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What is this? Advice appreciated

Question

I was walking my small dog. Suddenly a woman runs up to me. She asks for my ID and want me to pay her 30 euros. I decline politely and would like to know why she asks me this. She tells me, your dog was off the lead. Well no, it is one of those roll out leads. It could have appeared to her from a distance that my dog was off the lead. I continue walking my dog and she follows me, 2 steps behind, and tries to intimidate me to pay her the money. 10 minutes on, another person joins, a man. Both start shouting at me. When I ask them to please please leave me alone, he leaves. She continues to follow me closely for another 10 minutes. I do not have my smart phone on me and go into a local resto and phone the police.The police arrives, checks my credentials and tell me all ok, you can go home.  This all happened in July this year. I send a complaint to the commune of etterbeek but no response. I thought that was the end of it. 2 weeks ago I received a letter from the Etterbeek commune. They ask my side of the story, so I did. This morning I get a letter from Etterbeek commune basically saying that they do not believe my side of the story and that I have to pay them 100 euros(!). Any advice very welcome. Do I stand a chance against the commune or can they just do what they want?

J

You should have instructions on how to appeal or how to contest the fine. There's a good chance it will then end up in court where you can show the lead to the judge and ask what evidence they have.

It would also be a good idea to look up one of your local councillors and ask for advice.

Dec 3, 2019 08:21
tralala1

Thank you! I did not get any instruction how to appeal or how to contest te fine. I was just asked for my side of the story. Then the civil servant at commune Etterbeek decided that I was wrong and charged me a 100 euro fine. I made an appointment with the mediation service of Etterbeek and will ask legal advice. I feel terrorised, first when I was harrassed on the street for in total half an hour and afterwards that I am told on top of it all to pay a 100 euro fine. It is very nasty when someone walks 2 steps behind you and follows you for a while whilst trying to intimidate you.

Dec 3, 2019 12:21
tralala1

Any more advice very welcome, thank you

Dec 3, 2019 12:26
wezembeekwanderer

This is an extraordinary and unbelievable story.
Firstly, did this woman show some identity that she was a commune dog patrol warden or had some right to stop you? Even if she was I cannot believe she had the right to demand an on the spot fine. That sounds like a scam.
Did she report you to the commune? If so you should be able to find out who she was and if she had any authority?
Do you know who you spoke to from the police. If you visit them, they should have a record of one of their team being called out that day and at that time. It would support your case.
Seeing the arbitration service is the best idea at this point. They are good at solving disputes and do everything to come to a calm and fair solution.

Good luck.
If all else fails and you have to pay the €100, go and rescue a Rottweiler from the dog rescue. She won’t follow you again.

Dec 3, 2019 23:59
becasse

She must have been wearing a visible name badge if she was able to impose a fine on you.

Dec 4, 2019 13:54
CC_R

Surely its up to them to prove it and if you have a complaint logged there and also contacted the police there should be records is this the kind of thing you house insurance would pay legal fees for?

Dec 4, 2019 16:10
anon

I think I'm with WEZEMBEEKWANDERER on this one. I'm calling it as either a troll / wind up, or tralala1 is missing substantial and significant parts of their story.

Dec 4, 2019 23:14
wezembeekwanderer

A bit of research. If the woman had a purple jacket, she is part of a neighbourhood watch service who have no powers but are there to help ensure local laws are followed and advise people if they park badly, tell them to pick up dog pooh etc. Apparently the issue of this uniform encourages some of them to go way over the top and bully citizens. certainly no power to demand money but maybe she was just saying the fine is €30.

Dec 5, 2019 00:26
B

This was likely a scam to try to trick money out of a dog walker. The reason you got the 100 euro fine I imagine is because the police were 'so kind' to report the incident to the Commune as I can not imagine why the commune otherwise would know of this. So, I understand if you felt threatened by these scammers and wanted police involved, but in the end it just ended up in the bureaucracy who somehow interpreted this as being a violation of the dog penal code and you got a fine imposed on you. The police should just have noted your complaint and left it at that, but must have interpreted it that you were walking the dog without a leash and somebody called you out on that. I am sorry - life is unfair sometimes. Good luck

Dec 5, 2019 12:45