Vertical survey of legislative amendments from December 11, 2018 to December 28, 2018

12 december 2018

Civil law

A 3-month period for state registration of title to real property may be established for citizens

In accordance with the legislative proposal, submitted to the State Duma, a new owner of real property shall register it with the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr) within three months. This period shall be counted from the day of occurrence of the grounds for such registration and for state cadastral registration. 

Based on the legislative proposal, the grounds for registration will be:

New rules of equity construction are approved

From January 1, 2019, all property developers shall use escrow accounts in construction of residential houses. This means that monetary funds of equity construction investors will not be transferred to the property developer, but to a special account with a bank. The property developer will only receive them upon completion of construction; and until this point the monetary funds will be tied up.

The projects will be funded by property developers using loans and their own financial reserves.

Moreover, the requirements for developers' experience are lowered from 10,000 to 5,000 sqm. This amendment is made to support regional construction companies.

Equity construction investors may gain the right to demand car-places from property developers

The amendments, enabling to include the right to demand car-places or non-residential spaces with the area of maximum 7 sqm from property developers in the claim against them in the event of their bankruptcy, are proposed to be made in the law on participation in equity construction. 

The federal law on making the amendments notes that "with the construction investor's consent, it is possible to transfer to him/her/it a residential space, car-place and non-residential space, different in the area, arrangement, location from the residential space, car-place and non-residential space corresponding to the terms and conditions of the contract, specifying the transfer of a residential space, and/or the contract, specifying the transfer of a car-place and non-residential space".

For this purpose, the equity construction investor should pay in full the price of the contract, specifying the transfer of a residential space, and/or the contract, specifying the transfer of a car-place and non-residential space.

The Moscow City Court has satisfied the claim for compensation for non-admission of the patient's relatives to the resuscitation department

The doctors many times answered with "no" to the requests of the female patent's husband and two daughters to allow them to visit her in the resuscitation department; the woman was in a serious condition, but awake. The relatives referred to the health professionals' duty to admit them to the patient pursuant to the Letter of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation dd May 30, 2016 "On the rules for visits of patients' relatives to resuscitation and intensive care departments". However, family members were not admitted to the patient room. And, in a short time, the woman died.

The relatives applied to the Izmailovskiy District Court of Moscow with a claim for compensation in the amount of RUB 173,000 to each family member. The court dismissed the claim stating that "at the moment, there is not any law or another regulation governing matters of relatives' visits to patients in resuscitation departments". The plaintiffs' reference to the defendant's violation of the provisions of Letter of the Ministry of Health of Russia No. 15-1/10/1-283 dd May 30, 2016 "On the rules for visits of patients' relatives to resuscitation and intensive care departments" was recognized by the court as inadequate, as the said document "contains only information and procedural explanations and serves as guidelines".

The Moscow City Court cancelled the judgement of the Izmailovskiy District Court of Moscow and satisfied partially the claim, ordering that the compensation in the amount of RUB 30,000 for each plaintiff shall be collected from the medical institution.

The plaintiff Olga Podoplelova, representing the interests of her family before the court, stated that "the Izmailovskiy District Court did not see the obvious thing that Article 6 of the "Law on fundamentals of healthcare principles" obliges hospitals, in the truest sense of the word, to create conditions for visits, and nobody may restrict randomly the access for relatives to patients in resuscitation departments. The Moscow City Court corrected this mistake."

The legislative proposal on penalties for overbooking has been submitted to the State Duma

Overbooking means the situation, when the airline intentionally sells a number of tickets that is greater than the number of aircraft seats in the hope that some passengers will not go by that flight.

The legislative proposal is intended for improvement of the discipline of airlines, which refuse, more are more often, to board a passenger under a passenger airlift contract that it terminates unilaterally.

In the opinion of the legislative proposal's authors, the existing maximum punishment for overbooking, i.e. the penalty in the amount of RUB 30,000, does not correspond to the size of loss, incurred by a citizen due to refusal of boarding. For this very reason, it has been proposed that the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation be supplemented with a new set of elements of the offence: illegal termination or alteration of a passenger airlift contract at the airline's initiative.

