Property of the Town of Janov
Longstanding criticism of the mayor of Janov’s actions relating to sale of municipal property led the TIC Legal Advisory Centre to file a criminal complaint on suspected misuse of public authority and violation of public property management duties reaching as far back as 2008. In summer 2009, the relevant criminal authorities initiated criminal prosecution against the mayor, a lawsuit was subsequently filed by the state prosecutor and at present the court trial is underway.
Concurrently with the criminal investigation of the case, TIC worked with clients – citizens of the town – to exercise their right to access to information, which the municipality of Janov continuously violates. Based on the lawsuit compiled by TIC, the clients won the court case but the municipality of Janov refused to provide the requested information despite the court decision. Therefore, on behalf of its clients, TIC wrote a motion for enforcement of the decision that was likewise accepted by the court, which then ordered enforcement of the given decision. However the municipality appealed the court decision and the appellate court decided that the enforcement order had been issued against an entity not entitled to be sued in this case (i.e. the Town of Janov instead of the municipal authority). In regard to the fact that TIC disagreed with the court’s action, it prepared a constitutional complaint on behalf of its clients. This complaint was denied by the Constitutional Court because the clients had filed a new motion for enforcement of the decision, this time against the municipal authority of Janov, along with the constitutional complaint. Currently execution proceedings are underway, in which the municipal authority has already been issued a fine.
The case is an exemplary illustration of the absurdity of the existing system, where on the one hand there is the citizen’s right to obtain information within a 15-day period on the basis of an informal request, and on the other hand there are lengthy court disputes that do not lead to any real provision of information even after several years.