Application no. 9661/02
by Vladimir PRUDNIKOV and Olga PRUDNIKOVA
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 9 March 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr B.M. Zupančič, President,
Mr J. Hedigan,
Mr L. Caflisch,
Mrs M. Tsatsa-Nikolovska,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr David Thór Björgvinsson, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 December 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 deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Vladimir Nikolayevich Prudnikov and Ms Olga Ivanovna Prudnikova, are Russian nationals who were born in 1936 and 1938, respectively, and live in the village of Kosulino of the Sverdlovsk Region. The applicants are husband and wife. The respondent Government are represented by Mr P. Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
1. Proceedings for compensation
On 29 January 2000 the applicants’ son was killed in a traffic accident committed by the driver of a car which belonged to a military unit.
The first applicant sued the military unit in tort.
On 27 April 2000 the Military Court of the Yekaterinburg Garrison awarded the first applicant 25,000 Russian roubles (RUR, approximately 913 euros) as compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
The judgment was not appealed against and became final.
On 16 June 2000 the military court sent a writ of execution to the military unit.
On 22 June 2005 the judgment was enforced in full.
2. Proceedings concerning social benefits
On 6 June 2000 the applicants unsuccessfully requested their son’s former employer to provide them with certain social benefits.
On 22 June 2000 the applicants forwarded the same request to the Beloyarskiy District Court.
It appears that on 11 June 2000 the Beloyarskiy District Court dismissed their request because the applicants had to submit it to social services.
The applicants did not appeal to a higher-instance court.
3. Proceedings concerning title to a flat
In 1997 the applicants’ son acquired the title to a flat.
After the son’s death the applicants transferred their inheritance rights, including the rights to the flat, to their son’s widow.
On 12 October 2001 the applicants lodged an action before the Beloyarskiy District Court against their former daughter-in-law. The applicants requested the court to uphold their title to the flat.
On 22 July 2003 the Sverdlovsk Regional Court, in the final instance, dismissed the applicants’ action. The court noted that in 2000 the applicants had lawfully transferred their inheritance rights to their son’s widow.
The applicants complained that their son had been killed in a traffic accident, that the judgment of 27 April 2000 had not been enforced, that they had not been awarded benefits by their son’s former employer, that the proceedings concerning the title to the flat had been long and unfair, that the courts had misinterpreted the facts and that their flat had been taken away.
On 18 May 2005 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 19 August 2005 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received and the applicants were invited to submit written observations in reply by 27 October 2005.
On 22 September 2005 the English version of the Government’s observations was forwarded to the applicants. The time-limit for the submission of the applicants’ observations remained unaffected.
As the applicants’ observations on the admissibility and merits had not been received by 27 October 2005, on 12 December 2005 the applicants were advised by registered mail that the failure to submit observations might result in the strike-out of the application.
As it follows from the advice of receipt which returned to the Court, the letter of 12 December 2005 reached the applicants on 27 December 2005.
The applicants did not reply.
The Court recalls Article 37 § 1 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
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 applicants were requested to submit written observations on the admissibility and merits of the case. They subsequently received a reminder thereof. The applicants were also informed about a consequence of their failure to submit the observations. No response has been received to date. The Court infers therefrom that the applicants do not intend to pursue their application. Furthermore, the Court considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case.
In these circumstances it considers that Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Vincent Berger Boštjan
PRUDNIKOV AND PRUDNIKOVA v. RUSSIA DECISION
PRUDNIKOV AND PRUDNIKOVA v. RUSSIA DECISION