Who Put The 13 In 2013?

16 Mar

Since July 2007, my menfolk and I have been battling for justice through the French Courts. It has been a long, very hard struggle, Tom has been dogged by failing health that we know has been compounded by the stresses and hardship associated with living in a tent through some of the harshest winters to hit Europe for at least a generation.

Our young grandson has been educated, to date – by his ‘nanny-teacher’! Thank goodness my own grandmother determined that I would embrace a teaching career, that has proved to be invaluable where grandson’s future is concerned. Good old nan, my maternal grandmother, she must have had a crystal ball!

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom, we have travelled the length and breadth of France. We have paddled with grandson and tiny fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. We have discovered peace and tranquility, sun, sea and pristine clean sand on the Atlantic beach of Saint Georges de Didonne. We have climbed the French/Italian Alps – albeit, without that intention! We have slept in the Pyrenees…er…we didn’t actually get any sleep! We have woken to find our tent ‘door’ barricaded by a two metres high snowdrift! We have sung silly ditties all night to stay awake – and alive! We have watched eagles hunt for food, we have also photographed the mating ritual of a pair of Western Whips! We have seen and learned so much about this beautiful country, my book will tell the whole story.

Most important, we have laughed as much as we have cried, and, despite all efforts by the French judiciary and bureaucrats to empty our cup – it is still half full, voila!  

However, I have digressed – today, we received a letter from the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, telling us that it’s all over, we have no right of appeal. Despite the hardships we have endured, despite the French Appeal Court judiciary ‘recognising the fraud’ committed by our sellers, it appears that we have lost our fight for justice in France. We’ll see.

This is the (reproduced) letter we received from the ECHR today, plus a translation for those who do not have adequate French language skills to translate for themselves. The letter is dated 14th February 2013. As has been the situation throughout our hobo lifestyle, to date, we are not able to receive our mail as it arrives, we receive it as and when we can collect it, when Tom is well enough to drive, or when our neighbour in the village has a safe address onto which she can send the post she collects for us.

<<Madame, Monsieur,

Je me réfère à votre requete introduite le 8 juin 2010 et enregistrée sous le numéro susmentionné.

Je porte à votre connaissance que la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, siégeant entre le 24 janvier 2013 et le 7 février 2013 en formation de juge unique (………….. assistée d’un rapporteur conformément à l’article 24.2 de la Convention), a décidé de déclarer votre requete irrecevable. Cette décision a été rendue à cette dernière date.

Compte tenu de l’ensemble des éléments en sa possession et dans la mesure ou elle est compétente pour connaitre des allégations formulées, la Cour a estimé que les conditions de recevabilité prévues par les articles 34 et 35 de la Convention n’ont pas été remplies.

Cette décision est définitive. Elle n’est susceptible d’aucun recours que ce soit devant la Grande Chambre ou un autre organe. Le greffe ne sera pas en mesure de vous fournir d’autres précisions sur la décision du juge unique. Dèes lors, vous ne recevrez plus de lettres de la Cour concernant cette requete. Conformément aux directives de la Cour, votre dossier sera détruit dans le délai d’un an à compter de la date de la décision.

La présente communication vous est faite en application de l’article 52 a du règlement de la Cour.

Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes salutations distinguées.

Chef de Division’>>


<< (Dear Sir and Madam)

I refer to your complaint lodged on 8 June 2010 and registered under the number above.

I bring to your attention that the European Court of Human Rights, sitting between 24 January 2013 and 7 February 2013 a single judge (….name…. assisted by a (Court) reporter in accordance with Article 24.2 of the Convention), has decided to declare your application inadmissible. This decision was made on that date.

Given all the evidence in its possession, and in so far as it is competent to take cognizance of the allegations, the Court found that the conditions of admissibility laid down in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention have not been met.

This decision is final. It is not subject to any appeal whatsoever to the Grand Chamber or another organisation. The Registry will not be able to provide further details on the decision of a single judge. As of then you will no longer receive letters from the Court regarding this request. Accordance with the instructions of the Court, your file will be destroyed within one year from the date of the decision.

This communication is made to you pursuant to section 52 of the Rules of Court.

Yours faithfully. >>

Relevant to the decision:

Article 24.2 –

‘Failure to exhaust domestic remedies.’

Article 34 –

‘……..unexplained delays in supplying materials for correspondence and documents needed for application to Court.’

Article 35 –

‘The (ECHR) Court may only deal with the matter after all domestic remedies have been exhausted.’

Section 52 (now 52A, an amendment)

‘Rule 52A1 – Procedure before a single judge

1. In accordance with Article 27 of the Convention, a single judge may declare inadmissible or strike out of the Court’s list of cases an application submitted under Article 34, where such a decision can be taken without further examination. The decision shall be final. The applicant shall be informed of the decision by letter.

2. In accordance with Article 26 § 3 of the Convention, a single judge may not examine any application against the Contracting Party in respect of which that judge has been elected.

3. If the single judge does not take a decision of the kind provided for in the first paragraph of the present Rule, that judge shall forward the application to a Committee or to a Chamber for further examination.’

