LAG Baden-Württemberg - 5 Ta 123/19

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LAG Baden-Württemberg - 5 Ta 123/19
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Court: LAG Baden-Württemberg (Germany)
Jurisdiction: Germany
Relevant Law: Article 15 GDPR
Decided: 23.01.2020
Published:
Parties: N.N.
National Case Number/Name: 5 Ta 123/19
European Case Law Identifier:
Appeal from: ArbG Villingen-Schwenningen
7 Ca 239/19
Appeal to:
Original Language(s): German
Original Source: Landesrechtsprechung Baden-Württemberg (in German)
Initial Contributor: ManTechnologist

An amount in dispute of EUR 500.00 may be appropriate for an application for complete data information within the meaning of Art. 15 (1) DS-GVO at equitable discretion if the claim is based only on general statements.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

The parties argued about the amount in dispute for the data subject request.

Dispute[edit | edit source]

Holding[edit | edit source]

Dismisses the appeal brought by the applicant's representative against the decision of the Arbeitsgericht (Labour Court) Villingen-Schwenningen - Chambers of Radolfzell - of 13 November 2019 - 7 Ca 239/19

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the German original. Please refer to the German original for more details.

Reasons
 	
I.
The complaint concerns the assessment of a right to information under Article 15 of the DS-GVO pursuant to Section 63(2) of the GKG.

In her lawsuit filed with the court on 17 September 2019, the plaintiff, who has been employed as Finance Manager since 1 September 2016 for an average gross monthly salary of EUR 2,842.00 with the defendant, objected to the ordinary employer's termination of employment from 20 August 2019 to 31 December 2019 and requested "information on personal data and information in accordance with Art. 15 Para. 1 2nd Hs DS-GVO".

The legal dispute ended without an oral hearing by way of a resolution in accordance with section 278 (6) sentence 1 Hs 2 of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) dated 21 October 2019, according to which the parties agreed on the continuation of the employment relationship without notice and on the settlement of the legal dispute in other respects.

The Labor Court set the value relevant for the court fees at EUR 9,026.00 (three average gross monthly remunerations of the plaintiff of EUR 2,842.00 each for the selective application for protection against dismissal and EUR 500.00 for the request for information pursuant to Art. 15 DS-GVO).

By means of the appeal, the applicant's representative requests that the amount in dispute for the request for information be increased to EUR 5 000,00 pursuant to Article 15 of the DS-GVO.

The Labour Court did not rectify the appeal and referred the case to the Board of Appeal for a decision.

II.
The complaint of the plaintiff's attorney is admissible (§ 68, Subsection 1, Sentence 1, GKG); it was filed in due form and time (§ 68, Subsection 1, Sentence 3 in conjunction with § 63, Subsection 3, Sentence 2, GKG) and is also admissible for the rest, but unfounded. The Labour Court has correctly set the relevant value for the court fees at EUR 9,026.00.

1) The determination of the amount in dispute for the selective application for protection of the status quo pursuant to § 42.2 sentence 1 of the German Constitution Act (GKG) on the quarterly earnings of the plaintiff of EUR 8,526.00 does not indicate any errors of law and/or discretion and is not challenged by the complaint, so that further statements by the Appeals Court in this regard are unnecessary.
 
2. the assessment of the amount in dispute for the request for information under Article 15 of the DS-GVO at EUR 500.00 is also unobjectionable.
 
(a) The applicant's request for information is not of a property-law nature.
 
aa) Pecuniary disputes are disputes in which the claims are directed to money or a payment in kind, regardless of whether they arise from a basic relationship under pecuniary or non-pecuniary law (general opinion, see Schneider/Herget Streitwertkommentar 14th ed. marginal no. 4284; GK-ArbGG/Schleusener, as of December 2016, marginal no. 322, each with further references).
 
On the other hand, non-pecuniary disputes are disputes which do not involve money or benefits of monetary value, which cannot be converted into claims for money and which originate in circumstances to which no asset is attributable (general opinion, see Schneider/Herget loc.cit. marginal no. 4284; GK-ArbGG/Schleusener loc.cit. marginal no. 298, both with further details).
 
bb) In the light of the foregoing, the claim for information in the main proceedings under Article 15 of the DS Block Exemption Regulation is a non-pecuniary matter. It is rooted in the personal rights of the creditor. Its primary purpose is to enable the claimant to exercise the other rights under the DS-GVO, in particular the right of rectification under Article 16, of deletion under Article 17 and of restriction of processing under Article 18. Admittedly, information on personal data may also produce findings and circumstantial evidence which justify, or at least may suggest, a claim for damages under completely different provisions. However, this is not the actual purpose of the DS Block Exemption Regulation, but a merely incidental side-effect (OLG Cologne 3 September 2019 - 20 W 10/18 - juris nr 5). That such a side effect exists in the given case and is to be enforced with the request for information, i.e. that the economic interest of the creditor could exceptionally be decisive for the assessment of the subject matter of the dispute, is neither presented nor evident.
 
