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04-11-2014 2:14 pm  #1


Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

I'm attempting to assist a fellow defendant who was successful in court when the Magistrates ordered that his vehicle be NOT forfeit, however they found there was 'an element' of commerciality re the Tobacco and so ordered that forfeit.

A certificate 144 was NOT issued

The defendant was ordered to pay the BF costs

Subsequently the defendant has contacted BF to arrange collection of the vehicle, only to be told that they will not release it until he has paid the court costs..as the defendant uses the vehicle in his main line of business he is currently unable to earn money to pay the costs (Chicken & Egg situation sprins to mind)

My question is are the BF acting lawfully in refusing to release the vehicle, In my opinion they are not but I could do with some direction in case law to quote back at them

Any assistance much appreciated

 

04-11-2014 3:47 pm  #2


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

I am not sure it is actually lawfull,but at least they haven't sold his vehicle,or have they?

I recently got a ppi refund from a credit card/bank for £7000+ even though i am paying off what i owe( a substantial amount ha ha) at £5 a month ha ha,this was only after debt collectors ect were called in.

It is worth asking BF  for time to pay costs monthly instalments,i know for a fact this has been done in the past.


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04-11-2014 4:30 pm  #3


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

I have no idea of the legal standing in this situation.
It is just my opinion that if the vehicle is not forfeit then BF should not have seized it in the first place so they have no legal right to have it in their possession.
I would think that if you do not pay the costs they could use bailifs to levy your goods but I do not think they can hold your goods to ransom in advance.

This is not legal advice just my opinion

Last edited by bordershopper (04-11-2014 4:31 pm)


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04-11-2014 4:31 pm  #4


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

I would say it partly depends on whether or not the court made any directions as to when the vehicle should be returned and how, as they sometimes do.
Are you aware also that there have been cases where BF have had to service and valet the vehicle in order to return it to the owner in the condition it was in when seized?
S144 would not have been issued as BF won the case. Hence costs awarded.

I can't offer a definitive answer otherwise.


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04-11-2014 4:48 pm  #5


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

Thanks for replies so far..I have managed to dig out the following

http://www.criminallawandjustice.co.uk/features/Seizure-and-Forfeiture-Excise-Goods-%E2%80%93-Part-2"CompensationPursuant to s.144 of CEMA, in the event that the Commissioners are unsuccessful, “… the court may, if it sees fit, certify that there were reasonable grounds for the seizure.” The result of this is that the claimant will not be able to seek compensation from the authorities.In the event of not succeeding with a forfeiture application, Revenue and Customs/UKBA will always be anxious to ensure that the “s.144 certificate” as to the reasonableness of their original seizure is signed, to preclude any claim for compensation. This is equally so where the court has condemned (for example) tobacco, but refused to condemn the vehicle that was used to transport it (secondary forfeiture)."

     Thread Starter
 

04-11-2014 5:03 pm  #6


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

Well spotted Dave. Looks like their barrister has overlooked this point.

Theoretically then he can sue for loss of use.


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05-11-2014 8:37 am  #7


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

davedog wrote:

In my opinion they are not but I could do with some direction in case law to quote back at them

http://www.financeandtaxtribunals.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=2205*

... "was the decision to restore the vehicle subject to payment of fee reasonable – no – appeal allowed and further review directed." ...

An alternative is to ask bf for the case/s/caselaw/s and/or direction/s exactly, that permits that! Anyway, there are decisions that are favourable (linked to and quoted*). However, there are decisions that are unfavourable and there is the likelihood of supercession.

 

28-1-2016 5:56 pm  #8


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

Case Update
Earlier this week we finally had our day at the County Court in London relating to HMRC's refusal to return our seized vehicle even though Dover Magistrates Court had ordered it NOT forfeit in March 2009, it transpired that HMRC actually SOLD the vehicle at auction in July 2009, despite it legally not belonging to them
After hearing the evidence the Judge stated how appalled he was that the Plaintiff had spent years banging his head against a brick wall
As well as awarding us a fair RETAIL valuation of the car (Not the TRADE price as put forward by HMRC), he also awarded our claim for replacement vehicle hire. The best part came when he then awarded Interest based on the 2,518 days since the original order to return the vehicle and then agreed with our barrister that due to the Defendant's wholly unreasonable behaviour they were liable to pay our barrister's costs
The main reason for posting this message is to encourage GENUINE smokers who have had their goods/vehicles seized not to be deterred by bullying or threatening letters; and although I appreciate it may not always be possible if you are confident that you have been treated unfairly it is definitely in your best interest's to appoint a barrister..we used direct access which means you do the legwork that a solicitor would normally do (thus keeping costs to a minimum) and the barrister just represents you at Court..in this case for an hour's meeting two weeks before the hearing and then representing us at Court we were charged £780     

     Thread Starter
 

29-1-2016 1:23 pm  #9


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

excellent result.


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29-1-2016 3:12 pm  #10


Re: Refusal to restore vehicle until court costs paid

Fantastic news. Thanks for the update.

Garry


START HERE, By answering these questions. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1526
Useful documents for download : http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewforum.php?id=34
Goods been seized, Start here.  http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=78
SOT Thanks to TBD. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=373
 

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