Rb. Zeeland-West-Brabant - AWB- 21 1058
|Rb. Zeeland-West-Brabant - AWB- 21_1058|
|Court:||Rb. Zeeland-West-Brabant (Netherlands)|
|Relevant Law:||Article 12(2) GDPR|
Article 15(1) GDPR
Article 3:13 of the Dutch Civil Code
Article 3:15 of the Dutch Civil Code
Article 4:15 Awb
Article 4:5 Awb
The municipal executive of Sluis municipality
|National Case Number/Name:||AWB- 21_1058|
|European Case Law Identifier:||ECLI:NL:RBZWB:2022:5975|
|Original Source:||rechtspraak.nl (in Dutch)|
|Initial Contributor:||J.P. Folkers|
The District Court of Zeeland-West-Brabant held that using the right to access in an attempt to gain monetary compensation for not making a decision in a timely manner qualified as an abuse of rights. Especially when the controller held no personal data on the data subject.
English Summary[edit | edit source]
Facts[edit | edit source]
The data subject made an access request to the municipality of Sluis (controller) on 18 August 2020. The controller responded on 24 September that they found no personal data related to the data subject and that it planned to reject the request. It also asked the data subject to specify their request by 9 October 2020, suspending it until that date. The data subject responded on 29 September 2020, requesting the controller to issue a decision and taking the point of view that the controller had exceeded the deadline. On 28 October 2020, the controller officially denied the request.
The data subject sent another letter on 12 November 2020, requesting the controller to issue a decision based on his previous letter.
On 20 December 2020, the data subject submitted a formal objection with the controller for not taking a decision for periodic penalty payments in a timely manner. The controller rejected the objection. The controller also sent the notice of objection to the court to treat as appeal.
Holding[edit | edit source]
The Court initially ruled the appeal inadmissible, as the court fee had not been paid in time. The data subject objected to this decision, stating that he was not able to pay the fee. The objection was upheld on 17 September 2021. The initial ruling did not go into the request for penalty payment's.
The Court found that the data subject made access requests to six other municipalities, for which the data subject also claimed penalty payments. On top of this, no clear purpose of the access request could be deduced. The data subject was not known by the controller and did not make use of the possibility to specify his request. Last, the data subject never objected to the controller's decision to deny the access request from 28 October 2020.
The Court held that since data subject only made an access request and the subsequent request for a decision on periodic penalty payment's for monetary gains. Therefore, the data subject abused legal instruments. As a result, the Court ruled the appeal as inadmissible.
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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]
The decision below is a machine translation of the Dutch original. Please refer to the Dutch original for more details.
COURT OF THE HAGUE Administrative law case number: SGR 21/7902 judgment of the single chamber of 28 September 2022 in the case between [claimant], from [place of residence], claimant and the Municipal Executive of The Hague, (defendant). Process sequence By decision of 5 October 2021 (the primary decision), the respondent decided on the claimant's request for access and provided the claimant with an overview of the processing of his personal data. By decision of 6 December 2021 (the contested decision), the defendant declared the objection of the plaintiff inadmissible. The court informed the parties that it did not consider a hearing necessary and asked whether they agree. Because the parties did not request a hearing afterwards, the court closed the investigation and did not hear the case at a hearing. Considerations What is this case about? 1. On June 30, 2021, the Plaintiff requested access1 to the personal data processed about him by the Haaglanden Care and Safety House. With the primary decision, the defendant provided the plaintiff with an overview of the personal data that were processed about him. The defendant also informed the plaintiff with which chain partners the data was exchanged and to which period the processing of the personal data relates. Plaintiff has objected to that decision, because he wants a notification stated in the overview to be withdrawn. The defendant has declared the objection manifestly inadmissible because the plaintiff has not put forward any grounds relating to the primary decision. What does the plaintiff think? 2. The claimant argues that the report to the Care and Safety House was wrongly made and asks the court to reverse the report or to instruct the defendant to do so. What is the court's verdict? 3.1. Someone who lodges an objection or appeal must have sufficient legal interest in a substantive assessment of the appeal. Procedural interest is the interest that the person submitting an objection or appeal has in the outcome of a procedure. The issue here is whether the objective envisaged by the petitioner can be achieved by the remedy and whether it is of factual significance to the petitioner. In principle, the applicant who contests a decision has an interest in bringing proceedings in an assessment of his objection or appeal, unless it is established that any interest in the proceedings is lacking or has lapsed.2 If there is no interest in bringing proceedings, the objection or appeal will be declared inadmissible. 3.2. The claimant has asked the respondent to provide him with access to the personal data that the Haaglanden Care and Safety House has processed in its data system. Defendant gave access by providing Plaintiff with an overview of the personal data. The claimant has not stated on appeal why he believes that the respondent has insufficiently fulfilled his right of access. 3.3. With a substantive assessment of this appeal, the Plaintiff cannot be in a more favorable position with regard to his right of access under the GDPR. After all, he has been given the access he requested and has not raised any grounds against it. This means that the plaintiff has no interest in bringing proceedings. 3.4. The court found no other interest in bringing proceedings. The fact that the claimant does not agree with the report that was made about him to the Haaglanden Care and Safety House and that he wants the report to be removed does not change that. That is outside the scope of the dispute. After all, the Plaintiff has only requested access to his personal data with his request. Conclusion and consequences 4. The appeal is inadmissible. This means that the court will not assess whether the defendant has rightly declared the claimant's objection inadmissible. The claimant therefore does not get the court fee back. He will also not be reimbursed for his legal costs. Decision The court declared the appeal inadmissible. This judgment was made by mr. D. Biever, judge, in the presence of Y.E. de Loos, clerk. The decision was pronounced in public on September 28, 2022. clerk judge A copy of this ruling has been sent to the parties at: Information about appeal A party that does not agree with this ruling can send a notice of appeal to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, explaining why this party does not agree with this ruling. The appeal must be filed within six weeks of the date on which this decision was sent. If the petitioner cannot await the hearing of the appeal because the case is urgent, the petitioner can request the preliminary relief judge of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State to take an interim injunction (a temporary measure). 1 Pursuant to Article 15(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2 See, for example, the decision of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State of 31 August 2022, ECLI:NL:RVS:2022:2531.