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Driving license seized… by mistake. Judgment of first instance court

A Regional Court decided the case of Maciej Kwiatkowski*, whose driving licence was suspended in the consequence of the alleged drunk driving. The Court ruled that Mr Kwiatkowski was mistakenly accused and awarded him PLN 20,000 in compensation for moral injury from a local police commissioner and district prosecutor’s office. The judgment is not yet final.

Taking his word for it

In January 2015 Maciej Kwiatkowski* received the decision, in which a local authority suspended his driving licence for the period of two years. The suspension was a consequence of a judgment of a district court, in which Mr Kwiatkowski was found guilty of driving under influence of alcohol. He was unaware of the conviction. He was also certain that an error has been made as he was abroad on the day when allegedly committed the offence.

Having read the files he discovered that the intoxicated driver stopped by the police had no identity document on his person. In an attempt to deceive the police, he introduced himself as Mr Kwiatkowski. The police did not attempt to verify the information provided although data contained in the National Police Information System (including a photo) showed obvious differences between both men. Mr Kwiatkowski lodged an appeal against the conviction that was approved. The judgment was revoked, and the man acquitted of guilt.

As a result, in February 2016 (nearly fourth months after the judgment became final and binding) following a road inspection Mr Kwiatkowski’s vehicle was towed and he himself was put under investigation in a case involving driving a car without a valid licence.

Lawsuit

In his lawsuit, Mr Kwiatkowski alleged that the actions of public authorities had infringed upon his dignity and good name.

The case has been handled by the HFHR’s Strategic Litigation Programme. Mr Kwiatkowski is represented pro bono by Ms Anna Borysewicz.

* The claimant’s name has been changed.


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