FOURTH SECTION

DECISION

Application no. 75183/01 
by Józef GOLA 
against Poland

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 22 February 2005 as a Chamber composed of:

Sir Nicolas Bratza, President
 Mr J. Casadevall
 Mr G. Bonello
 Mr M. Pellonpää
 Mr R. Maruste
 Mr L. Garlicki, 
 Mr J. Borrego Borrego, judges
and Mr M. O'Boyle, Section Registrar,

Having regard to the above application lodged on 20 November 2000,

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 regard to the partial decision of 17 December 2002,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant, Jόzef Gola, is a Polish national, who was born in 1935 and lives in Kołobrzeg, Poland.

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

A.  Facts prior to 1 May 1993

On 15 July 1992 the applicant asked the Kołobrzeg District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) to issue an order for payment against K.P.(“the defendant”). The applicant sought the payment of 475,690,000 old Polish zlotys (PLZ).

On 28 July 1992 the court granted the applicant's claim and ruled that the defendant was to pay the sum in question. The defendant appealed.

On 30 April 1993 the Koszalin Regional Court (Sąd Wojewόdzki) gave judgment. It upheld the first-instance decision.

B.  Facts after 30 April 1993

On 4 February 1994, on the parties appeal, the Gdańsk Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) set aside the judgment and remitted the case.

On 20 September 1995 the Koszalin Regional Court gave judgment. It upheld the order for payment of 28 July 1992. The defendant appealed on a later unknown date.

On 24 April 1996 the Gdańsk Court of Appeal set aside the judgment and remitted the case for re-examination.

On 13 May 1997 the Koszalin Regional Court adjourned the hearing as the judge rapporteur was not present.

On 2 June 1997 the applicant asked the court to set a date for a hearing as soon as possible due to the delay in the proceedings.

On 17 December 1997 the court gave judgment and upheld the order for payment of 28 July 1992. The defendant appealed.

On 9 February 1999 the Gdańsk Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal.

The defendant lodged a cassation appeal against the judgment.

On 10 April 2002 the Supreme Court (Sąd Najwyższy) gave judgment.

In the course of the proceedings the applicant complained about their length to different authorities (the President of the Gdańsk Court of Appeal, the Ombudsman and the Minister of Justice).

COMPLAINT

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

THE LAW

On 7 July 2004 the Court received the following declaration signed by the Polish Government:

“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay PLN 14,000 to Mr Józef Gola 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 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 November 2004 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:

“I note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 14,000 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 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 Poland 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 agreement reached between the parties and considers that the matter has been resolved (Article 37 § 1 (b) of the Convention). Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the examination of the application to be continued. Accordingly, the application to the case of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should be discontinued and the case 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 
 Registrar President

GOLA v. POLAND DECISION


GOLA v. POLAND DECISION