(b) The assessment must therefore be made in accordance with Section 48(2) of the Basic Law. According to the first sentence of the latter, the amount in dispute shall be determined at the discretion of the parties, taking into account all circumstances of the individual case, in particular the scope and significance of the matter and the financial and income circumstances of the parties.

aa) There is no initial, connecting, standard or minimum value for disputes under labour law or civil law in general, but only a maximum value of one million euros (Section 48 (2) sentence 2 of the German Constitution Act).

(1) Recourse to § 52.2 GKG is just as inappropriate here as in the case of the unquantified claim for damages (see OLG Cologne 5 February 2018 - I-9 U 120/17 - juris Rn 3; Schneider/Herget loc.cit. marginal no. 4297). Analogous application of § 23.3 sentence 2 Hs 2 of the Law on Administrative Procedure is also ruled out. For if the legislature had wanted such provisions to apply beyond the specifically defined area, it would have given them general validity. In particular, § 23.3 RVG expressly applies only to proceedings in which, unlike those under § 23.1 RVG, the fees are not based on the amount in dispute. Then this provision cannot be applied in such proceedings either, in which the fee is based on the amount in dispute, without violating the clearly declared legal intention. This view is also supported by the fact that § 48.2 GKG on the one hand and § 52.2 GKG and § 23.3 sentence 2 Hs 2 RVG on the other hand have different regulatory contents: In addition to the absence of a rule, connecting or auxiliary value in § 48, Subsection 2, GKG and the definition of such a value in § 52, Subsection 2, GKG and § 23, Subsection 3, Sentence 2 Hs RVG, different minimum or auxiliary values are also stipulated in § 48, Subsection 2, GKG and § 23, Subsection 3, Sentence 2 Hs RVG. maximum values (cf. § 48, Subsection 2, Sentence 2, GKG: EUR 1 million; § 52, Subsection 4, Nos. 1-3, GKG: EUR 1,500.00, EUR 2,500.00 and EUR 500,000.00, respectively; § 23, Subsection 3, Sentence 2 Hs 2 RVG: EUR 500,000.00). It is not apparent that the legislator would have created unconscious loopholes in the regulations in this context.

(2) As far as the scope of the case is concerned, in contrast to Section 23(3) RVG, the court's necessary expenditure is to be taken into account exclusively (see Laube in: Hartmann/Toussaint Kostengesetze 49th ed. § 48 GKG Rn 23 with further references). This is because it is a fee for the court activity, which is only a reflex under § 32.1 RVG and is also relevant for the lawyer's fees.

(3) Since all the above circumstances must be taken into account, the factual and legal significance of the case - unlike in property disputes - is relevant not only for the applicant but also for the defendant. In this case, for example, it can be exceptionally taken into account that it is a pilot or model case.

(4 ) In so far as property and income relations are to be taken into account, these are in practice only used prudently if they do not involve family law disputes (see Schneider/Herget, loc. cit. recital 4308).

bb) Measured against this, there is no objection to the labour court's determination.

(1) The scope of the matter is in the lowest range. In addition to the statement of claim, the Labour Court only needed the information contained in the sentence: "According to the decision of the LAG BW of 20 December 2018 - 17 Sa 11/18 - the statement of claim ... admissible and well-founded", the labor court only had to take note of the statement of claim. There is no reply to the statement of claim. Moreover, the claim was not disputed in either factual or legal terms. An oral hearing did not take place. The legal dispute ended by an order pursuant to § 278, Subsection 6, Sentence 1, Hs 2, ZPO on the basis of a text pre-formulated by the plaintiff's counsel.

(2) The factual and legal significance of the case is also to be classified as low. It has neither been submitted nor is it otherwise recognisable that the plaintiff's right of personality would have been affected in a way that would have gone beyond the simple, mass granted right to information, which is intended to satisfy a general interest in information. The plaintiff has not shown that the right to information was also intended to serve pecuniary interests that were to be valued more highly. Nor has the defendant relied on an important defensive interest.

(3) The financial and income circumstances of the parties are completely irrelevant to the dispute.

(4) Thus, the determination of the amount in dispute of EUR 500.00 by the labor court for the right to information pursuant to Art. 15 DS-VGO proves to be appropriate and sufficient due to the consistently low weight of the circumstances to be taken into account (in the result, also LAG Düsseldorf 16 December 2019 - 4 Ta 413/19 - intended for publication; OLG Cologne 5 February 2018 - I-9 U 120/17 - juris).

3) The values of the two applications are to be added together pursuant to § 39, Subsection 1, GKG, and result in the total value of EUR 9,026.00, as correctly determined by the Labor Court.

The complaint had therefore to be rejected.

III.
The appeal procedure is free of charge (§ 68, Subsection 3, Sentence 1, GKG). Costs are not reimbursed (§ 68.3 sentence 2 GKG).