Language of document : ECLI:EU:F:2016:156

JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(Third Chamber)

19 July 2016

Case F‑130/14

Thomas Earlie

v

European Parliament

(Civil service — Official — Former official — Sums deducted from retirement pension — Maintenance payable to the ex-wife of the former official — Attachment order adopted by a national court — Attachment order discharged — New order requiring the former official to instruct the Parliament to pay the maintenance to his ex-wife — Instructions to that effect by the former official — Subsequent instructions from the former official to cease the payments to his ex-wife — Parliament’s refusal to execute the instructions — Family law — Exclusive jurisdiction of the national court — Duty of sincere cooperation)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, by which Mr Thomas Earlie seeks annulment of the decision of the European Parliament of 6 December 2013 modifying his pension rights, together with compensation in respect of the various types of harm which he claims to have suffered.

Held:      The action is dismissed. Mr Thomas Earlie shall bear his own costs and is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the European Parliament. Ms Mary Earlie Gibbons shall bear her own costs.

Summary

Privileges and immunities of the European Union — Officials and other servants of the European Union — Subject to national law as regards legal relationships connected with their private lives — Execution of a decision of a national court in divorce proceedings concerning a former official — Obligations of the institution concerned

(Staff Regulations, Art. 23, para. 1)

The obligation on a former official to pay maintenance to his ex-wife, as set out in a decision of a national court, falls within the scope of a private legal relationship between that official and another individual, his ex-wife. With regard to that kind of relationship, in particular so far as concerns the observance of his personal legal obligations, in accordance with the first paragraph of Article 23 of the Staff Regulations, the former official is fully subject to the applicable national law, like any other individual.

Against that background, any institution is required, by virtue of its duty of sincere cooperation with the national courts, to respond to requests to execute an order adopted by the national court, such as an order setting out an obligation for a former official to pay maintenance to his ex-wife. This duty of sincere cooperation also implies that, even if it is not the direct addressee of such a court ruling, an institution, as the employer of the official owing the maintenance allowance, must comply with the terms of that ruling by refusing to grant a request from the debtor official which clearly runs counter to the obligations directly imposed on that official by the court ruling at issue where that ruling, in accordance with its terms, has been communicated to the institution concerned by the debtor official.

(see paras 38, 41)

See:

Judgment of 17 May 2006 in Kallianos v Commission, T‑93/04, EU:T:2006:130, paras 48 and 49 and the case-law cited