The Italian Almanac
Italian News - September 5
An Italian court stepped up a gear when a judge agreed to hear a plaintiff before she turns 100. "This is remarkable for Italy," said lawyers for 98-year-old Amalia Cuccioletti after the judge lopped four years off a nine-year waiting period.
The woman from the Adriatic region of Marche turned to the courts in 1997, when she was 90, to sue relatives in a property row. The case took four years to get to court, in 2001. The then-94-year-old Cuccioletti was dismayed when the the judge summarily set the second hearing for 2010.
The case gained headlines in July when Cuccioletti's lawyers announced an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, saying their client could not wait until she was 103. "Whichever way the case turns out, one thing is sure: Amalia won't be around to see it," they said at the time.
The court has finally caved in. Mrs Cuccioletti can now hope to mark her 100th birthday by seeing an end to this long trial. Italy is the black sheep in Europe for trial duration and has been repeatedly fined by the European Court.