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19-6-2014 4:18 pm  #21


Re: Won

Shouldn't the cert 144 not come onto play now they have appealed to crown??

As it's them who are wrecklessly incurring costs for their own gratification even though they lost??

It also sounds like they may be bluffing about the appeal, see what happens but I can't see them really appealing it.


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19-6-2014 8:09 pm  #22


Re: Won

mrc wrote:

Shouldn't the cert 144 not come onto play now they have appealed to crown??

As it's them who are wrecklessly incurring costs for their own gratification even though they lost??

It also sounds like they may be bluffing about the appeal, see what happens but I can't see them really appealing it.

Morally or legally?
Since it will be a complete rehearing of the case, if Highlander wins I would then say that customs action is unreasonable, but will a judge see it that way. I would prepare a tariff for costs to throw at the court anyway.

I was not aware you had to give reasons for appeal other than you disagreed with the verdict. Perhaps those of you who have won appeals can confirm?
 


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19-6-2014 9:00 pm  #23


Re: Won

my reason was that the Magistrates did`t even look at my documents as they were advised by clerk of justice to ignore them as in his view the case was `narrow`. it was obvious from the start that they know each other (clerk and HO barrister) as they were so friendly before the hearing started. I`m not sure if the reason was needed but that`s what I written in the appeal letter and it was good enough. I did know I will be going for new hearing and we will start from scratch, it did suit me at the time.


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19-6-2014 9:04 pm  #24


Re: Won

eezyrider wrote:

Morally or legally?
Since it will be a complete rehearing of the case, if Highlander wins I would then say that customs action is unreasonable, but will a judge see it that way. I would prepare a tariff for costs to throw at the court anyway.

I was not aware you had to give reasons for appeal other than you disagreed with the verdict. Perhaps those of you who have won appeals can confirm?
 

This is also my understanding. The case is heard "de novo" (afresh). Either party has an automatic right of appeal to the crown court. No specific reasons are required.

I suspect the "reasons" for the appeal are designed to confuse the issue.

Reasons  1 and 2 are flawed  because they place the burden of proof on the importer.

Reason 3 is irrelevant because the magistrates did not need to consider whether it was proportionate to condemn the vehicle. They can't condemn the vehicle without condemning the goods. And what on earth is the "income to expenditure ratio"?

Reason 4 says no more than they disagree with the verdict.

Sadly, I think an appeal was inevitable due to the quantity of goods involved. The law, however,  permits an unlimited quantity of goods to be imported provided that they are for your own use.

Hope it comes right in the end.

 

 

20-6-2014 3:19 pm  #25


Re: Won

My understanding of the appeal is that they can't introduce any new evidence. someone please correct me if I am wrong. And if that's the case then they had no evidence then and they have none now.

     Thread Starter
 

20-6-2014 4:16 pm  #26


Re: Won

Highlander, just to add my congratulations on your excellent success.

It's all the more so since as I recall you had bought 25 kgs?

Best wishes,

JMK

 

20-6-2014 5:03 pm  #27


Re: Won

Highlander wrote:

My understanding of the appeal is that they can't introduce any new evidence. someone please correct me if I am wrong. And if that's the case then they had no evidence then and they have none now.

case will be heard again, so they can relay on anything they may have by the time.
in my case they had nothing more on the appeal as they were sure that they will win it, they even decided not to call seizing officer as a witness. (he was present but was`t called into the witness box).
so you will have to get ready as for the first hearing.
 


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20-6-2014 5:30 pm  #28


Re: Won

Thanks Johny much appreciated.

Piotrek I am ready. It's easy to defend yourself when you have done nothing wrong. All they can do is try to fabricate possible scenarios that are just untrue.

A couple of questions though for anyone reading this post:

If they don't call the officer as a witness can I call him? (he basically crucified himself and I documented his responses.)

Also can I call the Magistrates as witnesses?

Thanks for your help.

     Thread Starter
 

20-6-2014 5:33 pm  #29


Re: Won

I would add that I would like to share my transcript of the case for comment but I don't want that document getting into the public domain as yet, as I will be referring to it in the next trial. Don't want to pre-arm the opposition.

     Thread Starter
 

20-6-2014 5:50 pm  #30


Re: Won

I doubt very much that you can put the mags in the witness box. They must surely be seen to be neutral and that would preclude them from acting as a witness to either side.

