Ministry of Justice ordered to pay damages to a father ({{commentsTotal}})

Tallinn administrative court has ordered the Ministry of Justice to pay compensation to a father for their failure to comply with the court's verdict that allowed him to see his son.

The lack of suitable legislation means that, for the past three years, the state has been unable to ensure that the court-ordered meetings between the father and the child actually take place. As it stands, the authorities have no capacity to comply with the verdicts that give one parent the right to see their children, if the other parent refuses to bring the child to arranged meetings.

The administrative court decided that the apathy of the state has irredeemably impaired the father-child relation and awarded the father 7,500 euros in recompense, reports Estonian daily Postimees.

The court found that the father had exhausted all the available legal means and the forced separation from the child led to substantial non-pecuniary damages.

The child's parents have been arguing over custody and visitation rights since 2010. The child's mother has been preventing court-ordered meetings between the father and son for over three years. In December 2013 a designated child protection officer was given temporary guardianship of the child but the responsible authority, as well, failed to fulfill the court order and allow the meetings to take place.

The Minister of Justice, Andres Anvelt, said that the legislation is indeed defective and the Ministry will not appeal the decision. "We will use our competence and time to find a solution instead."

Siim Kallas.

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