In Judgment 24/2017/DSPT dated May 17, 2017 of the People's Court of Bac Ninh province on the dispute between the family church and the land use right between the N family and Mr. Ngo Van N:
“ The N family and Mr. Ngo Van N have a dispute over land and the church in X hamlet, T village, T commune, S town, Bac Ninh province. The original origin of the land is from the great-grandfather Ngo Van Khang according to the genealogy (the great-grandfather of the family) left to be handed down from generation to generation as a place of ancestor worship. In 1942, the elderly in the family repaired the 5-room house with earthen walls into a 3-room brick house, the house was still empty after being repaired.
In 1965, Mr. Ngo Van N's family (the third son of Mr. P) moved from Bac Ninh town to his hometown, because they had no place to live, they stayed at the clan church with Mr. C's family. At that time, each family lived in an adjacent room, while the main room was still used to worship ancestors. In 1967, Mr. Ngo Viet C's family moved to another place to live, and Mr. N's family continued to use the church to live and stayed there until there was a dispute.
In 2013, the family N upgraded, remodeled and expanded the church and asked Mr. N's family to move back in with his descendants and not continue to live in the church. Mr. N did not accept it because he thought that the land and the church were the property of the only one to worship the ancestors, not the family church, so a dispute occurred between the parties. "
In this case, the People's Court of Bac Ninh province has determined that the Plaintiff is the N family with authorized persons to participate in the proceedings including Mr. Ngo Viet C, Ngo Duc N, Ngo Minh H. It can be seen that, Through the case, the family is a subject and has the right to initiate a lawsuit on a dispute over the family's common property to protect its legitimate rights and interests.
However, compared with current regulations, Resolution 01/2020/NQ-HDTP guiding the application of a number of provisions of the law in settling disputes over the common property of the family, the provisions on the right to sue the family line are as follows:
“Article 3. The right to initiate a lawsuit on a dispute over the common property of the family line to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the family line
1. Family members have the right to initiate a lawsuit on a dispute over the common property of the family line to protect the family's legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the civil procedure law.
2. The family line is not the plaintiff. Collectives (for example, genealogy, family branch, clan council...) do not have the right to initiate a lawsuit on a dispute over the common property of the family line to protect the family's legitimate rights and interests.
Therefore, in civil proceedings, the family line cannot become a litigant. Also, because there is no party involved in the family line, there is no fact that the head of the family is the legal representative of the family line.
The involved parties in the dispute over common family property are determined as follows:
- The plaintiff in the case of a dispute over the common property of the family line is the petitioner requesting the Court to settle the dispute over the common property of the family line.
- The defendant in the case of a dispute over the common property of the family is the person being sued. The defendant may be a family member or a person who is not a family member but has rights and obligations related to the common property of the family.
A person with related interests and obligations in a dispute over common family property is a person who, although not suing or being sued, has the settlement of the case related to their interests and obligations. Persons with related rights and obligations include other family members and non-family members. Other family members shall be identified as persons with related interests and obligations if requested by the involved parties and accepted by the Court before deciding to bring the case to trial.
In conclusion, when seeing that common property is infringed or their member's interests are infringed, any member of the family has the right to initiate a lawsuit or request to settle civil cases without the authorization of other members.