By Katie Reilly
January 4, 2016

An overworked Italian judge cited the prohibition of slavery and his own constitutional right to freedom from forced labor as justification for postponing a civil hearing until 2019.

Alberto Munno, a civil court judge in the city of Taranto in southern Italy, said he would not have time for the case during the next three years because he already has to handle 500 older cases, according to The Guardian. Munno scheduled the hearing for Jan. 18, 2019.

The case involves a legal dispute between two business owners over €200,000 ($216,650). The pair will evidently need to wait a few years to see their dispute settled.

Munno cited the rights afforded him by the European Convention on Human Rights, arguing that the heavier workload would violate his right to freedom from forced labor.

Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com.

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