ORDER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE TRIBUNAL

(First Chamber)

30 November 2009

Case F-17/09

Herbert Meister

v

Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)

(Civil service – Officials – Action for annulment – Carry-over of promotion points acquired earlier – Absence of act having adverse effect – Action for damages – Damages not quantified – Manifest inadmissibility)

Application: brought under Articles 236 EC and 152 EA, in which Mr Meister disputes the statement, in OHIM’s decision on the award of his promotion points for the year 2008, that the total number of promotion points he had accumulated for the promotion procedures prior to 2008 was 17.5.

Held: The action is dismissed as manifestly inadmissible. The applicant is ordered to bear his own costs and to pay those incurred by OHIM.

Summary

1.      Procedure – Withdrawal – Need for a clear and unconditional statement of intention to discontinue proceedings

(Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Art. 74)

2.      Officials – Actions – Action directed not against the decision awarding promotion points, but against the reference to those points in that decision – Not an act having adverse effects

(Staff Regulations, Arts 90 and 91)

3.      Procedure – Application initiating proceedings – Formal requirements – Identification of the subject-matter of the dispute – Brief summary of the pleas in law on which the application is based – Action for compensation for damage caused by a Community institution

(Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, Arts 35(1)(e) and 76)

1.      Only a clear and unconditional statement by the applicant of his intention to discontinue the proceedings may be accepted by the Civil Service Tribunal.

(see para. 24)

See:

T-73/91 Gavilan v Parliament [1992] ECR II‑1555, para. 26; T-311/04 Buendía Sierra v Commission [2006] ECR II‑4137, para. 100

2.      An application for the annulment of a decision rejecting a complaint has the effect of bringing before the Community judicature the act adversely affecting the applicant against which the complaint was submitted.

That does not apply to a complaint in which the applicant challenges not the decision awarding him promotion points, but the reference to those points in that decision. Such a reference, which merely reminded the applicant of the total promotion points he had accumulated in previous promotion procedures, and which was solely intended to determine whether he had reached the promotion threshold, does not produce any binding legal effects capable of affecting his interests directly and immediately by bringing about a distinct change in his legal position, and cannot therefore be regarded as adversely affecting him as provided for in Article 90(2) and Article 91(1) of the Staff Regulations.

(see paras 27, 29, 30)

See:

293/87 Vainker v Parliament [1989] ECR 23, para. 8

T-586/93 Kotzonis v ESC [1995] ECR II‑665, para. 28; T-310/02 Theodorakis v Council [2004] ECR-SC I‑A‑95 and II‑427, para. 19; T-80/04 Castets v Commission [2005] ECR-SC I‑A‑161 and II‑729, para. 15

3.      Under Article 35(1)(e) of the Rules of Procedure of the Civil Service Tribunal, an application must contain the pleas in law and the factual and legal arguments on which it is based. In order to satisfy those requirements, an application seeking compensation for damage caused by a Community institution must state the evidence identifying the conduct which the applicant alleges against the institution, the reasons why the applicant considers there is a causal link between the conduct and the harm he claims to have suffered, and the nature and extent of that harm. However, a claim for unspecified and unquantified damages is not sufficiently concrete and must therefore be regarded as inadmissible.

(see para. 33)

See:

5/71 Zuckerfabrik Schöppenstedt v Council [1971] ECR 975, para. 9

T-505/93 Osório v Commission [1994] ECR-SC I‑A‑179 and II‑581, para. 33; T-112/94 Moat v Commission [1995] ECR-SC I‑A‑37 and II‑135, para. 32; T-175/04 Gordon v Commission [2007] ECR-SC I‑A‑2‑47 and II‑A‑2‑343, para. 42

F‑95/05 N v Commission [2007] ECR-SC I‑A‑1‑153 and II‑A‑1‑827, para. 86