by Józef PROBALA
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 10 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Fatoş Aracı, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 30 January 2007,
Having regard to the formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Józef Probała, is a Polish national who was born in 1954 and lives in Wrocław. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Jakub Wołąsiewicz of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Civil proceedings
On 9 June 2000 the applicant lodged a claim with the Wrocław District Court against his former employer for payment of salary due.
On 10 August 2005 the Wrocław District Court gave judgment.
On 28 November 2005 the applicant lodged an appeal with the Wrocław Regional Court.
On 14 September 2006 the Wrocław Regional Court dismissed the applicant's appeal.
On 16 November 2006 the judgment was served on the applicant.
2. Proceedings under the 2004 Act
On 5 August 2005 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Wrocław Regional Court about a breach of his right to a trial within a reasonable time in respect of the civil proceedings for payment and asked for just satisfaction.
On 2 September 2005 the Wrocław Regional Court dismissed his complaint. The court limited its examination of the length of proceedings issue to the period after the entry into force of the 2004 Act and, despite acknowledging that there had been certain periods of inactivity on the part of the District Court before the entry into force of the 2004 Act, it stressed that the Act could not be applied to the protracted length of court proceedings occurring before that date. Having analysed the conduct of the District Court during the period after the entry into force of the 2004 Act, the Regional Court found that the proceedings had been conducted with due diligence and within a reasonable time.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the unreasonable length of the proceedings.
On 22 December 2008 the Court received the following declaration from the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 10,000 to Mr Józef Probała 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. It 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 20 December 2008 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Józef Probała, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 10,000 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. It 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.
Fatoş Aracı Nicolas Bratza
Deputy Registrar President