(Second Chamber)

17 October 2013

Case F‑145/12

Luigi Marcuccio


European Commission

(Civil service — Article 34(1) and (6) of the Rules of Procedure — Application lodged by fax within the period for bringing proceedings, extended on account of distance by a period of ten days — Application received by post within the following ten days — Applications not the same — Action out of time)

Application:      under Article 270 TFEU, applicable to the EAEC Treaty pursuant to Article 106a thereof, in which Mr Marcuccio claims, inter alia, that the Tribunal should annul the decision of the European Commission rejecting his request of 28 August 2011 and the decision rejecting his complaint of 7 March 2012 and award him compensation for the damage which those decisions caused him. Before the original application was lodged by post, a document purported to be a copy of the original application was sent on 26 November 2012 by fax.

Held:      The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible. Mr Marcuccio is to bear his own costs.


Judicial proceedings — Application initiating proceedings — Formal requirements — Application lodged by fax within the time-limit for bringing proceedings — Lawyer’s hand-written signature different from that on the original application received by post — Consequence — Failure to take into account the date of receipt of the fax in order to assess whether the time-limit for bringing proceedings was complied with

(Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Art. 34(1) and (6); Staff Regulations, Art. 91(3))

In European Union civil service disputes, for the purposes of lodging the original of any pleading within the required time-limit, Article 34 of the Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, and in particular paragraphs 1 and 6 thereof, which permits the application to be lodged by fax, requires the representative of the party to append a handwritten signature to the original of the pleading before sending it by fax and to lodge that original at the Registry of the Tribunal no later than ten days afterwards.

In those circumstances, where it appears in retrospect that the original of the pleading which is lodged in hard copy at the Registry within ten days of a copy being faxed does not bear the same signature as that appearing on the faxed document, it must be held that what has been received by the Registry of the Tribunal are two different pleadings, even if the signature has been appended by the same person. Since it is not for the Tribunal to determine whether both texts coincide word for word, it is clear that, where the signature appended on one of the two documents is not identical to the signature appended on the other, the faxed document is not a copy of the original of the pleading that was lodged by post.

Moreover, if the transmission of the faxed text does not meet the conditions for legal certainty imposed by Article 34 of the Rules of Procedure, the date on which the faxed document was lodged cannot be taken into account for the purposes of observance of the time-limit for bringing proceedings.

(see paras 21-22, 24)


13 November 2001, T‑138/01 R F v Court of Auditors, paras 8 and 9