CASE OF KHLYSTOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Application no. 19061/12 and 5 others -“
see appended list)
8 March 2018
This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Khlystov and Others v. Russia,The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:
Luis LÃ³pez Guerra, President,
Jolien Schukking, judges,
and Liv Tigerstedt Acting Deputy Section Registrar,
THE FACTS3. The list of applicants and the relevant details of the applications are set out in the appended table.4. The applicants complained of the domestic courts' failure to ensure their participation in hearings in the civil proceedings to which they were parties.
I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS5. Having regard to the similar subject matter of the applications, the Court finds it appropriate to examine them jointly in a single judgment.
II. THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUEST TO STRIKE OUT SOME APPLICATIONS UNDER ARTICLE 37 Â§ 1 OF THE CONVENTION6. The Government submitted unilateral declarations in some applications which did not offer a sufficient basis for finding that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention does not require the Court to continue its examination of the case (Article 37 Â§ 1 in fine). The Court rejects the Government's request to strike the applications out and will accordingly pursue its examination of the cases (see Tahsin Acar v. Turkey (preliminary objections) [GC], no. 26307/95, Â§ 75, ECHR 2003-‘VI).
III. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 Â§ 1 OF THE CONVENTION7. The applicants complained that their right to a fair hearing had been breached on account of the domestic courts' failure to properly and timely notify them of hearings in the civil proceedings to which they were parties. They relied on Article 6 Â§ 1 of the Convention, which reads as follows:
Article 6 Â§ 1
"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ... everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal ..."8. The Court observes that the general principles regarding the right to present one's case effectively before the court and to enjoy equality of arms with the opposing side, as guaranteed by Article 6 of the Convention, have been stated in a number of its previous judgments (see, among many other authorities, Steel and Morris v. the United Kingdom, no. 68416/01, Â§Â§ 59-60, ECHR 2005-II).9. The applicants alleged that they had not received the summonses and/or were not informed in due time of the date and place of hearings in their cases. The Court reiterates that domestic courts must make reasonable efforts to summon the parties to a hearing (see Kolegovy v. Russia, no. 15226/05, Â§ 42, 1 March 2012, and Babunidze v. Russia (dec.), no. 3040/03, 15 May 2007). Litigants must also take appropriate measures to ensure effective receipt of correspondence the domestic courts may send them (see Perihan and Mezopotamya BasÄ±n YayÄ±n A.Åž. v. Turkey, no. 21377/03, Â§ 38, 21 January 2014; Boyko v. Ukraine (dec.), no. 17382/04, 23 October 2007; and Darnay v. Hungary, no. 36524/97, Commission decision of 16 April 1998). Moreover, the Court has noted that a lack or deficiency of reasons in domestic decisions as regards the proof of receipt of summonses by the applicants, as well as the domestic courts' failure to assess the necessity to adjourn hearings pending the applicants' proper notification or to delve on the nature of their legal claims which could have rendered the applicants' presence unnecessary cannot be made up ex post facto in the Court proceedings, for it cannot take the place of the national courts which had the evidence before them (see Gankin and Others v. Russia, nos. 2430/06 and 3 others, Â§Â§ 41-42, 31 May 2016).10. In the leading case of Gankin and Others v. Russia, nos. 2430/06 and 3 others, 31 May 2016, the Court already found a violation in respect of issues similar to those in the present case.11. Having examined all the material submitted to it, and also lacking any evidence of proper notification of the applicants, the Court has not found any fact or argument capable of persuading it to reach a different conclusion on the admissibility and merits of these complaints. Having regard to its case-law on the subject, the Court finds that by proceeding to consider the merits of the applicants' cases without attempting to ascertain whether they had been or should have been at least aware of the date and time of the hearings, and, if they had not, whether the hearings should have been adjourned, the domestic courts deprived the applicants of the opportunity to present their cases effectively and fell short of their obligation to respect the principle of fair trial enshrined in Article 6 of the Convention.12. These complaints are therefore admissible and disclose a breach of Article 6 Â§ 1 of the Convention.
IV. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
13. Article 41 of the Convention provides:
"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."14. Regard being had to the documents in its possession and to its case-‘law, the Court considers it reasonable to award the sums indicated in the appended table.15. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,
1. Decides to join the applications;
2. Rejects the Government's request to strike some applications out of its list of cases under Article 37 of the Convention on the basis of the unilateral declarations which they submitted;
3. Declares the applications admissible;
4. Holds that these applications disclose a breach of Article 6 Â§ 1 of the Convention concerning the unfairness of the civil proceedings;
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) 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 8 March 2018, pursuant to Rule 77 Â§Â§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Liv TigerstedtLuis LÃ³pez Guerra
Acting Deputy RegistrarPresident
List of applications raising complaints under Article 6 Â§ 1 of the Convention
(applicant's absence from civil proceedings)
Date of introduction
Date of birth
Representative name and location
Nature of the dispute
First-instance hearing date
Appeal hearing date
Amount awarded for non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses per applicant /household
Sergey Nikolayevich Khlystov
demolition of the applicant's self-built construction / SOCHI
Adler District Court of Sochi
Krasnodar Regional Court
Andrey Alekseyevich Stepanov
Olga Lukyanovna Stepanova
land dispute between private parties
Zhukovskiy District Court of the Bryansk region
Bryansk Regional Court
Elmira Gusmanovna Nuriyeva
Gusman Gasimovich Nuriyev
Ilgiz Gusmanovich Nuriyev
Khazyar Zinnatovna Nuriyeva
eviction / housing dispute
Mirniy District Court of the Sakha Republic
Supreme Court of the Sakha-Yakutiya Republic
Yuriy Muzakirovich Sheregov
restoration of time limits for filing a claim - non-pecuniary damages for excessive length of criminal proceedings
Supreme Court of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya
Supreme Court of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya
Vasiliy Mikhaylovich Ilyinykh
civil claim with an insurance company
Zentralniy District Court of Kemerovo
Kemerovo Region Court
registration of a legal entity
Commercial Court of the Republic of Karelia
13th Commercial Court of Appeal
 Plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants.