A Bulgarian man Spends 10 Years to Sue Bulgaria at International Court in Strasburg over a €25 Parking Ticket

After ten years in court Pavel Varadinov from the Bulgarian village Brestovitza has managed to successfully appeal a 50 BGN (€25) parking ticket before the international court at Strasburg.

Even though not the grandest court battle, or among the most inspiring pieces of judicial drama, the story of Pavel Varadinov is still a testament to both the unstoppable force of the human spirit and the stubbornness of Bulgarians. Back in the year of 2007 the man was fined with a 50 BGN parking ticket, issued by police officers in Plovdiv. The man signed the fine, but at the comment section he wrote that there was no sign forbidding parking at the spot, neither was he a threat to the town’s traffic.

Completely convinced that he is in the right, mr.Varadinov filed an appeal with the local court in Plovdiv to nullify the fine. From the local court he received an answer that since the fine was at or lower than 50 BGN, according to Bulgarian law, he could not appeal the fine. Varadinov did not agree with this decision and he took the battle to the international court at Strasburg. Later in 2012, the law by which he was denied an appeal was considered unconstitutional. Even then, the local court at Plovdiv did not allow Varadinov to appeal, since the effects of the law take place after it was instantiated.

In the year of 2017, Pavel Varadinov has finally received justice. The court at Strasburg has decided that Bulgaria has infringed the Convention of Human Rights as it has denied Varadinov access to a fair trial in which he could appeal the parking ticket. This case has set a precedent and may actually be used in the future as a defence to a similar case. Even though Varadinov did not receive the €1,000 compensation he requested, he has become the moral and factual winner in this decade old battle and will receive €300 from Bulgaria for his legal expenses.

(Picture taken from: ticketsnipers.com)

Bozhidar Lazarov

Bozhidar Lazarov is a freelance writer, hobbyist programmer and an aspired novelist. Feel free to follow him on https://www.minds.com/seriousways for his latest articles and personal projects.

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