CASE OF DRAGUTA v. MOLDOVA
(Application no. 75975/01)
31 October 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 Drăguţă v. Moldova,
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 K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović, judges,
and Mr T.L. Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 10 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
2 The Moldovan Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr V. Pârlog.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
In addition, the relevant provisions of the Law no. 824 of 24 December 1991 on index-linking of population income read as follows:
Index-linking of population income means the complete or partial recovery of the losses to the population income caused by the increase in prices and tariffs for goods and services and constitutes a permanent mechanism for automatic correction of the level of population income. ...
There shall be an index-linking of all financial income of citizens in the form of wages of persons employed by State organisations, as well as enterprises which sell their products at fixed prices, pensions, stipends, social assistance payments and other income which does not have a one-time character, as well as deposits of the population in banks and credit institutions”.
Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, in so far as relevant, reads as follows:
“1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair hearing ... within a reasonable time by a tribunal ....”
Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 reads as follows:
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”
I. THE GOVERNMENT’S PRELIMINARY OBJECTION
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 AND OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1 TO THE CONVENTION
III. 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.”
A. Pecuniary damage
26. The applicant claimed 50,000 euros (EUR) for both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage suffered. She claimed MDL 163,573 (EUR 10,724) for the pecuniary damage suffered as a result of the failure of the authorities to enforce the judgment of 29 September 1998 for over three years. She submitted statistical data showing that during 1998-2002 inflation had amounted to 111.7%, decreasing the value of her 1998 monetary award.
They also submitted that the bailiff took all reasonable measures to enforce the judgment, but this proved impossible due to the lack of money in the Municipality’s account.
31. The applicant also submitted that her family had accumulated debts in respect of the apartment which she and her family had to vacate in December 2000 (electricity, water, etc). However, the bills which she submitted were issued in 2004 and it is not clear to which period they relate, considering that the judgment debt was enforced in December 2001. The Court considers that she has not substantiated this part of her claims.
32. Moreover, since December 2000 the applicant’s family had to rent a room to live in and thus incurred additional expenses. The applicant presented a confirmation to that effect but did not specify the amount of money spent on rental or provide any proof of such expenses.
B. Non-pecuniary damage
C. Costs and expenses
40. The applicant did not make any claim in this respect.
D. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final according to Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 10,724 (ten thousand seven hundred and twenty four euros) for pecuniary damage and EUR 3,000 (three thousand euros) for non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into the national 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 31 October 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
T.L. Early Nicolas Bratza