Scary letter from Staatsanwaltschaft

54 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, fraufruit said:

 

lol

 

12 hours ago, kiplette said:

:lol:

 

Yes, in no way suggesting that any German authority is going to admit to being wrong

 

:lol:

 

I received this year a parking fine, my plates, wrong car description (Renault Van).  My plates belong to a trailer for transporting motorbikes.   I refused the fine over their website and I received a letter from the Police saying it was all a mistake and they apologized.  Yep, they actually apologized.  I am thinking in framing that letter.

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We recently purchased an apartment in Berlin and all of the invoices for the Grundbuch transactions were sent as 'Mahnung' type letters with late fees, interest fees, and threatening 'pay or die' text.

We rang the number provided on the Mahnung and were referred to the Finanzamt (or whatever Amt deals with the Grundbuch) and we called, emailed them, and sent them a registered (Einschreiben) to the Amt asking them to clarify, specifying that we never received an initial invoice. They ended up clarifying, blaming some 'system error' and sending a corrected invoice.
 

Then, we subsequently received 2-3 more Grundbuch-related tax payment requests / invoices this way, with the threatening language and demand for late and interest fees, so we did the same process - call, email, Einschreiben, receive corrected invoice - we mentioned that we received letters this way for previous payment requests. They corrected the invoice each time without issue - blaming the same 'system error'.
 
Our conclusion is that they do this on purpose to get your attention (it works well, doesn't it?) and to collect payments faster. Note, subsequent payment requests were sent 'normally' with no threatening letter.
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On 10/11/2021, 17:33:03, optimista said:

You know what ? You could also just let this roll and enjoy the cock up. Seriously. You know they have no claim. You have this from the AA. Just wait. Sit back. Drink tea. See what they come up with next. It sounds too ridiculous to be true. Try to get some distance on it. Easily said for sure. Maybe contact a journalist or two.

 

Bureaucracy gone potty. They deserve to be exposed.

 

wouldnt contacting a journalist get me in more trouble? 

 

it gets more bizarre... they said a penalty order was issued in April 2019... I first learned about it in October 2021! Wow. 

 

Also, the arbeitsamt finally spoke with my former employer in august & now agree that I indeed was unemployed when I said I was. Hence, no fraud - what I said was true. 

 

What is mindblowing is the staatanswaltchaft said they would speak with the arbeitsamt to verify this, but that regardless of what the arbeitsamt says, they said the penalty order/fine would still stand. In other words, the arbeitsamt found there was no fraud, but the staatsantwaltchaft said that doesnt change the fact that they decided there was fraud... such a mindf*ck. and they still say I have to pay or face imprisonment. 

 

very naive question... does anyone have any idea how much a lawyer would cost to sort this out? or where to find one?

 

I'm considering paying the 3,5k and writing in the description as I send it that its not legally binding and I expect it back, just to avoid wrongful imprisonment. but honestly I feel so overwhelmed by this

 

rather frustratingly, my legal insurance says they cant help. 

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On 10/11/2021, 17:16:10, maxie said:

Regardless of insurance, I would still talk to a lawyer and get them to send a letter with the appropriate legal jargon and a deadline. This must be causing you a lot of stress, so definitely worth the money. 

 

 

On 10/11/2021, 17:18:49, fraufruit said:

Yes. Talk to a lawyer ASAP. Cheaper than € 7k for sure.

On 10/11/2021, 17:33:03, optimista said:

You know what ? You could also just let this roll and enjoy the cock up. Seriously. You know they have no claim. You have this from the AA. Just wait. Sit back. Drink tea. See what they come up with next. It sounds too ridiculous to be true. Try to get some distance on it. Easily said for sure. Maybe contact a journalist or two.

 

Bureaucracy gone potty. They deserve to be exposed.

 

wouldnt contacting a journalist get me in more trouble? 

 

it gets more bizarre... they said a penalty order was issued in April 2019... I first learned about it in October 2021! Wow. 

 

Also, the arbeitsamt finally spoke with my former employer in august & now agree that I indeed was unemployed when I said I was. Hence, no fraud - what I said was true. 

 

What is mindblowing is the staatanswaltchaft said they would speak with the arbeitsamt to verify this, but that regardless of what the arbeitsamt says, they said the penalty order/fine would still stand. In other words, the arbeitsamt found there was no fraud, but the staatsantwaltchaft said that doesnt change the fact that they decided there was fraud... such a mindf*ck. and they still say I have to pay or face imprisonment. 

 

I'm considering paying the 3,5k and writing in the description as I send it that its not legally binding and I expect it back, just to avoid wrongful imprisonment. but honestly I feel so overwhelmed by this. I'm also a foreigner and dont have perm res yet. My current visa expires on the 18th of Dec (I've been here 5.5 years) and if they don't renew it because of this I don't know what I'll do. My job, my flat, my life is here.. legally, I qualify for perm res because I have been here so long but I havent been able to get an appointment to renew because of COVID. but now I'm worried when they do give me a termin, theyll say "nope" and "out you go!" it honestly blows my mind that a law abiding citizen paying over 42% of income in taxes can just get bullied like this. I feel like my entire life is at stake, and honestly feeling incredibly helpful because of their error...

