THE FACTS

Whereas the facts presented by the Applicant may be summarised as
follows:

The Applicant is a German citizen, born in 1914 at Sekic, Yugoslavia,
and is at present detained in prison at Stein/Danube (Austria).

He has lodged a previous Application (No 2370/64) with the Commission,
directed against Austria and relating to the court proceedings
concerning his conviction and sentence and to his detention in Austria.
On 11 February 1967, the Commission declared inadmissible this
Application.

From his statements and from documents submitted by him in support of
his present Application against the Federal Republic of Germany, it
appears that, since September 1954, his mother had rented a flat at
Magstadt which he also inhabited and where he kept his belongings.
Owing to the Applicant's frequent absence, his mother let part of the
flat to a sub-tenant. On .. October 1964, upon the initiative taken by
the authorities at Magstadt, the Applicant's mother was first committed
to an institution for aged people and later to a mental institution.
Subsequently, the lessor gave notice to the Applicant to vacate the
flat in view of the fact that his mother was unlikely to return and he
himself was faced with a long-term imprisonment imposed upon him in
Austria.

The Applicant, whose furniture, household and other goods were still
in this flat, objected to the notice to both the authorities at
Magstadt and the lessor. It appears that he also addressed himself
repeatedly to the District Court (Amtsgericht) at Böblingen asking for
protection. By letters from the District Court, dated .. February 1965
and .. April 1965, he was informed that, in the circumstances, no
action could be taken on his behalf. He apparently did not listen,
however, to the advice given to him by the authorities at Magstadt and
the District Court at Böblingen to the effect that he should apply for
a guardian (Pfleger) who would attend to his affairs. In any event, the
lessor took possession of the flat on .. July 1965, after having
evicted the sub-tenants.

It appears that, in the meanwhile, the Applicant's brother had come
over from America to take possession of the Applicant's belongings. He
sold them and obtained a purchase price of DM 1,065, which he took with
him to America.

The Applicant maintained that the goods stored away in the flat had a
much higher value than the price realised by his brother. He concluded
that the sub-tenant had taken them in his possession when his mother
was committed to the mental institution. He held the authorities at
Magstadt and the lessor responsible for the damage done to him owing
to their failure to protect his mother from the sub-tenants and to the
fact that they had allowed them (the sub-tenants) to remain in the flat
after his mother had left it.

Thus he intended to bring an action for damages in the courts and, for
this purpose, lodged an application for free legal aid
(Armenrechtsgesuch) with the Regional Court (Landgericht) at Stuttgart.
This Court refused the application by decision (Beschluss) of .. August
1966, on the ground that the proceedings proposed did not offer any
reasonable prospects of success. The Applicant appealed (Beschwerde)
against this decision to the Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) at
Stuttgart which dismissed the appeal on .. January 1967. The Court held
that insofar as the claim was directed against the lessor, there was
no duty to the lessee in respect of the lessee's belongings. The Court
continued that there was also no cause of action against the
authorities of Magstadt; even if it were assumed that a duty existed
owing the fact that this defendant caused the mother to be committed
to an institution for aged people, there was no breach of this duty
(Amtspflichverletzung), because she herself had taken steps to
safeguard her own and the Applicant's belongings.

The Applicant made a further appeal (weitere Beschwerde) against this
decision to the Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) which was declared
inadmissible on .. September 1967, on the ground that a further appeal
did not lie in these cases.

The Applicant further states that from 1949 onwards he was employed by
the Customs Investigation Offices (Zollfahndung) at Stuttgart,
Heidelberg and Munich as an informer. He maintains that he had made an
agreement with the authorities to the effect that he should receive 10
% of the duties which were collected on account of the information
given by him. Nevertheless, according to the Applicant, the authorities
refused to pay him although, over the years, he had given information
leading to the collection of customs duties in the amount of over one
million Marks.

The Applicant contends that he had addressed himself, without success,
to the customs authorities claiming his reward. It appears that in
September 1965 and again in September 1966 he lodged a petition with
the Office for Petitions of the German Parliament (Büro für Petitionen
des Deutschen Bundestages). The Office examined the petition on ..
November 1966 and decided (Beschluss) on that day that there was no
certain indication to the effect that the petitioner still had any
claim for a reward resulting from his previous activities as informer
of the Customs Administration (Zollverwaltung).

