Lies, Lies, No End Of Lies

03 Jan

Today, we received the latest kick in the teeth from the French justice system. Our forwarded mail arrived this morning, I was dreading its arrival and I make no secret of that fact! Well, once again, my dread was justified. Among the usual bills, ie property taxes, Social Charge, RSI demands, etc, was a letter from the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide (French Supreme Court Legal Aid Office). The letter was accompanied by an application form for Legal Aid, and a demand for copies of all the documents we had submitted in 2010.


Our good friend, Kay, with whom we are currently living until our next pet/house sitting project starts, took one look at my stricken face and held out her hand for the envelope and its devastating contents. I passed it all over without a word and Kay read through it – she speaks, reads and writes French fluently, doesn’t need Google.

Between cups of tea with lashings of (my) anguish, we determined a plan of action. Kay  telephoned the Bureau d’Aide and was advised that the person with whom she needed to speak would be in the office from 3pm, not before. So, Kay telephoned our avocat, Alexandra, who said she would need to recover our vice caché file from her archive, could we please email our request to her for documents we required. That was that.

Next, Kay telephoned the office of our Paris specialist Cour de Cassation avocat. No joy, the clerk couldn’t find our file.

By this time, I was in a real panic and, being in the throes of the second stage of a rotten ‘flu bug, was also feeling far from well. But, by far the most pressing stress was the thought of letting Tom know something had obviously gone drastically wrong. Tom’s health deteriorated rapidly before Christmas, he also has the rotten ‘flu bug on top of COPD, aka emphysema and chronic bronchial asthma. He feels worse than I do.

Several litres of tea later, Kay telephoned the Bureau d’Aide just after 3pm and spoke with the she-god she had been advised was ‘in the know’, or words to that effect. As soon as Kay mentioned our last name (it used to bear the description ‘surname’ before that seemingly became politically incorrect), the she-god’s voice rose alarmingly and she wouldn’t let Kay get a word in edge-ways, never mind an entire sentence.

The she-god told Kay we had made a new application for Legal Aid in October 2012. Lie.

Kay swiftly refuted the lie and the she-god told her we had not submitted any of the requested documents to support our 2010 Legal Aid application. Lie.  

Kay very quickly refuted the second lie and the she-god became louder and more abrupt by the second. The she-god also told Kay we had been sent a letter (by her office) in October 2012 telling us about ‘the decision’. She added that the letter had been sent LRAR (Registered post) to us at our house that’s not a home. 

Kay managed to get a few words in sideways when the she-god took a breath, and she told the she-god that we could not have received an LRAR letter at the house because we can’t live there – a fact that is known by all concerned, including the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide. She then asked what we could do to further our Cour de Cassation Appeal. The she-god replied with an audible Gallic Shrug (they’re quite easily identified when one is well acquainted with them), ‘They’re out of time. What do you want me to do about it?’

Kay asked the she-god to send copy of the LRAR letter to us at her address. The she-god sounded quite panic-stricken when she virtually shouted, ‘No’. She then loudly hung up her phone and disconnected any opportunity for Kay to make further enquiries!

So, battle-weary but still determined, Kay again telephoned our specialist avocat’s office. Oh joy! They had found our Case file! From our file, the clerk determined that our application for Legal Aid had been rejected in July 2010 on grounds that we had not submitted the necessary evidence of income. Lie.

We were never informed, and we have been waiting for a Cour de Cassation Hearing date that was never going to materialise, as things stand.

Where do we go from here? Well, firstly, we need to know what the ECHR makes of these latest antics. In my letter to the ECHR, I have stressed that the documents sent to the Bureau d’Aide in 2010 were all posted LRAR, and I have also reminded the ECHR that they have copies of those same documents.

It would not be logical for us to make a new application for Legal Aid when we already had an application on file and had not received anything to suggest our application had been rejected. The she-god stated that we had made a new application in October 2012. Yet, when Kay asked her to send us a copy of our alleged request, the she-god angrily refused! Of course she can’t send a copy to us, a copy doesn’t exist, an original doesn’t exist!

Our letter to the ECHR will be posted tomorrow morning – LRAR, of course! In the meantime, Kay has emailed the specialist avocat to ask why he did not inform us in July 2010 when our Legal Aid application was allegedly rejected. She has also asked him why he had not challenged that decision as he was fully aware that we had submitted the necessary proof of income documents to the Bureau d’Aide – he (or, at least, his office) received copies of said documents.

Rather strange, don’t you think, that nobody contacted us about our so-called out of time Legal Aid application between 2010 and 2012, but the Legal Aid Office were happy to allow us to submit a new application in October 2012?

A very happy New Year to all who read my blog, I wish you good health and much happiness throughout 2013. Thank you very much for your continued support. 


