by Regina VON HOLTUM
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 10 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 25 September 2007,
Having regard to the agreement on a friendly settlement of the case reached between the German Government (“the Government”) and the applicant,
Having regard to the fact that Judge Renate Jaeger, the judge elected in respect of Germany, withdrew from sitting in the case (Rule 28 of the Rules of Court) and that on 25 September 2008 the respondent Government, pursuant to Rule 29 § 1 (a), informed the Court that they had appointed in her stead another elected judge, namely Judge Mark Villiger,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Regina von Holtum, is a German national who was born in 1935 and lives in Baden-Baden. The Government were represented by their Agent, Mrs Almut Wittling-Vogel, Ministerialdirigentin, Federal Ministry of Justice.
The application concerns the court proceedings in relation to the applicant’s divorce and the related ancillary matters (Scheidung und Folgesachen), which started on 6 April 1994 following an application by the applicant’s former husband.
In the course of the proceedings the domestic courts declared the divorce final, determined the applicant’s pension rights adjustments (Versorgungsausgleich) and severed the remaining ancillary matters. In the latter respect, the applicant and her former husband eventually reached a friendly settlement.
On 22 March 2007 the Federal Constitutional Court declined to consider the applicant’s complaint about the decisions of the domestic courts granting the divorce and determining her pension rights adjustments.
The applicant complained under Article 6 of the Convention about the length of divorce and ancillary proceedings and submitted that the proceedings had been conducted unfairly and that the acting judges were biased.
Relying on Article 8 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 she complained about the severance of the ancillary matters from the divorce proceedings, the declaration of divorce itself and the proprietary and pension rights adjustments.
On 28 November 2008 the Court received the following agreement signed by the Government and the applicant on 11 and 13 November 2008 respectively:
of Application No. 42440/07
Von Holtum v. Federal Republic of Germany
The Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Agent of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Almut Wittling-Vogel, Bundesministerium der Justiz (Federal Ministry of Justice), Mohrenstraße 37, 10117 Berlin, and the Applicant, Ms. Regina von Holtum, Markgrafenstraße 24, 76530 Baden-Baden, come to the following agreement (Friendly Settlement) in connection with Application No. 57249/001 made by the Applicant to the European Court of Human Rights:
1. The Federal Republic of Germany hereby assumes the obligation to pay the Applicant the total sum of EUR 9,000.- in settlement of all claims in connection with the Application referred to above. Through this sum of money all conceivable claims against the Federal Republic of Germany - in particular compensation for the Applicant, as well as costs and expenses - are settled. The copy of the Disbursement Order of the Federal Ministry of Justice (direction given to the competent Federal Cash Office to effect one single payment), suffices as proof of this payment.
2. The Applicant hereby assumes the obligation to make a declaration to the European Court of Human Rights within one week of receipt of the copy of the Disbursement Order stating that she is withdrawing the Application referred to above and that she agrees to the Application being struck out of the list. If the Court continues the proceedings, the sum of money referred to under Number 1 above shall be taken into account in the event of any obligation, imposed by the Court, to make payment (in particular for compensation, costs and expenses).
3. The Applicant waives the assertion of any further claims against the Federal Republic of Germany in connection with the facts underlying the Application. The Federal Republic of Germany accepts this waiver.
4. The Agent of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany shall inform the European Court of Human Rights of this agreement.”
On 8 December 2008 the Court received a declaration signed by the applicant stating that she withdraws her application no. 42440/07 and agrees to it being struck out of the Court’s list of cases in accordance with the stipulations under no. 2 of the above-quoted agreement.
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 public policy 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.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen
1 By letter dated 16 December 2008 the Government confirmed that the application number should read 42440/07 as referred to in the heading of the agreement.