Law on Property and Justice Reform and supplementary measures (2005)

Law no. 247 of 19 July 2005
on property and justice reform,
and supplementary measures

(Excerpts)

(The text of the document is published in the Official Journal, Part I no. 653 of 22 July 2005)


TITLE II
Amending and completion of the Government’s Emergency Ordinance no. 94/2000 on restituting the real estate
that belonged to Romanian denominations


    Article I. - The Government Emergency Ordinance no. 94/2000 regarding the restitution of real estate that belonged to Romanian denominations, published in the Official Journal, Part I, no. 308 of 4 July 2000, approved with amendments by Law no. 501/2002, is amended and completed as follows:

1. Article 1 (1), (2), (6) and (7) is amended as follows:
    Article 1. - (1) The real estate, other than state-owned or public legal entity worship premises, that belonged to Romanian denominations and have been unlawfully seized during 6 March 1945 – 22 December 1989, by the Romanian state, cooperative organizations or any other legal entity stipulated in Art. 11, shall be restituted, according to the this emergency ordinance to the former owners.
    (2) Real estate, according to this ordinance, shall be considered the existing buildings, together with the afferent territory and lands situated within the built-up area, used for any type of activity at the time of abusive takeover not restituted until the date of adopting the present law. Annexes to the buildings shall be taken over with pecuniary retribution, only if they do not exceed 50% of the area. Otherwise, no restitution will be done, and the real estate shall be considered a new one. In this category are not included minor and essential repairing, consolidations, and changes in the original division, functional improvements and other similar modifications.
    (6) If in the restituted buildings are conducted educational or public health activities, financed by state or local budgets, the new owner is required to maintain this activity for a period of up to 5 years after issuing a decision. During this period the new owner shall benefit from a rent in the amount established by Government’s decision. In the meantime the users shall pay the expenses for maintenaning the building.
    (7) Movable property shall also be restituted together with the buildings, and if it exists now of submitting the application for restitution. The current holder of the property shall carry out an inventory of the existing movable property within 30 days from submitting the application for restitution, at the request and in the presence of the representatives of the denomination that submitted the request for restitution. If this term is not observed, the procedure provided by Art. 46 para. (2) - (4) of Law no. 10/2001 regarding the legal status of property abusively taken over during 6 March 1945 to 22 December 1989, republished, shall be applied.

2. In Article 1, after paragraph (2) shall be introduced 4 new paragraphs, (21), (22), (23) and (24):
(21) Where the land is partially occupied, to the entitled person may be restituted the vacant part of the land and an equivalent for the part occupied with new buildings or public utilities. Where the land is fully occupied, equivalent remedies shall be established. Lands with superficial or dismantled buildings shall also be restituted.
    (22) If the land can not be restituted its value shall be established according to international assessment standards in force at the moment of issuing the decision.
    (23) For the situations provided in para. (21), equivalent remedies shall be established, according to the special law that regulates the type and the procedure of offering compensations. 
    (24) If the property restituted by the Special commission's decision is in the state’s or administrative-territorial unit public domain, it will be removed from the public sphere within 30 days after the Special restitution commission's decision becomes final, in accordance with Law no. 213/1998 on public property and its legal status, with subsequent amendments.

    4. After Article 1, shall be inserted Article 11:
    Article 11. - (1) Real estate - land and buildings – abusively taken, regardless of their destination, possessed at the date of the entry into force of this law by independent administration, national company, where the state or a central or local authority is the majority shareholder or associate, shall be restituted to the applicant, by decision of the management bodies. The state’s or central or local authority’s participation rate shall diminish according to the value of the restituted real estate’s value, by reducing the capital and recalculating the patrimony.
    (2) In cases provided in para. (1) the Special restitution commission shall forward the request for restitution to the unit owners, who must examine it within 60 days from the date of submitting the file.
    (3) Paragraph (2), (21), (22) and (7) of Art. 1 shall apply accordingly.
      (4) For the situations described in Art. 1. (21) where factual restitution can not be accomplished, equivalent remedies provided by the special law or compensation with other equivalent goods shall be offered by the owning unity, with the consent of the entitled person.
    (6) Decisions stipulated in par. (1) may be appealed in the civil division of the court situated in the territorial constituency of the owning unity, within 30 days of their communication.

    6. Article 2 (4) is amended as follows:
    (4) The Special Commission for restitution shall be established by the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, namely the National Authority for Property Restitution.

