THE PEOPLE'S COURT OF DA NANG CITY
JUDGMENT NO. 21/2019/DS-ST DATED JUNE 14, 2019 ON DISPUTE OVER REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAINING COSTS
On June 14, 2019, at the headquarters of the People's Court of Da Nang City, a first instance trial is conducted to hear the case No. 80/2018/TLST-DS dated December 28, 2018 on claim for reimbursement of training costs, under the Decision to Bring the Case to Trial No. 26/2019/QDST-DS of May 10, 2019, among the involved parties:
- Plaintiff: Center for development of high quality human resources D; Address: 29th Floor, Da Nang Administration Center Building, 24, Street T, District H, City D, Vietnam.
- Legal representative authorized by plaintiff: Ms. Nguyen Pham Minh H, Ms. Nguyen Pham Thuy T; with same address: 29th Floor, Da Nang Administration Center Building, 24, Street T, District H, City D, Vietnam (with Letter of authorization dated January 21, 2019). At the trial, Ms. Nguyen Pham Minh H participates under the Letter of authorization dated June 11, 2019, present.
1- Mr. Tran Xuan Q, born in 1989; resides at: 41 Cornwall Street, Annerley QLD 4103, Australia. (Mr. Tran Xuan Q authorized Mr. Tran Cong N to participate in proceedings according to the letter of authorization dated January 23, 2019).
2- Mr. Tran Cong N, born in 1958;
3- Mrs. Le Thi H, born in 1959;
Legal representative for Mrs. Le Thi H: Mr. Tran Cong N (Mrs. H's husband), born in 1958; residing at: Group 26, ward H, district L, city D. Present.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Representation of the plaintiff - Center for development of high quality human resources D (hereinafter referred to as the Center):
- Mr. Tran Xuan Q participated in the Scheme on developing high-quality human resources (hereinafter referred to as the Scheme) and was appointed by the People's Committee of City D (hereinafter referred to as the City) to study for a Bachelor of Materials Technology at the University of Queensland, Australia from 2008 to 2012; with a total training cost of VND 2,957,577,298 covered by the City.
- After graduating in December 2012, Mr. Tran Xuan Q was approved by the City to extend the time to get a job until the end of December 2016 to continue his PhD in Materials Technology at the University of Queensland, Australia at his own expenses (in Official Letter No. 2706/UBND-VX dated April 9, 2013 of the City People's Committee) and continue to delay the obligation to receive assigned tasks until July 31, 2017 to complete the said PhD program (in Official Letter No. 6143/UBND-KGVX dated July 18, 2016 of the City People's Committee).
- In August 2017, Mr. Tran Xuan Q completed his doctorate program, returned to present himself and had an application for an extension of the time to perform the working obligation for the city to participate in the postdoctoral research program lasting for 01 year from August 2017 to July 2018 at the University of Queensland, Australia. At the meeting on August 24, 2017 with Mr. Tran Cong N, Mr. Tran Xuan Q's father, the Center announced the city's policy and asked Mr. Tran Xuan Q to continue carrying out the procedures for work assignment as prescribed. On August 28, 2017, Mr. Tran Xuan Q had an application to leave the Scheme to continue pursuing his research aspirations. While such application was being processed, Mr. Tran Xuan Q returned to the University of Queensland, Australia without permission of the competent authority.
- Mr. Q's application for leaving the Scheme without fulfilling the commitment to work for the City is a breach of the Contract No. 07/2008/HDDA-NN-LQD dated May 14, 2008 and contract addenda. So, on December 26, 2017, the City issued Decision No. 7211/QD-UBND to let Mr. Tran Xuan Q leave from the Scheme and request him to reimburse the training costs in accordance with current regulations. Based on this decision, on December 29, 2017, the Center issued Official Letter No. 698/NLCLC-QLNL guiding Mr. Tran Xuan Q and Mr. Tran Cong N to reimburse the training costs with the amount of VND 2,957,577,298 to the State Treasury; the costs must be repaid before March 15, 2018.
- On April 2, 2018, Mr. Tran Cong N had an application for reimbursement extension from 05 years to 06 years because: They have suffered financial hardship; his wife, Le Thi H, has suffered from schizophrenia for more than 20 years; his first son, Tran Xuan Ha, also has suffered from schizophrenia for more than 10 years, and Mr. Tran Cong N himself was a 2/3 wounded soldier; Mr. Tran Cong N's father is Mr. Tran Hao (a revolutionary martyrs) and Mr. Tran Cong N's mother is a Vietnamese Heroic Mother Le Thi Chi. However, the reimbursement of training costs applied to all Scheme participants must be done in accordance with the law. Therefore, the President of the City People's Committee did not approve the request to extend the time to reimburse training costs of Mr. Tran Xuan Q and Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H (in Official Letter No. 3249/UBND- SNV dated May 7, 2018 of the City People's Committee). Due to financial difficulties, Mr. Q and Mr. N and Mrs. H have only repaid the total amount of VND 300,000,000. Therefore, in order to ensure that the Scheme is strictly performed and ensures the lawful rights and interests of the State, the Center requires Mr. Q and Mr. N and Mrs. H to continue to jointly reimburse the remaining training costs to the Center with the amount of VND 2,657,577,298 and from March 15, 2018, also bear the maximum interest rate applicable to demand deposits quoted by the State Bank of Vietnam imposed on the delayed reimbursement amount at the time when the reimbursement obligation is supposed to be performed. If the State Bank does not quote the maximum interest rate applicable to demand deposits, the family must bear the interest rate applicable to demand deposits of Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade. Accordingly, the delayed reimbursement amount is applied the interest rate of 1%; and until December 14, 2018, it is VND 19,950,032.
- At the trial, the plaintiff's authorized representative confirms that as of June 14, 2019, the defendants had just repaid VND 320,143,479. The remaining amount payable is VND 2,637,433,819 and the interest from March 15, 2018 to June 14, 2019 is VND 33,179,991. It is VND 2,670,613,810 in total.
Mutual representation of Mr. Tran Xuan Q and Mr. Tran Cong N:
- They agree with all plaintiffs' presentation about the fact that Mr. Tran Xuan Q participated in the Scheme and signed such a contract, as well as 5 contract addenda to receive a financial support for training costs to study abroad. But after graduating, he did not take the job in the City as committed. He also wanted to resolve this soon so that his family could return to normal life, but due to his family's financial hardship, his wife and Quy's brother are mentally ill and insane. He himself is a 2/3 wounded soldiers in the war against the US. He has had to take care of his wife and children and his aging mother, who is now over the age of 90 as a heroic Vietnamese mother, the family situation is really miserable. Therefore, he agrees that he is obliged to pay the remaining training costs of VND 2,670,613,810, but the family has been struggling, so he asked for paying original amount of VND 2,637,433,819 by installments (approximately within 3 years). As for the interest, he pleads for an exemption from the interest.
At the court hearing, the procurator expresses their opinions on the observance of the procedural law of the judge, trial panel, court clerks and participants of legal proceedings in the course of settling the case since it was accepted until prior to the deliberation time; and request the Trial Panel to accept the request for reimbursement of training costs of the Center against Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H with the amount of money is VND 2,637,433,819 and the interest from March 15, 2018 to June 14, 2019 is VND 33,179,991. It is VND 2,670,613,810 in total.
Based on documents and evidences that have been reviewed at court hearing and the results of litigation at court hearing, after the Procuracy representative makes their opinions, the Trial Panel judges as follows:
JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT
 Mr. Tran Xuan Q is a Vietnamese citizen; has a residence address at 41 Cornwall Street, Annerley QLD 4103, Australia (Australia); Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H, residing in: Group 26, Ward H, District L, City D. According to the contract No. 07/2008/HDDA-NN-LQD dated May 14, 2008 (and 5 attached contract addenda) on the implementation of the project of supporting higher education training through domestic and overseas educational institutions with the state budget for high school students in Da Nang city, signed at the No. 1 Notary Office of Da Nang city between the City and Mr. Tran Xuan Q and Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H, the two parties agreed that the dispute settlement court is the court where the Center is headquartered so that the dispute on reimbursement of training costs falls under the jurisdiction of the People's Court of Da Nang as prescribed in Article 37, Article 39, Article 464 and Article 470 of the Civil Procedure Code in Viet Nam. On the other hand, Mr. Tran Xuan Q has authorized Mr. Tran Cong N, it is not required to seek judicial assistance, and also has an application for early resolution of Mr. Tran Cong N, so that the Panel conducts the trial earlier than the time specified in the notice of case acceptance.
 The Trial Panel found that Mr. Tran Xuan Q voluntarily registered to participate in the project of supporting higher education at domestic and overseas educational institutions with the state budget for students of high schools in Da Nang city and the President of the People's Committee of Da Nang City decided to send to attend university at Queensland University, Australia. Based on the decision to send on course of the President of the People's Committee of D city, the City has signed a Contract with Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H (being the natural parents of Mr. Q) in order for the City to cover 100% of training costs for Mr. Q to go to school and Mr. Q is obliged to, after graduating from the university, come back to the City to receive work assignment and serve for Da Nang city for at least seven year; in case of breach of the contract, he is obliged to, together with the family, be responsible for compensation five times the total training costs. However, the contract addendum No. 05 supplementing Clause 4, Article 4 indicates that the reimbursement fund has changed only reimbursing 100% of training costs received from the city budget since joining the Scheme.
