FORMER THIRD SECTION
CASE OF LIĢERES v. LATVIA
(Application no. 17/02)
28 June 2011
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 Liģeres v. Latvia,
The European Court of Human Rights (Former Third Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Ann Power, judges,
and Marialena Tsirli, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 31 May 2011,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
A. Events giving rise to the applicants’ claim for damages
B. Criminal proceedings against the driver, which the company joined as a civil respondent
“[The first applicant] has submitted a civil claim in the amount of LVL 5,968.13, which consists of LVL 63.90 for services in hospital, LVL 42.25 for rehabilitation in a sanatorium, LVL 472.50 for additional products, LVL 53 for damaged clothing, LVL 17.50 for damaged clothing during recovery, LVL 20 for consultations and visits to a doctor, LVL 358.98 for transport and LVL 3,500 for disfigurement.
As it is not possible to make a detailed calculation of the civil claim, this issue would have to be determined by the civil courts.
Having evaluated the evidence the court, in accordance with section 307 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, leaves the civil claim unexamined.”
“For these sums no documents justifying damage have been submitted (such documents might not exist for damaged clothing and [as regards] compensation for disfigurement).
It can be seen that the following documents are present in the case file:
signature and application for transport in the amount of LVL 250 (in the civil claim a sum of LVL 358.98 is mentioned);
extract certifying that [the first applicant] had bought the necessary material for the operation in the amount of LVL 13 (but a sum of LVL 63.90 is noted in the civil claim);
receipt for lawyer’s services in the amounts of LVL 50 and LVL 40, but these expenses have not been noted in the civil claim at all.”
For these reasons, the regional court concluded that it was not possible to make a detailed calculation of the civil claim, as rightly found by the first-instance court. Finally, the claim was left unexamined, with a note that the civil party had the opportunity to initiate proceedings before the civil courts. The regional court’s decision took effect on 20 May 2000, as none of the parties had appealed on points of law.
C. The first set of civil proceedings against the company
D. Enforcement of the 23 May 2002 judgment
E. Complaints about the enforcement of the 23 May 2002 judgment
F. Second set of civil proceedings against the company
G. Civil proceedings on child support payments
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
A. Code of Criminal Procedure
“Upon delivery of a convicting judgment the court shall satisfy the civil claim fully or in part, or dismiss it, depending on whether or not the basis and the amount of the civil claim have been proved.
In exceptional circumstances, when it is not possible to perform a detailed calculation of the civil claim without adjourning the proceedings or without additional documents, the court in a convicting judgment may recognise the victim’s right to receive redress for his/her claim and forward the claim for determination of its amount in civil proceedings.”
B. Law of Civil Procedure
C. Law on Bailiffs
D. Other relevant laws
“Every wrongful act as such shall give the person who has suffered damage the right to claim compensation from the wrongdoer, in so far as he or she may be held culpable of such an act.
Note: The term act is used here within the widest meaning, including not only acts, but also failure to act, that is, inaction.”
“All damage that is not incidental shall be compensated for.”
“Everyone shall have a duty to compensate for damage he or she has caused through his or her acts or failure to act.”
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF LENGTH OF PROCEEDINGS
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a fair ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ...”
1. The period to be taken into consideration
2. Reasonableness of the length of proceedings
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 13 OF THE CONVENTION CONCERNING THE LACK OF EFFECTIVE DOMESTIC REMEDY FOR EXCESSIVE LENGTH OF PROCEEDINGS
Article 13 reads as follows:
“Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”
III. ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ARTICLES 6 § 1 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF DELAYED ENFORCEMENT OF A JUDGMENT AND LACK OF EFFECTIVE DOMESTIC REMEDY
1. Delayed enforcement of the judgment
2. Payment of compensation in instalments
IV. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF FAIRNESS IN OTHER CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
1. As concerns the second set of civil proceedings against the company
2. As concerns the civil proceedings on child support payments
V. OTHER COMPLAINTS
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT
Done in English, and notified in writing on 28 June 2011, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Marialena Tsirli Josep Casadevall
Deputy Registrar President
In accordance with Article 45 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 74 § 2 of the Rules of Court, the separate opinion of Judge Ziemele is annexed to this judgment.
DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGE ZIEMELE