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Compensation to crime victims in Romania

Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender

A claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings) can be made in a criminal trial where the victim of a crime may obtain damages from the perpetrator of the crime by participating in the trial as a civil party.
A civil action has the purpose of establishing the responsibility of the offender, as well as of the party with liability under civil law.
During a criminal trial, a civil action may be brought together with the criminal action, with the injured party appearing as a civil party.
Damages are paid in kind or in money in cases where payment in kind is not possible. Damages are also awarded for any injury suffered by the civil party.
The injured party may act as a civil party against the defendant or the offender and against the person with civil liability. The civil party may bring an action during the criminal proceedings, as well as before the court until the act of referral is read.
The fact that the injured party brings a civil action does not alter the person’s right to take part in the same trial as an injured party.
Civil actions are exempted from stamp duty.
Civil actions are brought and conducted (ex officio) when the injured party lacks the capacity or has a limited capacity to exercise his or her rights.

The moment to put forward the claim
The injured party may bring a civil action against the defendant or the offender and against the person with civil liability. A civil action may be brought during the criminal proceedings or before the court until the act of referral is read.

During criminal proceedings the claim must be submitted to the criminal prosecution service and during the trial it should be submitted to the court. According to the rules on civil actions, the person claiming damages has to indicate the amount thereof.

Legal assistance
Any person bringing an action in a trial is entitled to legal assistance against payment.
Legal aid is granted, on application, to the following categories of victim:
–          victims of attempted murder, first-degree murder, aggravated murder, grievous bodily harm, willful grievous bodily harm, rape, sexual intercourse with a minor or sexual abuse;
–          the spouse, children and persons who are being maintained by a victim of murder, first-degree murder or aggravated murder, or willful crimes that led to the victim’s death.
Legal aid is granted to victims of crimes committed in Romania or, if the crime was committed outside Romania, if the victim is a Romanian citizen or a foreign citizen lawfully resident in Romania and if the criminal trial takes place in Romania.
Legal aid is granted under certain circumstances, on application, to the victims of other crimes if the monthly income per member of the victim’s family is at most equal to the minimum gross salary of the country established for the year in which the victim submitted the application for legal aid.
Legal aid is granted only if the victim notifies the public prosecution service or the court within 60 days from the date when the crime was committed or from the date on which the victim recognized that the crime had been committed or from the date on which the state of incapacity ceased.
The victims who are not yet 18 years old or have been declared incapable of managing their own affairs are not required to notify the public prosecution service or the court of the crime. Their legal representative may notify the public prosecution service.

Evidence to be used
The facts of the case are determined by the following evidence: statements by the defendant or perpetrator, statements by the injured party, the civil party and the party liable under civil law, witness statements, written documents, audio or video recordings, photographs, material evidence, technical-scientific findings, forensics and expert reports.
Evidence illegally obtained cannot be used in criminal trials.
Civil actions are conducted under civil law even if they are brought during a criminal trial. Therefore, the civil party may submit evidence under civil law in support of his/her claims (written evidence, verification reports, witness evidence, expert reports, on‑the‑spot investigations, interviews).

The enforcement of the judgment against the offender
Orders arising from the criminal-law judgment regarding the civil damages and costs payable to the parties are enforced according to civil law.
Assets are attached in response to an application from the claimant by the officer of the court at the place of residence or business of the debtor or the third party whose assets are attached. In the case of family child maintenance payment and of compensation for damages for the reparation of the damages caused by death, health and bodily harm, when the order is enforced upon the debtor’s salary or other regular flows of income, the court orders the initiation of the attachment ex officio immediately after the decision enters into force.
Where enforcement is initiated by several claimants or if other creditors also submitted their claims before the amount obtained by enforcement has been released or distributed, the officer of the court distributes the amount in the following order of preference, except where the law provides otherwise: legal costs, wages, maintenance claims, budgetary claims, claims arising from loans granted by the government, compensation claimed for damages inflicted on public property by illegal acts, claims arising from bank loans, claims in the form of fines payable to the state or local coffers, other claims. Where claims are in the same preference category, unless the law provides otherwise, the amount obtained will be shared out among the claimants in proportion to each claim.