    8. Article 2 (5) and (6) is amended as follows:
    (5) The Special commission for restitution or, where appropriate, the owning unit stipulated in Art. 11 shall review the documentation submitted by applicants for each property and shall order, by reasoned decision, the restitution of the required real estate, reject the application, if it turns to be unreasoned or shall propose to be established some equivalent remedies, according to the special law. If the property is listed as historical monuments, the handover decision will state that the owner has rights and obligations provided by law.
   (6) The commission’s decisions can be appealed to the administrative court of the real estate’s territorial jurisdiction within 30 days from their communication. The decision issued by the administrative court is enforceable under Law no. 554/2004.

    9. In Article 2, after paragraph (6) two new paragraphs, (7) and (8), shall be included:
   (7) Ministries, prefectures, municipalities, cadastral services and offices and other public institutions are obliged to provide, within 30 days, to the commission’s written request, information on the legal status of property subject to restitution claims.
   (8) If the requested property owner is not known, the municipality where the real estate is situated, at the special commission’s request is bound to identify the owning unity and communicate, within 30 days, its identification data.
    10. In Article 3, after paragraph (2), three new paragraphs (21), (22) and (23) are introduced:
    (21) To establish the property right, the applicant may submit written evidence, authenticated witness statements, extrajudicial expertise and any other acts which, combined, prove the presumption of his/her property right.
   (22) If there is no contrary evidence, the existence and, where appropriate, the extent of the property right shall be considered the one stipulated by the legal document of abusive takeover. 
   (23) The provisions of par. (22), if there is no contrary evidence, the individual nominated in the legal document shall be considered the owner.
 
    11. Article 4 (1) is amended to read as follows:
    Article 4. - (1) The property right over the requested real estate shall be recovered on the basis of the decision of the Special commission on restitution, owning unit or court’s final decision.

     16. After article 4, two new articles, Articles 41 and 42, are introduced:
    Article 41. - (1) Where the real estate subject of this emergency ordinance was legally alienated after 22 December 1989, the holders of the restitution requests may opt for equivalent remedies under Art. 4. (5).
   (2) Legal acts of property subject to this emergency ordinance’s alienation are null and void if concluded by violating the mandatory provisions of applicable laws.
    Article 42. - (1) Alienation, change of destination, mortgage or encumbrance of any form of property in regards to which restitution requests have been submitted under this emergency ordinance shall be null and void until the administrative and legal issues are solved.
   (2) Applicants are bound notify, in writing, the current owner holder about the existence of restitution requests submitted according to this emergency ordinance.

    17. Article 5 (1) and (2) is amended as follows:
    Article 5. - (A) The owners who will regain property rights of the real estate under this emergency order shall sign with the actual owners of these buildings a compulsory protocol of delivery-reception within 60 days from the date when the Special commission for restitution’s decision became final. If the protocol is not signed in time, an enforcement officer shall fulfill a minutes on unilateral takeover of the building.
   (2) The owners will take possession of the required immovable property no later than up to five years from the moment of regaining property right, according to Art. 1. (6) and art. 4. (2) and (21).
       19. After Article 5, three new articles - 51, 52 and 53 are introduced:
    Article 51. - (1) Failure to comply with obligations provided by Emergency Ordinance shall lead to the institution’s or, where appropriate, the head of the institution’s administrative liability.
   (2) The following deeds are violations:
a) failure to comply with the obligation set in art. 1. (24);
b) failure to comply with the obligation set in art. 1. (7);
c) failure to comply with the obligation set in art. 11 para. (2) by unit owners;
d) lack of or wrong communication of the required information under Art. 2. (7) and (8);
e) failure to comply with the obligation set in art. 5. (1);
f) infringement of the prohibition of alienation provided by Art. 42 para. (1).
 (3) The deeds stipulated in para. (2). a)-e) shall be punished with a fine from 5,000,000 million to 50,000,000 lei.
   (4) The deeds stipulated in para. (2). f) shall be punished with fine from 100,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 lei.

    (3) The county and Bucharest prefect’s activity, provided in par. (2) is subject to control from National Authority for Property Restitution, through its control body. If this institution finds failure or improper fulfillment of these obligations, the Minister of Administration and Interior shall come with appropriate measures.

    Article II. – The deadline for submitting applications for denominations’ property restitution, provided in art. 1. (5) of Government’s Emergency Ordinance no. 94/2000, approved with amendments by Law no. 501/2002, as amended, is six months from date of entry into force of this Law.

    Article III. - Notwithstanding the law, regardless of the cause of invalidity, the remedy provided for in art. 41 para. (2) of Government’s Emergency Ordinance no. 94/2000, approved with amendments by Law no. 501/2002, with subsequent amendments, is prescribed within 6 months from date of entry into force of this Law.