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Sequence of events: November 2019: Person A and Person B are caught shoplifting at a major grocery chain in Lviv

December 2019 - February 2020: Deposition/Discovery happens. First hearing. They plead guilty and Judge gives a date for next hearing in March 2020

March 2020: No hearing. They get a call from their advocate that next date is in April.

April 2020 - July 2020: Covid hits. New date received in August 2020.

August 2020: No hearing. They get a call from their advocate that next date is in September. September 2020: Hearing happens. Judge says he cannot pronounce the sentence as injured party is not present. New date October 2020

October 2020: No hearing. They get a call from their advocate that next date is in November.

My question: Can the court just change the date without accused being present? It looks like "court business" is being conducted over the phone.

Is there something goofy going on in here or is normal in Ukraine?

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  • Are you sure this is a criminal trial? Criminal trials, at least under US law, rarely have deposition or discovery, nor do the presence of "injured parties" prevent the pronouncement of sentence, as the "injured party" in a criminal case is the state/people. – sharur Oct 22 '20 at 1:40
  • According to the lawyer, it is a criminal proceeding. – Asdfg Oct 22 '20 at 2:39
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The parties have an ‘advocate’

When the court communicates with the advocate, it’s communicating with the parties - the advocate is the parties’ agent.

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