13/06/2022 09:41

Is destruction of martial property a crime in Vietnam?

Is destruction of martial property a crime in Vietnam?

According to the Law on Marriage and Family, spousal common property includes property created by husband and wife during the marriage period. In fact, in many cases, because of the conflict between husband and wife, a person deliberately damaging or destroying property is spousal common property. So what does the law say about this matter when the destroyed property itself is also in the possession of the person committing the act?

In the Civil Law of Vietnam, the joint ownership of husband and wife is the consolidated and divisible joint ownership.

Article 213 of the Civil Code 2015 reads as follows:

“Article 213. Multiple ownership between husbands and wives

1. Multiple ownership between a husband and wife is divisible joint ownership.

2. A husband and wife jointly create and develop their marital property through their efforts and have equal rights to possess, use and dispose of such property.

3. A husband and wife shall discuss, agree on or authorize each other in relation to the possession, use and disposal of the marital property.

4. The marital property may be divided as agreed or pursuant to a decision of a court.

5. If a husband and wife select the regulations on property under agreement as prescribed in law on marriage and families, the marital property shall apply those regulations.

 In joint ownership consolidation, joint owners have the same rights and obligations with respect to jointly owned assets. The possession, use and disposition of common property must be decided by the parties.Therefore, a person who deliberately destroys a common property without the consent of the co-owner shall be administratively sanctioned from VND 3,000,000 – VND 5,000,000, confiscated as a result of the act as prescribed at Point a, Clause 2, Article 3, Article 15 of Decree 144/2021/ND-CP1 and even examined for penal liability for "Destroying property" or "Deliberately damaging property".

Article 178 of the Criminal Code of 2015 (amended and supplemented in 2017) of Vietnam regulates the crime of destroying or intentionally damaging property as follows:

Any person who deliberately destroy another person's property which is assessed at from VND 2,000,000 to under VND 50,000,000 or property which is a relic or item of historical or cultural value or property which is assessed at under VND 2,000,000 in any of the following circumstances shall be liable to a fine of from VND 10,000,000 to VND 50,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 06 - 36 months' imprisonment:

a) The offender has incurred an administrative penalty for appropriation of property;

b) The offender has an unspent conviction for the same offence;

c) The offence has a negative impact on social safety, order and security;

đ) The property destroyed is the primary means of livelihood of the victim and the victim's family; the property obtained is a souvenir, memento or religious item that has a spiritual value to the victim.

Depending on the nature and degree of danger of the act, the offender may face a penalty of up to 20 years' imprisonment.

In the Judgment 33/2021/HSST dated April 22, 2021 on the crime of destruction of property with the following contents:

"Nguyen Van Ph and Ms. Duong Thi H are husband and wife. On the afternoon of October 24, 2020, Ph and H had a fight and quarreled, H kicked Ph out of the house. Due to the frustration that Mrs. H had offensive words and did not let her into the house, Ph took 01 gas bottle and 01 gas lighter to go home for the purpose of burning bedding and property to expel Mrs. H from the house. After expelling his wife and children, Ph poured gasoline on the blanket, cushions, pillows in the bed and used a gas lighter to light this blanket, causing the fire to spread around, damaging 01 washing machine, 01 refrigerator, 01 plastic cabinet, four-wing type of wardrobe is the private property of Ms. H. Also damaged by 11 cold sheets (foam sheets), 01 bed is the joint property of the couple Ph."

The People's Court of Y district, Bac Giang province commented: The defendant Ph due to anger and thought impatiently but deliberately violated the property ownership of Mrs. H unlawfully. Therefore, it is claimed that the defendant Nguyen Van Ph is guilty of "Destruction of property". Sanctioning the defendant Nguyen Van Ph 02 ( two) years 03 ( three) months of imprisonment, but giving the suspended sentence.

Thus, any person who deliberately destroys the property or deliberately destroys the property of another, whether it is common property of husband and wife, shall be subject to a fine, pay compensation for damage and may be sentenced to a maximum term of up to 20 years' imprisonment.

Phuong Uyen

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