Praxis Watch

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Order for Payment of Fee Contrary to Provisions of the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure

The Basic Court in Zajecar ordered the payment of fee in the amount of 1,900 RSD for motion and decision in the procedure for determination of date and place of birth, even though the Article 71i of the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure stipulates that petitioners in these procedures are exempted from fees and other costs of the procedure. The Second Basic Court and the Third Basic Court in Belgrade have also ordered the payment of fees to persons whose date and place of birth have been determined, with the difference in the amount (390,00 RSD and 780,00 RSD). Praxis has sent letters to the competent courts pointing out that petitioners in these procedures are exempted from fees.

The fact that some judges are not familiar with the applicable law and that they order the payment of fees in the procedure for determination of date and place of birth may cause a problem if the petitioners, who are mostly legally uninstructed persons, are not familiar with the obligation to pay the fee. It is expected that if these persons do not have legal aid, they would pay fees they are explicitly exempted from.

Persons who initiated procedures for determination of date and place most often do not have any incomes because they cannot get employed due to the lack of documents or receive social welfare. It is therefore understandable why the Law on Non-Contentious Procedure exempt the petitioners in procedures for determination of date and place of birth from payment of fees and costs of procedure, but it is necessary to ensure the consistent application of the law by the competent courts. Otherwise, considering the social status of legally invisible persons, the payment of fees may be a considerable burden to these persons and impede their access to the court.

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