At the end of the hearing before the third chamber of the bavarian administrative court in ansbach, the mayor of weisendorf, alexander tritthart (CSU), expressed his relief. "For me it is very important that the administration of the market town of weisendorf has worked correctly, this was confirmed a few minutes ago by the presiding judge rainer stumpf", the mayor declared in front of the courtroom.
20 residents filed a class action suit against the market of weisendorf because of the extension fees for the settlers' road and for the master road. 15 plaintiffs appeared with their lawyers before the administrative court in ansbach.
On the defendant's side were mayor tritthart, head of administration gerhard meyer, rainer plaschko, responsible for fees and charges, and the municipality's lawyer, jan eibfeld.
Right at the beginning, judge stumpf criticized the late statement of grounds for action, furthermore, he did not fully understand the submissions on the master's path. The judge also pointed out that the decision on the development contributions had been made within the statute of limitations and that a lawsuit had little chance of success.
Clear case law
Stumpf referred to a VGH decision and clear case law. The presiding judge also advised the plaintiffs that a citizen would not be at a disadvantage if he was asked to pay late. There is no principle, for example, that a municipality can or must immediately demand the production contributions immediately after completion of an inspection. After all, a settlement procedure in which road and drainage have to be accounted for is not that simple. And in the case of weisendorf, it was even more complicated, since two adjacent roads were affected at the same time.
"The burger can be it completely indifferent, when is accounted for, finally arises him no disadvantage, if the municipality does not compute interest ", the judge explained to the plaintiffs.
Among the plaintiffs was also a member of the municipal council, karoline schmidt (BWG), chairwoman of the audit committee. She had actually been able to foresee the outcome of the proceedings, since she has an insight into all the invoicing documents.
Judge stumpf pointed out from his experience, in which only after twelve years and more a final bill was issued. "If you withdraw your complaint now, you will earn the most", the judge advised the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, but also their two legal advisors, were not satisfied with this.
"They had an unfulfilled hope that the municipality would forget them, but they met the deadlines", stumpf appealed again to the plaintiffs. So the last bill from 30. November 2011 is relevant, because only then the statute of limitations begins. In addition, the judge pointed out that the residents had gotten off cheaply. "You can be grateful to your municipality for four euros per square meter – I know of other sums as well."
Plaintiff horst pluschner got into a bit of a tizzy and wanted to refute the judge's arguments. The final invoice of the engineering office was a sham and had been paid twice. And through the municipality, in the end, the citizens were also harmed. What caused judge sonja kroh to react somewhat sharply. "According to our documents, everything has proceeded correctly, then bring evidence, but you do not have it", she became a little louder. This brought her and also judge stumpf reproaches from the audience banks, which were occupied with plaintiffs. The judges were accused of arrogance towards the burghers.
The plaintiffs then withdrew for consultation, and the two attorneys then announced that they would withdraw the action. The plaintiffs must now bear the costs of the proceedings. It was of no use that some of those involved insinuated to the court that this had all been agreed with the municipality.
Mayor tritthart also explained that every citizen has the right to appeal against decisions "this is a good thing, because thank god we live in a democracy and a court decides according to law".