FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 67037/01 
by Pavol KANOŠ 
against Slovakia

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 15 March 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr R. Maruste
 Mr K. Traja
 Ms L. Mijović, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges,

and Mr M. O'Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 5 February 2001,

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 formal declarations accepting a friendly settlement of the case,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Mr Pavol Kanoš, is a Slovakian national who was born in 1970 and lives in Senica. The respondent Government were represented by Ms M. Pirošíková, their Co-Agent.

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

1.  Proceedings concerning the applicant's action of 16 September 1994

On 16 September 1994 the applicant requested the Banská Bystrica District Court to issue a payment order. He claimed that the defendant had withdrawn a sum from a savings book which was part of the estate of a person of whom he was the universal heir.

On 16 January 1997 the District Court held its twelfth hearing in the case. It delivered a judgment ordering the defendant to pay a sum of money to the applicant. The defendant appealed on 21 March 1997.

On 4 June 1997 the Banská Bystrica Regional Court quashed a part of the first instance judgment.

Between 11 November 1997 and 10 March 1998 the District Court scheduled several hearings in the case.

Three hearings were held between 26 June 2000 and 3 May 2001. On the latter date the District Court delivered a judgment by which it dismissed the claim in issue. On 4 June 2001 the applicant appealed.

On 20 February 2002 the Regional Court returned the case to the District Court as the first instance judgment did not cover all aspects of the case.

On 3 April 2002 the District Court remedied the shortcoming in its decision and it sent the file to the appellate court on 11 July 2002.

On 25 September 2002 the Banská Bystrica Regional Court upheld the first instance judgment of 3 May 2001.

On 9 December 2002 the applicant filed an appeal on points of law. The proceedings are pending.

2.  Proceedings before the Constitutional Court

On 17 November 1999 the applicant filed a petition with the Constitutional Court under Article 130(3) of the Constitution. He complained about the length of the proceedings before the Banská Bystrica District Court.

On 16 May 2000 the Constitutional Court found that the District Court had violated the applicant's right to a hearing within a reasonable time. The decision stated that the District Court had failed to proceed with the case in an appropriate manner and that it had remained entirely inactive in the case between 10 March 1998 and 29 February 2000, that is for almost two years. At that time the relevant law did not entitle the Constitutional Court to provide appropriate redress to the applicant in respect of the violation found.

On 22 October 2002 the applicant filed a complaint under Article 127 of the Constitution, as in force since 1 January 2002. He alleged a violation of his right to a hearing without undue delays in the proceedings before the Banská Bystrica District Court. He submitted that the above finding of 16 May 2000 had not provided adequate redress to him and claimed just satisfaction.

On 13 November 2002 the Constitutional Court declared inadmissible the complaint to the extent that it concerned the period from 16 September 1994 to 16 May 2000 as that period was covered by its finding delivered on the latter date. The Constitutional Court further declared admissible the part of the complaint which concerned the period after 22 May 2000.

On 12 March 2003 the Constitutional Court concluded that the length of the proceedings before the Banská Bystrica District Court in the period subsequent to 22 May 2000 was not excessive.

COMPLAINT

The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of the proceedings concerning his action.

THE LAW

On 1 February 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Government's Co-Agent:

“I, Marica Pirošíková, Co-Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic, declare that the Government of the Slovak Republic offer to pay 3,800 (three thousand eight hundred) euros to Pavol Kanoš 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.”

On 23 February 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Pavol Kanoš, note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 3,800 (three thousand eight 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.”

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 and finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (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.

Michael O'Boyle Nicolas Bratza 
 Registrar President

KANOŠ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


KANOŠ v. SLOVAKIA DECISION