THIRD SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 42860/02 
by Marijan TURIČNIK 
against Slovenia

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting  
on 8 December 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Mr J. Hedigan, President
 Mr B.M. Zupančič
 Mr L. Caflisch
 Mr C. Bîrsan
 Mr V. Zagrebelsky
 Mrs A. Gyulumyan, 
 Ms I. Ziemele, judges
and Mr M. Villiger, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 28 November 2002,

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

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Marijan Turičnik, is a Slovenian national who was born in 1938 and lives in Petrovče. He was represented before the Court by the Verstovšek attorneys at law.

On 28 December 1993 the applicant was injured when he fell on the ice-covered parking lot, operated by his employer. His employer had taken out insurance with the insurance company ZT.

On 29 January 1996 the applicant instituted civil proceedings against ZT in the Celje Local Court (Okrajno sodišče v Celju) seeking damages in the amount of 500,000 tolars (approximately 2,000 euros) for the injuries sustained.

On 1 October 1997 and 28 August 1997 the applicant requested that a date be set for a hearing.

On 3 November 1997 a hearing was held and because the defendant did not attend, the first-instance court upheld the applicants claim by issuing a default judgment.

On 18 November 1997 the defendant requested the reinstatement of the case and at the same time lodged an appeal with the Celje Higher Court (Višje sodišče v Celju).

On 16 March 1998 the Celje Local Court held a hearing and dismissed the request for reinstatement. The case was sent to the Celje Higher Court to rule on the appeal.

On 9 September 1998 the court allowed the defendant’s appeal and remanded the case to the first-instance court for re-examination.

Between 17 November 1998 and 27 September 1999 the applicant made four requests that a date be set for a hearing before the Celje Local Court.

Between 11 September 2001 and 7 June 2004 the applicant lodged five preliminary written submissions and/or adduced evidence.

Of the four hearings held between 3 May 2000 and 14 June 2004 none was adjourned at the request of the applicant.

During the proceedings the court appointed a medical expert.

On 27 November 2003 and again on 16 December 2003 the applicant sought the recusal of the appointed expert. The request was granted and a new expert appointed. The applicant again sought a recusal, which was not granted

At the last hearing the court decided to deliver a written judgment. The judgment, upholding the applicant’s claim, was served on the applicant on 26 June 2004.

On 7 July 2004 the applicant appealed to the Celje Higher Court. ZT cross-appealed.

On 10 November 2004 the court partly allowed the appeal, halved the awarded damages and remanded the case back to the first instance court for consideration on the costs and expenses.

The judgment was served on the applicant on 28 December 2004.

On 22 February 2005 the first-instance court delivered a decision on the costs and expenses, which was served on the applicant on 28 February 2005.

COMPLAINTS

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that the length of the proceedings before the domestic courts to which he was party was excessive. In substance, he also complained about the lack of an effective domestic remedy in respect of the excessive length of the proceedings (Article 13 of the Convention).

THE LAW

On 29 August 2005 the Court received a letter from the Government stating that on 22 June 2005 they had reached a friendly settlement with the applicant whereby the Government would pay the applicant the sum of 360,000 tolars in full and final settlement of the case, including costs and expenses.

By his letter of 19 September 2005 the applicant informed the court that he had accepted the proposal for a friendly settlement and declared that he did not wish to pursue his application before the Court.

The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:

“1.  The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that

(a)  the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;

...

However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”

The Court takes note of the applicants’ withdrawal of the application (Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention). The Court considers that there is no reason which would justify the continuation of the examination of the application. 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 strike the application out of its list of cases.

Mark Vlliger John Hedigan 
 Deputy Registrar President

TURIČNIK v. SLOVENIA DECISION


TURIČNIK v. SLOVENIA DECISION