So, what is the bottom line?

Well, contrary to the Court’s ruling that we did not meet the requirements of Article 34, we did submit all relevant documents to the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide to support our claim for French legal aid. Come to that, we also sent copies of the said documents to the ECHR at the same time! The Bureau d’Aide has recently denied receiving any of the documents; the ECHR makes no comment about the copy documents received at the Court in Strasbourg. Strange, that!

Without the legal aid, or cash to pay the two avocats, we could not get our Case heard in the Cour de Cassation!

Therefore, we could not exhaust all domestic remedies!

Of course, the fact that we were not informed by the Bureau d’Aide that our application for legal aid had been rejected, not until we were ‘out of time’, was a major contribution to the ECHR judgement. But, that is no surprise!

We are not able to return to the ECHR using the same grounds, that was the risk we took when we filed there before obtaining a Cour de Cassation Judgement. But, it is possible that we may be able to return, with fresh evidence of breached human rights, if we can obtain that elusive Cour de Cassation ruling.

Of course, the legal bods acting for France at the ECHR would have been well aware of the facts, the laws, the requirements, the loopholes, the risks. It’s possible that rejecting our legal aid application was the only way forward for France!

Sheesh! How dare we consider conspiracy!

However, before we drink our ‘half full cup’ dry, we’re going to investigate the possibility of raising the money to bypass the Bureau d’Aide and have our Case heard in the Cour de Cassation. We don’t know if we can do that, but we will now pull out all the stops to find out the facts! If we can proceed, my dear old nan will have provided us with the means, I inherited a lot of her jewellery when she passed away. She was a game old girl, my nan, she would not have given up, her favourite adage was – ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’!

Spot on, nan, Bless you, and Bless your crystal ball!

It appears that all members of our family, both sides, in the UK got together and wrote a letter to the ECHR about their concerns for, among other aspects, our health, safety and welfare. Sadly, the letter arrived too late, the ECHR Judgement had been made before the letter arrived.

2013 is not our year, methinks!


Posted by on March 16, 2013 in World


24 responses to “Who Put The 13 In 2013?

  1. Sarah

    March 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Oh Chrissie, what a nightmare. The lying that goes on in the French offices denying reception of documents is just scandalous. How many times has that excuse been used? You must be sick of it especially as you send everything recommended AR.

    These people are just evil. I bet they lead miserable lives.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Dear Sarah, another stalwart supporter. 🙂 Yes, we are sick of the lies, the deceit, the fraud, the corruption, the arrogance! But, the fact that we are so used to it is very probably the reason why the contents of the ECHR letter fell on ground that was a tad stony, lol! Or, perhaps, we have gone bonkers during the past years! We have not given up, not yet anyway. xx

  2. Tottie Limejuice

    March 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Oh no, totally gutted to hear that and do so hope there is a way forward. There must be, otherwise the world is an even crappier place than it appears to be.

    Big hugs, if they are worth anything at all.


    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Dear Tots, your hugs are so deeply appreciated – and they are supportive and encouraging, that’s what we need. We’re going to follow every road, path, muddy track, until we find a way forward. Somewhere, there must be even a minuscule dot of light. We’ll find it if I’m right. xx

  3. Helen Devries

    March 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    So, as legal aid was refused, and as no one, including your lawyer told you that your claim for legal aid had been rejected you could not go to Cassation and thus could not fulfil the conditions of the ECHR.

    You’ve probably done this, but here’s a link to the Departmental Centres for Access to Justice

    You might just drop on someone with a heart who could tell you how to challenge the rejection.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Dear Helen, thank you so much – we will be dropping on somebody very soon! Fingers crossed that a beating heart is what we find in your link. Your summary is spot on. I will blog the results of our visit to the Departmental Centres for Access to Justice. It’s not all over until the hobo lady sings! 😉 xx

  4. Tracey Vincent

    March 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Oh Chrissie, I just can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear this latest news. I can’t imagine how you all must be feeling right now. If it helps at all, please know that you are all in my thoughts and I’m sending you huge e-hugs and kisses. If there is a way forward, I know that if anyone can find it it will be you.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Bless your heart, Tracey, thank you. We’re all feeling slightly bruised, but still determined that it’s not yet over! We have absolutely nothing to lose by picking ourselves up, brushing ourselves down – and putting the gloves back on for another round with the French judiciary! We’ll use the link Helen posted here and see where it takes us. xx

  5. merewoman

    March 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Unusually, words fail me. 😦

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      That is unusual, lol, but I know exactly where you’re coming from! Susie, we’re down, but we’re not out. We won’t be out until all avenues have been exhausted. I don’t believe all avenues have been exhausted – so, we’re going back to the drawing-board and through Helen’s link! I’m beginning to feel like Alice after she stepped through the looking-glass! Thank you very much for your continued support, that helps such a lot. xx

