On May 4th and 14th 1971, the applicants sold a part of their land of the island of Porquerolles to the French Republic at a highly discounted price. The deed of sale contained a clause authorizing the applicants to extend buildings or build new ones on their remaining land. At that time, Ms. Le Ber wished to build balneotherapy facilities for disabled.
But on 1976 and on 1978, the applicants were denied any permit to build. They filed their cases with the administrative tribunal. After losing their cases in 1981 and 1983, they appealed to the administrative supreme court (conseil d’etat) but their appeals failed in 1984 and 1989 (53591), on the ground that they had to obtain damages from the judicial court.
In 1994 and 1995, the applicants filed their cases to the tribunal of Toulon. After losing their cases in 1999 and 2000, they appealed to the court of Aix-en-Provence but their appeal failed in 2005. They both appealed to the supreme court (cour de cassation). Their appeals failed on December 30th 2006 (05-18538) almost 30 years after the start of their litigation before French courts.
On April 24th 2007 and June 5th 2007, the applicants filed two applications (see below) with the E.C.H.R arguing that the refusal of building permit was a violation of article 1 of protocol no 1 of the Convention. On June 12th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. Ms. Le Ber is represented by Me Laurent Coutelier (Toulon). The family Richet is represented by Me Pierre Brelier (Paris).
On November 18th 2010, the Court found a violation of article 1 of the protocol no 1 of the Convention. The court ordered France to pay €803,000 of damages to Ms. Le Ber and €712,000 of damages to the family Richet. No legal fees reimbursement were awarded.