Federal Constitutional Court refuses to issue a temporary order canceling a hearing date due to the risk of a coronavirus infection

Author: Year:
Dr. Carlo Piltz

Facts of the case

The appellant challenged an order of 18 March 2020 from the District Court of Munich (Case No. 2 KLs 44 Js 5781/19) and sought a temporary order canceling the hearing date on 20 March 2020. The District Court of Munich had denied the applicant's motion to cancel a hearing date due to the risk of a coronavirus infection.

Content of the decision

The Federal Constitutional Court upheld the ruling by the District Court of Munich and denied the motion.

The court notes that the appellant has failed to explain why it would be unreasonable to expect him to challenge refusal of the cancelation, which he sought due to the risk of a coronavirus infection, by way of appeal. It found that such a course of action would not conform to the principle of subsidiarity for constitutional complaints. In the court's view, the appellant also failed to furnish arguments responding to the grounds for the decision by the District Court of Munich which the appellant is challenging.

Conclusion

In the view of the Federal Constitutional Court, the principle of subsidiarity means that the appellant is required to do everything possible to prevent or rectify a violation of fundamental rights through the competent court of law. It also notes that this principle entails a general statement about the relationship between the competent courts and the Federal Constitutional Court. In accordance with the constitutional division of labor, the task of protecting and enforcing fundamental rights falls first upon the competent courts of law. Accordingly, those seeking summary relief outside the ordinary courts would be well-advised to furnish comprehensive explanations and grounds, even in a time like the present, when public life is restricted.  

[March 2020]