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Last update: 21-09-2007
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Compensation to crime victims - Romania

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender 1.
1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)? 1.1.
1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I put forward the claim? 1.2.
1.3. How and to whom should I submit the claim? 1.3.
1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify individual losses?) 1.4.
1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings? 1.5.
1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim? 1.6.
1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me, as a crime victim, for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender? 1.7.
2. Obtaining compensation from the State or from a public body 2.
2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the State or a public body? 2.1.
2.2. Is this possibility limited to the victims that suffered certain types of crime? 2.2.
2.3. Is this possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury? 2.3.
2.4. Can relatives or dependants of the victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation? 2.4.
2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country? 2.5.
2.6. Can I apply for compensation in Romania if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under which conditions? 2.6.
2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police? 2.7.
2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply? 2.8.
2.9. If the offender has been identified, should I try first to obtain damages from him/her? 2.9.
2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application? 2.10.
2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation? 2.11.
2.12. For which losses can I be compensated? 2.12.
2.13. How will the compensation be calculated? 2.13.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded? 2.14.
2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same loss, but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state? 2.15.
2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury? 2.16.
2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If so, under what conditions? 2.17.
2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special helpline or website that I can use? 2.18.
2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making this application? 2.19.
2.20. Where do I send the application? 2.20.

 

1. Obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender

1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)?

In a criminal trial, 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.

1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I 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.

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A civil action may be brought during the criminal proceedings or before the court until the act of referral is read.

1.3. How and to whom should I submit the claim?

During criminal proceedings the claim must be submitted to the criminal prosecution service and during the trial it should be submitted to the court.

1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify individual losses?)

According to the rules on civil actions, the person claiming damages has to indicate the amount thereof

1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings?

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, wilful 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 wilful 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.

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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 recognised 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.

1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim?

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).

1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me, as a crime victim, for 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.

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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.

2. Obtaining compensation from the State or from a public body

2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the State or a public body?

Yes, you can obtain financial compensation from the State under Act No 211/2004 on measures for the protection of crime victims.

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2.2. Is this possibility limited to the victims that suffered certain types of crime?

Financial compensation is granted, on application, to the following types of victim:

  • victims of attempted murder, first-degree murder aggravated murder, grievous bodily harm, wilful grievous bodily harm, rape, sexual intercourse with a minor or sexual abuse;
  • the spouse, children and persons who were being maintained by a victim of murder, first-degree murder or aggravated murder, or of wilful crimes that led to the victim's death.

Financial compensation is granted to victims if the crime was committed in Romania and the victim is a Romanian citizen or a foreign citizen lawfully resident in Romania or under international conventions to which Romania is a signatory if the crime was committed in Romania and the victim is a non‑national not resident in Romania.

2.3. Is this possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury?

Financial compensation will be awarded to the victim for the following losses suffered because of the crime committed. In the case of the victims of attempted murder, first-degree murder, aggravated murder, grievous bodily harm, wilful grievous bodily harm, rape, sexual intercourse with a minor and sexual abuse, the following losses are compensated:

  • hospitalization expenses and other medical expenses met by the victim;
  • the material injury resulting from the destruction or degradation of a victim’s assets or because the assets have been rendered useless or the victim has been dispossessed as a consequence of the crime;
  • loss of earnings as the result of a crime being committed.

In the case of the spouse, children and persons who were maintained by the victim of murder, first-degree murder and aggravated murder, or of wilfully committed crimes that led to the victim's death, compensation is awarded for the following:

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  • funeral expenses;
  • the support that the victim is deprived of as the result of the crime.

Financial compensation is awarded up to a ceiling equivalent to 10 minimum national gross salaries established for the year when the victim applied for compensation.

Sums paid by the offender in civil damages and the compensation obtained by the victim from an insurance company for the loss caused by the crime are deducted from the amount of the compensation awarded by the State to the victim.

2.4. Can relatives or dependants of the victims that have died as a result of the crime obtain compensation?

See the answer to Question 2.2.

2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country?

See the answer to Question 2.2.

2.6. Can I apply for compensation in Romania if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under which conditions?

Under Act No 211/2004 financial compensation is awarded to victims of crimes committed in Romania.

2.7. Is it necessary to have reported the crime to the police?

Financial compensation is awarded to the victim only if he/she notified 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 recognised that the crime had been committed or from the date on which the state of incapacity ceased.

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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.

2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply?

The Act on measures to safeguard the protection of crime victims does not require a court decision, a referral for trial or an order to terminate criminal proceedings or to drop the charges. However, the amount received as financial compensation must be returned if the victim did not satisfy the conditions required for receiving the money.

Financial compensation is not awarded if:

  • it is established that the event did not occur, is not covered by criminal law or was committed in self-defence against attack by the victim;
  • the victim is convicted of membership of an organized criminal group;
  • the victim is convicted finally of attempted murder, first-degree murder, aggravated murder, grievous bodily harm, wilful grievous bodily harm, rape or sexual intercourse with a minor or sexual abuse;
  • the court finds extenuating circumstances of exceeding the limits of self-defence against the victim’s attack or mitigating provocation.

