FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 15650/03 
by Miroslav JAVOREK 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 12 September 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr G. Bonello
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr K. Traja
 Mr S. Pavlovschi, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges,

and Mrs F. Elens-passos, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 4 May 2003,

Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together,

Having regard to the parties’ formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Miroslav Javorek, is a Slovakian national who was born in 1952 and lives in Košice. The respondent Government are represented by Mrs A. Poláčková, their Agent.

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

The applicant owns two flats in a block of flats in Košice. The building is administered by an association of owners of the flats in the block. The association is authorised to collect payments from the flat owners for utilities and services and to pay the providers.

On 16 April 1998 the association brought an action against the applicant in the Košice I. District Court (Okresný súd) claiming an amount of money for unpaid utilities and services.

On 14 July 1998 the applicant lodged a counterclaim seeking an order for payment of an amount of money in compensation for an unauthorised use of the applicant’s premises. The counterclaim was joined to the proceedings in the association’s action.

On 27 February 2001 the District Court granted a major part of the association’s claim, dismissed the remainder and issued an order for costs against the applicant. The District Court further decided that the applicant’s counterclaim would be dealt with in another set of proceedings which were to be opened for that purpose under a separate file number. The applicant appealed to the Košice Regional Court (Krajský súd).

On 7 November 2002 the Regional Court changed the rate of the penalty interest owed by the applicant for the late payment of his debt and the amount of the legal costs to be paid by him but upheld the remaining part of the District Court’s judgment.

The applicant’s counterclaim which was redirected to a separate set of proceedings pursuant to the judgment of 27 February 2001 is still pending.

In the meantime the applicant complained twice to the Constitutional Court (Ústavný súd) of the length of the proceedings. The first complaint was dismissed in a judgment (nález) of 19 February 2003. The second complaint was declared inadmissible on 18 June 2003.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings had been excessive.

THE LAW

On 1 August 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Miroslav Javorek, the applicant, note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 5,600 (five thousand and six hundred) euros 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 converted into Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of payment and 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 Slovakia in respect of the facts giving rise to this application. I declare that this constitutes a final resolution of the case.”

On 8 August 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Agent of the Government:

“I, Alena Poláčková, the Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic before the European Court of Human Rights, declare that the Government of Slovakia offer to pay 5,600 (five thousand and six hundred) euros to Mr Miroslav Javorek 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 converted into Slovakian korunas at the rate applicable on the date of payment and 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.”

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 (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to discontinue the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and to strike the application out of its list of cases.

Françoise Elens-Passos Nicolas Bratza 
   Deputy Registrar President

JAVOREK v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


JAVOREK v. SLOVAKIA DECISION