The Public Defender of Rights receives around 250 complaints concerning the state administration of courts a year, one third of them addresses delays in court proceedings.
In one of the recent cases, the complainant objected that even after one year and a half of the divorce proceedings, the motion was not served to the opposing party. However, the court found his complaint against delays unreasonable since the judge could not be held liable for the delays. The reasons for the excessive length of the proceedings lied in the problems with the certified translation into an exotic language of the applicant's wife because there was only one interpreter authorised for the translation of the language. Due to his workload and health issues and despite the court's urgency, the translation could not be completed in time.
Although the Ombudsman did not find the judge responsible for the delays, he found that the responsibility of the State still applies because the delays were caused by objective circumstances on the side of the court.
The Ombudsman concluded that even though the judge and the Vice-President of the court actively tried to find an alternative solution of the situation, the delays objectively occurred, and the complaint was therefore justified. Finally, he also informed the complainant about his right to obtain a reasonable satisfaction for the non-material damage that could be claimed at the Ministry of Justice within 6 months prior the end of the proceedings.
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