The recipient of financial compensation or an advance on financial compensation must return the sum if one of the above cases is proved.

2.9. If the offender has been identified, should I try first to obtain damages from him/her?

Yes, the financial compensation granted by the State is secondary; it covers cases where damages cannot be claimed from the criminal.

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If the offender is known, financial compensation may be awarded to the victim if the following conditions are met:

  • the victim applies for financial compensation within one year of enforcement of the final conviction or acquittal decision in which the criminal court awarded the civil damages or acquitted the defendant or stopped the trial, or when the prosecutor ordered that charges be dropped, that the case be closed or that the criminal prosecution should not be opened;
  • the offender is insolvent or has disappeared;
  • the victim has not obtained full compensation for the injury suffered from an insurance company.

If the victim is unable to apply for compensation, the one-year period is to be calculated from the date when the incapacity ceased or when the decision to allow the civil action is declared irrevocable (if the court ordered the separation of the civil action from the criminal proceedings).

The victims who are less than 18 years old or have been declared incapable of managing their own affairs are not required to bring a civil action.

Documents to be submitted:

  • The application for financial compensation must contain: the victim's surname, given name, citizenship, date and place of birth, domicile or residence; the date, place and circumstances of the crime that caused the injury; the type of injury suffered as a result of the crime; the criminal prosecution body or the court of law and the date on which the case was reported to them; the number and date of the court decision or of the criminal prosecution file; the status of the spouse, child or person who had been maintained by the deceased person; any criminal record; amounts paid as damages by the offender or compensation obtained by the victim from an insurance company for the injury caused by the committing of the crime; the amount of compensation applied for.
  • Copies of the supporting documents for the information contained in the application and any other relevant documents in the victim's possession should be annexed to the application.
2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application?

Yes, victims may receive compensation in cases where the offender has not been identified or convicted. If the offender is unknown, the victim may apply for compensation within three years from the committing of the crime if he/she has not obtained full compensation for the injury suffered from an insurance company.

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2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation?

If the offender is known, compensation may be awarded to the victim if the following conditions are met:

  • the victim applies for compensation within one year of the date of enforcement of the final conviction or acquittal decision in which the criminal court awarded civil damages, acquitted the defendant or stopped the trial, or when the prosecutor ordered that charges be dropped, that the case be closed or that criminal proceedings should not to be opened;
  • the victim brings a civil action in the criminal proceedings;
  • the offender is insolvent or has disappeared;
  • the victim has not obtained full compensation for the injury suffered from an insurance company.

If the victim is unable to apply for compensation, the one‑year period is to be calculated from the date when the incapacity ceased or when the decision to allow a civil action is declared irrevocable (if the court ordered the separation of the civil action from the criminal proceedings).

The victims who are less than 18 years old or have been declared incapable of managing their own affairs are not required to bring a civil action.

If the offender is unknown, the victim may apply for compensation within three years of the committing of the crime if he/she has not obtained full compensation for the injury suffered from an insurance company.

If the victim is under age and his/her legal representative did not apply for compensation within the time limit, the period starts on the date of the victim's 18th birthday.

2.12. For which losses can I be compensated?

See the answer to Question 2.3.

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2.13. How will the compensation be calculated?

See the answer to Question 2.3.

2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded?

See the answer to Question 2.3.

2.15. Will compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same loss, but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state?

See the answer to Question 2.3.

2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that caused the injury?

See the answers to Question 2.8., 1.5. and 2.9.

2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If so, under what conditions?

The victim may apply for an advance on the financial compensation up to an amount equivalent to 10 minimum national gross salaries established for the year when the victim applied for the advance from the committee responsible for awarding compensation to the victims of crime.

The advance may be requested by an application for compensation or by a separate request that may be submitted anytime after notification from the public prosecution service or of the court of law and not later than 30 days after the date of the submission of the application for compensation.

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The advance is granted if the victim finds himself/herself in an precarious financial situation.

A victim’s application for an advance on compensation is examined within 30 days of the date of the application by two judges on the committee responsible for awarding compensation to crime victims.

If the compensation is refused, the victim must return the advance unless the application for compensation was refused only because the offender is insolvable or has disappeared.

2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special helpline or website that I can use?

The prosecutors and police officers are required to inform the crime victims about the conditions and the procedure governing the granting of state compensation. The information is brought to the victim’s attention by the judge, public prosecutor, police officer or agent whom the victim contacts, in writing or verbally, in a language that he/she understands.

2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making this application?

See the answers to Questions 2.18 and 1.5.

2.20. Where do I send the application?

Applications for compensation should be submitted to the court of law within the jurisdiction of which the victim lives. Application is processed by two judges on the committee responsible for awarding compensation to crime victims that is attached to every court of law.

« Compensation to crime victims - General information | Romania - General information »

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Last update: 21-09-2007

 
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