Broadcasting fees: 465 euros in arrears resulted in legal imprisonment

A man from Borken was imprisoned for not paying his radio license fee. He complained about it. However, the VG Münster dismissed the lawsuit.

The Münster Administrative Court rejected in judgments (Az.: 7 K 1552/22 and 7K 390/21 from the 13 May and June 8
) the complaints of a man from Borken. He opposed enforcement measures to collect overdue broadcasting fees.

The man originally received 2015 two notices on the collection of broadcasting fees. According to the contribution service responsible for collecting the broadcasting contribution, since 2013 he was in the total amount of 465,25 Euros in arrears. The man said that since 2010 he has neither owned a radio nor a television set, he must therefore also pay no fees. He therefore returned the mail he had received unopened, saying it was just advertising. From a legal point of view, the man on the one hand did not pay and on the other hand raised no objection to the decisions.

The WDR therefore went through official channels and requested the city of Borken to enforce the open as part of administrative assistance posts. But an application by the city to the local district court at the beginning 2020 also came to nothing. The man refused to give any information about his financial situation. The responsible bailiff then applied for an arrest warrant to enforce an asset disclosure. This was on 25. February 2021 executed. The man was then taken to the Münster prison. He was imprisoned there from the end of February to the end of August 2021. In the meantime, the WDR has stopped the foreclosure.

Plaintiff owned neither radio nor television

The man then complained once against the city of Borken and against the WDR. As justification, he asserted, among other things:

“Since he has been 2010 owns neither a radio nor a television set, he is not obliged to pay broadcasting fees. He had kept the letters he had received since 2013 from the Posting Service for advertising and sent them back to the sender unopened. In addition, the prerequisites for the individual enforcement measures were not met. He is also entitled to damages and compensation for pain and suffering because of the impermissible detention.”

Broadcasting fee notices were final due to the plaintiff’s omissions

However, the administrative court in Münster dismissed both of the plaintiff’s claims. The grounds for the judgment stated, among other things:

“The lawsuits are largely already inadmissible. Insofar as the plaintiff objects to the original broadcasting fee notices, these are already final because the plaintiff has not lodged an appeal within the time limit set for this purpose. It is not the administrative courts but the civil courts that are responsible for determining the illegality of the plaintiff’s detention and for the asserted claim for damages and compensation for pain and suffering. Furthermore, it is not apparent that the conditions for enforcing the broadcasting contributions were not met. The plaintiff could no longer demand that the enforcement be stopped because the WDR had already declared that it would no longer pursue the enforcement against the plaintiff.”

The verdicts are not yet final. After all, the plaintiff can still apply for approval of the appeal at the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Münster.

About Antonia Frank

Antonia has been with us since January 2016 Writer at the Invisibility Cloak. She started out with book reviews. In the meantime, she prefers to write about legal topics, such as P2P cases, but she also takes up other Internet topics, such as cybercrime. Her interests are mainly related to literature.

Related Articles

Back to top button