FIFTH SECTION

PARTIAL DECISION

AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

Application no. 1714/04 
by Karel MRUZEK 
against the Czech Republic

The European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section), sitting on 2 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr P. Lorenzen, President
 Mrs S. Botoucharova
 Mr K. Jungwiert
 Mr V. Butkevych
 Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska
 Mr J. Borrego Borrego, 
 Mrs R. Jaeger, judges
and Mrs C. Westerdiek, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 29 December 2003,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Karel Mruzek, is a Czech national who was born in 1947 and lives in Ostrava.

On 3 July 1995 the applicant filed an action for payment of 197 135 CZK (EUR 6 160) against a private company with the Brno Regional Commercial Court (krajský obchodní soud).

On 21 August 1997 the Regional Court delivered a payment order against the defendant. On 8 September 1997 the defendant filed a protest (odpor). On 15 and 28 October 1997 the applicant presented his written observations.

On 30 October 1999 the defendant submitted his comments.

A hearing held before the Regional Court on 16 November 1999 was adjourned sine die.

After having held another hearing on 12 September 2000, the Regional Court dismissed the applicant’s action. According to the applicant, the court did not assess material in evidence adduced by him without giving any reasons for this procedural step. On 18 October 2000 the applicant appealed to the Olomouc High Court (Vrchní soud).

On 10 March 2003 the High Court, having received the applicant’s appeal on 20 October 2000, quashed the judgment of the Regional Court and remitted the case to it for further consideration.

In a judgment of 25 January 2005 the Regional Court partly granted the applicant’s action.

On 3 May 2005 the applicant appealed. The defendant appealed on an unspecified date. On 12 May 2005 the case-file was sent to the High Court.

On 8 June 2005 the Regional Court invited the defendant to clarify its appeal. It complied on 20 June 2005. Three days later the amended appeal was delivered to the High Court.

By a judgment of 3 November 2005 the High Court dismissed the applicant’s appeal. At the same time, it modified the Regional Court’s judgment in respect of court fees.

On 24 February 2006 the applicant lodged a constitutional appeal (ústavní stížnost). It seems that the Constitutional Court (Ústavní soud) has not yet decided on the matter.

COMPLAINTS

Invoking Article 6 § 1 of the Convention the applicant complains that the proceedings have lasted an unreasonably long time and that the Regional Court breached his right to act before the court, did not assess the evidence adduced by the applicant and violated other procedural requirements.

THE LAW

1. The applicant complains that the proceedings have lasted an unreasonably long time. He relies on Article 6 § 1 of the Convention, the relevant part of which reads as follows:

“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a fair... hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law...”

The Court considers that it cannot, on the basis of the case file, determine the admissibility of this complaint and that it is therefore necessary, in accordance with Rule 54 § 2 (b) of the Rules of Court, to give notice of this part of the application to the respondent Government.

2. He further complains under the same provision that the Regional Court did not deal with his case fairly.

Since the machinery of protection established by the Convention is subsidiary to the national systems safeguarding human rights (see Akdivar and others v. Turkey, judgment of 16 September 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996-IV, §§ 65-66), it is not for the Court to speculate on the outcome of the civil proceedings which are currently pending, and the various legal avenues which may become open to the applicants after their termination.

It follows that this complaint must be rejected, pursuant to Article 35 §§ 1 and 4 of the Convention, for non-exhaustion of domestic remedies.

For these reasons, the Court unanimously

Decides to adjourn the examination of the applicant’s complaint concerning the length of the proceedings;

Declares the remainder of the application inadmissible.

Claudia Westerdiek Peer Lorenzen 
 Registrar President

MRUZEK v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION


MRUZEK v. THE CZECH REPUBLIC DECISION