FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 67307/01 
by Vladimír ZVADA 
against Slovakia

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 M. Pellonpää
 Mr R. Maruste
 Mr S. Pavlovschi
 Mr J. Borrego Borrego, 
 Mr J. Šikuta, judges
and Mr M. O'Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 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 Vladimír Zvada, is a Slovakian national who was born in 1960 and lives in Prešov. 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.

On 3 February 1995 the applicant requested the judicial enforcement of a judgment by which a sum of money had been granted to him. The applicant proposed to the Poprad District Court that the sum due be enforced by selling the debtor's property. On 15 March 1995 the applicant paid the court fee at the District Court's request.

On 18 July 1995 the Poprad District Court dismissed the applicant's request. The District Court expressed doubts as to whether procedural requirements had been met when serving the judgment to be enforced and whether that judgment had become final. In the applicant's view, by dismissing his enforcement claim the District Court judge had sanctioned him for his earlier complaint about the length of the proceedings.

On 15 August 1995 the applicant appealed. In the course of 1996 the District Court unsuccessfully attempted to serve its decision on the debtor. On 28 April 1997 the Košice Regional Court quashed the District Court's decision of 18 July 1995. The District Court experienced difficulties in serving the appellate court's decision on the debtor.

On 9 March 2000 the District Court in Brezno heard the debtor at the request of the District Court in Poprad.

On 20 March 2000 the applicant asked the Poprad District Court to discontinue the enforcement proceedings as he intended to have the sum enforced by an enforcement officer under the Enforcement Officers and Enforcement Act of 1995 (Act 233/1995). On 17 April 2000 the applicant submitted further information at the District Court's request.

On 8 February 2001 the vice-president of the Prešov Regional Court admitted, in reply to the applicant's complaint, that there had been undue delays in the enforcement proceedings between 30 November 1998 and 9 March 2000 and also between 20 March 2000 and 31 January 2001.

On 14 February 2001 the Poprad District Court discontinued the enforcement proceedings with reference to the applicant's above request.

On 14 March 2001 the applicant charged an enforcement officer to enforce the sum due under Act 233/1995.

COMPLAINTS

1.  The applicant complained under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention about the length of the enforcement proceedings.

2.  The applicant also alleged a violation of Article 10 of the Convention in that the Poprad District Court judge dismissed his request for enforcement, on 18 July 1995, in reaction to the applicant's complaint about the length of the proceedings.

THE LAW

On 3 February 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Co-Agent of the Government:

“I, Marica Pirošíková, Co-Agent of the Government of the Slovak Republic, declare that the Government of the Slovak Republic offer to pay 3,300 (three thousand three hundred) euros to Vladimír Zvada 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 8 February 2005 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I, Vladimír Zvada, note that the Government of the Slovak Republic are prepared to pay me the sum of 3,300 (three thousand three 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

ZVADA v. SLOVAKIA DECISION


ZVADA v. SLOVAKIA DECISION