Establishing the fact of a person's birth in Ukraine in court
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There are numerous instances where an individual is born outside of healthcare institutions or in the occupied territories of our country. Similarly, there are cases where someone was born in the early 20th century, and there are no electronic registry or archive records of their birth. Situations also arise where foreigners wish to establish familial ties with Ukraine. In such cases, legally establishing the fact of birth can be an important, yet challenging, step. This process is especially difficult for those who are not familiar with the legal field or are unable to approach various authorities for different reasons.
We are prepared to assist in this process by providing a comprehensive package of services. Our team will prepare all the necessary documents for a court application, and if required, we will draft a legal claim. With over 10 years of experience, we are ready to take on all the important aspects of interaction with legal institutions. Throughout each step, we guarantee a professional and effective approach to solving this legal matter, ensuring your confidence in the process. Additionally, we offer these services remotely, based on a power of attorney.
In this article, we share our experience and detail how the process of establishing the fact of birth through legal proceedings is conducted.
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Pre-Trial Resolution in Establishing the Fact of Birth in Ukraine
Pre-trial resolution is essentially the preparatory stage before filing a court case. It is at this stage that a package of documents, serving as evidence for the stated legal claims, needs to be assembled.
To establish the fact of a person's birth within the territory of Ukraine, it's necessary to approach the State Register of Civil Status Acts and the State Archive, specifically their territorial subdivisions, with an appropriate application. The choice of the office of the State Register of Civil Status Acts and State Archive should be guided by any known information about the birthplace of the applicant's relatives if such information is available. The application should contain as much known information about the applicant's relative as possible to enable their identification.
However, an application to the State Register of Civil Status Acts and the State Archive might not lead to the desired result, and the applicant may receive a response about the lack of information or a refusal due to insufficient data for identity verification. In such a scenario, the next step is to file a case in court to try to establish the legal fact through judicial proceedings.
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Judicial Process for Establishing the Fact of Birth in Ukrainian Territory
According to Ukraine's current civil procedural legislation, the question of establishing a person's birth in Ukraine is categorized as establishing facts that have legal significance. These cases are handled by courts in a separate proceeding, meaning they don't involve legal disputes but are aimed at identifying and verifying the necessary facts and circumstances.
An application for establishing legally significant facts should be filed at the applicant's place of residence. If a Ukrainian citizen lives abroad, they can submit their application to the Supreme Court of Ukraine, which then determines the jurisdiction of the case. The situation for foreign nationals is not explicitly regulated by law, which can lead to potential delays in initiating legal proceedings. However, generally, a foreigner has the right to approach any court within Ukraine.
The law specifies only four key elements that must be included in the application for establishing the fact of birth in Ukraine with legal significance:
- The specific fact the applicant requests to establish, along with their explanations regarding the purpose of establishing such a fact.
- The reasons why the applicant cannot obtain or restore documents verifying the fact through non-judicial means.
- Evidence supporting the stated fact.
- A certificate indicating the impossibility of restoring lost documents.
Supporting evidence that validates the circumstances and arguments presented in the application must be attached to the application.
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Establishing the Fact of Birth in Occupied Territories
On July 1, 2022, changes were introduced to the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, addressing the specificities of establishing the fact of birth in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
An individual, the applicant, has the right to file an application in any local court across Ukraine, without being restricted to their place of residence. The applicant can be a parent, family members, guardian or custodian, a person caring for and raising the child, or any other lawful representative.
These cases are to be processed promptly from the date of submission of the respective application.
When applying to the court, the applicant is not required to attach a refusal notice from the ZAGS authorities and the State Archive to their application. This provision allows the applicant to directly approach the court with their application.
Nevertheless, for submitting the application, it is still necessary to collect evidence. This evidence may include:
- Testimonies or statements from witnesses.
- Audio or video recordings.
- Expert opinions.
- A copy of a medical certificate.
- Personal correspondence.
- Information from open sources and social networks.
- Any other evidence that can directly or indirectly substantiate the circumstances stated in the application.
The decision made in the case is subject to immediate execution. The court's decision can be appealed, but such an appeal does not suspend its execution.
It's crucial to recognize that each case is individual, so the set of documents required to prove specific circumstances outlined in the application is entirely unique. The complexity of these cases stems from the need for an accurately presented legal position and the collection of the right documents, as these factors will determine the outcome of the entire case. Our qualified professionals are ready to assist you with:
- Analyzing your particular situation;
- Providing expert legal consultation;
- Developing a legal stance for your case;
- Assisting in collecting the necessary documents that will serve as evidence;
- Representing your interests in court proceedings;
- Ensuring the enforcement of the court’s decision.
Contact us, and we will do everything possible to successfully resolve your legal situation.
Information about the cost of services for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship is available here.
Details about the cost and process of obtaining a residence permit in Ukraine can be found here.