A case initiated with respect to norms of the binding regulation of the Jūrmala City Council, which envisage rental payment for using a grave
On 22 February 2018, the 3rd Panel of the Constitutional Court initiated case “On Compliance of Para 18 and Para 20 of the Binding Regulation of the Jūrmala City Council of 4 September 2014 No. 27 “Regulation on the Operations and Maintenance of the Municipal Cemeteries of Jūrmala City” with Article 1 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia”.
The Contested Norms
Para 18 of the Binding Regulation of the Jūrmala City Council of 4 September 2014 No.27 “Regulation on the Operations and Maintenance of the Municipal Cemeteries of Jūrmala City” (hereinafter – Regulation No. 27) provides that the leaseholder acquires the right to rent a grave by concluding a rental agreement with the company that maintains the cemeteries.
Para 20 of Regulation No. 27 provides that the leaseholder of the grave pays to the company that maintains the cemeteries an annual rental payment, which is approved by the decision of the Jūrmala City Council.
The Norm of Higher Legal Force
Article 1 of the Satversme: “Latvia is an independent democratic republic.”
The case was initiated on the basis of the Ombudsman’s application. The Ombudsman, in his opinion in a verification procedure, found that the Jūrmala City Council had unlawfully established a rental payment for the use of a grave and had requested the Council to introduce appropriate amendments to Regulation No. 27 by 1 November 2017 and to revoke such rental payment. The Jūrmala City Council has not eliminated the identified deficiencies within the term set by the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman holds that the Jūrmala City Council, by introducing a rental payment for using a grave, has violated the principle of a state governed by the rule of law. Cemeteries are said to have the status of public property, therefore their civil turnover is restricted. Currently the Jūrmala City Council, allegedly, has no right establish a fee for the use of a grave. Thus, the Jūrmala City Council is said to have violated Article 1 of the Satversme.
The Constitutional Court has requested the Jūrmala City Council to provide a reply on the facts of the case and legal substantiation by 23 April 2018. The term for preparing the case is 22 July 2018. The Court shall decide upon the procedure and the date for hearing the case after the case has been prepared.
Open in PDF: 2018-08-03_PR_par_ierosinasanu_ENG
Linked case: 2018-08-03