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Czech court rejects lawsuit filed by mother of quintuplets over fundraising drive

6.2.2017 19:47
The first quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic celebrated their third birthday on Thursday, 2 June 2016. (PHOTO:  bau)
The first quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic celebrated their third birthday on Thursday, 2 June 2016. (PHOTO: bau)

Alexandra Kiňová, the mother of the first quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic, filed a lawsuit in the District Court for Prague 5 against the "Club of Twins and Higher Multiples" (Klub dvojčat a vícerčat) in which she sought the recovery of more than CZK 616 000 (EUR 22 800) from a fundraising drive held by the club on behalf of her children. The court has rejected her lawsuit becuase the money has been transferred to an account owned by the City of Prague.

The decision has not yet taken effect and can be appealed. The fundraising drive was closed as of 17 April 2015 at the request of attorney Klára Samková after Kiňová ceased cooperation with the club in January 2015 due to disagreements.

Samková said on 31 January that the money had been converted out of the club's account and sent to the city as an act of personal revenge by the club's director, Klára Vítková Rulíková, and that her aim in so doing had been to make sure the money never reached Kiňová. "The defendant announced the collection and had access to the finances, which she handled in an unlawful manner for the sake of waging a personal vendetta," the attorney said.

According to the attorney, the purpose of the collection has not expired, and it is illegal that the money has not been delivered to the intended recipient. She said the transfer of the money to an account held by City Hall was an absurd move that had harmed her client.

"They have handled that money illegaly. They lied to all their donors, who certainly did not intend to subsidize the budget of Prague City Hall with their donations," the attorney said.

Robin Sedláček, the legal representative of the club, rejects those complaints. "There were no bad or wrong intentions vis-a-vis Ms Kiňová," he objected.

The defense attorney sought to have the lawsuit thrown out because the club no longer has the money, which is now in the Prague City Hall account. He also said the club transferred the money on the basis of a final statement issued by City Hall in its role as supervisor of the public collection.

"The club complied with the means of enforcement that were used by the higher authority," Sedláček explained. Judge Zdeněk Váňa said what was determinative was the state of affairs at the time the verdict was handed down.

Since the money is no longer in the club's account, the judge was unable to order the club to pay it to the plaintiff. He also said he believed the lawsuit was groundless and could never succeed.

"For the court it is not essential how tense the relationship was between the parties," the judge said. He also pointed out that the law is silent as to such a case.

A circumstance in which both sides of a dispute cannot reach agreement about the transfer of money and the funds end up with a third party is something the law does not address. "We have reached a sort of dead end where nobody knows how to proceed," the judge said.

The judge also said, however, that even those circumstances were not essential to deciding the dispute. He said he is not concerned that the family of the quintuplets in whose name the money was raised will not eventually receive the money from City Hall.

"I believe City Hall will find some way to deal with this. In my opinion, they are under the pressure of a situation in which the entire nation is following the fate of the quintuplets 'live', as it were," the judge said.

Samková confirmed to the Czech News Agency that City Hall is acting helpfully and said she believes approval of the delivery of the donation is making the rounds and awaits the City Council's decision. The quintuplets - Alex, Deniel, Martin, Michael and Tereza - were born on 2 June 2013 in Prague.

The chance of a spontaneous quintuplet conception is said to be one in 48 million. There are roughly 800 quintuplets in the world, more than 130 of whom were spontaneously conceived.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Paterčata, Sbírka, žaloba, Civil society



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