Posted by on January 3, 2013 in World


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26 responses to “Lies, Lies, No End Of Lies

  1. GaynorB

    January 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Keep faith – not in the authorities, but in yourselves.
    I hope that you are soon feeling in better health and able to maintain the fight.
    Very best wishes for a better 2013.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Thank you very much, Gaynor. In all honesty, Tom and I felt defeated last night, but today – we have rallied! We’re not giving up, we can’t give up, otherwise we will lose everything we worked for during our 80+ combined working years. Warmest regards from family and me.

  2. Helen Devries

    January 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I do not know how you are standing up to this…you must have spines of steel.

    It bears out all too well our own experience of the French legal system….if all else fails, lose the documents and lie…and I can’t say our lawyers were much help either. In the end I thought they were working with the other side.

    Now they think they have you between two stools..the 2010 application and the false 2012 declaration.

    And, at the bottom of this whole mess is someone well connected who can’t be allowed to lose.

    It stinks to high heaven.

    I wish I could do something practical to help you…all I can offer is heartfelt sympathy and the sincere wish that something…anything…will turn up to help you.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Hello Helen, knowing about the dreadful situation you and YOH fell into here in France, I also know that you have total comprehension of our situation, our feelings, our frustration, our great sadness. Whilst I so wish you hadn’t suffered as you did, I know your support for us is based on heartbreaking experience. Yes, it stinks, so many legal bods have told us our fraudulent sellers must have had influence in the lower Courts but they wouldn’t be likely to have pals at Supreme Court level, we now believe the legal bods are wrong. After all, our ‘old French family’ aka fraudulent sellers originated from Paris! Last night, Tom and I were still quite numb, but today we are back on our feet – our letter will be posted to the ECHR today. The only way is up! xx

  3. doocloone

    January 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Just been shown your blog by a friend, from my own experience the whole French legal system stinks….. I was defrauded by a French civil servant in the tax department and am now back in the UK having lost everything – I would be very interested to know more about any progress with the ECHR

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hi doocloone, I am very sad and so sorry to read your comment, but not at all shocked; family and I know so many folks who have ended up in the same position as you, despite fighting tooth and nail to prevent it happening. I know that words will help as they can be very supportive, but I also know that no words I can write to you will put back the clock and help you to retrieve what you have lost. The corruption in France is beyond anything I have ever experienced in the many countries where I have lived in my lifetime, and, yes, it appears to run like cancer through the entire judicial system. Our letter to the ECHR will be sent today, I will blog the response. My warmest regards to you, Chrissie

  4. Tottie Limejuice

    January 4, 2013 at 9:13 am

    So very sorry to hear this latest twist in the sad tale and do so hope there may yet be a way through it all and a time when you really can look back and laugh. Probably over yet more cups of tea as you and I work together on the manuscript of what is definitely going to be the best-selling ex-pat book of the decade by miles!! (presumptuously offering my help with it, you may not need it) 😉

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Dear Tots, please hold those thoughts – writing of the book may now be much closer than you and I envisaged! Oh yes, tea and manuscript between friends sounds delightful to me. Thank you so much from me and menfolk. xx

  5. Christine Phillips

    January 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Sometimes when I read all your problems it makes my blood boil. I hope you get some justice in all this mess but I can`t for the life of me see how when you come up against all this. Thinking of you all…& remember where we are if you ever need to stay any time.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Hi Christine, it’s so good to e-see you. The menfolk and I were very low yesterday, however, today we are back on track – our family unit catch phrase is “One day”! This morning, we looked at each other over the inevitable, brimming mugs of tea, and together we said, “One day”! Corruption and fraud can’t keep a good hobo down, lol! 😉 Thank you for your support, lovely friend, we will remember where you are. xx

  6. merewoman

    January 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh no, Chrissie. ;( So sorry that Tom is in such a bad way. I really don’t know what to say, except fingers crossed that 2013 will see things finally start to go your way. Do hope you will both be fit again soon.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Have to tell you this, if not for my dose of tonic last night, ie a chapter of your wonderful “Swallows & Robins”, I wouldn’t have slept a wink! Poor Tom, sounding like Darth Vader with a heavy cold (his words, Bless!) frightened me half to death – I was reading the chapter to him, we were laughing like drains, and he almost choked! Susie, thank you, your humour is priceless, and just what Tom and I needed last night. We now need to find out if the ECHR has teeth! xx

      • merewoman

        January 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Chrissie, delighted to know that Swallows and Robins has helped to keep your spirits up. They do say laughter is the best medicine, so I hope you find many more laughs. 🙂 Is Tom getting better?