 Considering the lawsuit of the Center claiming reimbursement of training costs against Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H, after graduating and it was time to return to receive the job assignment, Mr. Q did not come back to receive the decision to fulfill his duty to work for the City; he applied for leaving the Scheme, as well as accept reimbursement of training costs to the City. Therefore, on December 26, 2017, the President of City People's Committee issued Decision No. 7211/QD-UBND on agreeing to let Tran Xuan Q leave the Scheme and repay the training costs to the City. Mr. Q's failure to return to work and serve for Da Nang city is a violation of the obligations under the committed contract, pursuant to Article 274 of the Civil Code 2015. The Center paid for Mr. Q to study at the University of Queensland, Australia, totaling VND 2,957,577,298; in the course of resolving the case, the defendant determined that he is obliged to pay the remaining training costs of VND 2,670,613,810, but since his family has suffered financial hardship, he asked for payment of 2,637,433,819 in installments (approximately within 3 years). As for the interest of VND 33,179,991, he pleads for an exemption from the interest. Considering that this is a support amount from the state budget, it is necessary to force Mr. Q, Mr. N, and Mrs. H to be jointly responsible for paying the above sum of money to the Center for remittance into the State budget in accordance with Articles 280 and 288 of the Civil Code; Decree No. 143/2013/ND-CP in Viet Nam dated October 24, 2013 of the Government stipulating the reimbursement of scholarships and training costs; Article 4 of Contract No. 07/2008/HDDA-NN-LQD of May 14, 2008 on implementation of projects on supporting higher education at domestic and overseas educational institutions with the state budget for high school students in D city signed between the City and Mr. Q, Mr. N, Mrs. H.
 Considering the request for payment in installments by the defendant and the application for interest exemption is not approved by the Center and has no legal basis, so it is not accepted.
 Regarding first instance civil fee: VND 84,748,676. Because the family of Mr. Tran Xuan Q is extremely disadvantaged and has meritorious services to the revolution; Mr. Tran Cong N is an elderly person, Mrs. Le Thi H is Mr. N's wife, a person with severe mental disability as confirmed by the local government, so it is considered a case of exemption from the entire court fee according to Resolution No. 326 326/2016/UBTVQH14 in Viet Nam dated December 30, 2016 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly stipulating the court fees and charges, and collection, remission, payment, management and use thereof.
Pursuant to Article 37, Article 39, Article 464 and Article 470 of the Civil Procedure Code; Article 280, Article 288, Article 468 and Article 688 of the Civil Code 2015 in Viet Nam; Decree No. 143/2013/ND-CP dated October 24, 2013 of the Government on reimbursement of scholarship and training costs; Resolution No. 326/2016/UBTVQH14 dated December 30, 2016 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on court fees and charges, and collection, remission, payment, management and use thereof.
Accept the Center’s lawsuit claiming reimbursement of training costs against Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H.
1. Force Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Mrs. Le Thi H (in which Mr. Tran Cong N is the authorized representative of Mr. Tran Xuan Q and the legal representative of Mrs. Le Thi H) is responsible for jointly paying to the Center a total of VND 2,670,613,810, of which training costs are VND 2,637,433,819 and interest from March 15, 2018 to June 14, 2019 is VND 33,179,991.
From the date on which the judgment takes legal effect or from the date the judgment execution request is submitted by the judgment creditor, until the judgment is fully executed, the judgment debtor must pay monthly interest on the delayed payment with the interest rate agreed by the parties but not exceeding the interest rate prescribed in Clause 1, Article 468 of the Civil Code; If no agreement is reached, the provisions of Clause 2, Article 468 of the Civil Code shall prevail.
2. Regarding the first instance court fee: VND 84,748,676. Mr. Tran Xuan Q, Mr. Tran Cong N and Ms. Le Thi H are considered to be exempted from all of first instance civil court fee.
3. The first instance trial is open to the public; the involved parties present at the trial have the right to appeal the judgment within 15 days from the date of first instance judgment, June 14, 2019. Particularly, Mr. Tran Xuan Q is entitled to appeal within 1 month from the date the judgment is served properly or from the date the judgment is posted in accordance with the provisions of law.
In case the judgment or court decision is enforced as per regulations in Article 2 of the Law on enforcements of civil judgments in Viet Nam 6, the judgment creditor and judgment debtor are lawfully allowed to reach an agreement on judgment enforcement, request judgment enforcement, be subject to voluntary execution or coercive judgment enforcement in compliance with regulations in Article 7, 9 and 30 of the Law on enforcement of civil judgments. The effective period of judgment enforcement shall comply within provisions in Article 30 of the Law on enforcement of civil judgments.