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Help! issue with flooding and police misconduct

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Hello everyone, I had a nightmare of a night two nights ago. I am currently living with my husband to be and am 7 months pregnant.

I felt really bad for two days, being sick, having Braxton Hicks contractions and generally low blood pressure. So on saturday night after being sick I decided I want water 

but I like it cold, so I turned on the water to run" a little" until it cools and decided to lye down. I had fallen asleep. I also was alone in the apartment, since the husband to be is away.

At 1 am I wake up and hear some noises at the door. I go and open the door and see many people in uniform at my door , having broken my lock and changed it (The additional absurdity is that i do not lock my door, so they could have just opened it instead of breaking the lock which now i have to pay). I was super scared. Then they tell me that i am flooding the apartment below. I run to the bathroom and see the water still running and switch it off, BUT THERE IS 0 FLOOD IN MY apartment. the floor is kind of wetish, but no more than usual definitely less than when i take a shower. after that the police enters, (i think they asked if they can get in and i tell them it is not really a good time, but ok, which was my huge mistake). then they start behaving in what seems to me a very disrespectful manner. they go through my pregnancy vitamins, go around my house, there is chaos and i am very scared. After the woman threatened me to complain to the child services about me i refused to speak german with them and asked them to speak english. They refused to speak english with me. I then in panic call my fiance to speak to them (he is german) and they initially rudely refuse, but then start speaking to him, and somehow they become more lenient. Still they check my passport, question me, when have i moved in etc etc and then the red cross appeared wanting to  take me to the hospital, which i refused and then they left. 

 

So i have two questions.

First is it possible to have made a flood downstairs, without at all having a flood in my apartment? I do not have an insurance for causing damage, whatever it is called, but the fiance has one, are we co responsible as cohabitants, or is it just me? Also is it negligent behavior to turn on water for 2-3 hours in an unblocked sink. The sink was also not overflowing what so ever when i turned off the water.  

I took photos of the bathroom floor after the police had left, and it was dry. 

 

The second is, do the police have the right to do what they have done? they have not harmed me in any way physically, but they went through my apartment, also the policewoman threatened me with child services (if i had understood her correctly) and they also questioned me for some period of time, who i am, went through my pregnancy vitamins and minerals etc. can i file a complaint? My problem was that although i was not hurt physically, I was both very scared and offended. The additional offence was caused by how differently they talked to my fiance and how they changed their behavior after that. I am not sure if i am not being too emotional given the pregnancy, but I cried for the whole night after they left and do not think that a person who has not done anything illegal deserves such a treatment while being sleepy and desoriented from the situation. Also I did not object at any point to anything they were doing, because i am not familiar what is the correct way to communicate with the police. For sure they asked me before entering, and for sure they asked me about ID, I do not think they asked when they started going through the apt, but wouldnt swear on it. How should one behave in such a situation ? I am sure that if they hadnt spoken to the german fiance they would not have left so soon and i want to be prepared next time for smth like this.
 

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Also can you be threatened with child services while pregnant, before the birth of the child? Can they do something to me/ the baby after the birth due to negligent behavior before the birth?

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Police have suspicion that you were under the influence of drugs. Germany is a country where people turn off the shower when using the soap and then turning it on again. Turning off heating when leaving the apartment and turning it on again.

 

Turning on a water tap "for cooling" is considered as disrespectful to the environment, nobody sane would ever do it.

 

Police assumed you were under the influence of drugs, because no sane German would ever leave the water tap open for more than necessary.

 

Sorry you had to learn the German culture hard way. Do not be scared by Jugendamt: they are to help you and not to punish. Just explain the situation, that will be it. The JA just will want to be sure you are not on drugs, that's it.

 

Quote

I do not have an insurance for causing damage, whatever it is called, but the fiance has one, are we co responsible as cohabitants, or is it just me?

Your husbands insurance will help, but he has to be very careful with the wording when describing what happened, so that insurance company does not say you were negligent. Also, rude police actually will help in this case: they entered your apartment, searched it, found no drugs or other signs of anti social behaviour = report in your favour. So, all in all it was a good decision to let them in: insurance company now has to pay. Everyone has a right to be tired and forget to turn off a water tap.

 

Edit: liability insurance helps against negligence as well, my original warning should be deemed null.

 

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Evening, yourkeau! Actually, negligence is the way to report it - that´s what Haftpflicht is for. NOT for deliberate, criminal behaviour..just negligence. The lady is (hopefully) co-insured on her not-yet-husband´s policy--I hope so. The fiancé may indeed have a policy but has he bothered to co-insure the lady? Who knows?

