AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
by Sergey Vladimirovich YEMELYANOV
The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 17 February 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska,
Zdravka Kalaydjieva, judges,
Stanislav Shevchuk, ad hoc judge,
and Claudia Westerdiek, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 21 June 2003,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Sergey Vladimirovich Yemelyanov, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1962 and lives in Kharkiv. The Ukrainian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Y. Zaytsev.
On 9 July 2001 the applicant instituted proceedings against the “Avtomobilist” garage cooperative in the Kiyevsky District Court of Kharkiv claiming ownership rights over a garage which he had allegedly inherited from his grandfather.
On 19 September 2002 the court found against the applicant. On 20 December 2002 the Kharkiv Regional Court of Appeal upheld that judgment.
On 18 January 2003 the applicant lodged his cassation appeal by registered mail.
On 27 February 2004 the Supreme Court dismissed the applicant’s cassation appeal.
According to the documents provided by the Government, out of eight listed hearings, two hearings were adjourned since the judge was involved in other proceedings and two due to the defendant’s requests for adjournment. The hearings were scheduled at intervals of about two months.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention of the unfairness, outcome and the length of the proceedings in his case. In particular, he alleged that the judges sitting in the domestic courts had lacked independence and had been partial. The applicant also alleged under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention that the domestic courts had interfered unlawfully with his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
The Government contested the applicant’s submissions, stating that there had been no significant periods of inactivity attributable to the State. They maintained that the case had been complex and that the judicial authorities had acted with due diligence. According to the Government, the applicant had been responsible for several delays, in particular, by making numerous requests for additional documents and for witnesses to be called, and by contesting the courts’ records. The Government therefore maintained that the length of proceedings in the applicant’s case had not been unreasonable.
The applicant made no comments in reply.
According to the materials in the case file and the documents provided by the Government, the proceedings complained of began on 9 July 2001 and ended on 27 February 2004. Therefore, they lasted for two years and about eight months, and included three instances.
Given that the proceedings lasted for two years and about eight months before three levels of jurisdiction and that there were no significant periods of inactivity attributable to the State, the Court concludes that the length of proceedings in the instant case did not exceed a reasonable time within the meaning of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention (see, for example, Aleksandr Shevchenko v. Ukraine, no. 8371/02, § 27, 26 April 2007).
It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill-founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
Having carefully examined the applicant’s submissions in the light of all the material in its possession and in so far as the matters complained of are within its competence, the Court finds that they do not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention.
It follows that this part of the application must be declared inadmissible as being manifestly ill-founded, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Declares the application inadmissible.
Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen Registrar President