by Jerzy Stanisław FERENC
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 10 November 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 28 December 2008,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Jerzy Stanisław Ferenc, is a Polish national who was born in 1927 and lives in Warszawa. 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 parties, may be summarised as follows.
A. First set of civil proceedings
On 25 April 1995 the applicant lodged a claim against the Komandor JM company, seeking payment for failure to install his wardrobes properly.
On an unspecified date insolvency proceedings against the company were instituted.
On 12 September 1996 the Warsaw District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) partly acknowledged the applicant’s claim and placed it on the list of receivable claims.
It appears that the proceedings before the Warsaw District Court were terminated on 11 August 1998. The applicant’s claim was not satisfied.
B. Second set of civil proceedings
On 19 August 2002 the applicant lodged a claim for payment against a certain M.N. – a member of the board of directors of the Komandor JM company.
On 24 August 2006 the Warsaw District Court gave a judgment and dismissed his claim.
On 24 October 2006 the applicant appealed.
On 27 December 2006 the applicant requested to have a legal-aid counsel appointed in the proceedings. His request was refused by the Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) on 6 February 2007.
The applicant lodged an interlocutory appeal, which was dismissed by the court on 12 March 2007.
On 13 August 2007 the applicant requested that the case file concerning the insolvency proceedings be added to the documentary materials of the proceedings.
On 25 September 2007 the court allowed the applicant’s request and asked the Warsaw District Court to deliver the case file in question.
On 27 September 2007 the applicant lodged yet another request for legal aid. It was likewise refused by the court on 1 October 2007.
On 31 October 2007 the applicant again requested to have a lawyer assigned. On 26 November 2007 the Regional Court appointed a legal-aid counsel for the applicant.
On 9 December 2008 the Warsaw Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal.
No further appeal lay against this judgment.
C. Third set of civil proceedings
It appears that on unspecified date the applicant instituted civil proceedings before the Warsaw District Court. He failed to inform the Court about the subject matter of his application.
On 18 December 2002 the proceedings were discontinued.
On 12 June 2003 the applicant’s interlocutory appeal was dismissed.
D. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
1. Concerning the length of the first set of civil proceedings
On 12 March 2008 the applicant lodged a complaint about a breach of his right to a trial within a reasonable time in respect of the civil proceedings instituted by him and asked for just satisfaction. He relied on 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”).
On 8 May 2008 the Warsaw Regional Court dismissed his complaint. It held that the proceedings before the District Court had been terminated in 1998.
2. Concerning the length of the second set of civil proceedings
On 12 March 2008 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Warsaw Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny), about a breach of his right to a trial within a reasonable time in respect of the civil proceedings before the District and the Regional Courts, and asked for just satisfaction.
On 27 May 2008 the Warsaw Court of Appeal dismissed his complaint. Having examined the conduct of the Regional Court after 5 July 2007, it held that the proceedings had been conducted with due diligence and that no unreasonable delays had occurred in the proceedings.
3. Concerning the length of the third set of civil proceedings
It appears that on 12 March 2008 the applicant lodged a complaint under the 2004 Act, about the unreasonable length of the proceedings before the Warsaw District Court.
On 19 March 2008 the Warsaw Regional Court discontinued the proceedings, as the examination of the applicant’s complaint had become redundant.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the first, second and third sets of civil proceedings.
On 10 August 2009 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I, Jakub Wołąsiewicz, Agent of the polish Government, declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 14,000 (fourteen thousand Polish zlotys) to Mr Jerzy Stanisław Ferenc 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.”
On 16 June 2009 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Jerzy Stanisław Ferenc, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 14,000 (fourteen 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.”
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