Tartu sports club legal appeal over Covid restrictions draws blank

Protests outside the MEM cafe in Tallinn last December reached the point where the PPA had to intervene.
Protests outside the MEM cafe in Tallinn last December reached the point where the PPA had to intervene. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

A legal dispute involving a Tartu gym and dating to an application for compensation over police actions taken due to the sports club's non-compliance with Coronavirus regulations has been put to rest.

Annett Kreitsman, spokesperson for the first-tier Tartu Administrative Court, said that: "The court noted that as of now the circumstances have developed in such a way that, as a result of the applicant's own actions and also due to the annulment of the order No. 305 of the Government of the Republic, this dispute has become invalid."

The court representative said that although the business – Corsagym - had contested Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) orders which in turn had been based on government orders, the sports club also took steps to comply with the orders, while the relevant the government orders issued during the Covid pandemic have now lost their validity, meaning the need to demand compensation is now removed.

"Since the order is has lost its validity as of now, plus the applicant has actually fulfilled the obligations set by it, then there is no basis for the awarding of compensation," the court said.

"This means that, for example , the interpretation of the editor of the portal Objektiv is not correct, based on [Corsagym manager Gert Goršanov's] Facebook [post], to the effect that the sports club obtained justice from the court and their complaint was satisfied," the court spokesperson went on.

This ruling, made September 15, was of an organizational nature, but, since the applicant had not expressed a desire to continue pursuing the case and agreed to the termination of the administrative proceedings, the court duly did so with its order made on Monday, September 26.

As a result, Kreitsman said, the court had not taken a substantive position on whether or not the injunction as originally challenged and the application of the fine had been were substantively lawful.

Meanwhile, two other legal disputes involving a Tallinn sports club and a Tallinn cafe, dating back to the pandemic and its accompanying restrictions, are still ongoing.

Tallinn Administrative Court rejected an appeal rom the Sparta sports club from the end of February to cancel an order from the Health Board and injunction and to return the paid fines money, as well as to partly cancel several government orders, court spokesperson Anneli Vilu said.

Meanwhile the cafe, OÜ MEM, has two appeal spending, one of them suspended until a decision made at the Supreme Court comes into effect, said Vilu, and another relating the activities of the Health Board and the PPA, which have both been set deadlines to present their views.

MEM says that two government orders which prohibited customers from remaining in or moving around the sales or service area inside the business, save for takeaway and couriering purposes, were illegal.

The cafe was the scene of protests last December, which culminated in the intervention of the PPA.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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