Enforcement: Administrative Coercion, Administrative Penalties and Administrative Fines

Enforcement is focussed on promoting compliance with legal rules or to prevent (further) breaches of these rules. If someone does not fulfil the administrative law regulations then the public body can use various enforcement tools. An interested party can also submit an application for enforcement to the public body. The public body can decide following this application to proceed with enforcement. There are several enforcement tools for this which a public body, such as the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, can use; an order for administrative coercion, order subject to a penalty and administrative penalty.

Decision deadline exceeded

If the public body fails to take a decision by the legal deadline, you can send them a so-called notice of default. This will give them a grace period of two (2) weeks to reach the decision. If they still fail to do so, you can appeal to the administrative court immediately. You are not obliged to hire an Attorney for the objection or appeals procedure.

Objections

You must submit a notice of objection to the public body agency that took the decision in question by no later than six (6) weeks after you received the decision or after the decision was published. The public body must take a decision within six (6) weeks after the day on which the submission period for the letter of objection has elapsed. If an advisory committee is being formed, the decision period is twelve (12) weeks. Both periods may be extended by six (6) weeks.

Penalty when deciding late

If the public body fails to take a decision by the prescribed deadline, you are entitled to a penalty payment. You can use the (Dutch-language) Penalty payment for late decisions form to obtain this payment. The Tax and Customs Administration has an own Penalty form in the event of an overdue decision (in Dutch).

How MR. VAN LEEUWEN (LL.M., ESQ) can help:

Administrative Coercion

Before one proceeds with the actual implementation of administrative coercion, the offender, subject to the exception of very urgent cases, must be informed of the decision about the breach and of the period in which the offender must personally remedy the breach.

Administrative Penalty

An order for administrative coercion is not always the obvious choice, as is the case in regularly reoccurring or continuing breaches. In these cases it is often more effective to give the offender a period of time in which to cease the breach or to prevent the repeat of the breach. If the offender does not do so he or she will have to pay a penalty.

Administrative Fine

Contrary to the remedial sanctions of an order for administrative coercion and an order subject to a penalty, the administrative penalty is a punishing sanction.

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