ORDER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(First Chamber)

9 July 2010

Case F-91/09

Luigi Marcuccio

v

European Commission

(Civil service — Officials — Reasonable time-limits for bringing a claim for damages — Out of time)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mr Marcuccio seeks, in particular, first, a declaration that there is no legal basis for or, in the alternative, the annulment of the Commission’s implied decision rejecting his request of 9 September 2008 for compensation for the damage purportedly suffered as a result of a note of 9 December 2003 from the Commission’s Medical Service concerning a medical examination that he was to undergo; second, the annulment and a declaration that there is no legal basis for the Commission’s decision of 30 June 2009 rejecting his complaint of 16 March 2009 against that implied decision; third, an order that the Commission pay him the sum of EUR 300 000 in compensation for the alleged damage, or any other amount which the Tribunal may consider just and equitable for that purpose, plus interest at 10% per year from the date on which the Commission received the request of 9 September 2008, with annual capitalisation.

Held: The action is dismissed as being in part manifestly inadmissible and in part manifestly unfounded. The applicant is ordered to pay all the costs.

Summary

Officials — Actions — Time-limits — Claim for compensation addressed to an institution — Duty to act within a reasonable time — Criteria for assessment

(Statute of the Court of Justice, Art. 46; Staff Regulations, Art. 90)

It is for officials or other staff to submit any request for compensation from the Union for damage allegedly attributable to the Union within a reasonable period from the time they became aware of the situation they complain of. The reasonableness of a period is to be appraised in the light of the circumstances specific to each case and, in particular, the importance of the case for the person concerned, its complexity and the conduct of the parties.

Account must also be taken, in that respect, of the point of reference provided by the limitation period of five years laid down for actions in non-contractual liability by Article 46 of the Statute of the Court of Justiceeven though that period does not apply in disputes between the Union and its servants. If the persons concerned consider that they have suffered unlawful discrimination, they should make a request to the institution that it take steps to afford redress for that situation and bring it to an end within a reasonable period which should not exceed five years from the time they became aware of the situation they complain of.

However, the period of five years cannot constitute a hard and fast limit below which any request would be admissible no matter how long the applicant had taken to address his request to the administration and regardless of the circumstances of the case.

(see paras 32-35)

See:

9/75 Meyer-Burckhardt v Commission [1975] ECR 1171, paras 7, 10 and 11

T-45/01 Sanders and Others v Commission [2004] ECR II‑3315, para. 62; T‑144/02 Eagle and Others v Commission [2004] ECR II‑3381, paras 60, 65 and 66 and the case-law cited therein, and para. 71; T-114/08 P Marcuccio v Commission [2009] ECR-SC I‑B‑1‑53 and II‑B‑1‑313, para. 28

F‑125/05 Tsarnavas v Commission [2007] ECR-SC I‑A‑1‑43 and II‑A‑1‑231, paras 71, 76 and 77