The decision of the Arbitration Court of the Saratov Region came into force for the recognition of the building of the restaurant Jos in the center of Saratov on Oktyabrskaya Street as an unauthorized building and its demolition. The Twelfth Arbitration Court of Appeal denied Nadezhda Shilovskaya and Domolimp LLC the satisfaction of their appeals against the decision of the court of first instance. The first instance court ruled that the restaurant should be demolished within a month of the court ruling, but lawyers believe it could take years.
The 12th Arbitration Court Duma of Saratov Sergei Kurikhin. The court of first instance also restored ownership of the space behind the museum and the building located in it – the Jos restaurant – was recognized as an unauthorized construction.
The appeals of Ms Shilovskaya and OOO Domolimp (Jos restaurant) were heard on 16 May. From the data of the court file it appears that they were left without satisfaction. The motivation has not yet been published.
According to Kommersant, the Konstantin Fedin Museum filed a lawsuit against the businessman in the Arbitration Court in March last year and in late November 2021, the Saratov district government filed a similar lawsuit in the same case. He demanded that the building at 7 Oktyabrskaya Street be declared illegal and demolished within one month from the date of entry into force of the decision. The court combined the two claims in one proceeding.
The reasoning of the first-instance decision is the testimony of former museum directors Larisa Konovalova and Valentina Zhukova, as well as former Minister of Culture Vladimir Sinyukov and his subordinates, during which the land in the center of Saratov was privatized and built.
The case file alleges that the museum’s refusal to leave the site was discussed in 2009. However, the museum’s director, Larisa Konovalova, did not give up, insisting that the museum needed it for development – works have been in the works since the 1980s. for the construction of additional museum space, which are now obsolete. The site was removed from the foundation’s property immediately after the direction of Valentina Zukova, who had previously worked as an adviser to the Minister of Culture.
The site was transferred to the ownership of the site and on March 13, 2013, Nadezhda Shilovskaya received the right to lease it. That same year, Sargrad JSC, founded by former deputy Sergey Kurikhin, began construction on a commercial building. Initially, it was supposed to house an art gallery, but in 2017, when the neoclassical mixed-use building opened, the Jos restaurant opened there.
In connection with the fact of the transfer of land to the ownership of Nadezhda Shilovskaya, based on control by the Saratov district prosecutor’s office, a criminal case was initiated under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation (“fraud on a particularly large scale”). During the investigation, Valentina Zhukova explained that on December 22, 2009, Culture Minister Vladimir Sinyukov called her and offered her the position of Museum Director Konstantin Fedin. Ms. Zhukova, then 67, agreed, and Mr. Sinyukov immediately invited her to the museum to introduce her to the group. After that, according to Valentina Zukova, the minister and his subordinates offered her to “sign a document”, without saying what it was. Ms. Zhukova recalled that the office was poorly lit and did not know what she was signing, but assumed it was a mandate for her appointment as director. He allegedly discovered that the plot was denied to the museum only in 2010 by one of the ministry officials.
Former Minister Vladimir Sinyukov, who was questioned in the criminal case, could not refute her words because she did not remember the circumstances of that day. There was a confrontation between them.
Based on these arguments, the court concluded that the procedures for transferring the disputed site to the KUI and subsequently assigning the rights to it and building a commercial facility were illegal. According to the court decision, Ms. Shilovskaya will have to demolish the restaurant building on Oktyabrskaya, 7 within a month.
Nadezhda Shilovskaya’s representative in court, Svetlana Pashayeva, declined to comment on the appellate court’s decision. Andrey Larin, head of the Argument law firm, notes that if the owner refuses to demolish the building voluntarily by court order, this can be done by bailiffs and the owner can be charged for dismantling the building. “But the owner in this case can apply to the annulment authority with a request to suspend the execution of the court decision. And in case of a positive decision on this issue, a further appeal of both acts: both of the first and the secondary degree “, he clarified.
Lawyer Marina Alekseeva believes that the execution of the decision to demolish the building could be delayed for several years. “The bailiffs will initiate enforcement proceedings and will set a deadline for the execution of the court decision. But these dates will be postponed. Bailiffs can then challenge the accused. “There is a possibility of demolition at the expense of the budget with consequent recovery of costs by the defendant, but in practice it may also not be executed for years due to lack of funds in the budget”, the lawyer believes. According to her, demolition is possible at the expense of the plaintiff, but the museum also probably does not have the money for it.
Author: Marina Kovaleva