Heart Attack & Handcuffs (civil case)
Well that went well. The Judge said some really complimentary things about my skeleton argument (this is what you put in writing so the Judge knows in advance). In fact, I think this won the hearing for me before we had even started. Counsel for the
MoJ struggled to come back with any argument which would defeat my submissions. In the end, I didn’t have to add very much to the whole hearing.
I’ve said it before but the parties who waste public money are not prisoners but the MoJ themselves. This cost £3,986 out of the public purse for the MoJ to defend their position. They didn’t have to do this; they could’ve allowed the hearing without being there. The reason given was “we couldn’t just roll over”. I’m pretty certain that if the £3,986 was going to be paid for out of the pocket of whoever made the decision they would’ve ’rolled over’ and not wasted their money.
I sought my own costs in applying for and preparing the hearing. As a litigant in person, you can claim £19 per hour for your time. I spent 57.6 hours putting my appeal together (you do the maths). I was awarded nothing, zero, zilch; as seems to be the way if you are a prisoner, despite the apparent fact that we retain all of our civil rights. Of course, it didn’t help my case when the Judge was misleadingly told by the
MoJ’s barrister that I had an unpaid £32,000 costs order against me. I nearly fell off my seat. This was news to me. The Judge appeared less inclined to listen to me after that, cutting me off in the end.
After further investigation, I found that these costs are what the MoJ are claiming in my music files case; however, there has been no costs hearing. The Court will decide what costs, if any, are reasonable (it is unlikely to be anywhere near £32,000). Plus, I’ve applied for permission to appeal the final decision. In other words: I do not have a costs order against me for £32,000 or any amount in that case. The MoJ misled the Court to influence the Judge’s decision not to award me my costs.
Do you think that anyone can be rehabilitated when the MoJ are so dishonest.
Be happy, be safe (and be honest, for goodness sake).
Graham Coutts, 29th August 2017