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My landlord (also a business owner) in Germany where I live accused me with tons of different type of accusations because he hates me personally, and he called the police on me—at least, I think he did. I don't know if it was an act to scare me. I had a flight I had to catch at the same time, so I didn't stick around to see if the police will come. I think he did this just because he knew I had a flight as well.

He accused me of at least 5-6 accusations without proof.

My question is: can anyone in Germany call the police on others without proof of anything? And if they do so, what are my rights?

The person I mentioned had 2 of his employees with him, but I am sure that they are on his side. I had no witnesses with me, so how can I prove I am innocent if they agreed on making up a story against me?

Note: I was new to Germany back then (I was a student)

  • Anyone can call the police. That doesn't mean the police will do anything. Things are very different if the landlord makes an Anzeige (files a formal report at a police station) about a crime. Then, that purported crime will likely be investigated and you might get a court date. For civil matters (e.g. if you allegedly damaged something and the landlord wants you to pay up) that's a civil matter not a crime and the police won't get involved. The landlord would have to sue you directly. If you are sued you'll have to get a lawyer, don't just ignore it because you've left the country. – amon Sep 25 at 14:57
  • It also matters what you might be accused of. Calling someone names is a different thing from calling you out on things that violate cultural norms, laws or contracts. Atop that, your statement is rather confusing, I see nothing international or referring the human rights in your statement. please edit your question to try to be more descriptve what actually matters. – Trish Sep 25 at 15:00
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    Should the police (State Attorney) determine the accusations are false, then the accuser can be charged with § 164 - Casting false suspicion, German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch – StGB) and if found guilty will probably also have to pay all entailed costs. So it works both ways. Statements from dependent employees will be taken with caution, since bias must assumed. – Mark Johnson Sep 25 at 15:20
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    Please use sentences : it makes it much easier to read. Organising the parts of your question into paragraphs would also help. – Paul Johnson Sep 26 at 16:52
  • I've cleaned up this post a bunch and tried to make it more specific to a single issue. I think it's in better shape now to be answerable, though it's not perfect. – Ryan M Sep 27 at 0:29
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can really anyone in Germany call the police on others without proof of anything?

Anyone anywhere can call the police without proof of anything as long as they have a phone. The question is, what will the police do about it.

Police in Germany are more professional and less corrupt than in many countries in the world (e.g. they are much less corrupt than police in much of the United States or police in Southern Italy or Mexico, or in much of the "third-world"). Most German police are unlikely to exercise their power unless they are genuinely deceived into thinking that you committed an actual crime. But, German cops are human too. Some German cops are bad cops and even good cops aren't perfect truth detectors or bias free.

and if so what are my rights?

There has to be some evidence to arrest you or prosecute you, but testimony from people who claim to be eye witnesses is a form of evidence and proof. People are routinely convicted of crimes (everywhere in the world) based solely upon the testimony of other people with no additional proof. This is usually a good rule. As a society we don't want the criminal justice system to let people who commit crimes that are witnessed by lots of truthful witnesses and testified to, to go free just because there is no non-testimonial evidence. But because people lie (or are simply mistaken about the truth) sometimes, it isn't a perfect way of determining who is guilty and who is innocent.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint of criminal defamation with the police in Germany and in Germany hundreds of thousands of such cases are prosecuted by police every year. Making false accusations against you (or even just insulting you in an extremely offense manner) as they did is a minor crime in Germany.

and the person I mentioned had 2 of his employees with him but I am sure and I know for a fact they are on his side and I had no witnesses with me so how can I prove I am innocent? if they agreed on making up a story against me?

The possibility that people will be wrongfully arrested and wrongfully convicted of crimes because people lie and authorities believe the people who are lying is a constant risk. The best you can do is to tell your story consistently and honestly and hope that you are believed. But it is impossible to eliminate the risk that people will lie and be believed and that you will suffer the consequences, even if you are doing everything right.

