Rb. Den Haag - AWB - 22 5012

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Rb. Den Haag - AWB - 22 _ 5012
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Court: Rb. Den Haag (Netherlands)
Jurisdiction: Netherlands
Relevant Law: Article 5 GDPR
Article 15 GDPR
Decided: 26.04.2023
Published: 10.05.2023
Parties: Authoriteit Persoonsgegevens
National Case Number/Name: AWB - 22 _ 5012
European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2023:5636
Appeal from:
Appeal to:
Original Language(s): Dutch
Original Source: De rechtspraak (in Dutch)
Initial Contributor: kv33

The Dutch District Court of Den Haag rejected two claims of immaterial damages filed against both the Dutch Tax Authority and the Dutch DPA. Among others complaints, the data subject claimed that the Tax Authority had unlawfully provided information to the DPA regarding his ongoing procedures at the Tax Authority.

English Summary


On 17 May 2020, the data subject exercised their right of access (Article 15 GDPR) at the Dutch Tax Authority, de belastingdienst (controller). The controller refused to provide access to the relevant files, which lead the data subject to file a complaint with the Dutch DPA on 17 June 2020.

On 25 March 2021, the DPA rejected the complaint of the data subject. The reason for the rejection was not specified in this decision.

On 2 November 2021, the data subject appealed the decision. According to Dutch administrative law, the DPA itself had to assess this appeal (in Dutch: bezwaar). On 3 May 2022, the DPA requested the controller to provide information regarding the data subject to assess this appeal. The controller replied on the same day and provided details about ongoing financial procedures between the controller and the data subject.

On 2 June 2022, the controller made a decision regarding the data subject's access request. It is not clear from this ruling if the controller provided access and if so, in what from.

On 11 July 2022, the DPA agreed with the appeal of the data subject and warned the controller for not answering the access request within the time limit, in violation of Article 12(3) GDPR. The data subject, who was apparently not satisfied, appealed this decision to the District court of Den Haag (in Dutch: Beroep).

On 18 October 2022, the data subject filed another complaint with the DPA against the controller because it provided information to the DPA on 3 May 2022.

In his appeal, the data subject filed claims against both the DPA and the tax authority.

Regarding his claim against the controller, the data subject stated that the controller never informed him about its decision of 2 June 2022 regarding the access request. The data subject claimed a compensation of €25,000.

Regarding his claim against the DPA, he stated that the DPA did not properly execute its tasks under the GDPR. For this, the data subject requested €25,000 for immaterial damages. The data subject also stated that the DPA violated Article 6 ECHR for the lack of a hearing within a reasonable time.

The data subject received some financial compensation, established in Dutch law, because the DPA did not respond in time to their request.


First, the court assessed the claim against the controller. The court determined that it did not have the authority to assess the decision of the controller regarding the access request. Therefore, the court also did not have the authority to order the controller to provide financial compensation for the data subject.

Second, the court assessed the data subject's claim against the DPA for immaterial damages. The court rejected this claim for several reasons. Among other reasons, the data subject had not explained what the claimed immaterial damage exactly entailed. Also, since the data subjec alrerady received financial compensation, additional compensation was deemed unnecessary by the court.

Third, regarding the claim against the DPA about the reasonable time (Article 6 ECHR), the court determined that a term of 2 years was reasonable in this case, where two public institutions were involved in the procedure. In this case, the court determined that the two-year period had started on 2 November 2021, the date of the first appeal (bezwaar).

To determine if a reasonable term had been violated, the court took into account the following circumstances: the complexity of the case, the manner in which the complaint was handled by the administrative body and the court, the procedural conduct of the data subject throughout the proceedings and the nature of the measure and the interest of the data subject. However, the court merely determined that the procedure had not exceeded two years, which seems to be the only circumstance which was assessed by the court to reject the data subject's claim.

Fourth, regarding the information provided by the controller to the DPA about any procedures between the controller and the data subject, the court determined that the GDPR had not been infringed. The DPA was allowed to ask questions to the controller. The court did not provide an explanation/ motivation for this conclusion that the GDPR had not been breached.

In conclusion, the court refused all the claims of the data subject.


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English Machine Translation of the Decision

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