Ms. Poirot is severely disabled and is living in a medical center of the NGO “APF” in Epinal. She communicates only through a voice synthesis device or by writing and needs living assistance services on daily basis.
On March 14th 2001, she complained to a member of staff of the medical center that a caregiver of the center has been sexually abusing her for the last 6 years. She alleged to have been raped and sexually assaulted by him. On August 16th 2001, the district attorney refused to investigate further her criminal complain. On October 31st 2001, the applicant pressed criminal charges for “rape” and “sexual assault” to an investigation judge together with a claim for civil damages.
On December 14th 2006, the investigation judge charged the suspect on the lesser charge of “sexual assault“. On December 22nd 2006, the applicant appealed the decision (art.183-6 of the code of penal procedure). On January 9th 2007, the president of the investigation chamber of the appeal court of Nancy dismissed without hearing the appeal on the ground that it should have contained the grounds of the applicant. On February 14th 2007, the president of the criminal chamber of the supreme court (Cour de cassation) rejected her appeal.
On June 28th 2007, the applicant submitted her case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the decision to reject her appeal without hearing was illegal and a violation of article 6-1 of the Convention. She added that the law didn’t require appeal letters to be motivated. On March 16th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French government with questions to be answered within 16 weeks.
On July 20th 2009, the agent submitted his observation. On September 10th 2009, the applicant replied with her observations. On October 27th 2009, the French government submitted additional observations. The applicant is represented by Me Elisabeth Lasseront (Epinal).
On December 15th 2011, the 5th section of the Court found a violation of article 6-1 on the ground that the law didn’t require to indicate the grounds of the appeal.