The Project client and her cousins are owners of a very valuable plot of land in the centre of Pec. She discovered that her property had been sold based on a fraudulent transaction. At the moment 3 civil lawsuits are ongoing as well as 2 criminal illegal occupants of her plot of land in center of Pec. This apparently simple case turned out to be very complex, to the point that EULEX presence was necessary during the eviction in August 2010. Finally, in December 2011, the main trial in one of the two criminal cases was held. The Project has been representing the client from June 2011. Based on much grounded documentary evidence, and thanks to the excellent cooperation with the local Prosecutor, this case has been successfully solved. The Project legal officers are very satisfied with the cooperation with Public Prosecutor Office in Pec. The 2 illegal occupants were declared guilty of illegal re-occupation of immovable property of Project clients in the centre of Pec. Currently the civil case is awaiting the final verdict.
The Project client is the owner of an apartment in Obilic in Kosovo and Metohija. He received a Housing and Property Directorate (HPD) decision in his favor in 2006, ordering the eviction of an illegal occupant from his flat. However, after the eviction, the illegal occupant reoccupied the flat. A criminal charge was submitted to the competent Prosecutor. The client referred the problem to the Project in March 2011. The necessary documentation was prepared accordingly and the Project represented the client during the main trial in October 2011. In October 2011, the illegal occupant was declared guilty of illegal occupation of the client’s apartment in the centre of Obilic. Consequently an order was issued for the illegal occupant to vacate the premises. Currently, the Project is waiting to see whether the illegal occupant will lodge an appeal.
The Project took over this case in March 2011. The Project client was very determined to protect her property rights in Vitina, where her property had been illegally occupied. She has submitted a lawsuit in a civil litigation as well as criminal charge to competent Prosecutor. Unfortunately she could not manage to schedule any oral hearings. After several urgencies and personal visits to the presiding judge, an initial oral hearing was scheduled. The main trial was successfully concluded before the Municipal Court in favor of the client. In October 2011, the illegal occupant was declared guilty of illegal occupation of Project client’s apartment in the centre of Vitina.
In this case, the client’s determination and persistence was strengthened by the Project assistance and this synergy proved to be the key to solving the client’s issue. As a result, the first instance decision was brought. Even thought the client is expecting that the other side will appeal, she is very satisfied to have the Project team on her side, to support her further in her legal battle.
Four brothers are the owners of agricultural land nearby Pec. Their land has been occupied for years by three illegal occupants. A criminal charge was submitted to the competent Prosecutor during the summer 2010. The local Prosecutor in Pec acted appropriately, but, the Municipal court in Pec is overloaded with cases. A written urgency was delivered to the presiding judge. Eventually an oral hearing was scheduled in July 2011. Even though the judge in his introductory speech in the trial room said that he would expect a long lasting, hard litigation, fortunately, after only 5 hours of oral hearing, the presiding judge has managed to conclude the session. The 3 illegal occupants were found guilty of illegal occupation. They were ordered to vacate the land. In the clients’ words, “this is a miracle”, especially having in mind the usual manner of proceedings before the Kosovo courts, which can sometimes take years.
During a “GO AND SEE VISIT” to their home in the centre of Prizren, Project clients, 4 brothers, learned that their home had been sold as a result of a fraudulent transaction. Although they don’t have problems concerning freedom of movement throughout Kosovo, and feel confident about addressing the local institutions, Project clients, without legal assistance could not do almost anything except submitting a lawsuit in August 2010. As they were losing their hopes that the court procedure would ever start, they addressed the Project. The Project contacted the presiding judge in May 2011. The first oral hearing was scheduled in June 2011. At the end of October 2011, the local judge of the Municipal Court in Prizren issued the 1st instance decision in favor of Project clients. Although the responding party submitted an appeal, Project clients are nevertheless very pleased since finally they could see some progress and they now feel they have somebody to rely on for further assistance.
The Project client is the inheritor of agricultural land nearby Istok municipality. He submitted the claim to inherit the land to the competent court in August 2010. However, he did not receive any feedback from the court for 9 months. At that point, in April 2011, he addressed the Project. The Project Legal Officers contacted the presiding judge, who requested additional documentation and to verify the power of attorney. Eventually the case file was completed in May 2011 and the inheritance decision, transferring the ownership to Project client, was issued on 1st of July 2011. The client was very grateful at the end of the procedure. He repeated several times “Without the Project I could have waited for years to finalize this simple procedure”. In this case, a small intervention from the Project, made a big difference for the client.
The Project client, his brother and sister have inherited some agricultural land nearby Klina in Kosovo and Metohija. During 2008 they wanted to return to their home but found out that their plot of land was occupied. At that time they did not know whether the land parcel was unlawfully occupied or purchased based on some forged documents. Eventually it turned out that it was a fraudulent transaction. The lawsuit was submitted to the competent court in June 2009. The local court was not able to process the case in accurate manner. EULEX was addressed and requested to take over the case. The case file was based on documentary evidence with very strong ground, including the expertise of a graphologist. The Project took over the case in June 2011. The introductory trial hearing took place at the beginning of March 2011. In July 2011, the EULEX judge issued the 1st instance decision in favor of the Project client. Even though the representative of the responding party, an influential and well-connected individual, resorted to all means to prolong this litigation, the Project managed to obtain the verdict in only 5 months time.
As a result, the responding party sent an envoy aiming to come to a peaceful settlement of the issue. Needless to say, the Project client was very pleased with the results of the Project assistance and the important progress made since June 2009 when he first started to fight his legal battle to win back his family’s inheritance.