According to the proposed amendments, "unilateral termination or alteration of a passenger airlift contract at the airline's initiative in the event that there are not any grounds for its termination or alteration, specified in the federal law" will be subject to the penalty in the amount of RUB 10,000 to RUB 15,000 for officials, in the amount of RUB 50,000 to RUB 100,000 for juridical persons. The repeated offence will entail the penalty from RUB 15,000 to RUB 30,000 for officials, and from RUB 100,000 to RUB 200,000 for juridical persons.

Family law

It is proposed that the procedure for communication of children with divorced parents be changed

The legislative proposal, establishing the procedure for communication of children with a parent, living apart after the divorce, has been submitted to the State Duma. 

The legislative proposal's authors are of the opinion that the lack of statutory methods for communication of a child and a parent, living apart, and any guarantees of assurance of the right for communication make it possible for a parent, living with a child, to abuse the right.

It is proposed that the following methods for communication of a child with a parent be established in the Family Code of the Russian Federation: 

The deputies also propose that the minimum duration of face-to-face interaction of a parent with a child for the period of legal proceedings on the procedure of exercise of parental rights be established. It should make at least three hours a week.

It is proposed that children from multi-child families be enrolled to kindergartens without waiting in line

Andrey Kutepov, a member of the Federation Council, has put forward an initiative to establish legislatively the right of children from multi-child families for privileged provision of seats at preschool educational organizations at their places of residence. Moreover, it is proposed that the rule, guaranteeing enrollment of children from the same family to the same preschool educational organizations, be introduced. It is noted that this rule will not apply, if the parents consent to enrollment of children to different kindergartens. For this purpose, amendments shall be made to Federal Law No. 273-FZ dd December 29, 2012 "On education in the Russian Federation."

The Federation Council has approved the law on combating fake marriages of Russian people with foreigners

This initiative is intended to combat illegal migration. The amendments are made to the law on the legal status of foreign citizens. It specifies the procedure for issue of a permit for temporary residence in the Russian Federation to citizens of other countries without taking into account the quota.

According to the innovations, such a permit will be issued to a foreigner, married to a citizen of the Russian Federation, only in the same constituent entity, where his/her spouse lives.

It should be noted that the said restriction shall not apply to foreigners, residing temporarily in the Russian Federation, who participate in the state programme to assist voluntary resettlement of compatriots, living abroad, to the Russian Federation and due to movement of a spouse, parent or child to a new place of residence.

The Supreme Court has explained how to divide the family loan after divorce

A man filed to the court a claim against his former spouse on recovery of a half of the debt under the loan, taken during the marriage. Previously, the debt in the amount of RUB 800,000 was recognized judicially as a community debt. However, the court did not determine each spouse's debt to the bank.

The man paid RUB 400,000 toward the loan, and his former spouse did not pay the community debt. Due to this fact, he applied to the court for recovery of RUB 200,000 of the payments under the loan, made actually by him. The first instance satisfied the claim and stated that, as the loan liabilities were recognized to be the community debt in equal shares, a half of the amount paid by the plaintiff should be recovered as compensation from the former wife. However, the appeal court did not agree to such a position of the district court and cancelled the judgement. It stated that the former spouse selected an incorrect remedy. Besides, the plaintiff paid a half of the community debt and did not pay the monetary funds to the bank account towards redemption of the former wife's share.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has agreed to the position of the court of the first instance. It has noted that, in determining shares in the community debt, the debt is not divided and the debtor is not changed for another, but a part of the debt, which the debtor may demand, upon performance of the liability fully or partially, from another participant to the community debt, is established.

Besides, no amendments were made to the loan agreement of the spouses, therefore, the former wife is not a party to the agreement. The court has distributed the community debt, but it has not determined each spouse's debt to the bank. Therefore, as for the loan liability, which arose during the marriage, the duty to perform the liability after divorce is imposed on one of the former spouses. And the borrowing spouse may demand that the other spouse pay compensation for loan payment, made by the first spouse.

