Heading For Paris

10 Feb

So, where did we go wrong this time? Well, to answer that question, we first needed to know what had taken place in that Appeal Court, in Riom. Alexandra didn’t bother with the preambles, she gave us the bottom line in a series of telephone calls and emails, question and answer format. The judiciary “recognised the sellers’ fraud.” But, they decided, the sellers are elderly, they are retired. Yes, that’s true, and so are we. The judiciary commented that the sellers were “arrogant”. But, it was added, they are elderly. We’re not arrogant, but, to reiterate, we’re elderly too.

The judiciary did not agree that the garage was important to the purchase of the property. But, had the garage not been important, we would not have spent thousands on an architect and Plans; we would not have  submitted documentation to the Tribunal, including formal medical information, to prove how important that garage space was to us, to our health. The Tribunal ruled that our health issues were not for the judiciary to consider, our health issues were of no importance to the Tribunal.

The judiciary recognised that the sellers had ‘hidden the truth about Monsieur C, the locataire.’ But, they added, Monsieur C had (has!) an assured tenancy, a protected tenancy, and he can’t be forced to leave the property. But, where does that leave us? That question is not for the judiciary to answer.

The judiciary recognised the fraud committed by the sellers where the selling on of the hairdresser’s Lease was concerned. But, the sellers are elderly. Yes, we’re elderly too. The judiciary recognised the fact that the notaire had not divulged to us the selling on of the hairdresser’s Lease. But, they added, the notaire was “young and inexperienced”, and the justices had correctly ‘smacked the notaire’s wrist’ during the first Tribunal.

The Appeal Tribunal President concluded by saying the Court recognised the fraud (again!), but the judiciary did not have a law in place by which to find in our favour. Vice caché laws have been in place since the late 1990’s, 1997 or 1998, depending on which avocat one speaks with! The Tribunal President went on to add that we could take the Case to the Cour de Cassation in Paris, to Appeal. The Cour de Cassation is the French Supreme Court. Presentation of an Appeal to the Cour de Cassation requires the services of a ‘specialist’ barrister who acts accordingly with instructions given directly by the main avocat, ie in our case, Alexandra. There are approximately a dozen specialist Cour de Cassation barristers who are reputed to be the best in France; apparently, they really know their onions where the laws of France are concerned! A Cour de Cassation barrister will, apparently, only take a Case that has the highest possible chance of succeeding!

Cost? Too much! By that time, we were running on fumes! I was honest with Alexandra, and she responded, ‘You must apply for Legal Aid. You can obtain it within six weeks, your Case can be heard at the Cour de Cassation within 6 to 8 months. We will start the processes at the beginning of January (2010). The Appeal Judge did not consider your human rights.’

That conversation took place two or three days before Christmas Day 2009. It took us until November 2010 to get the Legal Aid. We are still waiting for a hearing date to be set by the Cour de Cassation in Paris. The only way we managed to obtain French Legal Aid was through intervention by the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg. But, that’s another story!


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10 responses to “Heading For Paris

  1. GaynorB

    February 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I’ve just come across your blog and having read just a few posts am absolutely stunned!
    Your situation deserves a much longer and more considered response, but in the meantime “keep strong”.
    In other words “illegitimi non carborundum”!

    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Hi Gaynor, many thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment. We appreciate your support – and, we will keep going, even when they do get us down! Warmest regards, Chrissie

  2. catherine

    February 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am exhausted just reading this, cannot comprehend how you have lived it. As always, wishing you the best outcome possible.

    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Bless you, Catherine, there for us as always. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  3. Sarah

    February 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Chrissie, perhaps you’d like to appear in a television documentary about moving to France? You would certainly have a lot to say on the ‘living up to expectations’ part! See here

    “Wild Pictures are making a 2 x 60 minute series for ITV1 about British people who have moved abroad to Spain, France and Florida. They will be looking at whether the dream has lived up to their expectations, the reasons for leaving the UK and exploring the challenges of moving to a new country. They are also looking at how expats are surviving the economic downturn and whether they are heading home or finding ways to adapt and stay.

    If you would be interested or know someone who would like to take part, please use the contact details below.

    Wild Pictures – An independent television production company based in London that specialises in high end access based documentaries for all the major broadcasters.

    Contacts: UK London Tel: 0044 (0)203 2274930 Deborah Lovett Lucy Hinson”

    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Sarah, thank you very much for contacting me. Yes, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with Deborah and/or Lucy, and I will make contact within the coming hour. We can take it from there. The main aim of my blog is, primarily, to ensure people with a dream are fully aware that the dream can become a living nightmare, even when they can’t see any of the gremlins before they start to live the dream! As I have said many times during the past 4+ years, if our story helps to prevent just one more family becoming hobos in France, the blog will have done its job! For all of our great love for France, its culture, history, breathtaking countryside, wonderful rivers, and its many good people, you would be quite correct in thinking it certainly has not lived up to our expectations, on grounds of human rights considerations, as a starter! Once again, Sarah, thank you for contacting me. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  4. sally

    February 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve just come across your blogspot too after having had horrendous dealings with avocats in France and ‘mis-sold’ a property with far reaching consequences. Good luck and get your story out there, just having the support of other people helps enormously.

    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Hello Sally, thank you very much for contacting me. Can you tell me more, please? I’m genuinely interested. My email address is Yes, support is what has kept us going for so long. Although, we didn’t talk about the situation during the first year or so – the villagers knew about it – because we honestly believed we had been stupid enough to let it happen! But, an avocat, Julia Jones – British but working in French law, restored our self-confidence and gave us a starting block to dig in our heels and fight! I really would like to know what happened to you if you can bear to tell me. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  5. fly in the web

    February 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Do go for that programme…I know bloggers will do all they can to publicise what has happened to you and your family…but TV really gets the message out!

    Might sound silly…but have you thought about contacting Womans Hour?

    • hobosinfrance

      February 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Hello, thank you for your encouragement, and I have taken your advice. Well, I have emailed the television company to let them know I would welcome the opportunity to take part in the programme. That might not be what they want at the end of the day, though! No, we haven’t considered Woman’s Hour, and it’s years since I listened to the programme, so I’m not au fait with the format and content these days. Could you please elaborate? Warmest regards, Chrissie


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