Application no. 77712/01
by Joanna KICZKO
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 9 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Sir Nicolas Bratza, President,
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr M. Pellonpää,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović,
Mr J. Šikuta, judges,
and Mr M. O’Boyle, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 April 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 applicant, Ms Joanna Kiczko, is a Polish national who was born in 1972 and lives in Siemiatycze, Poland. The Polish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr J. Wołąsiewicz, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
A. Facts prior to 30 April 1993
In 1989 the applicant was injured in a car accident. On 7 July 1989 the applicant lodged a claim for compensation with the Białystok Regional Court (Sąd Wojewódzki) against the person who caused the accident and the insurance company “PZU”.
Prior to 1 May 1993 the court held six hearings and obtained five expert opinions.
B. Facts after 1 May 1993
On 23 July 1993 an expert submitted his opinion to the trial court.
At the hearing held on 22 September 1993 the applicant’s lawyer requested the trial court to order a supplementary expert opinion. During the hearing held on 26 August 1994 he withdrew the evidence motion due to difficulties in obtaining the expert opinion. He also extended the applicant’s claim.
The court held further hearings on 5 November 1994, 29 May and 12 October 1995, and 21 March 1996. It proceeded with taking evidence.
In the meantime, the trial court had made several requests to the Bielsk Podlaski District Court (Sąd Rejonowy) for submission of the case-file of the criminal proceedings concerning the applicant’s accident. They were to no avail.
On 9 May 1996 the Regional Court gave judgment. The defendants and the applicant appealed.
On 27 March 1997 the Białystok Court of Appeal (Sąd Apelacyjny) quashed the first-instance judgment and remitted the case.
On 14 May 1997 the court held a hearing. The hearing listed for 10 September 1997 was adjourned due to witnesses’ absence. Subsequently, the court held a hearing on 15 October 1997.
On 3 December 1997 the court closed the examination of the case and informed the parties that the final decision would be delivered on 10 December 1997. It later resumed the examination of the case. On 6 February 1998 the court held a hearing.
On 20 February 1998 the Regional Court gave judgment. On 15 April 1998 the applicant lodged an appeal with the Białystok Court of Appeal.
On 4 June 1998 the Court of Appeal delivered judgment and dismissed the applicant’s appeal.
On 27 August 1998 the applicant filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Court.
The proceedings were terminated by the judgment of the Supreme Court of 25 January 2001.
On 27 February 2006 the Court received the following declaration from the Agent of the Government:
“I declare that the Government of Poland offer to pay 10,000 Polish zlotys (ten thousand Polish zlotys) to Ms Joanna Kiczko 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 9 March 2006 the Court received the following declaration signed by the applicant:
“I, Joanna Kiczko, note that the Government of Poland are prepared to pay me the sum of PLN 10,000 (ten thousand Polish zlotys) 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 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 (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention and Rule 62 § 3 of the Rules of Court). 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
KICZKO v. POLAND DECISION
KICZKO v. POLAND DECISION