In the long run, you may want to avoid people who you think would lie and make false accusations around you, and to have the presence of either friendly witnesses and/or audio/visual recording at times when you are in their presence.

You may also, as a long run strategy try to figure out if there was anything you could have done to prevent them from being out to get you so badly that they would make false accusations against you. While I don't want to blame the victim, and often enough, especially for example, if you are a foreigner or otherwise different in a homogeneous community some people are doing to hate you for no reason, sometimes their real motivation may be a failure to follow social norms that are not actually illegal, or a misunderstand that could be cleared up.

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    in fact, Insulting someone can lead to successful lawsuits in Germany. – Trish Sep 25 at 16:02
  • well i am arabian and my landlord was racist against me :( – Light Knight Sep 25 at 16:06
  • @LightKnight Sometimes the system is unfair to you, and you do need to do your best to take a defensive approach in an unfair situation. But sometimes good police will see through it. In your shoes, as long as the police weren't involved, I probably wouldn't try to get the authorities involved because the system is stacked against you. – ohwilleke Sep 25 at 16:09
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    "video and audio recordings aren't proof in Germany" This is false. Even illegally made recordings are proof because Germany does not have an exclusionary rule equivalent to the U.S. in its criminal justice system. – ohwilleke Sep 25 at 16:26
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    @ohwilleke are you sure there is no exclusionary rule in Germany? because when I google it I find this and I don't really understand what it means but still:"L. I, i5-16 (1981) (German exclusionary rule applies automatically to evidence extorted from accused through certain abusive means, and applies by discretion to evidence obtained from intrusion into "the constitutionally protected sphere of fundamental civil rights")), reprinted in Hearings Before the Subcomm." – Light Knight Sep 27 at 5:51
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I realize this is Law SE and not Expatriates SE or Travel SE, but it might be helpful for the OP and other readers to sort out the various steps of police involvement in Germany:

Anybody can call the police if he or she thinks there is a crime or emergency.

Germany has separate numbers for fire/ambulance (112) and the police (110). The police dispatcher who is answering the 110 call will try to determine, from the verbal description, if one or more police cars should be sent and how urgent the situation is. At that point nobody is accused of anything yet.

A deliberate, malicious misuse of the 110 system will be prosecuted (§145 StGB). A mistaken or overly excited call will not be prosecuted.

The police will ask what happened.

Usually there will be several rather upset people on the scene when the police arrive. Any of them could be the perpetrator or the victim of a crime. The police must sort out who accuses whom. Often several people accuse each other.

If the police consider someone a suspect, they will inform the suspect that he or she is not required to make a statement to the facts, etc. Statements to his or her identity are required.

If the police consider someone a victim, they may ask the victim if the victim wants to file a criminal complaint. The victim can inform the police that he or she wants to file a complaint without being asked by the police (§158 StPO). The victim can also file the criminal complaint at a later time, verbally or in writing, at a police station or prosecution office.

The criminal complaint is then handled by the police and the prosecution service.

The police investigates facts and collects witness statements, if that seems necessary. The prosecution decides if it appears likely that a crime was committed and that it can be proven in court. Only then does the case go to court.

(There are some legal procedures if the victim of a crime believes that the prosecutor made a mistake by not going to trial, but that's a rather unusual situation.)


So if the landlord called the police, and if you are traveling right now, he may have filed a criminal complaint against you which is being investigated while you are away. When you come back you may be asked to make a statement. It might be a good idea to consult a lawyer before you do, even if that costs some money.

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  • To add to the last point: there are minor offenses where prosecution depends on there being sufficient public interest. I have been on the complaint side of such proceedings against a landlord once. In that case, the public prosecutor wrote me that if I sue the landlord for damage in a civil court that would establish sufficient public interest - otherwise they'd drop the proceedings due to lack of public interest. (I did not sue - the landlord was basically broke so regardless of any court order at best a small chance of collecting anything). The police politely explained this to me, btw... – cbeleites unhappy with SX Sep 27 at 16:50

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