The UK justice system is not fit for purpose

The reality is there are more and more Litigants in Person (LIPs) who can’t afford the on average £250+vat per hour solicitors fees. However the court system is not friendly to the LIP.

I had the unfortunate experience of being taken to court by my neighbour, yet they are encroached on my property. I won but have lost overall due to the court processes and failure to deliver justice. Here are some of my experiences:

i) No instructions were issued out to me, apparently the “defence pack” was missing. This contains crucial information about how to deal with a claim.

ii) They intentionally issued it to arrive on my door at 19th December  2016, the court then gives you a certain amount days to respond, with no allowance for advisor’s shutting down over Christmas. How is that even possible or allowed. Putting one party immediately at a disadvantage with the courts help.

  • It has been abundantly clear that the UK justice system is there only for the rich. Not for the general person.

iii) I asked for their case to be thrown out at the start, as their surveyors report meant they were encroached, they knew, but the court declined and allowed it to proceed. Almost 1.5 years later the judge at the main hearing dismissed their claim without even hearing it, and they had accidentally admitted it. Yet they had no penalty for wasting 1.5 years of court time, despite them refusing free mediation, and cheap local council mediation, they got no penalty at all. This english caucasian couple. Yet, me as the victim despite winning am penalised, yet the court allowed it to proceed.

The second judge at the end says, “it’s a neighbour’s case”……..so it plays into his decision, yet he doesn’t appear to have any regard that I am the victim who didn’t bring it to court. It doesn’t seem to have matter to that judge how I’d been threatened for two years and had won, or that the other side admitted to it and the first judge made them withdraw.

In addition to that, the process said, “small track”, based on one expert and one hearing day. That was changed to two experts and two hearing dates, yet nothing got corrected, even where I wrote to the court to have that “track allocation” revised, it was ignored. I was told it would be dealt with at the hearing but that second judge DDJ Duncan did not. (Sitting at the Watford County Court). Had it been another track, my costs would automatically come back.

The UK system is broken for such things to occur.

In my case it was allocated to the small claims track on the basis of one hearing and one expert, that later became two hearings and two experts, yet it still remained in the small track, 1.5 years later with each side having spent £15k each. How is that a small claim? It’s not.

But no one cares it seems about the victim, as it’s not their money.

If courts dislike neighbour cases so much penalise the one who brought it to court, or don’t allow them to progress in the system at the start. e.g. Send them off for mediation only. But where the court allowed it to process and forced me to defend myself, yet now at the end doesnt award me my costs back! The judge didn’t even give me the “court fees, travel, witnesses costs” that I believe you are normally meant to get either. In truth that day he seemed not that bothered and just wanted to finish the case, even at one point saying, “we have to finsh today”.

So the guilty party gets assisted by the poor court processes in this way. Its a farce.

I did appeal, and the appeal Judge HHJ Wilding, was clearly just “shutting it down”. He also had 50+ pages missing of my bundle, material items, and then also 9 pages I never put in or saw. At the point he realised that, he didnt stop just carried on to shut me down, which he did and refused permission to appeal. This means I’ve not even had a fair hearing. It was something else, something I’ve never realised happens before, until to me! During the whole 52 minute hearing he never made eye contact even once with me or my friend. Something odd about that.

I was told by the Watford court I could appeal, but it seems that was wrong, though I am now told there are other possible paths to appeal, including a Judicial Review. But wit “JR” you are at risk of losing and the other side’s costs. The judicial review looks to see if procedural error has occurred, here it has, but does that mean it’ll be corrected or could I find myself before another simliar minded judge. In which case you lose the JR and I cannot risk the costs. So in practice this may mean, I can’t correct these errors, because I don’t have the funds to risk.

So you are completely screwed over, and cannot even access justice, how is that even fair or reasonable.

They also should not allow a judge to change mid-way part. I doubt any of this would have happened if the first one remained. But they don’t care it’s not their money that is lost -£15k costs and of course more to try to appeal. Bit like gambling. And who wants to risk losing their home over this. “neighbour from hell”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK civil law is broken…

uk civil law is a broken system…. dont expect justice

Having been on the receiving end of being taken to court, by a neighbour, only for me to win on everything, and even where the judge threw their case without even hearing any evidence on it, yet 1.5 years before when I wrote to the court to ask that they refused!!

