(Application no. 9590/06)
7 July 2009
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 Kata v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Nicolas Bratza, President,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 16 June 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Background to the case
B. Civil proceedings
“I am married. My wife receives a disability pension of PLN 500 a month. I receive a disability pension of PLN 1,300 a month.
We have our three biological grandchildren, to whom we are foster parents, to support. The grandchildren are 3, 8 and 18 years of age and the oldest grandchild is still at school.
Our constant monthly expenses are:
- rent – PLN 320,
- water – PLN 100,
- electricity – PLN 120,
- gas – PLN 70,
- television – PLN 80,
- telephone – PLN 90,
-medicaments – PLN 120.
I do not have any shares or securities or any savings. I do not have a car or any other property of financial value.
In my opinion payment of the court fees will entail a substantial reduction in my and my family's standard of living.”
“The Court found that, although the income received by the applicant and his wife was not high, they should, however, when lodging an appeal, have been aware that they would have to pay the court fee, and should have made the necessary savings in advance. The court's view could not be altered by the fact that the applicant and his wife were a foster family for their 3 grandchildren. A party seeking his or her claim in a court should limit other expenses.”
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND PRACTICE
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 ... by [a] ... tribunal established by law. ...”
1. The Government's objection regarding non-compliance with the six month rule
The Court sees no reason to depart from the reasoning adopted in the above-mentioned cases.
2. The Government's objection as to non-exhaustion of domestic remedies
Therefore, in the Court's view, the applicant exhausted all domestic remedies available to contest the findings of the domestic courts which are the object of the present application.
For these reasons, the Government's plea of inadmissibility on the ground of non-exhaustion of domestic remedies must be dismissed.
3. Conclusion as to admissibility
1. The parties' submissions
(a) The applicant
(b) The Government
2. The Court's assessment
(a) Principles deriving from the Court's case law
(b) Application of the above principles to the present case
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
Done in English, and notified in writing on 7 July 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza