Dear Mr. E.A,
I have been retained by the Embassy of your country to represent your Family law case before the High Court of Belgrade.
In order to proceed with the case, I need the following info and documents from you:
1. Your Birth Certificate.
2. Signed and Notarized Authorization letter from you with the instructions for notarization before the officials in your country (Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Serbian diplomatic missions.
When the client is living outside of Serbia in a country which is not signed party of Hague Convention from 1961, October 05 (Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents) there is a certain procedure for notarization of this type of Authorization letters. When such a convention is lacking, as is normally the case, the document must be certified by the foreign ministry of the country where the document originated and then by the foreign ministry of the government where the document will be used; One of the certifications will often be performed at an embassy or consulate. In practice this means the document must be certified twice before it can have legal effect in the receiving country. For example, as a non-signatory, documents from your country for use abroad must be certified by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country or by a consular official abroad and subsequently by the relevant government office or consulate of the receiving state, in this case - Serbia.
3. Information about development of relationship between you and Ms. A.M, such as when the relationship started, how, did you live together, for how long, where, who knew about your relationship especially during the time when Ms. A.M. become pregnant (name of persons, their addresses, occupations and their willingness to be wittiness at the court).
4. Information and details about settlement proposal before the Municipality of Stari grad, Belgrade, copies of documents received from Municipality, proof that Ms. A. M. was called to participate at the settlement meeting.
5. Information about the current occupations and educational levels of both, you and Ms. A.M
6. Ms. A.M. address in Serbia.
Since the deadline for the case filling is the April 7, 2011 the urgent course of action is required.
Zoran M. Kostic
Attorney at law
Dear Mr. Kostic,
First of all, I am glad to have you as an advocate to defend my delicate case.
Second, I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible. I will send you the birth certificate and the authorization letter tomorrow by fax, waiting for sending you the original copies by diplomatic way.
About my relation with Ms. A.M, I am providing you with the details, as follows:
1.I met Ms. A.M. in January 2002 during the time of my assignment as a diplomat in the Embassy of my country NN. Our relationship became serious in summer 2002 when she went to my country to see me in August that year. She stayed one week in the hotel.
After that holiday, we decided to rent an apartment in Belgrade where we can see each other periodically, since we were not able to live together, because both of us were married with the other persons.
2. In August 2003 my diplomatic mission was over in Serbia, but I was coming to Belgrade from time to time and we were seeing each other every time while I was in Belgrade. In July 2006, she decided to visit my country NN again. During that visit we stayed in a hotel. During that vacation Ms. A.M. discovered that she is a pregnant. After the holiday she returned to Belgrade and I stayed in my country.
3. When the child was born in 2007, I visited Ms. A.M in Belgrade a few times. We did not live together because both of us were still married with the other persons. Since I believed that a child is mine, I thought that my name was registered on child birth certificate, but on April 2010 when I saw the child birth certificate I realized that my name is not written under the question “Who is a father”. Then, I asked my lawyer to write the letter to Ms. A.M. with request to recognize my fatherhood before the Municipality Stari grad, Belgrade. She did not reply to this letter. Since our relationship deteriorated I do not know what to do. I live in my country NN and Ms. A.M lives in Serbia.
I want to have my fatherhood recognized. Can you help me with this issue?
For this point, the Embassy of my country can give you the proof that Ms. A.M was contacted in April 2010. With me I have a proof of medical examination of a child with regard of problems with chromosomes.
Dear Mr. E A,
Since your case is going to be very delicate, I need more precise information with regard of:
1. On which addresses you lived together (precise dates)? Did you have a lease agreement for apartment where you lived together? What is the name (address of landlord) who rented apartment to you? Did landlord want to confirm that you and Ms. A.M lived together?
2. Do you have a copies of hotel bills from your country where Ms. A.M. stayed for all the periods that she visited you in your country, especially during the period July-August 2006 when she became pregnant?
3. The name and addresses of witnesses who can confirm at the court your relationship since the beginning?
4. What do you want with this court claim - just to confirm fatherhood and/or to provide financial support to the child?
5. When did you find that Ms. A.M is not recognized you as a father (please give me exact date)?
Your case is urgent for processing and therefore please respond to the above questions as soon as possible!
Zoran M. Kostic
Attorney at law
Dear Mr. E.A,
You have not followed my instruction and you have not supplied me with the requested info and documents and therefore I am not able to prepare your case properly and timely for the court processing!
Instead, I will give you a full and comprehensive legal overview of the case:
1.In most Procedural, so called Litigation laws around the world, in order to commence the litigation, some legal preferences have to be fulfilled. If not, the case will be rejected due to the formal suppositions and the court would not litigate the case on merit law and would not start the sessions and investigate the facts, evidences. Of course, the Party in charge can appeal that court rejection, but if not supported with the prescribed formal evidences, the appeal will also be dismissed. Furthermore, it would not be a burden for the next commencement of the process if it is within the legal time frame given for each particular case. But, if the deadline for the commencement of the process expires while the Party is in the process of appealing the court decision, latter on the Party would not have a right to start the new process.
2. The opposite scenery: If there would have been enough the time to initially start the case before the court, upon which the rejection from the court could followed (based on no fulfillment of procedural formal suppositions) there would be enough time for the second court filing within the legal time frame. In your case we would not have the second chance if the case was initially rejected due to the no fulfillment of formal legal suppositions.
How the above is related to your case? I will explain that to you:
1.According to the Family law of Serbia - paragraph 251- Father can file the claim for recognition of fatherhood during the time frame of one year (within the time frame of 10 years of child birth) when he realizes that mother is not agree with his recognition of fatherhood.
2. How to determine the time of one year? This time is counting from the date when Father officially initiates the process for recognition, giving a statement before the registered office in Municipality in charge. According to your letters and documents sent to me, you initiated process of giving a statement of recognition of fatherhood before the Municipality Stari grad in Belgrade, but is not clear whether Ms. A.M (mother of the child) did not answer the call to appear before the registered office or the registered office could not even start the process of your recognition of fatherhood because they could not provide translation in French language - letter from that office, dated on April 07, 2010 states explicitly that. So, it is not clear whether the process before the registered office in Stari grad even started or not - I do not have any evidence in support of this. The only evidence provided to me is the letter from the registered office stating that they could not provide translator and that is all. Nothing further elaborates the evidences and facts.
3. When we have situation like this- with no clear evidence of the process before the registered office in charge, the basic suppositions for court filing are not fulfilled and litigation can’t start. And if the court claim is submitted it will be rejected, because is not supported with the clear evidence with regard of the previous action before the registered office.
The other very important procedural suppositions:
1.According to the Serbian law on Litigation procedures, the Plaintiff's claim has to be very clear and precise. Plaintiff must provide exact names and addresses for Defendant, for Witnesses, to provide clear evidence about the situation (dates, circumstances- in your situation: air tickets, hotel bills, apartment's lease agreements, name and addresses of witnesses). The Defendant and the Court are not providing any evidence at the initial stage of the process- court filing.
In spite of my effort to get the above evidences from you I have not. You have provided me on April 06, 2011 with:
1. Authorization letter in French language
2. Your Birth Certificate
3. Child medical exam from the hospital in Belgrade, from November 24, 2006 (copy)
4. Letter signed from Attorney at law Mr. F. Z, sent to Ms. A.M (copy)
5. Copy of your passport
5. Child’s birth certificate (copy)
6. Statutory documents of your company (copies)
The very important evidences which prove the relationship (when and where you have lived together, in Serbia and in your country) between you and Ms. A. M especially during the time of her pregnancy I have not received. For Court filing we have to have a strong proof that you have been together in a period when she became pregnant. These evidences must come from a Plaintiff (you) not from the Defendant side. The other evidences (rental agreements of the apartments, hotel bills, travel tickets) also had to be provided by you, not from Ms. A.M and not from the court. The names and precise addresses of witnesses also had to be provided by you.
These evidences are very important in order to initiate the court proceedings. These evidences are determining which Law will be implemented (Serbian or Law of your country) in which situation and which court will process the claim.
You sent to me (via e-mail) the information about the people who can be witnesses at the court. You gave to me names and telephone numbers of the witnesses. I called the given numbers. Some numbers were not correct and on the other nobody answered. I have managed to speak to the Attorney Mr. Z. F who helped you with writing the letter to Ms. A.M last year. On my question, whether Mr. Z. F wants to be a witness in this case, he has been explicit that he had not done much for you and that he did not know and still does not know the situation and development of relationship between you and Ms. A.M and therefore he would not be unable to witness anything with that regard.
The other person that I have talked about the issue - the former driver of your Embassy - Mr. D. N. He said that he could witness some situations between you and Ms. A.M in a period 2005-2006.
The next person that I have talked about the case – Ms. G.G, a friend of Ms. A.M. She was explicit that she is a friend of Ms. A.M and that she is not willing to be a witness.
If you want to recognize your fatherhood you can do that through the last will (in Serbian language – testament)or in accordance to the Family law of your country as it could be implemented to this case in accordance to the paragraph 41 of the Serbian Act that regulates the interference of foreign law regulations (in Serbian language – “Za priznavanje, utvrđivanje ili osporavanje očinstva, odnosno materinstva merodavno je pravo države čiji je državljanin u vreme rođenja deteta bilo lice čije se očinstvo, odnosno materinstvo priznaje, utvrđuje ili osporava").
This is my respectful submission and legal overview of the present situation. I wanted to help you with this case, but unfortunately, I did not receive all necessary documents in order to initiate the court claim in a proper way, as I have explained here above.
There is also another solution: According to the paragraph 251 of the Serbian Family law, your child can initiate the process of recognition of fatherhood and there is no deadline for this action.
Advokat / Attorney at law - Zoran M.Kostic
e-mail. [email protected]
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