Taking Customs to court
I’ve referred to this before, and it’s still ongoing. Just an update here.
Six years ago, two of us had cigs seized by customs, (about 10.000 each). We appealed by letter, and the appeal was finally successful. But the cigs, they said, had now been destroyed, so they offered compensation, a little less than we had paid in Spain. This is standard procedure. Many court cases and appeals have finally defined this as legally correct. But nothing is ever final in law. We’re fighting on.
We refused their offer, and are trying to get them in small claims court for real compensation. They have asked the court to rule that it has no jurisdiction. The first jurisdiction hearing was adjourned two weeks ago, when I demolished their barrister’s argument. The judge has adjourned to give them chance to think of a better argument.
I asked the judge to order them to disclose when the cigs were actually destroyed, and I’ve just received the appeals officer’s statement.
They received my appeal on 29 Nov 2004, and acknowledged it on 6 Dec. I have now discovered that my cigs were then placed on the destruction list on 8 Dec, two days later. (“Perishable”! Spite?).
On 21 Dec they wrote again, now refusing our appeal and giving stupid reasons. We replied, pointing out their stupidity.
On 2 Mar, they replied and gave in, accepting our appeal, but they “confirmed” that all of the cigs had been destroyed. Compensation was offered. We refused it, and demanded more. The argument continues.
Now I find out from this statement, that over a month after telling us that our cigs had been destroyed, My friend’s cigarettes were only actually placed on the destruction list, on 5 Apr!
It gets worse! All of the cigs were actually destroyed on 27 May! 11 weeks after they offered us nearly £2000 of taxpayers money as compo instead! Which we had refused!
And this is assuming that they are now telling the truth to the court.
Can I win this jurisdiction argument and get them into real court? Watch this space.