Unlawful acts and loss compensation

Acts by government agencies often have drastic and far-reaching consequences for citizens. When someone commits an unlawful act towards another, this person can often be held liable for the damage arisen. Additionally, authorities can make errors which result in liability: an unlawful act by the authority (unlawful government act). A citizen can, in that case, make a claim for damages. In some cases even a lawful government decision can be compensated with compensation for loss resulting from administrative acts.

Unlawful act

An administrative body can act unlawfully in two ways, namely by an actual act or an unlawful decision. The actual act usually comprises of an omission or an instance of carelessness, but the halting of negotiations once they have progressed to a late stage can also be unlawful. There can be an unlawful decision when, for example, a decision at first instance seems correct, but after notice of objection or appeal it still does not appear to fulfil all requirements for lawfulness. For example, an insufficiently substantiated refusal of planning permission. Please note that if no use is made of a notice of objection or appeal, the decision will be irrevocable and the lawfulness will be established. It is therefore important to submit the notice of objection or lodge the appeal in a timely manner if you disagree with a government decision, because otherwise damages on the basis of an unlawful act of government can no longer be claimed. AK Advocaten can advise and assist you with this.

Compensation for loss resulting from administrative acts

A decision taken does not have to be unlawful to cause damage. Imagine that you have a profitable furniture shop but your shop in not accessible for a few months due to a traffic order. You suffer loss due to this. However, the traffic order has been made lawfully and was necessary for the improvement of the road in front of your business. There can then be compensation in the form of compensation for loss resulting from administrative acts. Another example is loss resulting from planning blight. In principle this kind of loss is not eligible for compensation. Only if the loss was unforeseeable, if it exceeds the 'normal social risk' and a citizen or a company is affected disproportionally vis-à-vis others can there be a right to compensation of the loss resulting from administrative acts.

Court of competent jurisdiction

Since 1 July 2013, with the entering into effect of the Compensation for Loss Resulting from Administrative Acts Act, the administrative court is in most cases the only court with competent jurisdiction to decide on damages and loss compensation resulting from administrative government acts. The civil court is still the only court with competent jurisdiction to decide on damages in cases of other unlawful acts against which there are notices of objection or appeals. Do you think that you may have right to damages or compensation for loss resulting from administrative acts resulting from an either unlawful or lawful government decision or government act? The Property department of AK Advocaten can advise you on the feasibility of this as well as your possibilities. We would like to provide you with legal assistance. Please contact us. Property Law