(Application no. 25234/03)
17 February 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 Dumbravă v. Romania,
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Boštjan M. Zupančič,
Luis López Guerra, judges,
and Santiago Quesada, Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 27 January 2009,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
On 29 March 1994 the applicant was evicted from that apartment, as he had no tenancy. The goods in the apartment were entrusted to the keeping of V.V., most of them being placed under a seal in one room. At the latest on 7 December 2000 the O. company demanded that the applicant take the goods removed from the apartment, as it had no suitable place to keep them.
On 5 February 2003 the Bucharest Court of Appeal, by a final decision, dismissed the action, considering that the property was governed by Law no. 112/1995, not by Decree-law no. 61/1990 and Law no. 85/1992, and that V.V. had made the purchase in good faith.
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1
“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.
The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”
There has accordingly been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
II. OTHER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE CONVENTION
It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 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 shall ensure, by appropriate means, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the performance of the sale to the applicant of Apartment 18 situated in Bucharest, Valea Călugărească Street no. 2, as ordered in the judgment of 11 May 1998 of the Bucharest Court of First Instance;
(b) that, failing such performance, the respondent State is to offer the applicant, within the same three months, the sale of an apartment of equivalent surface and value, or if the applicant does not find the offer acceptable, a sum of compensation for loss of opportunity of EUR 10,000 (ten thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable;
(c) that, in any event, the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within the same three months, the amount of EUR 4,000 (four thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;
(d) that the aforementioned amounts shall be converted into the national currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(e) 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 17 February 2009, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Santiago Quesada Josep