General jurisdiction courts should handle personal bankruptcy cases - Supreme Court
Moscow, April 16 – RAPSI. In anticipation of the creation of personal bankruptcy under Russian law, the Supreme Court has approved amendments to the Civil Procedure Code stipulating that personal bankruptcy cases should be considered by courts of general jurisdiction, not commercial courts.
At present, commercial courts govern bankruptcy proceedings for legal entities. This Supreme Court finding was necessitated by the fact that historically, personal bankruptcy has not existed under Russian law. A law creating it is currently making its way through parliament. The State Duma has already passed the draft law in the first reading.
Pursuant to the draft law, a separate chapter on personal bankruptcy will be added to the federal law on bankruptcy, according to which an individual whose debts exceed 50,000 rubles ($1,505) and where payment is more than six months overdue, can be declared bankrupt.
In most countries, such cases are handled by general jurisdiction courts, or specially established bodies that are under the jurisdiction of these courts, the Supreme court reasoned.
According its proposal, petitions for personal bankruptcy must be filed with the court at the individual’s place of residence. Such a petition could be filed by the debtor himself as well as his creditors, or other individuals who handle bankruptcy issues in accordance with federal law.
The consideration of the petition may end with a settlement agreement, including one made through mediation vehicles.
Notably, Russia’s judiciary has various branches. The Supreme Commercial Court has the highest judicial authority over commercial disputes arising within the country, but it has not impact on the courts of general jurisdiction, which fall under the purview of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court.