Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
in Soviet criminal procedure, a person who bears material responsibility for a loss caused by the criminal actions of the accused and who is drawn into the proceedings in connection with the bringing of a civil suit in a criminal action.
Parents, guardians, and curators of the accused as well as institutions, enterprises, and organizations may be prosecuted as civil defendants. For example, if a minor age 15 to 18 does not have sufficient property or wages to compensate for the harm caused by his criminal actions, the loss must be adequately compensated by his parents or guardians. Organizations and citizens whose activity involves increased danger for the people around them (for example, transportation organizations and automobile owners) are obligated to make compensation for harm caused by the source of the increased danger, unless they prove that the harm happened through force majeure or the intent of the victim. An organization is required to compensate for harm caused through the fault of its workers in the performance of their official duties.
The agency of inquiry, the investigator, or the judge and the court may issue a decree or ruling, to prosecute a person as a civil defendant in criminal proceedings. At the session of the court, the civil defendant and his representative, along with other participants in the trial, have equal rights in the presentation of evidence, participation in the examination of evidence, and submission of petitions (arts. 55 and 138 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR). A civil defendant may be examined as a witness.
P. P. GUREEV