So when it comes to the costs, you’d think they’d decide that I should get my legal costs back, but apparently not, due to a change of judge, and a lack of continuity, who then  decided each party pays their own costs. Leaving me in a significant minus position despite winning, and spurious claim. “The law is an “ass” for sure, it’s certainly not about justice, not for everyday people at least.

Throughout my case occurring, the admin was dire, error after error, lack of correct information and then processes by the court.

Despite winning, the judge (second one, after the first was promoted) didn’t seem to have bothered with the papers and awards, “each side to pay their own costs”!! Why? !!

They had their case dismissed, which they admitted to. At what point does the court act in fairness to the victim? Ever? It seems not. Instead it seems the guilty get away with it all. The system is so broken.

Then to be sat in an appeal for that, and see a judge just act to shutdown my case, is frankly disgusting, not even following basic court or legal practice of bundles to do a fair and objective appeal. But he knew exactly what he was doing, he knew it was not following due process, but he is it seems “untouchable” and there is about no means to report him it seems. He did not have the right documents I had submitted, and then he knew that but didn’t care, had ones I had not submitted, yet continued with the appeal, not disclosing them to us, he simply didn’t care. It was a sham. After all it was me losing all the money, they did not care, how can you arrive at a fair or just decision knowing you haven’t even got the right evidence before you but you don’t care anyway.

In all honesty I am totally disillusioned by UK legal system, it’s broken, and not fit for purpose at all, especially not for the ordinary non-rich person.

They seem to want to excuse anything and everything. I no longer believe the UK legal system works for all, and certainly it does not act fairly.

What about victim’s right? It really really should have more weighting. Then you realise this is why the system is so broken and people have to appeal and appeals are so hit and miss when in a broken system, because they clearly dont like saying any judge got it wrong!

While I have submitted an appeal, which I am waiting for an outcome on, it’s surreal, even though I won on everything, I find myself appealing and really no one cares at the court. Even to appeal they didn’t know where I appealed too, and refused to tell me, yet their own rules say they “must” state this but they don’t and when I wrote pointing this out they ignore you, it’s beyond a joke. Why does this occur?

Why am I even bothering to try resolve this matter, because it’s so wrong for me as a victim even though I won, but the courts they dont care, it’s not their money being lost in legal costs to defend a case I told them to throw out 1.5 years ago.

Is it just this one local court acting this way, or are there more? People in the area’s office are unbelievably kind and warm hearted. However when you lodge a complaint to be investigated, its like they turn.

Currently when judges make such errors, knowingly, what can a person do? Answer: nothing, there is no independent judicial ombudsman when a judge doesn’t follow processes or basic practice in the case management sense, and I guess those judges know that. I was told I can only write to the “court manager”. Surely thats asking a local court to investigate itself surely with  predictable outcome. I will soon know. I have little faith they will correct matters.

I do not believe the UK legal system works for the victim. As the “victim”/defendant, I won, and yet still lose, how is that possible when they were made to withdraw their claim even. Surely it should be automatic if the judge makes them withdraw a case without hearing evidence then I should automatically get my costs. What a joke of a system not to have that.

I have lost faith in the justice system, it’s so broken, and assists the guilty to get away with so much, and penalises the victim. It’s certainly not a place for any minority group and you need money.

If you believe you can get justice from the court, realise you wont, its seems on par with climbing everest! Play fair by the rules and you are screwed over by the other side, as well as the court and their processes. It’s disgusting and you’re alone the victim, with no one helping you.

So much for justice, total and utter incompetence and injustices on many levels in my case. It makes for a farcical process, only it’s not funny as it’s cost me a lost of money to defend and be proven right all along.

Dont expect reasonableness from an appeal court, they simply dont care.

So briefly, I have been taken to court, a lower county court, I won, with the judge dismissing the “claimants” claim without even hearing any evidence. The claimant being a neighbour, to do with a boundary encroachment. There was a change in judge and the second awarded no costs at all, nothing to me, even though I won on everything.

