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25-7-2013 9:54 pm  #1


Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

http://nothing-2-declare.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/there-be-dragons-at-folkestone.html

Have a read and you decide http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/shocked.png


Comments welcome

Last edited by Smoking Hot (25-7-2013 10:18 pm)


http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png We don't do nice ... we do right!

It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.
 

25-7-2013 11:59 pm  #2


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

There are a number of issues here worthy of debate.

On recent experience is it worth going to Mags court with a reallistic hope of winning a case unless you have legal representation? I said recently that the chances of winning condemnation proceedings were looking about as realistic as winning a restoration appeal. We don't get to see too much on the forum about actual court proceedings but of those that have been reported on, the Mags have commented on the guidelines. I think they are using this as the definition of whether the seizure is legal or not and anything over the guidelines they consider to be a legit seizure.

There are 3 ways to deal with this....

1) Get legal representation at court
2) Expect to lose the case and appeal at Crown before a judge who has legal expertise (but if it goes wrong where do you go from there?)
3) A point we have discussed in person SH. It would seem that the more information that is put before the court by either party loads the case in favour of HMRC. If the defendant does not cross examine and simply makes a very powerful statement in his defence at the end of the hearing which cannot be cross examined I think it would work better then having an inexperienced person cross examing a customs officer and having it all go tits-up.It has worked for me in the past and it is something that you could prepare as a McKenzie friend.

Realisically you'd have to favour option 1 and hope you could claim back costs.If our recent comments about barristers comes to fruition, well there's the answer. We must make sure we are not motivated by a sense of outrage and set off on a crusade that will lead nowhere. HMRC and the Mags have moved the goalposts in their favour and we can't alter that so we have to take it out of their hands somehow.


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26-7-2013 4:21 am  #3


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

Interestingly I would agree. See in England, its a teacher or a dentist or some other professional who would judge your case in the magistrates court. However here in Scotland its a Sheriff. A sheriff is the same person who would preside in criminal matters, divorces, and all matters of a legal nature. They are LEGALLY qualified people. George is the only case I know of that has been brought in Scotland for condemnation procedings and he won!!! My case was abandoned before the court could look at it. I asked Ayr Sheriff court how many condemnation procedings for the seizure of tobacco they had in the last 3 years and their answer was.......... ONE. Guess where George won his case.

So my solution is this for you guys in England. Issue your notice of claim appropriately and then submit an initial writ to YOUR local crown court on your behalf to reclaim goods which have been illegally seized. This would surely usurp the magistrtes court immediately because as we know UKBF take almost the full 6 months to do anything anyway.

I would say treat it like any other matter where someone has taken something from you and you do not believe it to be legal and you sue them, not the other way about. I've always thought this condemnation procedings was a load of shit and I think they are stitching everyone up. It is the only example that I can think of where someone has done something wrong to you and you have to ask THEM to take you to court. Its f*cking ridiculous.
 

 

26-7-2013 11:11 am  #4


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

eezyrider wrote:

There are a number of issues here worthy of debate.
.

Well, l saw first hand that an accountants letter works very well indeed. All income v expenditure arguments disappeared. Also the BS 15592 Part 3 works well re how many cigs per 50g pouch.

ln all honesty, l truly belive there was no way we were going to win in Dover no matter which option chosen after witnessing what happened there. The judgement had already been made before this case was heard by this bench imho. 

What also was really interesting was seeing the 2 officers who had done the original interviews. l have heard the original recording of these interviews. Both officers in these interviews are very confident with a little bit of arrogance thrown in.

So how were these officers in the witness box?  .... entirely the opposite!  Hard questioning on issues concerning this seizure showed a lack of knowledge of even the basics, they admitted they were wrong on certain points and one of them was shown to have lied in court (courtesy of recording).

We did learn a lot. Dover is certainly a very cosy setup for UKBF. The barrister Paul Tapsell is a regular in Dover court for UKBF. Seemed very friendly with Clerk of the Court and the bench. He wanders round the courtroom when our lot are not allowed in http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png
. As l said in the blog post, l was unsure who was running the court ... him or the bench.

The over -riding lesson here was the battle is to be fought at the time of seizure. Our guys had their documents incl SOT, FOIs etc etc taken off them before the interview and so they were  left floundering somewhat when it came to the interviews.

We say take 2 copies but perhaps it's worth saying that you should keep these copies separate. Give them one copy and keep hold of the other. The other thing is not to joke or give snide comments as it will be used against you. lf in doubt or you are not prepared for an interview ... demand that they give you a delayed interview at a future date ... so you can prepare. Don't go alone either ... take someone with you.

l think if it was me in Dover, l'd want it to go straight to Crown as l'd say l have no confidence in the Dover Mags.

