(Application no. 34489/05)
14 November 2008
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 Litvinova v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Christos Rozakis, President,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 21 October 2008,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
Article 113. Court summonses and notifications
“1. Parties ... are to be summonsed to court by a letter sent via registered mail with an acknowledgment of receipt, a court summons with an acknowledgment of receipt, a telegram, by phone or fax or by any other means of communication which guarantees recording of the fact that the court summonses or notifications were received by the parties.
2. A court summons is one of the forms of court notification. Parties are notified by court summonses of the date and place of a court hearing or of particular procedural actions ...
3. A summons or another form of notification is to be served on parties in such a way [as to ensure] that they have enough time to prepare their case and to appear at the hearing.
4. A court notification, addressed to a party, is to be sent to the address indicated by that party or his/her representative. If a party does not reside at the indicated address, the court summons may be sent to his or her place of work ...”
Article 115. Service of court summonses and notifications
“1. Court summonses and other notifications are to be sent by mail or delivered by a person whom the court authorises to deliver them. The time of service is to be recorded as laid down by post office regulations or on a document which is to be returned to the court.
2. With a party's consent, a judge can serve him/her with summonses or notifications to be delivered to another party. A person authorised by the judge to deliver a court summons or another notification is to return a counterfoil of the summons or a copy of the notification bearing the addressee's signature recording receipt.”
Article 116. Receipt of a court summons
“1. A court summons ... to a person is to be served on him or her against his or her signature on a counterfoil of the summons, which is to be returned to the court ...
4. If the current place of residence of an addressee is unknown, an entry to this effect is to be made on the court summons, showing the date and time of the attempted service and the source of the information.”
Article 118. A change of address during the proceedings
“Parties are to inform the court of any change in their address in the course of the proceedings. If no such notification is provided, court summonses or notifications are to be sent to the addressee's last known address and are considered to be delivered even if the addressee no longer lives or resides there.”
Article 119. Unknown place of residence of a defendant
“When a defendant's place of residence is unknown, the court begins examination of a case once it has received information to that effect from the defendant's last known place of residence.”
Article 338. Time-limits for lodging an appeal statement
“Parties to the case or the prosecutor may lodge an appeal statement within ten days after the judgment was delivered in the final form.”
Article 343. Actions of the first-instance court upon the receipt of the statement of appeal
“1. Upon the receipt of the statement of appeal ... the judge shall:
1) send to the parties copies of the statement of appeal and the enclosed written documents not later than the day after their receipt;
2) notify the parties of the time and place of the appeal hearing...
3) upon the expiry of the time-limit for appeal send the case file to the court of appeal ...”
Article 354. Consequences of the parties' and their representatives' failure to attend an [appeal] hearing
“1. If a party to the case fails to appear and there is no evidence that the party was duly summonsed, the hearing is to be adjourned ...”
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing ... by [a] ... tribunal ...”
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF 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.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(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, the following amounts, to be converted into Russian roubles at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:
(i) EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant;
(ii) EUR 2,00 (two euros) in respect of costs and expenses, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicant;
(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 14 November 2008, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis