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01-7-2017 4:55 pm  #21


Re: Legal or not ?

What is the timeline for action  

 When your goods are seized you have one month to send in a NOC. Once you receive a BF acknowledgement that they have received your NOC (usually a couple of days), customs (BF) have 6 months to get the papers into court from the date on the acknowledgement letter.
At the present time it is taking almost the whole 6 months for BF to get the papers in so don't expect to hear as soon as you send in your NOC.It could take a further 6 or 8 months to get the matter to court. Be aware that under Civil Procedure Rule 7.5 it can take up to 4 months to serve the summons after it is issued by the court.
If you go to magistrates court and lose you have 21 days to get a Crown court appeal in.Customs also have 21 days to appeal if they lose. 

Once you send in your NOC there is nothing else for you to do until you hear about the condems or alternatively the 6 months expires. The letter BF sends about whether you wish to continue with condems is nothing more than intimidatory mind games on their part. Intimidatory because it usually includes a reminder of the court costs if you lose. So ignore it!


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03-7-2017 5:52 pm  #22


Re: Legal or not ?

They must apply to the court for a summons within 6 months of receiving your Notice of Claim. If this time has elapsed, the first thing you need to do is to contact the court and ask them if they have received the papers from UKBF.

 

05-7-2017 2:09 pm  #23


Re: Legal or not ?

Thanks for answers from eezy and turbulent.
When I ring the court what info do I need? And what do I ask?
It has been nearly 7 months from aknowlegement of NOC.

Last edited by mealone (05-7-2017 2:11 pm)

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05-7-2017 7:07 pm  #24


Re: Legal or not ?

Just give them your name and adress and ask them if UKBF have applied for a summons of condemnation against you.

If you don't get anywhere with this, try ringing Home Office solicitors (Cash Forfeiture and Condemnation Legal Team) on 020 035 8044, quoting name, address and any reference numbers. The court may well advise you to do this anyway.

As a last resort you could telephone NPSU on 01752 765817.

Telephone conversations should be recorded if possible.

Hope this helps
 

 

14-9-2017 7:47 am  #25


Re: Legal or not ?

Thanks for that turbulentupstart.
It must be easier to pull hens teeth than get an answer. Excuses from all I contacted is I/we can`t help you due to data protection ect.
I still have heard nothing and I go on holiday next week to Spain.If I have heard nothing when I get back in October I will start the process of getting my money back.
I will be driving to Spain and thanks to everyone here I`ll be much better prepared (s.o.t. ,recorder ect) so my printer will be working overtime this weekend.
I have bought an old car to do the trip as no way are they going to grab my new 36 grand car.
I will update here in October.
Thank you again for all the help.

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14-9-2017 2:14 pm  #26


Re: Legal or not ?

This is a strange affair altogether!

Although, according to the Magistrates Act, BF have up to 4 months to serve the summons, I don't recall a case where it has taken more than a couple of weeks at the end of the 6 month period.

If you can't get an answer from the Home Office solicitors I would hit them with a claim. Claim for replacement cost of baccy, either at purchase price paid or todays cost whichever is the lowest exchange rate, travel expenses, refreshments, hotels etc, research for preparing the case and a goodwill payment for stress caused.

If no summons has been issued, don't accept their offer for replacement cost of goods only. There have been cases where people have received 5 figure sums in compensation but where a car was involved and with the help of a barrister.


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16-9-2017 2:25 pm  #27


Re: Legal or not ?

It has just got stranger.
This morning  I got a bill from HMRC  for £1797 for potential excise duty and penalty charges or forfeit goods.
Quote "On 17th November 2016 BF seized goods from you.
"An appeal must be made within 1 month from the date of seizure. You did not appeal within the time limit so goods are forfeit. blah blah"
I have a letter dated 28th December
Thank you for your letter dated 7th December in which you have indicated that you wish to follow the process below.
Appeal against the legality of the seizure and request restoration  of the seized  items.
We will now begin to process your case ect.
No court, no warning!
Have I pissed them off that much!
As the thread says Legal or not?
I have until 11th of October to reply to this.
I go on hols Tues 19th Sep so any help is greatly welcome.
Thanks.

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16-9-2017 8:58 pm  #28


Re: Legal or not ?

Regarding the demand from HMRC you could just send them a copy of your NOC and the acknowledgement letter from UKBF.

Regarding the failure of the BF to start condemnation proceedings this is unfamiliar territory as far as this forum is concerned.  If possible try to get a solicitor on the case.

Otherwise, you could write to  NPSU and ask them either to confirm that they have applied to the magistrates court for a summons of condemnation or that they return your goods forthwith. Forward a copy to Home Office. 

You could also write to the clerk of the magistrates'  court to inquire if a summons has been issued against you.

You will probably have to make these enquiries via signed letters if  they will not give you the information over the phone.

Address of Home Office solicitors:
Cash Forfeiture and Condemnation Legal Team
Immigration Enforcement
1st Floor Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Email: cashforfeiture@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
 

Last edited by turbulentupstart (16-9-2017 8:59 pm)

 

16-9-2017 9:14 pm  #29


Re: Legal or not ?

HMRC cannot issue a demand whilst an appeal is in progress.

I agree with Turbulent but I would take a more aggressive approach. I would write to HMRC, enclose a copy of receipt of NOC acknowledgement and tell them they must withdraw the demand.

I would then write to NPSU, enclosing same copy, and point out that the matter has now passed the 6 months time limit as laid down in the Magistrates Act. I would enclose a claim as outlined above. 

These actions will at least provoke a response, but as always use reg'd, recorded or special delivery.

At the moment it's looking like you have slipped through the net. It has happened before.


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18-9-2017 6:43 am  #30


Re: Legal or not ?

Came across this thread of interest..........

http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1014


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

18-9-2017 10:11 am  #31


Re: Legal or not ?

Thank you both. Letter posted to hmrc with copy of notice of claim and copy of BF acknowledgment of appeal received.  I have no time for BF as packing car for hols. I will contact BF when I get back in about 6 weeks.
As promised I will update you whatever the outcome but it will be November before you hear from me again.
 

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05-11-2017 3:33 pm  #32


Re: Legal or not ?

Greetings to all
Back from hols and a quick update.
I`ve had a letter from HMRC after I contacted them about the duty and wrong doing penalty and their claim has now been dropped after they contacted BF.
If anyone is interested I can post a quick post about my trip and baccy I brought back.
BF and HMRC have ran out of time so my question is who do I contact about getting my money or baccy back (fat chance on baccy I know).
HMRC were going to fine me nearly £400 wrong doing penalty so what is the chance of my claiming the same amount from them for a wrong doing penalty. i.e. They seized my baccy illegally.

Last edited by mealone (05-11-2017 3:39 pm)

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05-11-2017 8:33 pm  #33


Re: Legal or not ?

As per my post #29 above - NPSU.

Claim for travel, refreshments etc at today's price. Claim about 12 hours @£19 per hour for prep and research. They'll try and fob you off with price paid for goods at time of purchase and nothing more. You are not subject to the usual constraints of s144 and are a free agent so claim what is reasonable. All post to be sent signed for or special del.

I just wonder if the reason this case has slipped by is because there was no interview and consequently they have no evidence to produce in court.


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07-11-2017 1:32 am  #34


Re: Legal or not ?

Whilst at the same time, they refused to give a delayed interview and apparently were satisfied just to guess at the provenance of the tobacco.  I still do not know why this happened, but I would have loved to watch them try to explain their reasons for not wanting to improve their information.

 

07-11-2017 8:52 am  #35


Re: Legal or not ?

NoMoTax wrote:

Whilst at the same time, they refused to give a delayed interview and apparently were satisfied just to guess at the provenance of the tobacco.  I still do not know why this happened, but I would have loved to watch them try to explain their reasons for not wanting to improve their information.

The chances are that the vast majority do not appeal. Customs number one objective is disruption.
 


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07-11-2017 8:27 pm  #36


Re: Legal or not ?

There are several issues to consider here.

1. Compensation for destruction of goods. This could be either (a) costs of replacement at UK prices, (b) costs of replacement abroad plus reasonable travel costs or (c) simply cost of replacement abroad.

2. Legal costs incurred preparing for condemnation proceedings. As eezyrider says above you are entitled to charge £19 per hour for your time and also claim any out of pocket expenses e.g letters. phone calls, travel etc.

3. Damages in tort/conversion etc. on account of the loss of use of the goods and in respect of the failure of UKBF to take condemnation proceedings.

You should be at least entitled to compensation as in 1(b) above without too much trouble. Point 2 is a little more problematic and you may need to be prepared to take action in the county court.  Point 3 is definitely very complicated and the services of a solicitor highly recommended.

If you want to represent yourself you can use the small claims procedure, but note that you cannot do it online - you must obtain the appropriate forms from your local county court.
 

Last edited by turbulentupstart (07-11-2017 8:28 pm)

 

19-12-2017 5:21 pm  #37


Re: Legal or not ?

Update......
I have a letter from BF saying they will offer the cost of baccy at price I paid 12 months ago.Nothing about cost of replacement at UK prices .Nothing about prep for case costs or to replace the baccy.
The reason for not going to court was admin error.
I will try to upload letter with details retracted tomorrow with details blacked out.
Beer googles are on as I went to  celebrate so sorry about lack of details. More to follow.
 

Last edited by mealone (19-12-2017 5:24 pm)

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20-12-2017 2:10 pm  #38


Re: Legal or not ?

http://server.myspace-shack.com/d23/4ba2264b-f85b-44b0-9c2a-2ecdf76e4156.jpg

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20-12-2017 2:29 pm  #39


Re: Legal or not ?

I hope I did it right.Its an age thing. I`m not computer savvy but if it worked you will get the gist.
What interview? They refused an interview! 
The full payment is only the price paid 13 months ago with no time allowed for inflation or costs to prepare for a court case that never happened. Not to mention the cost of buying replacement baccy at UK prices and the stress of everything. 
What are my chances of time /stress / expenses etc
Once again thanks to all for giving their time and knowledge to help a person who knew nothing about the system.

     Thread Starter
 

20-12-2017 3:56 pm  #40


Re: Legal or not ?

The letter is visible.

What you claim depends on how much time and effort you want to put in and how long you are prepared for it to be drawn out. Whatever claim you make must be reasonable and not show a profit. The law will only allow you to be put back in the situation you were in before your loss.

If you prepare a statement of claim make sure it's in a format that can be used in court. As TU says above you can only sue HMRC through the county court.

In my view a reasonable claim would be replacement cost at today's price at place of purchase, travel and subsistence, refreshments etc. Also, say 8hours @ £19 per hour for case research and prep, and postage and sundry expenses. You could add in a one-off payment of say £150 for stress and deprivation of use of   goods - no harm in asking.  Work towards a negotiated settlement in firm but non aggressive or threatening language.

But for their admin error you could have been stung for thousands so it's a bonus.


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Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

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