Application no. 54396/00
by Lidia PARIŢCHI
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 1 March 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr R. Maruste,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr M. O'Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 16 April 1999,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant is a Moldovan national, born in 1922 and living in Bălţi. She is represented before the Court by Ms L. Bubulici, a lawyer practising in Bălţi.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
In June 1945 the Soviet authorities nationalised two houses belonging to the applicant's parents.
On 8 December 1992 the Moldovan Parliament enacted Law No. 1225-XII “on the rehabilitation of the victims of the political repression committed by the totalitarian communist occupying regime”. The Law enabled the victims of the Soviet repression to claim their confiscated or nationalised property.
In 1996 the applicant lodged an action with the Bălţi District Court (Judecătoria Sectorului Centru) by which she sought the restitution of one of her parents' houses.
On 20 September 1996 the Bălţi District Court found in favour of the applicant and ordered the restitution of the house and the eviction of its occupants.
On 29 May 1997 the Bălţi Regional Court dismissed the appeal lodged by the occupants of the house. Since nobody appealed against the judgment, it became final.
Between 1996 and 2001 the applicant made numerous requests before the competent State authorities for the enforcement of the final judgment of 20 September 1996. However the judgment was not enforced.
The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention about the non-enforcement of the judgment of 20 September 1996.
On 18 September 2001, the Court invited the Government to make written observations on the application.
On 23 October 2003, the Government informed the Court that the applicant had accepted an offer in settlement of her application, namely, payment of 205,362 Moldovan Lei (MDL) (the equivalent of 13,440 euros (EUR) at the time). The Government submitted to the Court a copy of an agreement of 7 October 2003 signed by the applicant, her lawyer, the Government Agent and the Mayor of Bălţi, which contained inter alia the following provisions:
1. The Municipality of Bălţi undertakes the obligation to pay Ms Lidia Paritchi the sum of MDL 205,362 in lieu of the house situated on 18 Schmidt Street, to which the applicant is entitled by virtue of the final judgment of 29 May 1997.
2. Ms Lidia Paritchi will withdraw application No. 54396/00 lodged with the European Court on 16 April 1999 and communicated to the Government of the Republic of Moldova on 18 September 2001, as soon as the sum of MDL 205,362 will be paid by the Municipality of Bălţi. Ms Lidia Paritchi declares that she will have no more claims against the Government.
According to another document submitted by the Government, the applicant received the money on 9 October 2003.
By letters of 3 November 2003 and 5 May 2004 the applicant confirmed that she had signed the agreement of 7 October 2003 and that she had received the money provided for therein. At the same time she informed the Court that she did not intend to withdraw her application since she considered that the Government should also compensate her for the non-pecuniary damage suffered.
The Court recalls that Article 37 of the Convention provides that it may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to one of the conclusions specified under (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 1 of that Article. Article 37 § 1 (c) enables the Court in particular to strike a case out of its list if:
“for any other reason established by the Court, it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application.”
Article 37 § 1 in fine includes the provision that:
“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 notes that the applicant has agreed to settle her claims on the basis of payment of MDL 205,362 and signed an agreement in this respect, under advice from her lawyer. However later she refused to abide by the terms of the agreement whereby she undertook to withdraw her application from the Court. In these circumstances, the Court considers that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application under Article 37 § 1 (c) of the Convention. It is satisfied, having regard to the agreement reached, that respect for human rights does not require the continued examination of the application. Accordingly, the case should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court, unanimously,
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Michael O'Boyle Nicolas Bratza
PARITCHI v. MOLDOVA DECISION
PARITCHI v. MOLDOVA DECISION