 

very naive question... does anyone have any idea how much a lawyer would cost to sort this out? or where to find one? rather frustratingly, my legal insurance says they cant help. 

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I m sorry it still sounds scammy to me. They don t send people to prison for 3,5K. 

I would not pay the fine. You might never see the money again.

Before they sent you to prison it would have to go to court. This would never get past a court.

 

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Can´t you speak to the Staatsanwalt in person or over the phone? If not, I´d turn to the local police station, explain the case and ask them what to do`before I´d spend money on a lawyer. If you want to go the lawyer route, you can expect around € 250 for a first consultation and (I think) a letter written on your behalf.

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Not sure why you didn't lawyer up the first time your spidey senses tingled that something was amiss. Not sure why you are still asking here for advice and not lawyering up. Lawyer up already! Pay the darn costs and get a nicely worded letter from a lawyer to send back at the Staatsanwalt.

 

Germany is a democratic state with a free press, there is no penalty for going to the press (as long as you don't libel, slander, etc. but even that has some wiggleroom at times). The police or public prosecuter's office will not show up in the middle of the night with a gang of goons to mess up your apartment, threaten your family and point laser rifles at your chest. Quite why the Staatsanwalt is being so obstinate here is a mystery (or perhaps I underestimate German obstinacy, to a degree even I thought not possible!). If the Arbeitsamt and your employer agree there was no fraud and never was, and you have the paperwork, that should really be the end of it. 

 

I would agree with the advice to not pay (further) until a lawyer has advised you and this has passed through the courts. Indeed, you will not go to prison for 3500€ baselessly (incorrectly) fined against you. 

 

I wonder what is missing from the puzzle here..

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18 hours ago, alderhill said:

Not sure why you didn't lawyer up the first time your spidey senses tingled that something was amiss. Not sure why you are still asking here for advice and not lawyering up. Lawyer up already! Pay the darn costs and get a nicely worded letter from a lawyer to send back at the Staatsanwalt.

 

Germany is a democratic state with a free press, there is no penalty for going to the press (as long as you don't libel, slander, etc. but even that has some wiggleroom at times). The police or public prosecuter's office will not show up in the middle of the night with a gang of goons to mess up your apartment, threaten your family and point laser rifles at your chest. Quite why the Staatsanwalt is being so obstinate here is a mystery (or perhaps I underestimate German obstinacy, to a degree even I thought not possible!). If the Arbeitsamt and your employer agree there was no fraud and never was, and you have the paperwork, that should really be the end of it. 

 

I would agree with the advice to not pay (further) until a lawyer has advised you and this has passed through the courts. Indeed, you will not go to prison for 3500€ baselessly (incorrectly) fined against you. 

 

I wonder what is missing from the puzzle here..

 

as you can read, i havent been able to find a lawyer. do you have one to recommend?

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On 11/13/2021, 4:19:42, jeba said:

Can´t you speak to the Staatsanwalt in person or over the phone? If not, I´d turn to the local police station, explain the case and ask them what to do

 

Nooo.  If you are in trouble with the law, the last thing you should do is talk to law enforcement.  In general Germany is a just society and I'd sure call the police if I needed help, but once they are investigating you that's out.  Clam up.  If you are under investigation, your "common sense" ideas of how to "just clarify" the situation might actually dig you a deeper hole. 

Get a lawyer. 

Seems odd the OP's legal insurance won't help him, that sucks.   But then he needs to pay a lawyer.  Expect to pay circa 200 EUR per hour. 

That might seem like a lot, but please don't call the Staatsanwalt or the police without talking to a Rechtsanwalt.

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Just now, DoubleDTown said:

 

Nooo.  If you are in trouble with the law, the last thing you should do is talk to law enforcement.  In general Germany is a just society and I'd sure call the police if I needed help, but once they are investigating you that's out.  Clam up.  If you are under investigation, your "common sense" ideas of how to "just clarify" the situation might actually dig you a deeper hole. 

Get a lawyer. 

Seems odd the OP's legal insurance won't help him, that sucks.   But then he needs to pay a lawyer.  Expect to pay circa 200 EUR per hour. 

That might seem like a lot, but please don't call the Staatsanwalt or the police without talking to a Rechtsanwalt.

 

unfortunately I have already sent them letters to clarify, do you think this will be an issue?

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Can your insurance maybe recommend a lawyer? Even if they are unwilling to pay. Maybe come friend or colleague has a recommendation for you. 

You could always check here 

Anwaltssuche - Deutsche Anwaltauskunft  

You can put "English" into the language box and go by zip code and maybe a speciality (Arbeitsrecht? or Strafrecht, if Staatsanwaltschaft is involved? Some are generalists and deal with all areas of the law). You can then check for reviews online for the results. 

