(Application no. 58174/00)
22 August 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Rišková v. Slovakia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 11 July 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
1. Proceedings concerning the dissolution of co-ownership of a real estate (Trnava District Court file 17C 66/91)
2. Proceedings concerning the applicant’s claim of 20 November 1995 (Trnava District Court file 12C 198/95)
3. Proceedings before the Constitutional Court
(a) Complaint about the proceedings concerning the dissolution of co ownership
(b) Complaint about the proceedings concerning the applicant’s claim of 20 November 1995
(c) Complaint of 3 May 2004
(d) Submissions of 3 and 9 June 2004
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
As regards the other set of proceedings, the period to be taken into consideration began on 20 November 1995 and has not yet ended. It has thus lasted 10 years and more than 7 months during which the merits of the case have been examined at a single level of jurisdiction.
The Court further notes that it was open to the applicant to seek redress by means of the remedy under Article 127 of the Constitution to the extent that she may be understood as complaining also about delays in the proceedings before the Regional Court and the Supreme Court after the delivery of the Constitutional Court’s judgments of 27 October 2003. The applicant has not done so, and this fact has to be taken into account when determining the merits of this part of the application and, if appropriate, the applicant’s claims for just satisfaction under Article 41 of the Convention.
As regards the proceedings brought in 1991, the Court notes that the District Court scheduled a hearing more than 5 months after it had identified the address of one of the plaintiffs. The Court would not attach particular importance to this fact as the District Court discontinued the proceedings on 7 September 2004, that is less than one year after the delivery of the Constitutional Court’s finding. Subsequently, the court of appeal and the court of cassation dealt with the case at the applicant’s request.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLES 1, 3, 5, 8, 12 AND 14 OF THE CONVENTION, OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL No. 1, OF ARTICLES 2-4 OF PROTOCOL No. 4 AND OF ARTICLES 2-5 OF PROTOCOL No. 7
IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
Having regard to the characteristics of the constitutional remedy chosen in Slovakia and the fact that, notwithstanding this national remedy, the Court has found a violation, it considers, ruling on an equitable basis, that the applicant should be awarded the total sum of EUR 3,750 in respect of the two sets of proceedings.
The Court also awards EUR 1,000 for the further delay suffered by the applicant in the proceedings before the District Court concerning her action of 1995.
B. Costs and expenses
In these circumstances, the Court considers it reasonable to award the sum of EUR 100 in respect of postage, photocopying and other out of pocket expenses which the applicant incurred in the context of the proceedings before the Court prior to the decision to grant legal aid to her.
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 4,750 (four thousand seven hundred and fifty euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 100 (one hundred euros) in respect of costs and expenses, the above amounts to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement, plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 22 August 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas
In accordance with Article 45 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 74 § 2 of the Rules of Court, the partly dissenting opinion of Mr Casadevall and Mr Bonello is annexed to this judgment.
PARTLY DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGES CASADEVALL AND BONELLO
1 The equivalent of approximately 500 euros.
1 The equivalent of approximately 250 euros.