Monday, August 22, 2005

Get Me Out Of Here

I received a phone call on Sunday night about one of my Client's being arrested on a no bail warrant. I took down details of the failure to appear at Court and then looked in my diary. I could quite clearly see that I had been at the Court that had issued the warrant with the Client when they had appeared for a trial. I spoke with the Custody Sergeant and explained that the warrant must have been issued by mistake and I was given the standard response that the matter was out of the hands of the Police as they were acting on the instructions of the Court and if the Court had got it wrong then my Client could seek compensation from the Court.

So I went off to Court to deal with this warrant. My Client was most upset about having to spend time at the Police Station overnight - the idea of being compensated for wrongful arrest/false imprisonment did seem to cheer them up. This should have been a relatively simple matter to clear up, but no. It took two hours of waiting before the CPS papers turned up, and after a lot of searching the Court conceded that it could not find it's files on this matter. What had happened was rather silly. My Client had two sets of cases being dealt with by the same Court. The Court foolishly listed both cases on the same day to be dealt with in different Courtrooms in the same Court, neither the Client nor I knew that they had listed the two cases in different Courts. As one set of proceedings was for a trial that went part heard we had expected to deal with the other matter that was for sentencing after the trial had been concluded. So whilst my Client was stood in one Court room dealing with a trial another Court room issued a warrant for her arrest for failing to surrender to that Court!

When the case finally got in to Court the Court accepted that they had erroneously issued the warrant. My Client is now pursuing a civil claim to compensate them for their night in a Police cell.

1 comment:

Gavin Whenman said...

Wow, that is awful!
The worse I've had is a court issue a charging order on a wrong address, but this one is a case of mind-melting stupidity.