      • hobosinfrance

        January 6, 2013 at 1:18 am

        Tom will be returning to the local doctor on Monday, Susie. Antibiotics, steroids, oxygen, inhalers and lung wash – nothing seems to be alleviating his breathing difficulties. It’s heartbreaking to see him struggling to walk ten paces, ADHD used to be his middle name, until about the time when we lost our first Appeal in December 2009. During the past 14 months, he has deteriorated at a shockingly rapid rate. I read another chapter of ‘Swallows & Robins’ to him earlier (reference ‘Ivy the cleaning lady!), it really brought a sparkle into Tom’s eyes! Brilliant. 🙂 xx

  7. Lynn Labrum Harvey

    January 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I really dont know what to say; it really is about time some good luck came your way. Not surprised you are both soo poorly with all this stress. Love and hugs Lynn X

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Bless you, Lynn, and thank you so much for your unconditional support. We’re not beaten yet – in fact, we won’t be beaten! Fraud, corruption, dishonesty, lies, everything we hope will never win, we just can’t let it win. We will find a way forward. xx

  8. Pip

    January 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Chrissie,
    I was feeling quite chipper with the arrival of the new year until I read the latest chapter in the saga of the illegitimates and their cohorts.
    I’ve probably said it before but I find it incredible that this can go on in a supposed modern society. If it was somewhere like Nigeria where fraud is second nature I could understand it but how can the people of this proud country allow their pride to be so sullied.
    I have no doubt it felt like yet another kick below the belt but I have total faith that you and all the family will get off your knees, take a deep breath and vow not to let the bastards get the better of you.
    I only wish I could do more than just offer words of comfort.
    May your faith in final justice be rewarded.
    Always thinking of you.

  9. Perpetua

    January 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Chrissie, if your story were presented as fiction or a film script it would be rejected as being beyond belief! The level of corruption, malfeasance and sheer incompetence described here is truly mind-boggling and I simply do not know how you keep picking yourselves up and soldiering on after blows like this. Wishing you, Tom and your family a much, much better year in 2013.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Lol, I could not disagree with you, Perpetua, and I’m wondering how Tots and I will ever get my (our!) book published, once it has been written! One aspect we won’t need to worry about will be evidence, nobody will be able to sue us on grounds of slander, libel or paranoia – I have reams of evidence! I’m surprised that France sets such store by hard evidence, it must surely prove the incompetence, corruption and malpractice that appear to be hugely present here. Well, it is according to our experiences, and we know of an ever-increasing crowd of fellow sufferers who agree with that overview. Thank you for being there for us, as always. xx

  10. hobosinfrance

    January 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Dear Pip, always there for me and mine, thank you. Sometimes, dear friend, words are enough. During the past few hours, I have discovered that thousands of people, in 63 different countries, are following this saga! I was absolutely gobsmacked, putting it in a rather unladylike fashion! But, the comments and support here, on FB, Twitter, and on HIFF, in addition to so many emails I have received, they have helped family and me so much today. We will keep going, to be beaten would be admitting there is no justice, and we still feel justice is out there – we must just find the right path that will lead us to it! xx

  11. Tracey Vincent

    January 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Chrissie, I’m so very sorry to read about the latest development. I can’t really say any more than what has already been said. You and your family truly are an inspiration, I really do believe that if anybody can get the justice they deserve it is you.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 5, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Dear Tracey, thank you very much for your support. We can only hope that our fiasco will bring more suffering folks forward, we firmly believe there’s got to be strength in numbers. The more of us who don’t give in to the blatant dishonesty and corruption, we may all eventually obtain justice through sheer power of the people! Watch this space – we’re not beaten! 😉 xx

  12. Sarah

    January 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I was horrified to read yet more bad news on your situation. What a start to 2013. I hope it gets better, I won’t say it can’t get worse, because in France there’s no knowing the limits of badness what with corruption rife at all levels.

    I wish you less worry and better health, and I have a feeling that this is already a tall order. You have my support anyway, and if you can expose the ruthless way you have been treated, you’ll have my undying admiration. Make sure you write your book in French as well as English for maximum exposure.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Sarah, never rains but it pours, eh! Since opening that letter, we have come to the conclusion that there has been a positive aspect – at least we didn’t receive it before Christmas, that would have been truly destructive. When we lost the first Tribunal, we received the judgement just a couple of weeks before Christmas 2008; our failed Appeal judgement arrived 6 days before Christmas 2009. The festive season doesn’t appear to be a good time for us! We’ll get there, Sara, thank you so much for your unswerving support – and, yes, the book will certainly be produced in 2 languages, ie English and French. 🙂 xx

  13. Janet

    January 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I am very sorry to hear of this latest setback. This technique of losing documents, not keeping applicants informed and then telling outright lies when challenged about errors they have made seems to be the way of bureaucracy in France as we know only too well in our Alice in Wonderland dealings with CPAM. My attitude is that we can’t let them win and to keep trying but I marvel at your stamina. You have been more than sorely tested. This is to wish you better fortune in 2013 and I so hope your husband’s health improves soon.

    • hobosinfrance

      January 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Hello Janet, thank you very much for your support. We have battled with this same problem all the way through our 5+ years fight, to date, for justice in France – avocats, bureaucrats, judges. No, we can’t let them win, and we’re not going to let them win! Although, I now fear the price to be paid will be higher than we ever envisaged, and I’m not talking in terms of euros. Thank you so much for your good wishes, they are sincerely appreciated. Warmest regards, Chrissie


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