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If the sink did not overflow it sounds like there's some damage (or Pfusch) in the pipes? That could be the responsibility of the landlord.

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I lived in an apartment where the drain pipe from my sink was cracked inside the wall and whenever I did dishes and then let the water out of the sink, it would leak on the floor below.  If your sink wasn't clogged and the water did not run all over the floor, this could be the case here.  The downstairs neighbours may normally not notice because you don't run the water in the sink for a long time normally so it's a few drops that might leak but leaving the water running for longer may have caused a bigger problem.

 

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44 minutes ago, john g. said:

Evening, yourkeau! Actually, negligence is the way to report it - that´s what Haftpflicht is for. NOT for deliberate, criminal behaviour..just negligence. The lady is (hopefully) co-insured on her not-yet-husband´s policy--I hope so. The fiancé may indeed have a policy but has he bothered to co-insure the lady? Who knows?

My bad! Indeed I was thinking about Hausratsversichrung instead of Haftpflicht (why? who knows, my brain goes to bed earlier than my body today).

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20 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

Even without asking the police is allowed to enter an apartment and take care – it's the police and that's their job. I doubt that it's different in Bulgaria.

No, they aren't (Art. 13 GG). It was legal to break the lock and enter when nobody answered the bell, but once the resident was present it became for them illegal to enter without asking. 

 

Police can enter without a warrant only in cases: to save life, to prevent/stop crime when there is reasonable suspicion that the crime has been committed (for example, marijuana smoke, fresh blood on the floor etc). None of this applied here, that's why police had explicitly to ask for permission.

 

24 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

Cooperative and thankful. Someone cares and is not turning a blind eye.

Lawyers have a different opinion. Cooperation is good, but not at the cost of own personal rights.

 

The time police turns rude, one can say one word: Raus!

OP still was required to give ID to them (this is a law), but she had a full right to get them out of her property.

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13 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

No, they aren't (Art. 13 GG). It was legal to break the lock and enter when nobody answered the bell, but once the resident was present it became for them illegal to enter without asking. 

 

Nope, please read Art 13 GG before you name it:

 

"(7) Eingriffe und Beschränkungen dürfen im übrigen nur zur Abwehr einer gemeinen Gefahr oder einer Lebensgefahr für einzelne Personen, auf Grund eines Gesetzes auch zur Verhütung dringender Gefahren für die öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordnung, insbesondere zur Behebung der Raumnot, zur Bekämpfung von Seuchengefahr oder zum Schutze gefährdeter Jugendlicher vorgenommen werden."

 

Being present is not enough, a resident can even be arrested to make sure that the "dringende Gefahr" can be terminated, e.g. running water getting stopped or smoldering dinner be removed from the oven (before it starts a bigger fire). 

 

13 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

 

Police can enter without a warrant only in cases: to save life, to prevent/stop crime 

 

See above, Art 13 GG (7), there is a variety of reasons. Not checking into the reasons for the ops "disoriented" condition including calling an ambulance could have ended in 'Unterlassene Hilfeleistung', a criminal offense.  

 

 

 

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Hey, thank you both for your answers. So for sure some part of these people were fire(people) and for sure they were knocking and ringing the bell withotu me hearing it. No, the police in neither Bulgaria, nor in America, where I have also lived and studied, are allowed to enter without a warrant.  What is more, they are NOT allowed to go through personal belongings without a warrant or question me in any way. 

 

I have of course not turned off my bell. I live in a very large apartment and the sleeping room is the farthest  from the door, so we barely hear the bell even awake. This apartment was created simply by joining two appartments together and the bell is heard in half of the apartment. After I opened the door and talked to them, I ran to the bathroom, switched the water and explained the situation to them, apologizing. So they for sure did know I am not in any kind of emergency, and also what i told them was "well ok you can enter, but now is not really a good time".  I thought they want to enter to see the water situation and let them in out of common courtesy. Little did I know. I did not expect they will be assessing me. I neither wanted nor needed their help in any way and made it clear ever since I saw they lost interest in the flood and started being interested in me. After I told my fiance that the woman seems to be threatening me, she drastically changed her behavior despite her "not understanding English".

 

The way they proceeded to behave after they entered was NOT as if they were concerned for my health, they never asked me anything about my condition or how i am feeling. They started asking me questions about my identity, my apartment contract and going around the apartment. They started acting more politely ONLY after hey talked to the fiance. 

