caught in bureaucracy


Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Suppose a person goes to the police station and files a noise complaint against a nightclub two floors down his apartment. The police refuse to take action. They say it's not within their rights to do anything. They suggest he go to Environmental Protection Department. But when the person turns to the department, they sit on the complaint for a month before he gets a letter from them, suggesting he seek help from the police because the excessive noise is not within their jurisdiction.

Is it okay to say the poor person got caught in bureaucracy, meaning that he's engaged in a bureaucratic nightmare, being tossed around between the police and that department?
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    I would be happy with "to be caught up in bureaucracy" or "to be caught up in red tape."
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