A woman in Banteay Meanchey province has filed a lawsuit against the provincial court president for not enforcing a 2005 Supreme Court decision that ordered the partial removal of a house blocking the 55-year-old woman’s front door.
Uong Khim filed the lawsuit June 23, five years after the Supreme Court held that a house constructed directly in front of her house in Serei Saophoan district must allow four meters space in front of her door. The offending house is situated between the road and Ms Khim’s house in Preah Ponlea commune.
Ms Khim said yesterday she still had to use a winding path in the back of her house, as Judge Ang Mealtey, the provincial court president, had not taken action.
“I have sued the court president since he has not enforced the verdict concerning my case,” she said. “I have no choice. I am afraid of nothing now. They are in the position of the loser but I am in the position of the winner.”
Judge Mealtey said yesterday he was aware of the lawsuit but that enforcing the court order was complicated.
“There is a contentious problem,” he said, declining to discuss those problems. “I cannot say. There are too many difficulties.”
Soum Chankrea, provincial coordinator for the human rights group Adhoc, said the lawsuit was positive as courts should be held accountable.
“If the [provincial] court doesn’t do anything. There are the higher authorities watching it who can deal with the problem,” he said. “This is the first time that I have seen the people file a complaint against the court.”
Supreme Court Judge Yos Sokhoeun said he could not recall the case but said it was the responsibility of the court where the case originated to enforce Supreme Court decisions.
“After receiving the verdict, the court has to enforce it. If someone obstructs that, he has to be punished,” he said.