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in Soviet law, a case concerning a dispute affecting the rights and lawful interests of citizens or legal persons or a case to establish a fact of juridical significance that is tried and decided by a court.
The law provides for three categories of civil cases: cases involving disputes arising from civil, family, labor, and kolkhoz legal relationships, cases arising from administrative legal relationships, and special proceedings. (The last category includes cases to establish facts of juridical significance, to recognize a citizen’s status as a missing person, to declare a citizen’s death, or to declare a citizen’s limited transactional capacity or lack of transactional capacity.) As a rule, a civil case is initiated by an interested party who files a statement of claim, complaint, or petition, depending on the category of the case. A civil case may also be initiated by a declaration of the procurator, and, in instances in which the law permits the intervention of the court for the defense of the rights and interests of other persons, a civil case may be initiated by a declaration by agencies of the state administration, public organizations, and individual citizens.
P. P. GUREEV