The main thing to watch out for here is to give the judge absolute respect in his own court and do nothing to get under his skin.

One little point, you referred above to the High Court for the appeal. I trust you mean Crown court?
You do not want to deal with the High court! You are talking about a whole new ball game there and escalation to a much higher level, both knowledge wise and costs wise.


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20-6-2014 6:58 pm  #31


Re: Won

Hi eezy, I have no doubt the Magistrates were neutral (and of course I'm bound to say that, because I won). However I can't see why I can't call  on them to explain why they made their decisions as they were very clear about how they arrived at the decision.

I have the utmost respect for the Judges and the Magistrates of our country, we have one of the most respected legal systems in the world. I also think that more and more the UK Government is trying to remove most of that justice for the common man. I can't get legal aid, so no lawyers. I do however need to defend myself against lawyers that know every trick in the book and will do their best to prove innocent people guilty.

Yes you are correct it is a Crown court. I don't care. I don't expect to lose and if I do I will take it to the High Court, and If I lose there I will take it to the Europena court of human rights. The simple fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no proof whatsoever, anywhere that I bought the tobacco to sell. And that's it. The reason there is no proof is because I didn't.

If the UKBF want to try and fabricate some evidence or concoct a story, good luck with that I will see them in court.

They can't change the law and turn us all into obedient little civilians that will do what they dictate.

UKBF should read FKUB excuse my language but FK U if you are British. 

     Thread Starter
 

20-6-2014 9:04 pm  #32


Re: Won

'Fraid I'm not a legal expert and my reply to what you're suggesting is a gut reaction based on my considerable experience of life in generalhttp://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


A quick surf on the net reveals no reference to mags being called as witnesses at appeal. That usually means it hasn't happened before.

I applaud you for getting this far and I'm sure we will all offer what support we can. Since the appeal is a ''fresh start'' to hear the case again, albeit by a qualified legal professional, I don't know how much if any reference you can make to the previous hearing. I don't know even if the judge is allowed to read the transcript because if he did then he would be biased towards the case being put before him afresh.
We have a few members now who have won at appeal perhaps they will confirm I'm wrong and you are on the right track.

Your comment about our legal system being the most respected may be true of those elsewhere in the world but I'm afraid not so of those who have suffered injustice by it. Like in your case, why should you have to win an appeal with all the associated expense when you complied anyway with EU law?


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21-6-2014 8:52 am  #33


Re: Won

You cannot call a magistrate or indeed any officer of a court as a witness at your appeal.
Where a case has been decided reasons will be given and as in this case UKBF are setting out the grounds on which they are appealing those reasons.
As you said earlier:
1. The Magistrates finding that the Contested Property was for personal use

and not condemned as forfeit had no, or no proper evidential basis and was therefore in error.

2. The Magistrates finding in relation to the plausibility of the Respondent's account and the factual issues had no, or proper, evidential basis and therefore in error.

3. The Magistrates finding that it was not proportional to sieze the vehicle had no, or proper evidential basis and therefore in error bearing in mind. the Respondent's misdeclaration, income versus expenditure ratio and the mixed brand Tobaccos.

4. The Magistrates erred in failing to order Forfieture of the Contested Property.

Orders Sought:

1. Condemnation of the Contested Property
2. The Appellants cost of bringing the Magistrates Court and Crown Court proceedings.

I have underlined the relevant arguments the rest being proceedural in defence of their actions.

As Eezy says above "The main thing to watch out for here is to give the judge absolute respect in his own court and do nothing to get under his skin."  I am sure you will as you appear focused on this process.

It's apparent that the Magistrates believed you were telling the truth and that is always persuasive, and in this case more so than the claims of UKBF.

I believe that you can call the UKBF officer.  If they do fine, although if they don't do consider what benefit it offers.

Do start making a record of every single minute spent on the matter, and also every single identifyable cost to claim against them.

I think this is a big case now for UKBF.  As it sets a very clear precedent in terms of the amount of tobacco which may be bought by a traveller.

Put every single anomaly, inconsistency, inaccuracy in their conduct, paperwork in order for the court to consider.

Keep focused and good luck.

