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Appeals to the Civil Ombudsman

The Civil Ombudsman exists to defend your rights as an individual. You can appeal to the Civil Ombudsman if you feel that you have been subjected to injustice or error by the authority that handled your case.


The Civil Ombudsman is appointed by the Parliament to keep the public administration in check. As an ordinary citizen, you can appeal to the Civil Ombudsman if you feel that the administration has made an error or committed an injustice. Here “administration” refers to the state, the municipality and the county authorities. Appeals may concern

  • Breaches of procedural rules such as failure to respond or slow case processing
  • Decisions made by the administration which you believe to be wrong.


If a decision is made on your case, the decision will contain information on how to appeal to a higher administrative body that can overrule the decision on the case. You must first use this opportunity to appeal before you can appeal to the Civil Ombudsman.

Charges/Cost of the service

Appealing to the Civil Ombudsman is free.

Guidelines – applying for, or receiving the service

The appeal must be made in writing and signed. You can write a normal letter or use the appeal form (see the link under Application Form). It is important that you explain what administrative body (municipality, directorate, department etc.) your appeal concerns. You should also explain what mistakes you think the administration has made. If there is a specific decision you believe is incorrect, you should give the date of the decision and preferably include a copy. If you need help submitting your appeal, you may contact the Civil Ombudsman’s office and make an appointment for advising either by telephone or in person.

The deadline for appealing to the Civil Ombudsman is one year. The deadline is counted from the date of the administration’s final decision on the case, or from the date of the matter to which the appeal relates. Mail your appeal to the Civil Ombudsman, Postboks 3 Sentrum, 0101 Oslo.


Enclose any documents that you think may be pertinent to the matter. It is not necessary to obtain all documents relevant to your case. If the Civil Ombudsman accepts the case for consideration, all documents will be obtained from the administration.

Administrative procedure

First, a caseworker will review your appeal and determine whether it should be considered by the Civil Ombudsman. If there is a basis for it, the administrative agency whose decision you are appealing will be asked to provide further details on the case. You will then have the opportunity to comment on their response. Finally, the Civil Ombudsman will issue a statement on the matter. The administration will usually abide by the Civil Ombudsman’s opinion, but is not legally bound to do so.

Time taken to consider the application

If your appeal cannot be processed, you will be notified within two weeks. It will take between four and ten weeks to assess whether there are grounds for taking your appeal to the administrative agency concerned. Usually the administrative agency will then have a deadline of four weeks to respond. The time it takes to complete a case depends on how complicated the case is and how much research is required.

Tjenesten oppdatert: 13.02.2018 17:20