 

I am not sure what do you mean by "you finally admitted that you were desoriented". Of course I was desoriented, since I had just woke up with a crowd of police and fire people infront of my apartment. But I was not desoriented in the sense that I needed or wanted their presense in any way. The water was stopped by the haus Verwaltung immediately, and from my perspective they could have just done that to begin with. If someone is concerned for my health, I would expect them to ask me health related questions. Not identity questions, where I am working, when have I moved in, neither going through the apartment looking through my stuff. 

However they did call an ambulance for me, so you are right about that. The ambulance person did ask me questions about my health status and then told them the sitiation is not problematic. He offered me to go to the hospital, I said no thanks and that was it. He acted in a decent manner. However, this was only about 10 minutes of the whole episode. The rest is what I have a problem with. 

 

Last thing, I do not want to "punish" anyone, but I am not going to tolerate rude behavior towards my person, unless I am obliged to tolerate it by law. So if anything they have done in this very unpleasant situation was the tiniest bit not legal or not protocol, I want to file a complaint against them and I feel absolutely justified to do so. In Bulgaria  or in the States I would for sure be filing a complaint in such a situation, as such actions are not legal there. 

 

 

Thanks. 

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1 hour ago, someonesdaughter said:

Nope, please read Art 13 GG before you name it:

Actually this is what I wrote, except that I wrote "save life" instead of "stop danger", but whatever. Not applicable here.

 

19 minutes ago, viiv said:

Last thing, I do not want to "punish" anyone, but I am not going to tolerate rude behavior towards my person, unless I am obliged to tolerate it by law. So if anything they have done in this very unpleasant situation was the tiniest bit not legal or not protocol, I want to file a complaint against them and I feel absolutely justified to do so. In Bulgaria  or in the States I would for sure be filing a complaint in such a situation, as such actions are not legal there. 

That's why police is way more polite in the US: citizens know their rights mostly.

 

Germans, don't. Which is often favourable for police. I read police press news like "And then this guy agreed to take a marijuana test", which is the crap of Alaska bull: in reality officers just say "Do this test" without informing the citizen that it is voluntary.

 

Stand for your rights, viiv!

Also: if they are not uniformed, they are required to show ID. There are many reports of fake police in Bavaria robbing old people. I am reading these news and shake my head: if a citizen knew their rights, this would have never happened. These fake police play authority and threaten once you remind them of your rights.

 

When real police does the same, this is really, really dangerous. I would write a polite letter to them explaining how they are not doing themselves a favour by building mistrust.

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Why not just fill 2-3 empty bottles with water and keep them in the fridge?

I hope you have haftpflicht insurance.

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2 hours ago, Malt-Teaser said:

Why not just fill 2-3 empty bottles with water and keep them in the fridge?

I hope you have haftpflicht insurance.

 

Well, yes, from now on I will definitely have a different approach for getting drinkable water :D I do not have this insurance, my fiance does, but he is not the one who turned on the water so I do not think it will work. From what I keep reading here and in other places, I will have to pay for the damages, unless the plumber who inspects it determines some problem with the pipe (?). This is my fiance's opinion, he is optimistic and thinks that there must be some problem with the pipe, if at our place everything was relatively dry and everything is wet downstairs, but I have my doubts, because the water really did run for very long time, but we will see. Now I am trying to prepare for the worst case scenario financially, and have made my peace with that...

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10 hours ago, viiv said:

Still they check my passport, question me, when have i moved in etc etc

 

I presume the police are obliged to check your ID to determine whether you are here legally. In that respect a lot has been happening in Germany lately and the understaffed police are toughening up. The conversation with your fiance helped to clarify the situation.

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5 hours ago, viiv said:

Hey, thank you both for your answers. So for sure some part of these people were fire(people) and for sure they were knocking and ringing the bell withotu me hearing it. No, the police in neither Bulgaria, nor in America, where I have also lived and studied, are allowed to enter without a warrant.  What is more, they are NOT allowed to go through personal belongings without a warrant or question me in any way. 

 

I have of course not turned off my bell. I live in a very large apartment and the sleeping room is the farthest  from the door, so we barely hear the bell even awake. This apartment was created simply by joining two appartments together and the bell is heard in half of the apartment. After I opened the door and talked to them, I ran to the bathroom, switched the water and explained the situation to them, apologizing. So they for sure did know I am not in any kind of emergency, and also what i told them was "well ok you can enter, but now is not really a good time".  I thought they want to enter to see the water situation and let them in out of common courtesy. Little did I know. I did not expect they will be assessing me. I neither wanted nor needed their help in any way and made it clear ever since I saw they lost interest in the flood and started being interested in me. After I told my fiance that the woman seems to be threatening me, she drastically changed her behavior despite her "not understanding English".