Tax law

The duty will be imposed on foreign purchases at the cost of over EUR 500

From January 01, 2019, it will be necessary to pay the duty of 30 % of the value of goods brought from abroad that cost more than EUR 500. The limitations will only apply to persons, crossing the board by railway, car, sea and on foot. Besides, the maximum permitted weight of duty-free import of goods will be reduced from 50 kg to 25 kg. For the excess over the limit, 30 % of the value of goods, but at least EUR 4 per 1 kg of the weight, shall be paid.

However, if a passenger goes by plane, the limitations shall not apply to him/her. He/she may import goods in the amount of up to EUR 10,000 without paying a duty.

The new limitations shall not cover belongings, taken by tourists abroad with them. The customs office will differentiate them from those, bought abroad, taking into consideration the seasonality of things, any signs of wear and laundering, lack of labels and tags, and their objective necessity.

The adopted measure is intended to combat the grey import; however, experts believe that it will hurt ordinary tourists. Also, it will affect residents of border areas of the country, going shopping to adjacent countries (Finland, China).

Intellectual property right

The new mechanism for protection of intellectual rights is introduced in Russia

The State Duma passed in their third reading the amendments to the Civil Code on provision of interim protection of industrial designs.

The purpose of this legislative proposal is to support the clothing and footwear industry, in particular, to protect the rights of designers developing models of clothing, footwear, which require legal protection and may be registered as an industrial design. The existing mechanisms for protection of design solutions have no practical meaning due to the long term (about a year and a half) for registration of industrial designs and fast-changing fashion trends.

It is planned to provide interim protection upon publication of an application for registration of an industrial design and until publication regarding issue of a patent.

Housing law

From January 1, 2019, the minimum monthly amount of contribution for overhaul in Moscow will be increased by RUB 1.19 per 1 sqm

The authorities of Moscow have changed the minimum amount of contribution for overhaul in the capital of Russia. From January 1, 2019, the monthly contribution will be RUB 18.19 per 1 sqm of the total area of a residential (non-residential) space in an apartment building.

May we remind that from January 1, 2019, the scope of persons, to whom the reliefs for the payment of contributions for overhaul may be granted, is extended. In particular, the regions are entitled to release persons over 80 years old, residing in a family with unemployed disabled persons of categories I and II, from payment of contributions for overhaul. If the age of the above persons is from 70 to 80 years old, the rate of compensation will be 50 %.

The Supreme Court has decided who shall pay for damage caused by roof leaks

The space owner complained several times about roof leaks. And, in spring, the ice, built up on the roof, unfroze and caused flooding of the room on the upper floor. The apartment owner filed a claim against the property management company for recovery of loss. The property management company did not recognize the claim and referred to the bad state of the roof, due to which it shall not make a routine repair, as overhaul is required.

The court of the first instance supported the position of the apartment owner, and the appeal court supported the position of the property management company. The case was finished by the Supreme Court which upheld the judgement of the first instance.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation did not agree to such a position and stated that: 

Therefore, failure to make a decision on overhaul of the rood has not prevented the property management company from making urgent routine works on repair of the roof.

Enforcement proceedings

It is proposed that the amount, which may be recovered through a debtor's employer without bailiffs, be increased four times

The State Duma passed, in their second reading, the amendments, according to which the amount of the debt, within which the recoveror may send itself a writ of enforcement to an organization or another person, paying to the debtor a salary, pension, educational allowance, will be RUB 100,000 maximum. At the moment, the amount shall not exceed RUB 25,000.

In the opinion of the deputies, this innovation will make it possible to expand opportunities for fulfilment of writs of enforcement outside the enforcement proceedings and will reduce expenditures of budgetary funds.

It is planned to leave the subsistence minimum when recovering debts from salaries and pensions of people

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has prepared a legislative proposal, enabling to leave the subsistence minimum for debtors in the event of recovery of debts from salaries and pensions. Besides, it is suggested that this amount might be increased judicially, if a debtor has financial dependents. This legislative proposal is intended to protect poor debtors.

However, experts criticize the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. If the legislative proposal is adopted, the process of recovery of debts will become slower, which will force banks to refuse lending to pensioners and other individuals with a low revenue level.
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