It is important that you have and maintain confidence in the Judiciary. That is why you can file a complaint if you feel that a court or a member of the court staff has not treated you correctly. You should send a letter to the board of that court. You must do this within one year of the incident.
Content of complaint letter
If you feel that you have not been treated as you should by a member of staff or a judge of a court of law, a court of appeal, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) or the Central Appeals Tribunal (CRvB), you can file a complaint. This may be the case, for example, if you have to wait too long for an answer to your letter or for the handling of your case. Or if you feel that you were not properly addressed by one or more people working at the court or the way in which someone at the court addressed you. The complaint can also be about the tone, wording or design of letters or about not giving information, giving information too late, giving incorrect information or giving incomplete information. In almost all cases, the complaint must be about yourself. You cannot complain about the way the court has treated someone else; that is for that person to do. Unless you file a complaint on behalf of someone over whom you have authority or guardianship, for example your minor child or someone under your guardianship.
NOTE: If you disagree with a decision of the court or a decision taken by the court during the handling of your case, you cannot file a complaint about it. This should be done through another procedure such as lodging an appeal against the decision.
Submitting the complaint
You can file your complaint with the court where your lawsuit is pending. You must do this within one year after the incident. You should send your complaint to the board of the court concerned. Most courts allow you to submit your complaint digitally. To do so, go to www.rechtspraak.nl and in the left-hand column, under the heading ‘to the court’, select ‘I have a complaint’. Choose the court concerned and fill in the digital complaint form. You can then send this form to the court by e-mail or by regular mail. You can also submit your complaint to the court in writing without this form. Your letter must contain the following information:
- the department or person about whom you have a complaint;
- The reason why you are complaining, what exactly happened and when;
- your name, address and telephone number;
- your signature;
- possibly copies of documents relevant to your complaint.
Handling of the complaint
Upon receipt of your complaint, we will first check whether it can be dealt with. If this is not the case, you will be informed as soon as possible. It may also be the case that your complaint is the responsibility of another body or another court. In that case, the court will, if possible, forward your complaint and inform you of this forwarding. If you are under the impression that your complaint can easily be resolved, for example through a (telephone) conversation, the court will contact you as soon as possible. If your complaint is dealt with, the procedure is as follows:
- The court administration shall inform the person(s) about whom you are complaining of your complaint;
- If necessary, you will be asked to provide additional information about the event;
- Subsequently, the board of the court conducts an investigation;
- In principle, you will be given the opportunity to further explain your complaint to the board of the court or to a complaints advisory committee. The person to whom the complaint relates will never handle the complaint himself;
- Finally, the board of the court takes a decision. You will be informed of this decision in writing. This is usually done within 6 weeks.
Do you have any questions as a result of this blog? Then please contact Law & More. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you.