 

The way they proceeded to behave after they entered was NOT as if they were concerned for my health, they never asked me anything about my condition or how i am feeling. They started asking me questions about my identity, my apartment contract and going around the apartment. They started acting more politely ONLY after hey talked to the fiance. 

 

I am not sure what do you mean by "you finally admitted that you were desoriented". Of course I was desoriented, since I had just woke up with a crowd of police and fire people infront of my apartment. But I was not desoriented in the sense that I needed or wanted their presense in any way. The water was stopped by the haus Verwaltung immediately, and from my perspective they could have just done that to begin with. If someone is concerned for my health, I would expect them to ask me health related questions. Not identity questions, where I am working, when have I moved in, neither going through the apartment looking through my stuff. 

However they did call an ambulance for me, so you are right about that. The ambulance person did ask me questions about my health status and then told them the sitiation is not problematic. He offered me to go to the hospital, I said no thanks and that was it. He acted in a decent manner. However, this was only about 10 minutes of the whole episode. The rest is what I have a problem with. 

 

Last thing, I do not want to "punish" anyone, but I am not going to tolerate rude behavior towards my person, unless I am obliged to tolerate it by law. So if anything they have done in this very unpleasant situation was the tiniest bit not legal or not protocol, I want to file a complaint against them and I feel absolutely justified to do so. In Bulgaria  or in the States I would for sure be filing a complaint in such a situation, as such actions are not legal there. 

 

 

Thanks. 

 

Actually, anything in plain sight that they believe could possibly be illegal can be inspected. Your vitamins were fair game. 

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" i refused to speak german with them and asked them to speak english. They refused to speak english with me. "

I don't know whwether you know that you are in Germany. First you speak German and than you refuse to do it. I would call this very agressive. I have seen this very often, that foreigners suddenly don't understand German, when it becomes unpleasant for them.

" Also is it negligent behavior to turn on water for 2-3 hours in an unblocked sink. " Why would somebody turn the water on for 2-3 hours? If you let 10l of water off the tap, the water is cold. It will not get colder or fresher. Is this a Bulgarian habit?

" but I am not going to tolerate rude behavior towards my person "

I would call it a very rude behaviour, if somebody would flood my apartment.

" In Bulgaria  or in the States I would for sure be filing a complaint in such a situation, as such actions are not legal there.  "

Legal system in Bulgaria? Do you know the rating of Bulgaria on the international corruption index?

 

You are such a poor girl.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, bramble said:

 

I presume the police are obliged to check your ID to determine whether you are here legally. In that respect a lot has been happening in Germany lately and the understaffed police are toughening up. The conversation with your fiance helped to clarify the situation.

yes but how can they come in my house to check my ID, when they have only entered after my permission. It just doesnt make any sense. They come for running water and it turns out running water is not considered direct danger for them to break my lock etc. Then they enter supposedly ut of concern for me, but start checking if i am here legally and looking at my stuff etc, and not asking me any health questions. I do not get how is this in any way legal. If this were so, the police would just appear at anyone's door entering and checking them, but this is not the case. Even when it comes to terrorist suspects, they observe them for years. 

 

If I am concerned for someone;s safety I will not be checking their legal status, their contracts, their belongings. But from now on I will never allow the police to enter my apartment, unless I am obliged to do so. According to another police officer, a husband of a friend of mine, the whole thing is very puzzling and they do not have the right to enter just because of running water /breaking my lock or anything. 

 

I have decided that I will contact a lawyer, because  I do not even trust myself anymore with recounting what happened. As far as I understand they must have written everything up with the actual justifications of why they did any given step and perhaps a lawyer will help me get clarity and understanding.

 

Anyway thank you all for your help! I understand now that things are not straightforward in such a case, and perhaps there is a legal explanation of why the police did what they did. Also now i am 95% sure I will have to pay for the damages. I will write when I have more information with regards to the flooding as well as the police behavior, just in case it is useful for someone else. 

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12 hours ago, john g. said:

Evening, yourkeau! Actually, negligence is the way to report it - that´s what Haftpflicht is for. NOT for deliberate, criminal behaviour..just negligence. The lady is (hopefully) co-insured on her not-yet-husband´s policy--I hope so. The fiancé may indeed have a policy but has he bothered to co-insure the lady? Who knows?

 

 

he hasnt bothered :D now we will bother to pay cash, which is by itself unpleasant, but serves me right. I have lived in Germany for quite some time and have always thought "oo next month I will get this very useful insurance for damaging other ppl's stuff"

 

I am sorry now last question, is it possible to press criminal charges on me for negligent behavior, the police in the end just left and didnt say anything, but can they charge me for endangering the neighbor via the water?

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