2009/05/15 "Believe. Fight. Win."
  • Press Release No. 39/1182
  • 15/05/2009

Today on May 15, 2009, the «Mother's Right» Foundation has drawn a line under the case of the Pension Fund's denial of providing social support in the form of monthly payments for Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Ermakov and Valentina Petrovna Ermakova, residents of Udmurtia, whose son died in military service.

Mikhail Ermakov (b. 1985) was in military service and died on October 1, 2005, at the age of 24. His death was due to the performance of his military duties, therefore his parents had the right to social support, stipulated by the Veterans Law, section 21, paragraph 3. However the Administration of the Kiznersky Pension Fund, Rep. of Udmurtia, Russian Federation, refused to provide social support, i.e. monthly payments to the family.

The death of Mikhail Ermakov was a hard blow to his parents. When they applied to us, they could hardly talk on the phone. Then followed two legal proceedings, civil and criminal. For the Ermakovs the Pension Fund's illegal refusal to pay monthly payments was the last straw. Our qualified lawyers had no doubt, that the dead soldier's parents had the right to receive monthly payments. But the Pension Fund's officials thought it right to argue with the grieving parents about those miserable payments. The most surprising thing in this story is that all court instances of Udmurtia supported their illegal decision. As a rule, if a court of primary jurisdiction passes a wrong sentence, a cassation court corrects it; if that does not help, a supervising court puts everything in order.

While processing the case, we received three negative decisions: on December 21, 2007, the Ermakovs' claims were dismissed in the Kiznersky District Court in Udmurtia (the decision was issued by judge E. Ilyina); then, on February 6, 2008, the cassation appeal was rejected by the Judicial Collegium for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of Udmurtia (judges Mr. V.U. Kalmykov, Mrs. V.U. Anisimova, Mrs. A.V. Ponomareva); and on July 24, 2008, the Ermakovs' supervisory appeal was rejected in the Supreme Court of Udmurtia, by judge L.N. Korobeinikova.

Should we describe how the dead soldier's parents felt while receiving denials, one after another. Dead soldiers' parents bury not only their children who died in military service, but their hope for the future as well. Quite often, families suffering from prolonged legal proceedings lose faith in justice. In such cases we keep saying that justice does exist. We must just believe in it and struggle to achieve it.

It has taken us a year to win the Ermakovs' case. On February 5, 2009, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dismissed the decision of the District Court of January 21, 2007 as well as the decision of the Judicial Collegium of February 6, 2008, thus admitting Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Ermakov and Valentina Petrovna Ermakova's right to social support, stipulated by the Veterans Law, section 21, paragraph 3. They passed the case to the Court of First Instance.

Today on May 15, 2009, Kiznersky District Court has reviewed the claims of the Mother's Right Foundation. Larisa Huramshina, representative of the local Pension Fund Department, didn't feel ashamed when she tried to deprive the Ermakovs of the whole of the monthly payment, or at least a part of it (exceeding150 rubles). Nobody felt embarrassed because of arguing with the parents of the dead soldier.

The family's interests were represented by Zarema Usupova, «Mother's Right» Foundation lawyer.

The Foundation's claim was to oblige the defendant to fix monthly payments to V.N. Ermakov and V.P. Ermakova counting from the date of their first appeal to the court, and to pay those monthly payments according to the submitted calculations, including the social services that were unavailable because of the negative decision of the court.

After having heard the parties, the judge Elena Valerievna Ilyina issued the decision to completely satisfy the claim of the «Mother's Right» Foundation. On hearing the decision, Vyacheslav Nikolaevich burst into tears. After the hearing, the judge apologized (a unique occasion) before the dead soldier's family for all the judicial ordeals they had to go through while struggling for their legal rights in their own Republic.

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