In March, we won a lawsuit in the case of Jutka Lakatosné, an activist of The City for All (AVM), against the Government Office of Budapest. The court ordered the Government Office to pay a grievance fee and to apologize in a letter to our client for a violation of her personal rights. The Government Office has received the verdict, the deadline for completion has passed, but nothing has happened.
In March 2016, the government office illegally excluded Jutka from active-age benefits, which was a significant part of her and her husband’s monthly income. Jutka appealed against the decision, the appeal was dismissed in second instance. Here, the government office committed another violation because it had not even tried to deliver a second-degree decision to Jutka. When she became aware of this – months later – she brought an administrative lawsuit that she won. The administrative court ruled that the government office had violated Jutka’s right to a fair procedure, but that the administrative court could not remedy the damage, which should have been done by the government office. However, the government office was still silent, and Jutka did not respond to her offer of agreement, which was about postpaying the benefits.
Jutka was forced to initiate a civil lawsuit, claiming not only the lack of benefits, but also grievance fees for violating her personal rights and that the government office gives reparation. It was based on the fact that the loss of income over many years took her to situations that seriously undermined her human dignity, she often starved, she was anxious, and this was due to a violation of the government office.
She won the civil lawsuit at both first and second instances. The court ruled that Jutka was deprived of the opportunity of social benefits, both in the first and second instance decisions (by a government office) without a legal basis. The court also stated that starvaton is a high level of deprivation amounting as a violation of personal rights.
It is particularly cynical that the government office is not fulfilling its obligations even after three years of litigation, but pushes Jutka to initiate enforcement. It is unacceptable that a deprived, defenseless person should wait three years to get the state what he or she is entitled to and that all existing administrative and judicial proceedings should be completed, even when the state is acting illegally.
We hope that the court bailiff chamber will enforce her claim just as effectively as they execute evictions.
Jutka was represented by volunteer lawyers of the Streetlawyer Association throughout the three years.