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I’ve written to almost a dozen lawyers but I haven’t heard back yet from one with availability 

 

in the meantime, I’m finding this all severely distressing. Below is the last letter I received from the Staatsanwaltschaft 2 weeks ago. I have tried to contact them for a status update, but I haven’t heard anything 

 

Datum: 10. November 2021 Vollstreckungsverfahren gegen Sie Sehr geehrte X, hiermit wird Bezug genommen auf Ihr Schreiben vom 08.11,2021. Ich vielen Dank bezüglich der Informationen hinsichtlich der Einziehungsentscheidung in Höhe von 3577,32 €. Ich werde diese Informationen nun bei der Arbeitsagentur nachpürfen Bezüglich der Geldstrafe in Höhe von 3.500,00 € muss ich Ihnen jedoch mitteilen dase dieser ein rechtskräftiger Starfbefehl zugrunde liegt. Sollten Sie diesen Betrag nicht zahlen wird die Ersatzfreiheitsstrafe angeordernet werden. Dieses Geld schulden Sie der Berliner Justiz und nicht der Arbeitsagentur. Sollten Sie der Meinung sein, dass der Strafbefehl vom 10.04.2019 rechtswidrig ist, bitte ich um dementsprechende Mitteilung. Sodann würde dies nochmal von einem/ einer Richter*in überprüft werden, Mit freundlichen Grüßen X

 

I’m genuinely worried an arrest warrant will be issued without further notification. I let her know I think the fine is illegal, but I will pay it to avoid arrest if necessary, though first asked if I prove my innocence if I can get it back. I haven’t transferred any money yet, but I haven’t received confirmation from them either that a judge is reviewing my case. 
 

i find this absolutely terrifying, and am constantly on edge expecting cops at my door to arrest me — maybe even when I have guests over or am in a work zoom meeting. 
 

so far people have said it’s unlikely I will go to jail, but her letter does say a custodial order will be issued soon. How much at risk of an arrest do you think I am in?

 

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The German is shite.

 

Did you copy it carefully comma for comma - or are the mistakes yours?

 

If that really is what you received, letter for letter, you can bin it and sleep tight. Scam.

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2 hours ago, ExPattheDog said:

Sollten Sie der Meinung sein, dass der Strafbefehl vom 10.04.2019 rechtswidrig ist, bitte ich um dementsprechende Mitteilung.

 

This part says that if you believe the penalty order is unlawful, you should tell them so. I'm no law-talking guy, but I believe if you object to the order, it will stop the clock on any enforcement - at least until you can find legal support. I hope you've done this already. If you haven't, do it NOW.

 

Feel free to PM me if you need any help with the German phrasing.

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On 11/22/2021, 2:31:16, ExPattheDog said:

unfortunately I have already sent them letters to clarify, do you think this will be an issue?

 

I dunno.  That's why you need a lawyer. 

 

3 hours ago, ExPattheDog said:

I’ve written to almost a dozen lawyers but I haven’t heard back yet from one with availability

 

Two weeks and you haven't found a lawyer?  Seems odd.   Maybe start calling the ones you haven't heard back from. 

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1 hour ago, El Jeffo said:

 

This part says that if you believe the penalty order is unlawful, you should tell them so. I'm no law-talking guy, but I believe if you object to the order, it will stop the clock on any enforcement - at least until you can find legal support. I hope you've done this already. If you haven't, do it NOW.

 

Feel free to PM me if you need any help with the German phrasing.

I let them know this 2 weeks ago and haven't heard anything else - do you think they have paused this since I told them? 

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Sorry, but there's no way to tell. Have you tried calling the provided phone number? Is your German good enough to quote the case number and ask if they've received your latest correspondence?

 

I encourage you to keep calling lawyers in any case. Emphasize the urgency of the matter.

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8 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

Sorry, but there's no way to tell. Have you tried calling the provided phone number? Is your German good enough to quote the case number and ask if they've received your latest correspondence?

 

I encourage you to keep calling lawyers in any case. Emphasize the urgency of the matter.

 

I've tried calling the staatsanwaltchaft but I havent been able to reach anyone. I can't tell if the number is even in service. 

 

I have been able to send the letters to one lawyer, but things take time and I havent received an opinion from them yet. No one else has been able to see me yet.

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11 minutes ago, ExPattheDog said:

I have been able to send the letters to one lawyer, but things take time and I havent received an opinion from them yet. No one else has been able to see me yet.

 

In that case, you should stop trying to contact lawyers, lest you get two bills from two different ones for the same matter.

 

If you'd like to send me the address and phone number of the district attorney's office via PM, I could try to find an alternative phone number for you.

 

 

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6 hours ago, optimista said:

The German is shite.

 

Did you copy it carefully comma for comma - or are the mistakes yours?

 

If that really is what you received, letter for letter, you can bin it and sleep tight. Scam.

Yep, if that's what you received, sounds like a scam.

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