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A smoker is outside court's jurisdiction

Cigarette ends, dirt and all hell is let loose. That's how our entrance halls look like in a high-tech century. Writing about this situation is embarrassing. But how to impose order? I caught a smoker red-handed in the early January. I made a report and drew a protocol after having examined the scene of the offence, interviewed witnesses. But there was noway of interviewing the offender. He never appeared on summons to our company of private developers "Kashtan". According to the Code of Administrative Offences, Article 8.12 I had to ask for bringing him to a militia department. There was a reply: "I will come to the militia, but I'll see you blew first then come to the director of Housing Maintenance Service. Thus, the smoker was made to study the trial contents at the militia department and was handed the notice of appointment.

After having read the papers, the offender replied that he had smoked an e-cigarette. But how could cigarette ends have appeared on the floor then? The papers on the case consisted of 20 pages, photos, evidences and eyewitnesses' testimony. And I was quite sure about the verdict of guilty. But the Leninsky district court of Mogilev city dismissed a lawsuit due to "the low significance of the violation". And the case was heard without partaking of our company of private developers "Kashtan", though we are a party of the administrative case. The offender was condoned an offence even without letting us know! And the neighbour never apologised or regretted about his behaviour; just asked me: "What do you need it for?"

Well, why do I need it? It seems that no-one cares about the order. By the way, both the Fund of Social Protection of Population, and the information centre of the Internal Affairs Department of Mogilev region executive committee denied to inform us about the place of the hearing (as far as the information is considered confidential) and didn't provide us with the information about the person's previous offences.
From bad to worse. Being a plaintiff before the court, "Kashtan" has the right to appeal against the court's decision within the period of 10 days. But we received the copy of the court's decision only 19 days after the trial! Why did it happen? The rights of a convict are clearly defined by the law, unlike the plan of action of the other party. Maybe that's why we got refuses from all the respective authorities? The appellation sent to Mogilev region court wasn't satisfied. Thus, the offender got off cheaply.

What's more, it has become a matter of tradition for out society. Courts often dismiss lawsuits on smoking in entrance halls of blocks of flats. Why had smoking in entrance halls been banned if it's impossible to follow? Thus, citizens complain to housing maintenance services about smoking in entrance halls; the latter draw up protocols, but courts dismiss these lawsuits. In spite of the fact that unavoidability of punishment is the major task of the legislation. If a person isn't guilty, he must be acquitted, receive apologies and exemplary, punitive damages. But when an offence is obvious, why should one be found not guilty? What's the point of trials? By the way, it's not cheap. Drawing up just one document at a legal consultancy costs above Br half million. And what if there are 10 or 20 documents? Courts do not want to fine offenders, but at least they could send them to community service. So they would have to clean the public places that they have littered. On the other hand, no court trials are needed in such cases; the programme "Electronic judge" could manage to litigate them. And no the factor of human error. the Constitution states: harm set, harm get.

Thus, Kashtan's fight for justice resulted in damaged relations with the neighbour who feels himself a winner, and likely continues to smoke in the entrance hall where pregnant women, babies, pensioners and others breath this harmful smoke. But who cares about them?

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