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These Are 5 Legal Problems Due To Floods

These are 5 Legal Problems due to Floods

Starting from community lawsuits (citizen law suits), insurance, inheritance, damaged documents, to contract agreements.

Floods that occurred in several areas of Jakarta, Banten, and West Java in the last few days caused a number of problems. Not only causing loss of property, according to the latest data from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), plus the Lebak area, 53 people died as a result of this incident (last data on Saturday 4 January 2020, 10:00 WIB).

There are at least five legal problems that may arise due to flooding. Starting from community lawsuits (Citizen Law Suit), insurance for both vehicles and houses, transfer of rights from victims who died, loss of documents, to whether flooding can be a reason to delay agreements such as contracts or delivery of goods purchased online.

1. Citizen Law Suit

There have been several cases of citizen lawsuits against the government. What is quite a concern is the lawsuit related to forest fires. The panel of judges ranging from the Palangkaraya District Court to the Supreme Court won the lawsuit from residents who asked to issue a number of regulations to deal with and prevent forest and land fires and to establish a special hospital for lungs due to air pollution.

While related to flooding, the community has also sued the government due to the floods that occurred in 2002. The reason is that apart from taking casualties, the government’s handling of the disaster also seems slow so the community is harmed.

However, the Central Jakarta District Court Assembly chaired by Cornel Sianturi decided to reject the lawsuit filed by representatives of DKI residents who were victims of the flood. The lawsuit was filed against the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Governor of DKI and the Governor of West Java as co-defendants.

The three of them are considered responsible for the flood disaster that hit Jakarta in January 2002 because they did not give early warnings to their citizens and did not take proper flood mitigation measures. In their lawsuit, the plaintiff asked the defendants to pay immaterial compensation of Rp. 1.2 trillion.

In its legal considerations, the Assembly is of the opinion that the President of the Republic of Indonesia as the head of government is not proven to have committed legal actions because he does not have a normative obligation to deal with flood disasters. Moreover, the President through PP No.47/1997 on National Spatial Planning and Presidential Decree No.14/1999 on Spatial Planning for Jabotabek, is considered to have had an integrated program to cope with flood disasters.

Meanwhile, the Governor of DKI, who became Defendant II, was judged by the Assembly to have taken legal action because he did not fulfill the normative rules after the act occurred. The proof is that the real implementation of flood management which is the responsibility of the governor was only realized on January 30, 2002, or only a few days after the flood disaster.

Director of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Arif Maulana said the government must fulfill the rights of the community as flood victims. “The main rights are clothing, food, boards that are damaged and are in danger of being lost.

Arif also responded to the disagreement between the central and regional governments. According to him, this disaster is the responsibility of the regional government and the central government so there is no need to blame each other. Instead, according to Arif, the center and the regions must work together to fulfill the rights of the disaster victims.

2. Insurance

Not only local and central governments are busy helping flood victims, insurance companies will also be flooded with claims. Reporting from Antara, data from the Indonesian General Insurance Association (AAUI) collected based on performance for the January-September 2019 period noted that property and motor vehicle insurance contributed 50 percent of the premium market share, 26 percent, and 24 percent, respectively

From this figure, the realization of property insurance claims in the January-September 2019 period reached Rp.4.73 trillion, an increase of 17.1 percent of Rp.691 billion from the same period in 2018 which reached Rp.4.04 trillion. Meanwhile, the realization of motor vehicle insurance claims during the nine months of 2019 reached Rp. 6 trillion, an increase of 5.5 percent of Rp. 314 billion compared to the same period in 2018 which reached Rp. 5.68 trillion.

During the January-September 2019 period, the total claimed insurance paid reached IDR 25.8 trillion, an increase of 28.8 percent compared to the same period in 2018. Of that amount, the contribution of claims paid for property insurance reached 18.3 percent, and insurance moving vehicles reached 23.3 percent.

Problems arise because not all property can be claimed in insurance. For property, for example, the owner must include in the insurance expansion. Whereas previously flood expansion insurance was included in the coverage of property insurance, along with the times and the increasing frequency of floods occurring in big cities, the insurance service provider removed it from the property insurance policy and sold it separately.

Similar to vehicles, Astra insurance on its official website states that people who have insured their vehicles do not need to panic about floods because they are ready to evacuate by providing 24-hour service to customers. Even the evacuation itself is free of charge.