How can they justify that after 1.5 years of litigation being forced to defend myself and being proved right. To not even award the basic costs. So I appealed.

Also I was denied an adjournment to get a new rep after the one I had had to pull out late, they refused, leaving as an LIP (litigant in person) up against a barrister. Completely unjust and unequal. However it seems the reality is the pressure to shut down and close cases driving the case to an end.

First, you have to obtain permission to appeal. What happened next at the appeal hearing was an interesting sham. I had a rep, and everything she said the judge twisted and batted back at her. At one point we realised he didnt have all the bundle papers before him, and he, the judge, had some I never put in, he never asked to see the missed pages, they were 55 pages of transcript, and he never showed us the document he had that we did not. And it turned out he had 9 pages I never put in the bundle. This is basic incorrect procedure, however at no point did the judge ask to exchange or show them. He simply and very clearly had already made his mind up and the evidence clearly didn’t matter to him, he wanted to just close it down, and he proceeded to do just that and refused permission to appeal. Being an experienced judge he’d know what he was doing and simply didn’t care to even know the evidence.

So now I have to find the next route to appeal. It’s shocking that one judge in the lower court who has so much power does that. Clearly it was a foregone conclusion and very evident to see that the appeal in the lower court represented a sham. Which means that most/all of the initial appeals of this nature are futile.

Completely unfair and unjust, of course being an experienced judge, HHJ,  he knew exactly what he was doing, he just don’t care about fair or even basic process, as its me who has lost the money, etc. The uk system represents a kangaroo court in reality. So if you are a LIP or not, you highly likely will be refused permission to appeal and you cannot question the judge on that! Something to bear in mind if you are the Defendant like I was. It’s as good as saying, we have no appeal process, as it was a complete sham court.

e.g. how is it not unreasonable behaviour to have withdrawn the claims after so long, without any penalty to them also, as well as break other court orders. It honestly makes a mockery of the legal system, no wonder cheats prosper. So what’s worse is the system assisting with that.

Here the victim, me, who won on everything, is punished and the guilty party is assisted by the court off lighter how can that be? Because I had no one to argue my case properly. This leaves me totally disillusioned by the UK legal system. It’s clearly a big waste of time and not there for the ordinary man, you need a lot of money,  the reality is it’s a sham appeal court, where you will likely be refused permission to appeal, as happened to me. It was a shutdown exercise, and no justice.

Very flawed legal system

How is it possible that when you are taken to court, as the defendant there is no guidance documentation given to me about the process?

Then when the other side only withdraw at the hearing, there is no penalty to them?

Why are the guilty allowed off scot free? What a flawed legal system we have in the UK, much much much worse than I could have ever imagined.

The Cliff Richard story and his experience is just exactly how I feel too. The system punishes the innocent victim and you are put through the mill. Nightmare.

The law is corrupt… and protects the guilty and not the victim.

The law is an ass protects my neighbour wrongly and is punishing me, and letting them off!

The law is an ass…. and protects the guilty and not the victim.

I have had the misfortune of a horrendous neighbour who was encroached on my property and took the matter to court seeking a “declaration of no encroachment”, despite having a surveyors report showing they were.

I wrote to the court, Watford County Court, to say this and asked them to strike it out. The court did not and allowed it to proceed.

1.5 yrs later, the judge made them withdraw their case, but she then ended up getting promoted and another judge finished the matter. He decided that each party pays their own costs, and that no costs award would be the right decision. Why? Because he is punishing me for it being a neighbour dispute, yet at the start the court don’t tell me that or throw it out for being a neighbour dispute.

I have had two years of threats, yet this second judge says, we’re both as bad as each other, how? I never threatened them or damaged their property.

Why as a victim am I being punished for my neighbour (the party at fault/guilty) for having brought a false claim they only withdrew AT the hearing?

How is this fair, or even allowed? And UK justice? What an complete shambles.

A complete miscarriage of justice. No one cares, no one cares about the victim, no one cares for the money I have had to spend to defend myself. It’s a farce. The judges seem to be accountable to no one, and really should be.

The fact that this case even occurred as it has shows to me how broken our legal system is, miles worse than I could ever have imagined. At least in corrupt courts we all know they are, the UK legal system is no better than a third world nations.

