Skip to content
Contact Us: 03-3724722 | 055-9781688 | [email protected]

Lawsuits against government offices (legal information)

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Suing the Israeli government? Sounds impossible, but in fact lawsuits can be filed against government ministries (but not against specific public figures for reasonable actions within the context of their jobs). It is required to prove that the government officials’ actions did not meet the standard of reasonable behavior, and caused significant damage.

Claims against government offices and authorities are usually very difficult to prove. This is due to the legal situation in such cases, which makes it difficult to bring damage claims and malpractice claims against government offices and public servants. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to sue for compensation in such cases. In this article, attorney Michael Decker, a partner in our office and an expert on tort law and civil law, will explain the legal complexities and the available solutions regarding this issue.

The attorneys from our firm, with offices in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv, specialize in tort law and civil law. Our office has extensive experience in providing legal counsel and representation on a variety of issues, including medical malpractice, emotional distress, personal accidents and more. Our attorneys offer comprehensive legal assistance tailored to the needs of the client and the requirements of each individual procedure.

Lawsuits against Israeli government

Which cases may constitute malpractice on the part of public servants?

Every one of us depends on the various services provided by authorities in the public sector, including officials from the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Tax Authority, the IDF, social workers and other authorities. The large amount of work that the government officials deal with can often cause human error, malpractice or improper action on the part of the public servants. This may result in severe damage to the citizens who received the inadequate service. A common example is medical malpractice among medical staff in government hospitals. It is important to know that even though in many cases there is the option to sue for damages against the authorities and even the public servants themselves, the issue carries legal complexities which one must be aware of.

Legal difficulties in suing government offices and public servants’ immunity

In Israeli law there is a special mechanism that allows public servants immunity from direct lawsuits against them. This mechanism allows the state to request to reject damage claims filed against public servants directly. There are exceptions to this, mostly cases where the public servants caused harm knowingly or intentionally. However, such cases are very hard to prove. Moreover, government authorities are often granted protection from damage claims, when the actions for which the state is being sued relate to decisions that require taking into account various policy considerations. These legal difficulties may hinder claimants seeking compensation for damage caused to them. However, as we will see below, it is not an impossible task.

In which cases is it possible to obtain compensation in lawsuits against government offices?

Even though Israeli courts are extremely cautious about ruling against the state for its actions and the actions of public servants, in more than a few cases the state and its workers are in fact held responsible for damages, and courts have ruled in favor of citizens who were injured by the actions of public servants, awarding compensation amounting to tens of thousands of shekels or even more. For instance, in 2021, the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court ruled that the Interior Ministry owed 50,000 shekels in damages, due to the Ministry’s conduct in the procedure of naturalization for a foreign partner of an Israeli citizen. The processing of the request was delayed and during the delay the foreign partner was not granted an entrance visa to Israel, causing her to remain abroad and subsequently bringing about a prolonged disconnection between the partners.

In another court ruling from 2021, the court in Petach Tikvah ruled that the Ministry of Health owed 10,000 NIS in damages for emotional distress. The lawsuit dealt with not reviewing an appeal against quarantine after being exposed to a Covid patient, which delayed the claimant from leaving quarantine and thereby caused him damage. These examples demonstrate that despite the legal difficulties, it is possible in many cases to claim damages from the state due to malpractice on the part of its workers.

Lawsuits against government offices – contact an expert tort and civil law attorney

In conclusion, it is possible in many cases to file damage claims against government offices and claim compensation for damages caused to citizens by the actions of public servants. If you have any further questions or require any assistance on the subject, you are welcome to contact us and an expert tort and civil law attorney from our office will be glad to assist you. Our office specializes in accompanying its clients and offering them comprehensive legal assistance on a variety of issues in the field of civil law. You can contact us and arrange a consultation with an attorney from our office, in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem, at the phone numbers and email address below.

Contact Us

  • ✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Scroll To Top