Article 28 of the Constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic proclaims that everyone has the right to own property, have, use and dispose of it both individually and jointly with other persons. The right to private property is protected by law.
In accordance with Article 268 of the Civil Code of the DPR, the owner has the rights to have, use and dispose of his/her property. The owner has the right, at his/her discretion, to perform any actions with respect to the property belonging to him/her that do not contradict the law and other normative legal acts and do not violate the rights and interests of other persons protected by law, including alienation of his/her property into the ownership of others, transfer them, while remaining the owner, the right to have, use and dispose of property, to pledge property and charge it in other ways, to dispose of it in a different way.
According to the provisions of Article 360 Civil Code of the DPR, as a general rule, the owner has the right to reclaim his property from someone else’s illegal possession. The most common way to demand property from someone else’s illegal possession is to file a claim in a court of general jurisdiction.
A bona fide acquirer is one who obtained the property for a fee, but could not and should not have known about the lack of rights to alienate the property from the seller. In this case, the owner can return his/her property only in cases directly indicated in Article 361 of the Civil Code of the DPR: when the property is lost by the owner or a person to whom the property was transferred by the owner into possession, or stolen from one or the other, or withdraw from the possession in any other way against their will.
It should be noted that money and capital issues on a bearer cannot be reclaimed from a bona fide acquirer.
The owner has the right to reclaim the property in all cases if the property was acquired free of charge from a person who did not have the right to alienate it (Part 2 of Article 361 of the Civil Code of the DPR).
Article 362 of the Civil Code of the DPR regulates settlements when returning property from illegal possession. Thus, when reclaiming property from someone else’s illegal possession, the owner also has the right to demand from a person who knew or should have known that his/her possession is illegal (unscrupulous owner), return or compensation of all income that this person obtained or should have obtained during the entire period of ownership; from the bona fide owner of the return or reimbursement of all income that he/she has obtained or should have obtained from the time when he/she learned or should have learned about the unlawful possession or received a subpoena for the owner’s claim for the return of property. The owner, both conscientious and unscrupulous, in turn, has the right to demand from the owner compensation for the necessary costs on the property from the time when income from the property is due to the owner. In addition, the bona fide owner has the right to reserve the improvements made by him/her, if they can be separated without damaging the property. If such separation of improvements is not possible, the bona fide owner has the right to demand compensation for the costs incurred for the improvement, but not in excess of the increase in the value of the property.
The owner can demand the elimination of any violations of his/her rights.
The rights provided for by Articles 360-363 of the Civil Code of the DPR also belong to a person, although who is not the owner, but owns the property on the basis of the right of perpetual or inheritable possession, economic management, operational management, or on another basis stipulated by law or agreement.
In the event of the entry into force of a law terminating the right of ownership, losses caused to the owner as a result of the entry into force of this law, including the value of the property, shall be reimbursed by the state. Disputes about reimbursement of damages are resolved by the court (Article 365 of the Civil Code of the DPR).
It should be remembered that the general limitation period (3 years) applies to claims for the reclamation of immovable property from someone else’s illegal possession, calculated from the day when the owner learned or should have learned about the violation of his/her right and who is the defendant in the claim for protecting this right.