Then to challenge this via an appeal requires a permission to appeal, which the appealing judge refuses, on the basis largely of just backing the first judge, closing ranks.

 

If you are wondering about using the court system, don’t. The court system is assisting the guilty, and the sheer farce of processes means fairness or justice seem elusive. What I hadn’t factored in with the court processes were just how shoddy and shambolic the processes and procedures are.

For example to appeal, I ring up the court call centre and ask how many days is my deadline. I have been told 3 different answers, 7 days, then 14 days and now 21 days. Also there is no guidance on how to appeal or the grounds on which you can attempt to appeal. So it’s rather like stumbling about in the dark.

So how is this even vaguely right or fair, I don’t even know the rules of the “game” which is costing people such as me, thousands, in a situation where more people are Litigants in Person due to ridiculously spiralling legal fees.

The even to send a letter to the court requires a £100 court fee, why? As the defendant I’m charged with stumping up for these costs, when the victim.

How does this happen like this? I win the case, they break various court orders, they are encroached which they know and then withdrew only at the hearing, and I am punished with an award of no costs as its a neighbour’s dispute. What a farce.

It’s a money pit too, but with no sense. I’d love to hear others experiences. This system of law in the UK county court is so broken.

 

Forced to be a litigant in person….denied a fair hearing

How can it be that when a rep had to pull out, I make an application to the court, for which I paid £100 (non-recoverable) to request an adjournment to allow me time to get another lawyer, yet this is denied, forcing me to attempt to defend myself, needless to say up against a barrister against a layperson I was mauled. Totally denied even a fair hearing.

And even though I won my case, though the other side withdrew it AT the start of the first hearing, yet I am awarded ZERO costs, nothing, not even the court fees.

Where is the justice is that? And the other side refused £250 mediation, broke court orders, yet there is no penalty to them? I don’t understand.

How is this UK justice, allowing the guilty party, the party at fault all the favour? They lose, I win, yet I lose. How?

Madness.

And…. each letter you write to the “small claims court” you are charged an “application fee”, of £100, yet no where in the instructions does it say that at the start. How can a lay person possibly know this should be in the higher track like this.

Shocked, really shocked to see how the legal system works. Protects and helps the guilty and makes it as difficult for the victim.

 

 

Injustice in the small claims track….

How can it be possible that I win a case I didnt bring to the court, and the party who did, a neighbour, withdraws it at the hearing, and the judge suggests they did, and then the judge changes, and the second judge decides no costs are to be awarded, each pays their own? How is that even fair, and encroachments on my property arent removed, when the first judge said they would be?

It seems that its ok to submit a case, break several court orders, force a second hearing, withdraw your case have been suggested to at the hearing and yet no costs at all are awarded to me the winner? Despite having to incur costs to defend myself for 1.5 yrs?

Where is the justice in this process, I don’t understand.

And now to get the court transcripts I have to fund it for two hearings, when the court changed the judges.

Can anyone help? Surely this can’t be right? I win the case, I didnt bring yet lose overall, and yet the party who is in the wrong, who lose, withdraw at the 12th hour have no penalty at all?

 

 

 


 

Help sought? Injustice….

Can you help with an injustice? #propertylaw

This is my experience, currently ongoing, of the UK small claims system, where I am being penalised for a neighbour bringing a case they then withdrew admitted they were encroachment but its not removed AND I get zero costs even though I have won on every item in the case.

The appeal begins….. or rather first permission to appeal. If you know anyone with property legal knowledge who can help me, I’d really appreciate if you can forward or get in touch.you

As a layperson it was impossible to go up against a barrister, technically you can, but realistically it is not the case with all judges. Any why am I penalised because the judge changed in the case!

Injustice….. in action. The neighbour at fault in the meantime suffers no penalty, no costs, and is about to leave selling up to a new buyer, and I am powerless to alert the new buyer. The estate agent will only say what their client tells them, I’m told, i.e. that the dispute is over, when it’s not. How is it there is no where to register this problem so an entirely innocent party can be brought into it.

So I am throwing this out to the universe to share my experience of the UK legal system as it is today………… ridiculously difficult and unfair. Help? !!