Right to Sue Taken Away from Changchunli Church


ChinaAid Association
(SHANDONG —  Nov. 8, 2010) On October 16, 2010, the Management Committee of Changchunli Church formally submitted a statement of civil indictment at Shizhong District People’s Court in Ji’nan.
They filed a lawsuit against Ji’nan Municipal CCC/TSPM and the Ji’nan Administration Center of Investment and Finance of Old City Reconstruction. In the suit, they demanded the court rule which forced the demolition and removal agreement upon Changchunli Church signed by the two defendants be invalid.
A little past 3 p.m. on October 29, the Case Filing Department of Shizhong District Court called the Management Committee of Changchunli Church to tell them that the court will not file a case on their indictment. They told the church that the case is primarily under the jurisdiction of the demolition and removal department of the municipal government, and if the church has objections against the ruling, then they can sue in court.
Church members then demanded the court issue a ruling statement for not filing the case, but the court said it was not necessary to issue such a ruling statement.
The church’s Management Committee then consulted a lawyer who said the reasoning of the court was not tenable. The lawyer noted that such a case can only be ruled by the demolition and removal department when the two parties involved fail to reach an agreement.
Whereas, the two defendants in this case have already reached a demolition and removal agreement, but the agreement reached between them actually harms the interests of the third party. Therefore, they have the right to submit the lawsuit. Yet, the judge in the Case Filing Department said, “This lawyer does not have the final say here; the court has the final say.”
According to Article 112 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, when a court does not file a case, it must still issue a statement of ruling. The clerks at the Case Filing Department said this article does not apply to this specific case. Therefore, Changchunli Church has lost its right to sue in this first round.
The above was collected and compiled by dffy.com. The link for the article can be found here.
Prominent lawyers in China have given advice on this case according to the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China and relevant judicial interpretation by the Supreme People’s Court. If a People’s Court refuses to file a case that should otherwise be filed and does not issue a statement of ruling on not filing the case, then the party concerned may bring a lawsuit against it and file a case at a People’s Court one level higher than the court involved.
The statement by the judge in the Case Filing Department of Shizhong District Court of Ji’nan Municipality blatantly violates Chinese law. Now, the church may bring an indictment at a People’s Court one level above this court, namely Ji’nan Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, and demand a case be filed.
ChinaAid stands in prayer for Changchunli Church in their continued persecution. The government in Ji’nan has violated the law outright, and we call on people around the world to demand justice in this case and support this church.

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