What should the court find out about the renewal of the term for appealing the court decision

On November 3, 2021, the Supreme Court, as a member of the panel of judges of the Third Judicial Chamber of the Civil Court of Cassation, considered, in the order of simplified legal proceedings, the case on the claim of PERSON_1 against the Private Joint-Stock Company "Insurance Company "Universalna" (hereinafter – PrJSC "SC "Universalna") for compensation for damage from taking into account the increase in debt, interest and three percent per annum.
Addressing the court with a claim, PERSON_1 noted that as a result of a traffic accident involving a VAZ 2103 vehicle, driven by PERSON_2, and a Fiat Doblo vehicle, driven by him, the vehicles received mechanical damage. By court ruling, PERSON_2 was found guilty of committing an administrative offense provided for in Article 124 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. PERSON_2's civil and legal liability was insured at SC "Universalna" PrJSC. According to the court decision, which has entered into legal force, property damage has been collected in favor of the plaintiff. However, the court decision was enforced only three years later, so PERSON_1 believed that the defendant was obliged to pay him the inflationary increase of the debt, 3% per annum and interest.
The court of first instance rejected the claim.
The appellate court refused to open an appellate proceeding based on the appeal of PERSON_1, because the appeal was filed more than a year after the expiration of one year from the date of drafting the full text of the court decision, and force majeure circumstances were not specified in the petition to extend the time limit for the appeal.
The Supreme Court annulled the decision of the appellate court, referred the case to the appellate court for further consideration in view of the following.
In the case under review, on April 30, 2021, PERSON_1 filed an appeal against the decision of the local court dated January 22, 2020.
The Court of Appeal established that the plaintiff was informed of the hearing of the case on January 22, 2020. However, the appellate court did not determine whether there is evidence of the delivery of the contested decision to PERSON_1, since the plaintiff's knowledge of the date of the case hearing does not refute the fact that the court of first instance did not comply with the procedure of sending the full text of the court decision to the party, nor does it indicate that the party was familiar with the content of such a decision and his motives.
The court established that the decision of the court of first instance dated January 22, 2020 contains a note that its full text was drawn up on February 3, 2020. In the case file, there are accompanying letters from the court dated February 12, 2020 and August 3, 2020, which do not confirm that a copy of the court decision was sent to the public. Also, in May and July 2020, attorneys' requests were registered to provide information about the outcome of this case or the date of the next court hearing.
The appellate court also ignored the fact that, according to information from the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, the decision of the local court dated January 22, 2020 was sent by the court to the registry on March 23, 2021, registered on March 24, 2021, and made public on March 25, 2021. i.e. after one year.
Thus, the appellate court found excessive formalism and disproportionality between the means used and the goal set, in the absence of information about the results of the case, as evidenced by his appeal, as well as data on the plaintiff's receipt of the decision of the court of first instance, in connection with which he reached a premature conclusion on refusal to open appeal proceedings.
During the new review, the appellate court should check the case materials, which indicate the date of preparation of the full text of the court decision, in combination with the information entered in the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, and find out whether the full text of the court decision was actually prepared on the specified date in a court decision.
You can read more about the text of the decision of the Supreme Court of November 3, 2021 in case No. 466/6958/19 (proceedings No. 61-11680св21) at the link .
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