Tolga brothers in case against state and municipality – VG

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CLAIMING COMPENSATION: Magnus Holøyen (27) and one brother demanded compensation from Tolga municipality after they were placed under guardianship against their will. Now it’s a trial. Photo: Krister Sørbø

The brothers Lars Peder (36) and Magnus Holøyen (27) are suing Tolga municipality and the state.

Thus, the so-called Tolga case ends up in the court system.

The brothers’ lawyer, Nicolai V. Skjerdal, writes in a press release that Fend law firm has filed a lawsuit against Tolga municipality and the State at the Ministry of Justice on behalf of the brothers.

The brothers demand up to 500,000 kroner each from the municipality, and up to one million each from the state.

– The two brothers were for a number of years incorrectly registered in the municipality as mentally retarded. During these years, the municipality received several million kroner in accordance with the state support scheme for the municipalities’ care of the mentally handicapped. In addition, the two brothers were placed under guardianship against their will without a legal basis, Skjerdal writes.

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Believes the Tolga brothers may be entitled to compensation

Skjerdal writes that they have notified the municipality and the state in advance to give them the opportunity without redress to remedy the injustice done to the Holøyen brothers.

– The municipality and the state apologize for what the brothers have been exposed to, but neither the municipality nor the state will give a penny in compensation. Sorry is not enough. We believe that the authorities are liable for damages.

SUBJECT: Tolga municipality is sued by the brothers Lars Peder and Magnus Holøyen. They demand up to 500,000 kroner each in compensation from the municipality. Photo: Krister Sørbø

Lars Peder (36) and Magnus Holøyen (27) was registered as mentally retarded by the municipality without having the diagnosis and then placed under guardianship against his will.

This summer, they sent a lawsuit notice to Tolga municipality and the state, demanding 1.5 million kroner each in compensation.

The claim was rejected both by the state and by the municipality.

CASE: Lawyer Nicolai V. Skjerdal represents the brothers Lars Peder and Magnus Holøyen. Photo: Mattis Sandblad

Skjerdal writes that the brothers demand that the municipality should pay reparation to each of the brothers with up to 500,000 kroner while the state should pay up to one million kroner to each of the brothers.

– The case raises important questions that are also important outside the brothers’ case. Firstly, there is the question of whether repair compensation of this kind can be based directly on the European Convention on Human Rights. Secondly, it is a question of whether the municipalities can be held liable for breach of the Convention.

– The essence of the case is that we are facing serious violations as a result of illegal exercise of authority, which should entail liability where the responsibility belongs.

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Therefore, the municipality will not provide compensation to the Tolga brothers

Tolga municipality’s lawyer, Kristian Foss Aalmo, tells VG that he will not comment on the case until he has reviewed the summons with Tolga municipality.

VG has previously had access to the justification from Tolga municipality. It states that the claim is rejected because the municipality believes it is not correct to sue it.

The brothers have accused Tolga of violating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and according to the municipality, only the state can be held responsible for human rights violations.

The claim for compensation must therefore be addressed to the state, the municipality believes.

On 15 October, the Ministry of Justice informed VG that they would not comment on the claim for reparation.

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Tolga brothers demand three million kroner in compensation

This is the case

VG wrote in October 2018 that three brothers from Tolga in Hedmark without knowing it had been registered as mentally retarded since 2012 and 2013.

The brothers were placed under guardianship against their will by the County Governor of Hedmark.

Following an investigation, one of the brothers was diagnosed with moderate mental retardation in 2014. In February 2018, it was established in an investigation that the other two brothers are not mentally retarded.

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The Tolga report is ready: Several serious findings

When VG discussed the claim for compensation on 15 September, lawyer Kristian Foss Aalmo, who represents Tolga municipality in the case, said this:

– Given that the municipality should have been responsible, we still believe there is no violation of the provisions stated. And given that there should have been a breach, we believe there is no basis for compensation in any case, said Kristian Foss Aalmo.

He also believes that NOK 1.5 million each is too high a requirement, and points out that in other judgments between NOK 25,000 and 40,000 have been awarded in redress for violations of the European Commission of Human Rights (ECHR).

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