 
 

Last edited by Smoking Hot (26-7-2013 11:14 am)


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     Thread Starter
 

26-7-2013 11:44 am  #5


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

As I have said, I have spoken to these half wits (UKBF) and asked if it would be correct for ME to arrange the condemnation procedings and they could not say that I could or could not do so. They would only say that it was their responsibility to raise the procedings. I don't buy this. I'm trying to ask someone to try this method and therefore ignore the Magistrates court. If you initiate the procedings in a higher court, then you would be duty bound to refuse to accept any instigation of anything in a magistrates court as the matter was currently the subject of the juristiction of said higher court. If UKBF cannot bring the case to court as expiditiously as you, thats their problem.

Oh and I cannot do it because all of our cases here are heard in a Sheriff court. Totally different.

Last edited by celticmanx (26-7-2013 11:45 am)

 

26-7-2013 2:11 pm  #6


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

it was a nice feeling with the roles reversed, watching those officers squirm, they act all that when questioning you but can't take it themselves, they confuse you, they confuse themselves, and then blame it all on you and accuse you of being evasive, and hence seize your goods for BS reasons, the whole lot, BF, Mags, Barristers, Solicitors, are all in bed with each other. its their back yard and your an alien to their inbred little family, so you don't have a chance. roll on the appeal.


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26-7-2013 2:37 pm  #7


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

mrc wrote:

it was a nice feeling with the roles reversed, watching those officers squirm, they act all that when questioning you but can't take it themselves, they confuse you, they confuse themselves, and then blame it all on you and accuse you of being evasive, and hence seize your goods for BS reasons, the whole lot, BF, Mags, Barristers, Solicitors, are all in bed with each other. its their back yard and your an alien to their inbred little family, so you don't have a chance. roll on the appeal.

I think most of that sums up exactly what I think about the entire legal system, all the way to the houses of parliament. CROOKS ONE AND ALL.
 

 

26-7-2013 2:50 pm  #8


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

Confusion also comes from the way interviews are conducted. People read the transcripts but what the transcript does not convey is the time taken between each question.BF ask a question and you answer ... then you sit and wait for what seems an eternity for the next question. ln that time your mind is all over the place ... no wonder there's confusion. When l've edited recordings down to just the questions and answers it works out as only a quarter of the length of the interview!

Then of course there's all the time waiting around for the interview. You're there for hours upon hours. It's a complete farce!


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It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.
     Thread Starter
 

26-7-2013 10:29 pm  #9


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

celticmanx wrote:

As I have said, I have spoken to these half wits (UKBF) and asked if it would be correct for ME to arrange the condemnation procedings and they could not say that I could or could not do so. They would only say that it was their responsibility to raise the procedings. I don't buy this. I'm trying to ask someone to try this method and therefore ignore the Magistrates court. If you initiate the procedings in a higher court, then you would be duty bound to refuse to accept any instigation of anything in a magistrates court as the matter was currently the subject of the juristiction of said higher court. If UKBF cannot bring the case to court as expiditiously as you, thats their problem.

Oh and I cannot do it because all of our cases here are heard in a Sheriff court. Totally different.

Celtic
I am very much in favour of your principles of bringing matters to a head as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the mechanism is not there to be able to do it. Condemnation proceedings is a tool available only to HMRC as I understand it, and is not available to Joe Bloggs & Co.
If you went the County court route as you would with any debtor, HMRC would simply say  the matter is covered by a Statute in law , namely condemnation proceedings, and cannot be resolved outside of this.
Frustrating but that's the way I see it.
 


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27-7-2013 4:53 am  #10


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

But has this been tested by anyone? When I asked them if I could raise the condemnation procedings they could not answer the question!! I just have a feeling that its the same story as before this site was set up. People just comply with what they are told. I would never have been brazen enough to tell a customs officer that he was not getting to see inside my luggage because I thought that whatever they said was true and the law. Now I don't even let them look at the contents. I don't tell them anything.

Now what I am getting at is this. If nobody has tested this method of raising procedings, which might actually be perfectly legal, we'll never know. And as stated, in Scotland I think they shit themselves because the case is not going to be heard by the local dentist!

So just for a laugh, and giving away pretty much a closeness to where I live there is this pearl of information for the sort of people who may be judging condemnation procedings in England.

http://www.dentistry.co.uk/news/%E2%80%98greedy%E2%80%99-dentist-struck

Or it could be this person......


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034605/Magistrate-banned-physiotherapist-having-sexual-relationship-vulnerable-72-year-old-patient.html
 

Last edited by celticmanx (27-7-2013 4:58 am)

 

27-7-2013 7:08 am  #11


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

The second one seems happy enough to give you a shafting.

http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-sex011.gif


UKBA can "manger la merde et mourir" if you'll excuse my french.
 

