​90-yr-old Vietnamese waits nearly three decades for lawsuit results

​90-yr-old Vietnamese waits nearly three decades for lawsuit results

Houses are seen on a piece of land in Vietnam in this photo illustration.

A woman of advanced years in Ho Chi Minh City has eventually received a judicial ruling in a lawsuit that lasted one-fourth of a century between her and one of her siblings over land ownership.

The municipal court decided late Monday that Ngo Thi Hai, nearly 90, will get back most of the land which she put in the care of her younger half-brother, Ngo Thanh Choi, years ago.

In 1962, Hai and her husband purchased a 5,000-square-meter piece of registered land in Thu Duc District on which she built a house and grew fruit trees, according to court records.

Hai asked Choi to tend the property while she was away, but she still often visited the house and managed the orchard.

After 1975, the brother built his own house here and even sold four people part of the land, which now has accommodation for rental and residential purposes.

In 1992, Hai sued Choi for his illegal possession of the property, after the brother refused to return it to her, saying that he bought the land without a formal agreement because they trusted each other as siblings.

The case had been delayed on multiple occasions since it began to be handled by the Thu Duc District People’s Court one year later.

It was first adjourned in 1995 and referred to the city’s court in 2003, when it was postponed again to await law amendments.

In 2016 the municipal court scheduled the case but ultimately put it off to collect further evidence.

Following many other adjournments earlier this year, the protracted case was given a definitive conclusion on Monday, according to which Hai will receive two-thirds of the land while Choi keeps the remaining as an act of recognition of his efforts to lift its value over the past decades.

The court also declared Choi’s transfer of land ownership to other people void.

A representative from the local procuracy department said the settlement of the claim exceeded the statutory maximum period for a case.

The 90-year-old woman may now be happy to see justice done, but is likely to worry as the enforcement of the ruling could be quite difficult.

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