The Project client was the beneficiary of a Pension fund from Croatia, but the Pension fund suddenly stopped paying the pension with no obvious reason to the beneficiary. The Project Legal Officers contacted the Pension Fund, situated in Zadar. The officials at the Pension Fund explained that the client should have submitted a new request for the establishment of the pension payments in Croatia. The previous one was terminated because shе failed to send the required documents and submit a new address. The official request was written on behalf of the client and sent to the Pension Fund, Zadar Office. After this intervention, the Pension Fund continued with the payment of pension to Project client. In this way, a small intervention from the Project team, made a big difference in the life of a retired refugee.
The client's wife was granted shares within the privatization process of the company where she was employed. In the meantime, she passed away and she was not paid off the money she was entitled to receive. The Project Legal officers contacted the representative of the Kosovo Privatization Agency, who informed the Project that the client should have sent the relevant documents to the Kosovo Trade Union, responsible for payment of that amount (around 2,000 euro). The request for payment was written for the client, and together with the supporting documentation was sent to the Kosovo Trade Union. After this, the Project Legal Officers contacted the Kosovo Trade Union by phone, in order to urge in the client’s name, and in the end the whole amount was paid to the client. The case was initiated in August 2011 and in less than 4 months, the client received the money his wife earned through the privatization process.
The property that the Project client’s family owned in Djakovica was taken over by a fraudulent transaction (as a result of false documents submitted to municipal cadastre office). The 1st instance procedure against the persons involved in this fraudulent transaction started in 2009. The Project took over the case in 2011 when the Legal Officers gathered the necessary documents and addressed various institutions in Kosovo and Metohija (court, cadastre, public prosecutor’s office, police, etc.). In addition, the Municipal Court in Djakovica was addressed as well. In January 2012, as a result of numerous legal pressures to resolve this issue, the defendant, who illegally took over the Project client’s property, accepted an extrajudicial agreement proposed by the client (and prepared with the Project’s assistance), and the three-year old dispute was finally resolved. The satisfied Project client received a rightful and adequate compensation for his property and therefore, this case is positively solved.
In 2001 the Project client’s documents were counterfeited and submitted to the Pec Cadastre Agency where he owned a property. In this way, his property was taken away by the counterfeited documents. The client started a court procedure in Pec Municipal Court. The proceedings lasted until 2009 when the Court finally ruled in favor of the client. The lawyer of the defendant (who possessed the counterfeited documents) appealed, and the District Court in Pec, for procedural reasons, granted the appeal and returned the case to first case instance. In April 2011, theProject took over the case. The case was restarted at the Municipal Court in Pec. The Project Legal Officers attended 6 court hearings from June 2011 up to January 2012. In January 2012 the Municipal court in Pec again ruled in favor of Project Client annulling the fraudulent transaction. The Client was very satisfied with this decision and is now waiting to see whether the other party will submit an appeal. If no appeal is submitted, the verdict will become final and the property will be registered again on the name of lawful owners in the Pec Cadastre Agency.
The Project client started in 2007 a Court procedure against the persons who had illegally occupied his property in Djakovica. The case was initially dealt with by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Project took it over from them. DRC succeeded in obtaining the 1st instance court decision, brought by the Municipal Court in Djakovica, favorable to client. The decision confirmed ownership of the client over immovable property, which was unlawfully occupied by a local resident. The Project staff has on several occasions urged the case at the District court in Pec so that the 2nd instance decision would be issued. In November 2011 the District court in Pec confirmed the 1st instance court decision. Next stage is to evict illegal occupant through the procedure for the execution of court decisions.
The Project client is the owner of a land plot in Prizren where she started the construction of her house. In August 1999 she was forced to escape from Prizren. Her first neighbour took over the lot and started building a four-floor object. She filed a claim with the Housing and Property Directorate (HPD) and received a decision in her favour, the occupant was evicted but nevertheless he reoccupied the property and built four-floor object. Since no steps were taken after this decision, in order to solve her problem, she submitted in 2005 a lawsuit to the Municipal Court in Prizren. Since then, the Court acted but with no results. In this particular case, the judge was allegedly threatened by the defendant so in 2011 he decided to pass this case to EULEX. Legal and administrative documentation was prepared by the Project Legal Officers. The Project Legal Officers presented the case in the course of 5 hearings in front of EULEX judges. On December 21, 2011 the EULEX judge issued 1st instance decision in favour of the Project beneficiary. While expressing her satisfaction, the Project client stated that she had stopped thinking that she could possibly win that case after so many years of trying and she was very happy when she heard about the EULEX decision. After this decision, the illegal occupant submitted an appeal. The Project Legal Officers prepared an answer to the appeal. The case is now pending before the second instance Court.
A man - IDP from Prizren, currently lives in Pirot and he has a Contract on the Life Endowment with his grandfather, who died on October 3, 1999, in Prizren. Contract on the Life Endowment was duly prepared, signed, notarized and filed within the municipal court in Prizren on March 20, 1989. He is still listed in the Contract as the owner of the house and a garden in Prizren and he was interested to initiate a procedure in the Prizren Cadastre Agency, in order to officially register himself as the owner. After several personal unsuccessful attempts to start the registration procedure in the Cadastre Agency in Prizren, being unable to contact the Cadastre Agency and to appoint a lawyer in Prizren, the client and his father approached the Legal Aid Project, in order to solve their problem.
All necessary legal, administrative and technical documentation was prepared by the Project and the case was submitted to the Prizren Cadastre Agency. Following several meetings and urging the authorities in the Cadastre, client was registered as property owner and a new extract from the Cadastre record was issued. After telling the client that the case is over and that we have finished registering him in the Cadastre record, he thanked us and said “… I thought I could finish this registration procedure in Cadastre by myself, because I had all valid documents, but after several attempts, I became convinced that it would be too difficult and complicated. After I contacted the Project, honestly I did not really expect that you will be able to finish it and I was a little skeptical, but here after 4 months, you’ve done a great job and something I thought was impossible to achieve…”