La Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo ha riconosciuto un risarcimento ad una cittadina italiana che nel corso di una lunga vicenda giudiziaria ha perso i contatti con la figlia su cui aveva perso la potestà genitoriale a causa di un persistente tentativo di manipolarla contro il padre. Il tribunale di Palermo dopo vari tentativi di far desistere la madre dai suoi comportamenti alienanti, ha sospeso i suoi contatti con la figlia. Il trascorrere del tempo, e probabilmente l’azione alienante del padre, ha reso impossibili i contatti. La figlia tredicenne rifiuta la madre. Una vicenda dolorosa con analogie con la recente vicenda dei bambini di Battipaglia.
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Cincimino v. Italy (no. 68884/13)*
The applicant, Ms Rosalia Cincimino, is an Italian national who was born in 1964 and lives in Palermo.
The case concerned the fact that Ms Cincimino had been prevented from meeting her daughter for approximately ten years owing to a court order barring her from any contact with the child.
Ms Cincimino and her husband separated in 2001. The applicant’s home was designated as the main residence of their daughter, born on 6 February 2000. However, on 26 May 2003 the District Court ordered that the child be taken away from Ms Cincimino’s home and that the child’s father be given custody. The applicant was granted access two afternoons a week, with a social worker present. The District Court based its decision on expert reports according to which, among other findings, it was desirable for the child to be separated from Ms Cincimino, who needed psychological counselling and had difficulty controlling her emotions, and whose behaviour was impairing the child’s psychological development. The court ordered the applicant to undergo a course of psychological therapy in order to improve her relationship with her daughter. On 16 December 2003 the District Court decided to suspend Ms Cincimino’s parental responsibility and to bar her from any direct contact with her daughter, authorising only one meeting a week with a social worker present. In its reasoning the District Court observed in particular that the applicant had not complied with its previous order, as she had gone to the home of her parents-in-law to see her daughter and had not duly attended the course of psychological counselling. On 5 October 2005 the court made a fresh order declaring that Ms Cimincino no longer had parental responsibility and was barred from any contact with her daughter, on the grounds that there was no longer any prospect of an improvement in the mother-daughter relationship. In support of its decision the District Court noted, among other points, that the applicant had attempted to turn the child against her father and had a negative attitude towards the social workers, that she had refused to follow a course of psychological counselling and that her daughter had forged very close links with her father. That decision was upheld by the Palermo Court of Appeal on 27 February 2006. The Court of Appeal noted in particular that Ms Cincimino was preventing the child from developing in a healthy and well-adjusted manner.
On 6 June 2009 Ms Cincimino applied to have her parental responsibility restored, claiming to have followed a course of psychotherapy with two psychiatrists, and producing a certificate stating that she was not suffering from any disorder. However, her application was rejected by a decision of 29 March 2010 which was upheld on appeal. On 1 February 2012 Ms Cincimino applied again to the District Court, requesting it to reconsider its 2005 decision. The District Court rejected the application, finding, in particular, that the applicant’s parental responsibility had been withdrawn because of her lack of empathy and her narcissistic personality. The District Court further held that there was no need to order a further expert report. On 11 February 2013 Ms Cincimino appealed against that ruling, arguing in particular that the expert reports on which the court had based its decision dated back to 2002, 2003 and 2006. She requested a new expert opinion. In a judgment of 11 April 2013 the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal.
Relying in particular on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Ms Cincimino complained that the authorities had barred her from any contact with her daughter without taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the ties between them had been maintained, and that she had been prevented from fulfilling her role as a mother.
Violation of Article 8
Just satisfaction: EUR 32,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 20,000 (costs and expenses)
Il testo completo dell’intera sentenza è disponibile sul database della Corte a questo indirizzo: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/