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Lithuania: Court makes €12,000 ruling after ‘father’s rights’ complaint

Judges today awarded €12,000 to a London-based father, following his complaint against Lithuania over access to his seven year old son.

Manic v. Lithuania (no. 46600/11)

The applicant, Eugeniu Manic, is a Moldovan and Romanian national who was born in 1971 and lives in London.

Manic lived with his wife and son – both Lithuanian citizens – in London until 2008 when the mother took the boy to live with her permanently in Lithuania.

In 2009, the Vilnius Regional Court decided that, taking into account the best interests of the child, he should remain with his mother in Lithuania. Manic then started new court proceedings in the High Court of Justice in England and Wales who confirmed the decision of the Vilnius Regional Court in 2010.

The mother subsequently refused to comply with the High Court of Justice judgment setting out the child contact arrangements. She started fresh court proceedings in Lithuania, with a view to further limiting Manic’s contact rights.

On 1 March 2011, a Lithuanian court adopted a provisional measure, ordering that the child should not leave Lithuanian territory. In the meantime, the father could go to Lithuania and see his son there in the presence of child care authorities. By a decision of 27 April 2011 the Lithuanian court also dismissed the action against the mother, which a Lithuanian bailiff had lodged for failure to execute the High Court of Justice decision.

Relying in particular on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Manic complained about the passivity of the public authorities in enforcing the High Court of Justice decision defining his right of contact with his child.

Violation of Article 8

Just satisfaction: EUR 7,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 5,000 (costs and expenses)

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