(Application no. 20886/04)
22 December 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 Tatyana Makarova v. Russia,
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
Giorgio Malinverni, judges,
and Søren Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 3 December 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
Article 113. Court notices and summons
“1. The parties to the proceedings, as well as witnesses, experts, specialists and interpreters, shall be summoned to a hearing by a letter sent by registered mail with an acknowledgment of receipt, by court summons with an acknowledgment of receipt, by telegram, by phone or fax or by any other means which can guarantee a record of the fact that the summons was sent and was received by the party...
3. Summons shall be served on the parties in such a way that they have enough time to prepare their case and appear at the hearing.”
Article 222. Ground for leaving the case without consideration on merits
“A court shall leave a case without examination on the merits if the parties to the proceedings have failed to attend at least two scheduled hearings.”
Article 223. Procedure and consequences of leaving the case without consideration on merits
“1. Where a case is left without examination on the merits, the proceedings shall be discontinued by a decision of the court...
3. The court shall revoke its decision if the party concerned adduces evidence disclosing a valid excuse for not attending the hearing(s).”
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 within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
34. The Court cannot accept the Government's further argument that the applicant and her representative did not enquire duly about the progress of the proceedings. The Court notes that the national law explicitly provides for an obligation on the part of the domestic courts to inform the parties, in a proper manner, of the dates of hearings (see § 24 above). In the present case, the District Court twice discontinued the proceedings on the ground of the applicant's repeated failure to appear in court, although this was, in fact, owing to its own failure to notify her of the scheduled hearings (see § 12 and § 17 above). In such circumstances, the time that elapsed while she waited in vain for the court summons and the time that elapsed before the discontinued proceedings were resumed cannot be imputable to the applicant.
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
II. 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 of the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage, to be converted into Russian roubles at the rate applicable on the date of settlement;
(b) that 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.
Done in English, and notified in writing on 22 December 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Søren Nielsen Nina Vajić Registrar President