceedings.
Cases can be identified as minor if the value of a claim is less than 100 subsistence minimums (today, it is UAH 237,000). It also applies to other types of cases that courts recognize as straightforward.
For example, a court might identify the following cases as minor: cases regarding child support, divorce, consumer protection, debt collection, property rights disputes, retirement payment calculation, etc.
The term “minor disputes” was introduced to the Constitution at the time of the judicial reform in 2016. Since then, there have been 258,636 cases heard without the participation of parties.
«If claim demands do not cause justified concerns regarding the actual dispute between parties, this case can be usually heard without being harmed by the absence of parties. There is no point in spending time on hearing procedures for cases with a small amount of penalty and cases regarding an obvious law violation or if there is an established judicial practice regarding the illegitimacy of a particular claim demand type.
It is obvious that if a case is considered without the participation of parties, the chance to convey your position to a court or to emphasize the importance of some case details that might be not noticed by that court during the material examination is lost. Therefore, lawyers prefer hearings to be held with the participation of parties»,
— said Oleksii Koltok, Judicial Practice Counselor at the Sayenko Kharenko law firm.
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