Public harassment

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Harassment of the general public ( § 118 OWiG , old name: gross nonsense ) is under German law an act that is capable of directly disrupting or impairing the external existence of public order , so that the public is harassed.

History of origin

In the Federal Republic of Germany , "gross nonsense" was still punishable as a violation until the criminal law reform in 1975 . Section 360 (1) No. 11 of the old version of the Criminal Code ordered a fine of up to 500 German marks or a prison sentence of up to 6 weeks for a violation due to gross mischief . Today the violation is downgraded to an administrative offense , which is armed with a fine of between 5 and 1000 euros according to § 118 OWiG .

The replacement provision of Section 118 of the OWiG new version is now based closely on the previous version of Section 360 (1) No. 11 of the Criminal Code old. F. Therefore, the previous case law on the previous standard can also be used for the interpretation of Section 118 OWiG new version.

Legal meaning

The subsidiarity clause of Section 118 (2) OWiG subordinates the norm to other administrative offenses. To this extent, it is a catch-all offense to sanction behavior that is not covered by other offenses.

The standard purpose of the provision is, unchanged, the protection of public order. Section 118 of the OWiG is intended to sanction behavior that violates recognized rules of custom, decency and order to such an extent that the general public is directly endangered or annoyed and, at the same time, public order is thereby (at least potentially) impaired. However, since the factual content of the norm is still very vague, the application of the law predominantly relies on elaborated casuistry .

Sample cases

The following behaviors, for example, have already been viewed as gross nonsense or as a nuisance to the general public:

  • Walking in swimming trunks in the courtyard of a health resort
  • Defecating in the street
  • Passers-by were splashed by driving the car too fast through a puddle
  • Graffiti on house walls (judgments from 1951; since the thirty-ninth Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2005, smearing house walls is punishable as damage to property , so that the subsidiary norm of § 118 OWiG no longer applies to such cases today)
  • Disruption of a film showing that is permitted
  • indecent touching another
  • Calls for help (fire!) Without any danger
  • untrue press releases that may cause public concern
  • Joking but untrue reference to an alleged bomb in the luggage during an airport control
  • Disruption of an official pledge by the Bundeswehr

On the other hand, the following, for example, was not seen as falling under the circumstances:

  • Protest events in cemeteries on the occasion of commemorations
  • Warning of road users of a police traffic control
  • Participation in a chain letter campaign
  • Pasting an election poster of one party with an election poster of another party

Other countries

In the United States, violations of public safety and order are prosecuted as a criminal offense ( disorderly conduct ).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. KG, decision of May 11, 1987 - Ws (B) 60/87, NStZ 1987, 467 (468), m. w. N.
  2. Senge, Karlsruhe Commentary on OWiG, 3rd edition 2006, Rn. 2, m. w. N.
  3. ^ VGH Baden-Württemberg, NVwZ 1999, 560.
  4. Bohnert, OWiG, 3rd edition 2010, Rn. 1.
  5. Bavarian Supreme Court , BayObLGSt 21, p. 175.
  6. BayObLGSt 26, p. 111.
  7. OLG Celle , OLG Hamburg each 1951.
  8. OLG Hamm 1952.
  9. RGSt  53, p. 153.
  10. RGSt 19, p. 256.
  11. RGSt. 25, 405.
  12. ^ KG NStZ 1987, 467.
  13. ^ Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe NJW 1970, 64.
  14. Federal Constitutional Court , BVerfG 1 BvR 980/13.
  15. ^ A b c Karlsruhe Commentary on the Law on Administrative Offenses, edited by Lothar Senge, third updated edition, 2006, Verlag C. H. Beck Munich.