JMK
 

Last edited by Johny_MK (21-6-2014 8:53 am)

 

21-6-2014 9:49 am  #34


Re: Won

Although I am mostly in agreement with post #33 I cannot agree will the following sentence.
"I think this is a big case now for UKBF.  As it sets a very clear precedent in terms of the amount of tobacco which may be bought by a traveller."
The amount of tobacco that can be bought by a traveller (and the conditions covering that purchase) is already clearly laid down in EU law and this case cannot change that.
The reasons for appeal are specious and wrongly attempt to shift the burden of proof.
It is my feeling that crown court will send UKBF away with its tail between its legs .


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21-6-2014 2:07 pm  #35


Re: Won

Have you actually had a letter saying they're appealing?? Or was this just what the barrister told you when you won?

I was told before a verdict was even given at mags that if they lost they would appeal. But I've heard cases where they say they're going to appeal but don't and the 30 day appeal limit lapses,


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21-6-2014 8:23 pm  #36


Re: Won

There are some interesting points here , I will try to adress them all.

Can't call a Magistrate. That's a shame, they gave reasons to me verbally after the trial, I wrote them down in the car as soon as I  left the building.

If they don't call the Officer I most certainly will. (I basically shot down in flames all of his reasons for seizure). He made it easy because he was trying to conceal the truth.

The reasons supplied above were sent to me in the appeal letter from UKBF that went to the Crown Court.

There is only one sticking point here which they seem unable to let go of. That is the amount of Tobacco that I brought in 25kgs. It's a lot and I acknowledged in court it could even be considered a stupid amount, However it is not illegal.

On every single other point there is no evidence that I was trying to sell (for profit or not to anyone anywhere at anytime).

I had made no previous and have made no subsequent trips.
I moved to a new town where I don't know anyone to sell anything too.
I had excess cash on me when stopped and could have purchased far more if I wanted to.
I wasn't claiming state benefits even though at the time i was fully entitled to do so in the region of 800 a month if you include rent ect..
I just spent thousands of pounds on furnishing a new property and buying a car.

So as above the only sticking point is the amount. And as Border Shopper points out this is not illegal.

Many thanks for your responses, very much appreciated.
 

     Thread Starter
 

21-6-2014 9:14 pm  #37


Re: Won

When you win in crown court are you going to ask the judge to revoke the 144 cert.
I would argue that in magistrates court the goods were found to be for personal use on the balance of probabilities.
In crown court the goods were found to be for personal use beyond a reasonable doubt.
Both the magistrates court and the crown court reached their decisions based on the same facts that were made available to the seizing officer at the time.
Therefore any reasonable person (especially one highly trained in interview and detection techniques)  should have reached the same conclusion at the time of the importation and interview. At the time of the seizure there was no evidence that the goods were being imported for any other reason than personal use .
The seizure should be considered illegal as no evidence of commerciality existed and the victim of that seizure should be free to recover all costs incurred.


just my opinion


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21-6-2014 9:46 pm  #38


Re: Won

 I will ask for it to be revoked. The Magistrates also said to the Usher (After I pointed out that in this instance the UKBF had been to heavy handed) That perhaps we can make a note of that and try to get things changed. Not the exact quote but words to that effect.

As far as I'm concerned the gloves are off. Not a fight with the Judge, but I have had a stomach full of UKBF thinking they make the law.

     Thread Starter
 

21-6-2014 11:12 pm  #39


Re: Won

It's a new hearing.
It can't be revoked 'cos it won't exist!

You can't really make ref to s144. All you can do is try and prove their actions were unreasonable

It's a catch22 situation because your prime objective has to be to win the case. If you shift the balance too much to concentrate on the s144 you could lose it.........Take care. 


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22-6-2014 9:34 am  #40


Re: Won

eezyrider wrote:

It's a new hearing.
It can't be revoked 'cos it won't exist!

You can't really make ref to s144. All you can do is try and prove their actions were unreasonable

It's a catch22 situation because your prime objective has to be to win the case. If you shift the balance too much to concentrate on the s144 you could lose it.........Take care. 

I am not doubting you knowledge or experience . I was basing my comments on the fact that UKBF are appealing against the failure to condemn and I assumed that the 144 would remain in place as it was not being appealed by either party.
Following your logic are you saying that if a shopper wanted to accept the seizure of his goods but wanted to appeal only against the seizure of his car the crown court would hear the whole case and might even overturn the seizure of goods even though that part of the judgement was not appealed?

 


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