29-7-2013 6:47 am  #12


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

celticmanx wrote:

But has this been tested by anyone? When I asked them if I could raise the condemnation procedings they could not answer the question!! I just have a feeling that its the same story as before this site was set up. People just comply with what they are told. I would never have been brazen enough to tell a customs officer that he was not getting to see inside my luggage because I thought that whatever they said was true and the law. Now I don't even let them look at the contents. I don't tell them anything.

Now what I am getting at is this. If nobody has tested this method of raising procedings, which might actually be perfectly legal, we'll never know. And as stated, in Scotland I think they shit themselves because the case is not going to be heard by the local dentist!

So just for a laugh, and giving away pretty much a closeness to where I live there is this pearl of information for the sort of people who may be judging condemnation procedings in England.

http://www.dentistry.co.uk/news/%E2%80%98greedy%E2%80%99-dentist-struck

Or it could be this person......


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2034605/Magistrate-banned-physiotherapist-having-sexual-relationship-vulnerable-72-year-old-patient.html
 

My understanding of this is that, contrary to what is stated in Notice 12A, a Notice of Claim does not challenge the legality of the seizure, it is a claim that the previously seized goods are not liable to forfeiture. (CEMA Schedule 3) In the case of excise goods for own use rather than commercial purpose. Therefore condemnation proceedings are not concerned with the legality of the original seizure. (Except perhaps for the purpose of issuing a cert. 144)

Any claim that the seizure itself was unlawful would probably have to be raised via a court injunction, but the opinion of a solicitor is obviously required here.

Interestingly, many years ago, a seizure was declared unlawful by a Vat and Duties tribunal, because customs had wrongly placed the burden of proof on the importers.

Pyrah v Customs & Excise [2003] UKVAT(Excise) E00493 (22 September 2003)

 

01-8-2013 10:18 pm  #13


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

According to Chelmsford Crown Court, they are (largely) a Family Court and although there have been cases held there, they (the cases involving excise goods) are rare! The option of the County Court needs pursuing, though as the hearings are private, to observe, permissions have to be sought.

 

01-11-2013 12:24 pm  #14


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

Here are a couple interesting passages in the Pyrah V Customs & Excise case as linked to above:

"However the 2000 Order also laid down indicative or guidance limits on the quantities of excise goods which if they were exceeded would give rise to a presumption that the goods were being imported for commercial purposes unless the traveller could satisfy Customs that the goods were not being imported for commercial purposes."

"Since the dates of the seizures and the review against which the present appeals have been brought, the subordinate legislation contained in the 2000 and in the 1992 Orders has been amended because it failed to give proper effect to European law governing the free movement of goods within the single market. The amendments have removed the presumption in favour of commerciality if the indicative or guidance levels are exceeded and Customs are not satisfied that the goods are not being imported for commercial purposes. It is not for the traveller to prove that the goods are for their own use."

How many UKBF goons are still operating under the old rules Vs those acknowledging that the burden of proof no longer lies with them? 80%? 90% or .... Surely the tenor of the original A-J's is based on the old rules and any subsequent Civil Interview is completely ignorant of the shift of burden of proof! Even the mags (especially at Dover) are working under the misaprehension that the traveller is effectively guilty unless they can prove otherwise - a complete reversal of basic UK laws. The only occasion that this reversal is legally permitted in the UK is when certain firearms offences are concerned.

Another concern is the obvious targetting of just certain tobacco products: Specifically HRT and ready-made cigs. Why not cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff? Why are travellers relieved of cigs/HRT but allowed to keep any alcohol they have brought back at the same time? To what extent are their targets influencing their decision(s) to seize? Can they truly - one hand on heart and the other on the Bible - say that they are making (a) fair and balanced decision(s) based solely on the evidence on hand 'with no fear or favour'?

Last edited by Sir Henry (01-11-2013 12:27 pm)


They lie on recordings; they lie on oath; their shysters lie on their behalf. Don't believe a word coming from the mouths (2 per person) of any UKBA officer.
 

05-11-2013 8:07 pm  #15


Re: Dover Magistrates Court ... the judgement

I tried to raise the "burden of proof" issue at the Mags. One of the reasons for seizure stated in the condemnation letter (PCAL) was that "You failed to convince the officer that your trips and purchases were credible."

I asked the seizing officer if she agreed with this statement and pointed out that the burden of proof was on customs rather than myself. However, my wrists were promply slapped by the Border Force barrister for raising a "point of law".

Funny, I always thought that the law was the main business of the courts!

 

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