(Application no. 30968/96)
4 October 2001
In the case of Mario Barone v. Italy,
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. ROZAKIS, President,
Mr A.B. BAKA,
Mr G. BONELLO,
Mrs M. TSATSA-NIKOLOVSKA,
Mr E. LEVITS,
Mr A. KOVLER, judges,
Mr G. RAIMONDI, ad hoc judge,
and Mr E. FRIBERGH, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on 20 September 2001:
1. The case originated in an application (no. 30968/96) against Italy lodged with the European Commission of Human Rights (“the Commission”) under former Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by an Italian national, Mr Mario Barone (“the applicant”), on 21 March 1996.
2. The applicant was represented by Mr G. Berretta, a lawyer practising in Milan. The Italian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr U. Leanza, and by their co-agent, Mr V. Esposito.
3. The applicant complained about his prolonged inability - through lack of police assistance - to recover possession of his apartment and about the duration of the eviction proceedings.
4. On 15 February 2001, after obtaining the parties’ observations, the Court declared the application admissible.
5. On 4 July 2001 and on 11 July 2001, the applicant and the Agent of the Government respectively submitted formal declarations proposing a friendly settlement of the case.
6. The applicant is the owner of an apartment in Milan, which he had let to C.S.
7. In a writ served on the tenant on 9 June 1984, the applicant communicated his intention to terminate the lease and summoned the tenant to appear before the Milan Magistrate.
8. By a decision of 4 July 1984, which was made enforceable on 4 September 1984, the Milan Magistrate upheld the validity of the notice to quit and ordered that the premises be vacated by 31 October 1986.
9. On 4 June 1987, the applicant served notice on the tenant requiring him to vacate the premises.
10. On 19 June 1987, he served notice on the tenant informing him that the order for possession would be enforced by a bailiff on 17 July 1987.
11. On 6 May 1987, 2 June 1989, 25 January 1990 and 11 May 1994, the applicant made statutory declarations that he urgently required the premises as accommodation for himself.
12. Between 17 July 1987 and 18 April 1996, the bailiff made forty-one attempts to recover possession. Each attempt proved unsuccessful, as the applicant was never granted the assistance of the police in enforcing the order for possession.
13. On 16 May 1997, the applicant repossessed the apartment with the assistance of the police.
14. On 12 July 2001, the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Italy offer to pay 50,000,000 ITL to Mr Mario Barone with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the application registered under no. 30968/96. This sum shall cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs, and it will be payable within three months starting from the notification of the judgment delivered by the Court pursuant to Article 39 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.
This declaration does not entail any acknowledgement by the Government of a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the present case.
The Government further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention.”
15. On 10 July 2001, the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I note that the Government of Italy are prepared to pay a sum totalling 50,000,000 ITL covering both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs to Mr Mario Barone with a view to securing a friendly settlement of application no. 30968/96 pending before the Court.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims in respect of Italy relating to the facts of this application. I declare that the case is definitely settled.
This declaration is made in the context of a friendly settlement which the Government and the applicant have reached.
I further undertake not to request the reference of the case to the Grand Chamber under Article 43 § 1 of the Convention after the delivery of the Court’s judgment.”
16. The Court takes note of the agreement reached between the parties (Article 39 of the Convention). It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention or its Protocols (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court).
17. Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Decides to strike the case out of the list;
2. Takes note of the parties’ undertaking not to request a rehearing of the case before the Grand Chamber.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 4 October 2001 pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Erik FRIBERGH Christos ROZAKIS