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Stuffed…No Logic!

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!

‘Owzat?

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!

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in World

 

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Ok, So Patience Is A Virtue!

On the 24 April 2013, Tom and I posted a letter to the ECHR, Strasbourg, politely requesting the return of our house Case file. We need to send the file to the EUCJ with our application for that Court’s consideration of the facts, as follows in chronological order:

We lost our first Tribunal in Aurillac in 2008 because our first avocat failed to collate the main evidence for presentation to the justices. That avocat was dismissed by his boss on grounds of his ‘incompetences’.

Patience!

We lost our Appeal in Riom in 2009, despite the Court ‘recognising the fraud and arrogance’ of our sellers and despite the notaire having her ‘wrists slapped’ for her incompetence. The justices decided there was no French law that they could use to find in our favour; the justices decided the notaire was ‘young and inexperienced’.

Patience!

In July 2010, the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide decided we would not be granted Legal Aid because (they said) we had not given them the necessary evidence of our financial means. Lies – we sent copies of everything we had to the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide, plus copies of the same evidence to the ECHR. On each occasion, we received the LRAR receipt to show our mail had been received by the intended recipients. But, when challenged by us, a Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide clerk commented that the envelopes might have been delivered, but it was not proof that they contained anything!

Patience! 

There are major facts for the EUCJ to consider with regard to the latter point, ie we were not informed by our (third) avocat, nor by our ‘specialist’ Cour de Cassation avocat, nor by the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide that our application for Legal Aid had been finally rejected!

In February 2013, the ECHR passed Judgement that we had failed to send necessary documentation to the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide. What!

Patience! 

The ECHR made no Judgement whatever regarding our complaint that our human rights have been persistently breached throughout the years from 2007 to date.

Patience!

On 24 April 2013, Tom and I sent a letter (LRAR, of course!) to the ECHR requesting the return of our house Case file. We had been advised by SOLVIT that our Case can be considered by the EUCJ on grounds outlined above. However, there is a time limit and, to date, we have not received our file from the ECHR. In fact, the ECHR has not yet even acknowledged receiving our letter!

Patience!

According to a staunchly Christian late great-aunt of mine, patience is one of the seven heavenly virtues that balance the scales alongside the seven deadly sins. Well, we consider that we have been patient for nearly six long, very difficult years and we are taking our lead from a favourite author of mine, Laurell K Hamilton.

“Patience is a virtue, but there comes a moment when you must stop being patient and take the day by the throat and shake it. If it fights back; fine. I’d rather end up bloody at the end of the day, than unhurt with no progress made, no knowledge gained. I’d rather have a no, then nothing. I’d forgotten that about myself.”

Today, we will be posting a brief, probably rather terse, reminder to the ECHR demanding (yep, demanding!) that they return our house Case file to us by no later than 10 June 2013. If we don’t receive that file before or on 10 June 2013, we will approach the EUCJ without the file, but with an additional complaint.

Blimey, we’re getting brave!

 
25 Comments

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in World

 

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Lies, Lies, No End Of Lies

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.

Eh?

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. 

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in World

 

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Moving Back To The Cantal!

Since our house Case started, family and I have often wondered if our biggest error was made when we didn’t carry on down-country to settle in the Midi-Pyrenees. The Midi-Pyrenees was where we were heading to in 2007, but the mountains of the Auvergne were Sirens that persuaded us to end our house search there! However, in recent weeks, we have reached the conclusion that the Auvergne was, and remains, right for us, individually and as a family unit.

We miss the Sirens! Tom and I miss the relatively good health we enjoyed in the Cantal, and we all miss the space, soaring Golden Eagles, green lizards with blue heads, rural peace, crisp ‘dry’ snow that melts without leaving filthy slush for days on end, dry heat with relatively low humidity, spectacular storms that follow the meandering rivers and crackle and drum-roll below the top of the high plateau where our house is located. We miss the excitement of discovering exotic orchids that long ago disappeared from the British countryside – not just one or two orchids, but fields filled with orchids! We also miss the kindness of the villagers who made us feel welcome, valued and valuable. Only a handful of folks are responsible for our plight.  

The house we purchased was our primary home, not a holiday home, and we were the first British family to buy a primary residence in the village. We burned our bridges before leaving the UK, sold our house and most chattels, bought one-way tickets and moved to France – lock, stock and barrel!

Of course, those who have read my blog from day one will already know our house that’s not a home is the only property in the world that we own. But, other folks, who have cherry-picked – for whatever reason – when reading my blog, don’t know about that fact. In recent weeks, a couple of people have asked me why family and I didn’t just up sticks and return to the UK when we had to move out of the house in Champagnac. There are reasons, very valid reasons, as previously mentioned in my blog, but there are two extremely important reasons. The first is that we can’t obtain legal aid in France if we live in the UK, and we can’t obtain legal aid in the UK to fund this last step of our house Case in France. Secondly, we moved to live permanently in France for several reasons, those reasons still apply today, just as they did when we initially decided to move to France. Voila!

So, we will be returning to the Cantal. The hairdresser, Mademoiselle S, is due to vacate our property on Sunday 30 September, as confirmed in her formal Notice to us that was delivered by l’Huissier (baliff). Recently, the hairdresser sent a brief letter to us requesting permission to delay her exit from our property until March 2013. She told us (in her letter) her new business premises won’t be ready for occupation until then. She also asked us to ‘take pity on’ her business. Needless to say, we have responded to the letter with an emphatic “non”!

Copies of all relevant documents have been sent to the Cour de Cassation and the ECHR. Of course!

However – and, yes, this is the ‘but’ that tends to accompany most (all?) of our plans in France! Says she, rolling eyes! If Mademoiselle S decides to remain in our property until March 2013, leaving us out in the cold for another winter, our fifth winter as hobos in France, we won’t be able to do anything about it. Why not? I will elucidate next time!

 
14 Comments

Posted by on August 29, 2012 in World

 

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