However, there is a condition, that this service applies only to those who have extended car damage coverage due to flooding. If the first condition is met, there are still two other conditions that must not be violated. First, do not intentionally break through the flood, then do not delay filing an insurance claim.

3. Inheritance

As previously mentioned, at least 53 people died as a result of this flood. The Ministry of Social Affairs itself will provide assistance of Rp. 4 billion to flood victims in Greater Jakarta and Banten. Meanwhile, for victims who die, they will be given compensation of Rp. 15 million to the heirs of the victims.

According to the Civil Code, there are two principles of inheritance. First, new inheritance is open (can be inherited by other parties) when a death occurs. (Article 830 of the Civil Code); There is a blood relationship between the testator and the heir, except for the husband or wife of the heir. (Article 832 of the Civil Code), provided that they are still bound in marriage when the testator dies. That is, if they are divorced when the testator dies, then the husband/wife is not the heir of the testator.

Based on this principle, only those who have blood relations with the testator have the right to inherit. Whether it is a direct descendant of a parent, sibling, grandmother/grandfather, or his descendants from his siblings. So, if it is included in the category, then there are four major groups who have the right to inherit.

Category I: husband/wife who has lived the longest and their children/descendants (Article 852 of the Civil Code); Group II: parents and siblings of the heirs; Group III: Family in a straight line up after the father and mother of the heir; Group IV: Uncles and aunts of heirs from both the father and mother side, descendants of uncles and aunts up to the sixth degree are counted from the heirs, brothers from grandfather and grandmother and their descendants, up to the sixth degree are counted from the heirs.

This group of heirs shows who the heirs take precedence based on the order. This means that the class II heirs cannot inherit the inheritance of the heirs in the event that the class I heirs are still there.

4. Document corrupted

Not only damaging property, but the flood also damaged a number of important documents and securities such as Family Cards, Marriage Books, ID cards, motorized vehicle certificates, and land ownership. The destruction of these documents will certainly cause problems for the community.

For example, if you want to travel out of town either by airplane or train, you must show identification such as an ID card, driver’s license, or passport. Likewise, if you bring a vehicle, you must also bring an STNK. It’s the same with the vehicle ownership book, if you don’t have the book, not only will the selling price of the vehicle go down, but it can even be considered illegal.

Fortunately, the Indonesian National Archives (ANRI) provides free family document restoration services. The Indonesian National Archives restoration expert team will make your important documents clean again as usual. For your information, post-disaster archive maintenance services and family archive restoration services (Laraska) were launched in May 2019.

ANRI is also collaborating with the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) to restore Land Certificates. This instruction was directly given by Surya Tjandra as Deputy Minister of ATR/BPN during a working visit to the Bekasi City Land Office on Thursday (2/1/2020).

This flood momentum can also encourage changes at the system level, it is necessary to think together about the disaster mitigation system at the district/city land office or the provincial BPN regional office, especially in saving warkah-warkah (rights, proof of ownership) and other land archives. The loss of community land parcels will cause uncertainty in land ownership, in the future it can trigger conflicts and land disputes.

5. Cancel the Agreement?

The flood also caused a number of shipments of goods to flooded areas to be delayed. Because the disaster paralyzed transportation access that it could not be passed so the process of sending goods could not be carried out by the expedition.

For example, J&T Express, through the official website, admitted that there was a delay in the package delivery process due to natural disasters which had an impact on closing transportation access for the package delivery process in several areas ranging from Sumatra, Java to Nusa Tenggara.

Floods and earthquakes are included in force majeure, namely events or conditions that occur beyond the control of the interested parties which can also be called emergencies. Force majeure usually refers to acts of God, such as natural disasters (floods, earthquakes), epidemics, riots, declarations of war, wars, and so on.

Force Majeure is a legal event because in general, it causes legal consequences, for example, because of the occurrence of floods or earthquakes, one party cannot fulfill the contents of the agreement with the other party. In other words, floods or earthquakes have legal consequences. Therefore, floods or earthquakes are legal events. This force majeure clause is usually regulated in the agreement.

In the Civil Code, force majeure is regulated in Article 1244 and Article 1245, in the section regarding compensation because force majeure is a reason to be released from the obligation to pay compensation. It can be concluded that the events or scope of force majeure implied in these articles include:

  1. Natural events (such as floods, landslides, earthquakes);
  2. Fire;
  3. Destruction or loss of the object of the agreement.
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