by Ryszard DRACZYŃSKI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 30 June 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 12 November 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Ryszard Draczyński, is a Polish national who was born in 1964 and lives in Łódź. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
On 18 July 2000 the applicant filed for divorce with the Piotrków Trybunalski Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy).
On 4 August 2000 the applicant was partly exempted from court fees.
On 18 July 2001 the court ordered the applicant to pay monthly 300 Polish zlotys (PLN) for child support benefit.
The court held the first hearing on 11 December 2001. Subsequently, hearings were held on 5 April 2002 and 21 October 2003.
On 27 January 2004 the Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s request to lower the amount of the child support benefit.
At the hearings held on 27 January and 24 June 2004 the court heard experts.
On 19 May 2005 another expert opinion regarding the relations between the applicant, his wife and their daughter was submitted to the court.
The court held hearings on 30 August 2005 and 10 January 2006.
On 24 November the Pitorków Trybunalski Regional Court changed its decision of 19 October 1998 and decided that the visits between the applicant and his daughter would take place at the address of residence of the child and her mother. The appeal against this decision was dismissed on 26 March 2006 by the Łódź Court of Appeal.
On 26 January 2006 the Łódź Court of Appeal allowed the applicant’s complaint under section 5 of the Law of 17 June 2004 on complaints about a breach of the right to a trial within a reasonable time (Ustawa o skardze na naruszenie prawa strony do rozpoznania sprawy w postępowaniu sądowym bez nieuzasadnionej zwłoki) (“the 2004 Act”). The court considered that there had been delays in the proceedings and awarded the applicant PLN 1,000 in compensation.
The Regional Court held a hearing on 6 April 2006. On 10 April 2006 it granted a divorce and decided that the child would live with her mother and that the applicant would retain his visiting rights.
The applicant appealed against the judgment. On 22 August 2006 he was exempted from the costs of the appeal.
On 9 May 2007 the Łódź Court of Appeal held a hearing and dismissed the applicant’s appeal.
The applicant mainly complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the civil proceedings in his case.
On 14 April 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Ryszard Draczyński, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 13,000 (thirteen thousand Polish zlotys) with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. From the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.
I accept the proposal and waive any further claims against Poland in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”
On 26 May 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Jakub Wołąsiewicz, agent of the Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 13,000 (thirteen thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Ryszard Draczyński with a view to securing a friendly settlement of the above-mentioned case pending before the European Court of Human Rights.
This sum, which is to cover any pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage as well as costs and expenses, will be free of any taxes that may be applicable and will be payable within three months from the date of notification of the decision taken by the Court pursuant to Article 37 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the event of failure to pay this sum within the said three-month period, the Government undertake to pay simple interest on it, from expiry of that period until settlement, at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points. The payment will constitute the final resolution of the case.”
The Court takes note of the friendly settlement reached between the parties. It is satisfied that the settlement is based on respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols and finds no reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Lawrence Early Nicolas Bratza