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Can one be compensated for unjustified detention or house arrest?

Verified 31 janvier 2019 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

Yes. A person who has been remanded in custody or placed under house arrest and who has not been finally convicted may claim compensation.

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If there was a trial

The persons concerned are those who have been the subject of proceedings against them:

  • a remand
  • or house arrest under electronic surveillance.

And finally they benefited:

  • a relaxation
  • or acquittal..

These decisions must be final, i.e. there are no more possible remedies.

Compensation may also be sought by a convicted person and then found innocent following a review.

Compensation is excluded in several cases, including:

  • if the sole basis for the absence of a conviction is the recognition of the irresponsibility of a person on account of a mental disorder,
  • or if the person has intentionally accused or allowed himself to be falsely accused, in order to evade prosecution of the true perpetrator,
  • or if the person was at the same time detained for another cause.

The allowance shall be allocated by

  • the first president of the Court of Appeal on which the judge is responsible
  • or the court which has pronounced the decision to dismiss, release or acquit. This may be the court of first instance, the court of assizes or the court of appeal or the judge.

No trial

The persons concerned shall be those who have undergone remand (or house arrest) and have benefited from place after an investigation by an examining magistrate.

  FYI : It is not possible to obtain compensation after police custody, even if no charges were ultimately retained. Nor is it possible to obtain compensation after pre-trial detention and conviction. This is even if the sentence is not firm and there was no obligation to return to detention.

The compensation paid is intended to compensate for the material (loss of wages...) and moral (separation from family...) damage suffered by the person during his deprivation of liberty.

The person concerned may seek full compensation for his injury.

She can ask for judicial expertise to assess the damage with the first President of the Court of Appeal competent to deal with the claim for compensation.

It may also directly contact an expert, whether or not he is on the national list drawn up by the Court of Cassation or one of the lists drawn up by the Courts of Appeal. If the expert is not on a list, he shall be sworn in.

The request for compensation must be addressed to the first president of the Court of Appeal to which the court or judge who has pronounced the decision to dismiss, to release or to acquit is subject.

It must be seized by way of query.. It must be signed by the applicant and his lawyer. It must be delivered against receipt or sent by registered letter with request for notice of receipt to the Registry of the Court of Appeal. The request must be made within 6 months of the decision of discontinuance, release or acquittal having become final. The application must contain the statement of facts, the amount of the compensation sought and any relevant information (the date, nature and court having delivered the decision), as well as any relevant supporting documents.

Who shall I contact

It is possible to ask for the help of a lawyer.

The decision of the first President of the Court of Appeal may, within 10 days of notificationbe subject to appeal. This is done before the National Commission for the Remedy of Detainees placed before the Court of Cassation. An appeal may be brought by the parties to the proceedings, namely the defendant and the State, represented by the judicial officer of the Treasury.

No appeal may be brought against the decision of the Commission.