Included in the parcel of documents that we received from the ECHR, Strasbourg, is a copy of the Riom Appeal Court’s Judgement, dated 17 December 2009.
We had not seen the Judgement prior to receiving our file from the ECHR, as was acknowledged by our (third) avocat during the following email conversation held between us:
Relevant excerpt taken from the email received from the avocat on Tuesday 6 April, 2010 at 18:02:23 –
“You need to provide the tax return, all documents justifying your incomes for 2009, or minimum income and the evidence that the court’s decision has been delivered by bailiff (which actually has not been done).
The solicitor (ie the specialist Cour de Cassation avocat) is asking the legal aid office to give you an additional delay……………”
Excerpt taken from my response to the above, sent on Thursday 8 April, 2010 at 12:42:51 –
“Regarding the tax/income avis, we won’t receive that until later this month! All we have to declare for 2009 is the rent for the locataire and the hairdresser, plus my UK State Pension from October 2009……. (I actually did not receive the latter until later in 2010, due to the DWP losing my documents at least twice!).
When the avis arrives at the house, it will be forwarded to us wherever we are. We will complete and return it. Any tax will then become payable in August 2010. There will be no tax to pay, we do not have enough income to pay tax……..”
Eventually, we managed to send evidence of my pensions, UK State and Government, to the Bureau d’Aide just before the end of May 2010, by which time we had secured a further delay with the Bureau d’Aide until July 2010. We also sent evidence of the locataires’ rent being received by the tax office to pay the property taxes, we refused to accept rent directly from the locataires – following advice given to us by our first avocat.
As always, I have supporting documentary evidence to hand and copies are also included in the file sent to us by the ECHR!
So, there we have it – the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide obviously set us up to fail! As we repeatedly told the Bureau d’Aide (in writing) and our avocat (via emails), we could not produce tax documents that did not exist! However, we did send evidence of our 2009 total global income, such as it was and despite the fact that the Mauriac tax office was actually receiving the rental income that we declared.
It gets better! Well, perhaps that wording isn’t really accurate! But, the following revelation made us smile, ie my menfolk et moi – because it is totally without logic and is typically a product of France!
We definitely won at the Riom Appeal Court! Honestly! We won our claim that the sellers, Monsieur and Madame T, defrauded us when they sold us a property that reeked of vice caché!
According to the Court President’s Judgement, Monsieur and Madame T admitted their guilt. Hang in there and I will reproduce the text with the translation!
But, if we won, how did we lose? Why is ‘the pile’ still hanging around our necks?
Ok, the quick answer is that we didn’t express sufficient concern about being trussed up like turkeys and hung out to bleed until we were bled dry – not until after we discovered we had become bleeding dead turkeys! We didn’t raise questions about the hidden fraud before we discovered the hidden fraud!
Therefore, despite the sellers admitting their guilt to the Appeal Court, we were found guilty of not proving their guilt. Ouch!
Here’s that text, reproduced straight from the Riom Appeal Court Judgement documents that I have right next to my Netbook –
<Qu’il y a eu une fraude de leur part pour couvrir le bail à……>
Translation – ‘There was a fraud on their part to cover (hide) the lease…’
<Attendu que les négations des époux T concernant le bail du garage confirment qu’ils ne l’ont jamais indiqué aux acquéreurs….>
Translation – ‘Despite their other denials, the T’s confirmed that they never told the buyers about the lease concerning the garage.’
<Qu’il y a eu un dol de leur part à dissimuler le bail tant à l’agent immobilier qu’aux acquéreurs.>
Translation – ‘There was a fraud on their part to cover (hide) the lease from the buyers and the real estate agent.’
However, here’s where we (apparently) went wrong –
<Qu’aucun élément du dossier ne démontre qu’ils ont attaché une quelconque importance à ces locaux.>
Translation – ‘No evidence on the record shows that they (we) have attached any importance to these areas.’
Mmmmmmmm, we obviously should have had our crystal ball primed to tell us all about the hidden tenants and their hidden Contracts before we purchased the property. Clearly, commencing a vice caché lawsuit within hours of discovering the fraud doesn’t adequately express our horror and anger at being forced to attach importance to the tenants!
There’s a lot more, including the opinion of the Court that the justices did not believe it important that we needed (and our architect attested that we had obtained Planning permission for) the disability lift to be installed in the garage because that was the only location agreed by the Planning Office. What! It was certainly important to us that we avoided having a bundle with the Planning Officer before we had even got our feet under the table of Madame France! However, it’s possible that the justices and the Planning Officer eat at the same restaurants. Just a thought!
It’s not worth me taking this crystal ball back to whence it came, French Customer Services staff don’t generally ‘do’ returns!