The Applicant now complains

1. that the authorities at Magstadt deprived him of his property;

2. that the courts refused him free legal aid to bring an action for
damages;

3. that in the court proceedings concerning his application for free
legal aid the courts failed to hear him in person and to examine
witnesses tendered by him;

4. that the customs authorities wrongly refused to pay his reward.

He alleges a violation of Articles 2, paragraph (2), sub-paragraph (a),
6, paragraphs (1) and (3), sub-paragraphs (b), (c) and (d), 8, 13, 14
and 16 of the Convention, as well as of Article 1 of the Protocol.
He also invokes Articles 25, 26, 27, 28, 46 and 50 of the Convention.

THE LAW

Whereas, in regard to the Applicant's complaint that the authorities
at Magstadt deprived him of his property, an examination of the case
as it has been submitted, including an examination made ex officio,
does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and
freedoms set forth in the Convention or the Protocol; whereas it
follows that this part of the Application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the
Convention;

Whereas the Applicant complains that he was refused free legal aid in
order to bring an action for damages in the civil courts;

Whereas, in examining this complaint, the Commission has had regard
both to Article 6, paragraph (1), and to Article 6, paragraph (3) (c)
(Art. 6-1, 6-3-c), of the Convention;

Whereas, in respect of Article 6, paragraph (3) (c) (Art. 6-3-c), it
is to be observed that the Convention, under the terms of Article 1
(Art. 1), guarantees only the rights and freedoms set forth in Section
1 of the Convention; and whereas under Article 25, paragraph (1)
(Art. 25-1), only the alleged violation of one of those rights and
freedoms by a Contracting Party can be the subject of an Application
presented by a person, non-governmental organisation or group of
individuals; whereas otherwise its examination is outside the
competence of the Commission ratione materiae;

Whereas it is true that, under Article 6, paragraph (3) (c)
(Art. 6-3-c), of the Convention, everyone charged with a criminal
offence has the right, subject to certain conditions, to be granted
free legal assistance;

Whereas, however, as the Commission has frequently stated the right to
free legal aid in civil cases is not as such included among the rights
and freedoms guaranteed by the Convention; whereas it follows that the
Application, insofar as it relates to Article 6, paragraph (3) (c)
(Art. 6-3-c), is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention
within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2);

Whereas the Commission has also had regard to the general clause of
Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention; whereas it
results from this provision that, in the determination of his civil
rights, everyone is entitled to a fair hearing; and whereas an
examination of the case as it has been submitted does not show that the
refusal to grant the Applicant free legal aid constituted in any way
a violation of this right; whereas it follows that the Application,
insofar as it relates to Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), is
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas the Applicant also complains that the provisions of Article 6
(Art. 6) of the Convention were infringed in the court proceedings
relating to his application for free legal aid in that the courts
failed to hear him in person and to examine his witnesses;

Whereas the Commission first observes that paragraphs (2) and (3)
of this Article (Art. 6-2, 6-3) were clearly not applicable to the
circumstances of the present case since these paragraphs only concern
persons "charged with a criminal offense";

Whereas, however, Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), gives to every
person certain guarantees "in the determination of his civil rights and
obligations";

Whereas, consequently, the question arises whether the proceedings in
the present case concerned the determination of the Applicant's civil
rights or obligations;

Whereas the proceedings before the Regional Court at Stuttgart
concerned the question whether or not the Applicant should be granted
legal aid to institute certain civil proceedings before the said Court;

Whereas the Commission finds that the claim to obtain legal aid is a
claim to obtain assistance from public funds for the purpose of
litigation; whereas the proceedings under which such a claim is
determined do not directly relate to a civil right or obligation;
whereas therefore these proceedings do not fall within the meaning of
Article 6, paragraph (1) (Art. 6-1), of the Convention; whereas
accordingly the complaint in this respect is outside the competence of
the Commission ratione materiae;

Whereas, in regard to the Applicant's complaint that he was refused his
reward for services rendered to the Customs Authorities, it is to be
observed that the Convention, under the terms of Article 1 (Art. 1),
guarantees only the rights and freedoms set forth in Section 1 of the
Convention; and whereas, under Article 25, paragraph (1) (Art. 25-1),
only the alleged violation of one of those rights and freedoms by a
Contracting Party can be the subject of an application presented by a
person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals;

Whereas otherwise its examination is outside the competence of the
Commission ratione materiae; whereas no right to remuneration for a
service is as such included among the rights and freedoms guaranteed
by the Convention;

Whereas it follows that this part of the Application is also
incompatible with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning
of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

Now therefore the Commission declares this Application INADMISSIBLE.