We helped our Client to revoke unlawful seizure of a car and returned it to the owner

At the beginning of 2011 our firm was addressed by a Client whose vehicle had been seized under the protocol of property description and seizure within enforcement proceedings. This personal property had been provided for storage in organization which sells seized property at public auctions. Client’s main requirement was to regain the vehicle ownership.

While analyzing the situation we found out that the property was seized unlawfully because the vehicle was under the lien and collector was not a lien holder. According to Section 1of Article 54 of the Law of Ukraine “On enforcement proceedings” collection of property under lien is possible only to satisfy requirements of lien holder. Section 3 of Article 54 of the Law of Ukraine “On enforcement proceedings” provides two exceptions of this rule:

  • when lien right arose after a court decision;
  • when a price of lien subject significantly exceeds the amount of debt to a lien holder.

This rule is imperative and does not allow extended interpretation. In Client’s case the descried grounds for collection of property under lien were absent. Thus, seizure of the vehicle was illegal. Client personally (prior addressing to our firm) lodged a complaint against actions of state enforcer but it was rejected.

In this regard our lawyers completed legal analysis of the situation and developed a mechanism of property return.

We filed an appeal against decision of court of first instance in which we provided reasoning on illegality of property seizure and extended claims which would help the Client to satisfy his requirements. Court of appeal upheld our position and sent our appeal for a new hearing in court of first instance which ruled to satisfy the claims.

The next important stage was securing of maximally fast enforcement of court decision. At this stage we could face difficulties related to delaying of vehicle return process which could be caused by the following factors:

  • Court decision on seizure revocation and cancellation of property search enters into force after the end of appeal term. Practice shows that enforcement services always appeal against court decisions which were ruled not in their favor;
  • Revocation of property seizure and cancellation of its search may be performed only by state enforcer by issuing special acts. In practice state enforcers intentionally delay issuance of these acts;
  • The actual return of property is performed by representatives of trade organization which return seized property that was received for sale quite unwillingly. So they delay return of the property explaining it by different technical difficulties. And lodging complaints against their inactivity also delays the process.

Thus, return of the car could be delayed for a long time due to actions of enforcement service and representatives of trade organization. We managed to avoid delay of the process of vehicle actual return by developing appropriate position while communicating with the enforcement service and representatives of organization which sells seized property.

By applying proper and effective tools we’ve:

  • Obtained a court decision about recognition as illegal and revocation of state enforcer’s acts related to seizure and search of vehicle as well as revocation of protocol of property description and seizure;
  • Managed to achieve quick enforcement of obtained court decision which was not hindered by trade organization and enforcement service.

Thus, we helped the Client to achieve revocation of unlawful car seizure and actually returned it within shortest possible term.

Publication date: 10/08/2012

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