[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Lawyer and legal advisor
In the Name of the Almighty
The Honourable Head of the Public Court of Law, Branch 1, Kiasar District
On behalf of Mr. _________, the defendant in the above-named file, according to the attached power of attorney and in reply to the petition presented by the esteemed Office of Natural Resources against the above-named, claiming eviction and eradication of buildings and structures, I advise you of my defence as follows:
First – According to Paragraph 4 of Article 62 of the Civil Procedure Code, there is an objection to the price put on the subject of grievance, because the sum the esteemed plaintiff has defined and presented does by no means correspond and even begin to approach the actual price of the subject. The esteemed plaintiff has calculated the value of a plot of land with an area of _________ square metres in a faraway village in the suburbs of Kiasar (and not on the Farhang Street of Sari) at the astronomical sum of rial _________. Also the residential building in it with an approximate area of _________ square metres, which has been built with concrete blocks and ordinary construction material has been calculated at rial _________. So they have calculated the total price of the subject of the claim at rial _________, which is very surprising and worthy of reflection!!
Therefore, based on the mandatory stipulations and provisions of Article 63 of the Civil Procedure Code, and in order to prevent any violation of the client’s rights at the following stages of the proceedings, I request that you kindly determine the value of the subject of grievance at the very beginning, and before starting the proceedings, by asking for the opinion of an expert. According to the Advisory Opinion Number 9631/7, dated 26 Esfand 1386 [16 March 2008], the legislator’s purpose for asking an expert―which has been established in the aforementioned article—has been to assign the actual value of the subject of a claim in a manner that resolves the dispute between both parties.
Second – Even though the esteemed plaintiff has assigned the Valuation Notice Number 8752 dated 31 Ordibehesht 1354 [22 April 1975] as their own proof and has attached it to the petition, according to “the provided map” which has been attached to the notice related to the recent section of Paragraph 6 of the said notice, approximately 17,947 hectares have been considered as lands privately owned by people in the above-named villages. In the same paragraph of the notice, it specifically defines Roshankouh Village (in the penultimate line of the paragraph) and illustrates the plot of land, which is subject to this claim, as part of the privately-owned lands of Roshankouh Village in the past (and at present). This part is considered as the inseparable section of the valuation notice the plaintiff relies on. However, they have not presented this to the respected court, probably to supress the truth, to make it difficult for the respected court to determine the boundaries of the woods and the boundaries of the lands privately owned by Roshankouh villagers. Therefore, in order to find the facts, to facilitate the investigations, and to recognize the rightful [owner], it is respectfully requested that an order be issued—in implementing articles 208 and 209 of the Civil Procedure Code—that the esteemed plaintiff present to the court “the provided map”, attached to the Valuation Notice, which the plaintiff relies on, and which relates to the assignment of the privately-owned lands in Roshankouh Village, which proves the assertion of my client, as does the last section of Paragraph 6 and the contents of the last five lines of the second page of the presented notice, which states “… further it is declared that the list of privately-owned lands of the aforementioned regions and the maps illustrating the position of such lands … are set … for information of the beneficiaries.”
It is needless to mention that the plaintiff’s not presenting the map attached to the notice (which is inseparable from it) is in itself an irrefutable proof that the plaintiff’s claim is not legitimate and that my client is correct in the present lawsuit.
Further, the Valuation Notice presented on its own by the plaintiff without its inseparable part, namely the map showing the privately-owned lands of the villagers in the aforementioned villages, mentioned in Paragraph 6 of the notice, bears no value or credibility.
The esteemed head of the court is well aware of the rule that presenting part of the evidence (as an incomplete document), not presenting it fully, and suppressing the other part (especially since it changes the outcome), cannot legally prove the legitimacy of the presenter, and such an incomplete document is basically not considered as probative evidence.
Third – Fortunately, the aerial photograph taken by the National Geographic Organization of Iran during the years 1342–1345 (1963–1966) now exist and are accessible. Comparing the aerial photograph and the topographic map prepared in 1354 [1975/76]—which shows the boundaries of the wooded area around Roshankouh Village in the 40s and 50s [1960s and 1970s]―with the current situation and the relevant aerial photograph taken in 1395 (2016), clarifies the fact that not only has no encroachment on the woodlands been committed in Roshankouh Village by my client, but, on the contrary, due to evacuation of villages, abandoning and not cultivating the agricultural lands in recent years, a significant part of these farming lands which had belonged to Roshankouh villagers for their cultivation, have now transformed into woods and been added to the woodlands. The comparative photographs (the fact finders) in six pages, as well as the affidavit by the local elders and the neighbouring villages, in which they confirm more than 50 years of ownership of the land—the subject of this claim—by the client and his ancestors, and also lack of encroachment on the wooded areas by the above-named, are presented to you. I ask the esteemed court to kindly issue a warrant for investigation and local examinations to find the facts and to observe the old evidence available locally and to find that the land subject to this claim is not owned publicly, and that no encroachment has been committed by my client on the woodlands.
Fourth – The truth is that the land subject to the current lawsuit is the farming land inherited by the client’s ancestors, which was transferred to him due to implementation of the provisions of Land Reform, and which has been recorded in the Management Log of Lands Affairs. Therefore, due to the occupation of the lands for several decades by my client and his ancestors, the lands are considered as privately-owned, and shown in the map attached to Paragraph 6 of the Valuation Notice (which is kept by the plaintiff); as such, they are not included in the public lands which are subject to Paragraph 6 of the notice in its last section, in which the fact that the lands of Roshankouh Village are privately owned has been clearly stated. Further, such lands are not included in the plaintiff’s official title deed, which was issued as recently as 1385 [2006/07]. Fortunately, the content of the page for the easement rights (Page 12) of the official title deed, presented by the plaintiff, also underlines this fact by strictly mentioning the “privately-owned plots of the public lands….”
Based on the above explanations, as “the provided map” attached to Paragraph 6 of the Valuation Notice number 8752, dated 31 Ordibehesht 1354 [22 April 1975] [shows], the plot subject to this claim is part of the approximately 17,947 hectares privately owned by the villagers in the villages mentioned in the same paragraph of the notice (including Roshankouh Village) and the plaintiff’s presented title deed also admits of the privately-owned lands; therefore, the esteemed plaintiff’s office has no ownership over the lands subject to this claim (the lands occupied by the client and his ancestors for more than 50 years) such that it requires the issue of an eviction order. Hence, the claim raised is an invalid claim and I request that the esteemed head of the court kindly issue an order for a second investigation and local examination (after determining the real claim), and issue an order to invalidate the claim as it is against the facts and the laws%
The lawyer for the defendant