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Czech Republic / The Supreme court / 30 Cdo 1376/2012

Municipality of Olomouc v Regional Attorney’s Office

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
The Supreme Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The district court in Olomouc released a resolution 22.9.2010 n. 38 Nc 1402/2009-260 by which L.V was deprived of his parental rights and responsibilities to his two children A and D.V. Father L.V was found guilty of murder by a regional court in Ostrava 13.1.2010 and sentenced to 14 years and 6 months of imprisonment. The district court stated that although the behaviour of the father was not focused against the children, he still caused them a huge mental distress which will have life lasting effects. By this behaviour he misused his parental rights according to s.44 (3) of The Family Act and therefore will be deprived of his parental rights and responsibilities. The appellate court confirmed the decision and it added that such behaviour was an unacceptable example to the children and therefore he violated even s.32 of the Family Act. L.V filed a petition for review in the Supreme Court. He claimed that the act was pointed only at the mother of the children not them and that it can’t be interpreted as a violation of s.43 of the Family Act, for he had not acted contrary to his parental responsibilities. He also said that it is proved, that his daughter is looking forward to him. The decision of the court can cause even more damage because it might deprive the children of both of their parents. The Supreme Court raised a legal question whether murder of a mother of minors can constitute itself a breach of parental rights and responsibilities and shall every time lead to deprivation of those rights by court. The breach of parental rights and responsibilities can according to the court be considered: A threat to a children’s corporal or mental development, making possible for them to engage in criminal activities, leading immoral life… The deprivation of parental rights and responsibilities has to be in the interest of a child and seek its happiness. The petitioner also claims that the lower courts didn’t make a thorough interrogation of his daughter and that her statements weren’t considered. The Supreme Court contradicted this complaint by stating that if both, the trial court and the appellate court, considering the circumstances of the case, with regard to age and harmfulness to mental health of the interrogation, did not interrogate the children; it is not contrary to the principles of the Charter expressed in Article 24, which are reflected in s.100 (4) of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Supreme Court closed the case by agreement with the lower courts. The murder was an intense and grave violation of parental responsibilities, for it caused intense psychical harm to the children.