  6. Sophie Habberjam

    March 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Have only recently read about your trials and tribulations through HIFF and I am so sorry to hear you have had yet another blow. We are in 23 as you know and if you ever want to pop in you are always welcome. If you want some space, somewhere to stay, some moral or physical support just mosey on over. I hope 2013 brings better things from now on. X

    • hobosinfrance

      March 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Sophie, sincere apologies for the tardy response, your comment went into my blog spam box and I only discovered it whilst clearing the spam a few minutes ago. Future comments from you will be safe from now on. 🙂 I didn’t realise you are a HIFF member, although I love reading your Group posts, great humour. My father instilled in my sister and I a philosophy that has proved to be so true – laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep all alone! Thank you very much for your support and kindness, Sophie, both very much appreciated. We’ll be in Le Grand Bourg on Easter Saturday, supporting another Group member’s first business venture – a stall at the Fete de l’Oeuf – I’ll mention it in the Group later today. It would be brilliant if we can meet up. 🙂 Chrissie and menfolk xx

  7. Lynn Labrum Harvey

    March 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Word fail me – and that takes a lot. I really dont know how to begin to express my thoughts and feelings for you and your family. Truly heatbreaking. Love and hugs sent down the internet XXXXXX

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Hello Lynn, I have to admit, words failed me too earlier today! That’s not like either of us, friend! Lol! But, as the day has progressed, so my back-up brain cell has started to thaw – surprising, it’s really chilly on the 87/23 ‘border’, brrrrh! I’ll be studying information tonight, when grandson is in his hammock, and will hopefully find another path forward. Fingers crossed. Thank you, Lynn, for being there, as always. xx

  8. Gill Cass

    March 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Words fail me 😦 just hope somehow somewhere someone listens ! sending (((BIG HUGS))) and positive vibes

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Well, Gilly, we have been hit by a sledgehammer this time, but law of averages tells us there must be a plus somewhere around! We have had more than our share of minuses, I’m sure. Tomorrow will be another day, we’ll see what it brings. Thank you for your encouragement and support, as always. xx

  9. toroise49

    March 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t know what to say apart from I am really sorry. Hugs from us all and I know you will all stay strong.if we can help in any way please tell us what to do. Can we not do a petition of some sort in France and England. Love to you all xxxxxxx

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Diane, thank you very much – hugs and xx received and reciprocated. 🙂 The ECHR does not consider petitions, I understand they are returned to the main sender’s address. However, our family in the UK (both sides, Tom’s and mine) sent a letter, signed by them all, to the ECHR last month, but it arrived too late to be considered by the Judge! Just our luck, eh?! I’m going to look at some information sent to me earlier today, will need to get my translator head on my shoulders! If no joy down that avenue, we have Plans C, D and E to look at! 😉 xx

  10. Joanna Wynne Simm

    March 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    So sorry, was really hoping all would be sorted. Still…onwards and upwards! Xxx

    • hobosinfrance

      March 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      No, Jo, we’re going to try the backpedal direction this time – backwards from the ECHR to the Cour de Cassation! Well, a change of direction might be as good as a rest! 😉 First, we need to find out if we can backpedal, then, all things being equal, we will need to raise the funds to pay two avocats. So, that’s enough to be going on with! Thank you for being there, Jo, much appreciated as always. The Beeb lass didn’t get back to me; she asked for a telephone number, I gave her a landline number (where we were staying at the time), but she didn’t phone. I didn’t really expect her to, I think our house Case is too much for TV companies to take on – not good entertainment value. Thank you for trying, though. xx

  11. Janet wright

    March 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I am so sorry to,read all the above, I wish I could help in some small way, if there is any way I could help, please let me know, you have helped me many times over the time we have known each other. Just let me know, I send my love and thoughts to you all.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Dear Janet, my menfolk and I feel very humble, you have had such a long period of time living under clouds of uncertainty and great sadness, yet, you offer us unconditional support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Today, we will be gathering our thoughts and making plans for our next steps – those steps will be in a forward direction, Jan, putting back the clock is not an option! We have a number of pathways to consider and several people to contact before we make decisions, will keep you informed. 🙂 You are also very much in our thoughts. Love from we four hobos. xxxx

  12. Susan Oakes

    March 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Astonished and sickened by poor decision of the EHCR and probable corruption of French Cour de Cassastion. As others have said, if there is anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate. Anybody who knows you and “the boys” has to admire the way you pull together. Thinking of you all, with love.

    • hobosinfrance

      March 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hello Sue, absolute disappointment and deep sadness really only hit us last night, in all honesty! Our only consolation is the knowledge that the issues of breached human rights that we raised were not ruled inadmissible. We take some comfort from knowing the ECHR did not dispute that our human rights have been breached over and over again. Also, France could only escape ECHR judgement by pulling a fast one in ensuring we were not given the legal aid we needed to proceed. Very small consolation indeed, but, that gives us the strength to carry on fighting, if there is a route we can take. Today, I hope to find out if there is a route open to us. Thank you, Sue, for your continued unconditional support. We often think of you with much love and affection, as always. Chrissie & menfolk xxxx


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