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UK-Justice
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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If a car has been reported as stolen but subsequently determined

Customer Question

If a car has been reported as stolen but subsequently determined by the police as the subject of a civil dispute, can the police take the car away until the courts have decided who owns it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE so that I am credited for my time.

I am sorry to hear of your situation.

If the Police say that no offence has been committed then no - they can not hold onto it.

This is because the Police only have power to seize for criminal matters in terms of vehicles.

If this is a civil dispute then they have no reason nor power to hold onto it.

As such they are acting beyond their powers.

So no - the Police cant keep hold of this property.

I hope this helps.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Having written to the police already and asked them under what power they can hold the vehicle, can I now say that I have been advised by a barrister that they cannot hold onto it......but then what? Your answer does not help me to know what to do next,, which is what I had hoped for.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
You can then seek a Court order to make them release and deliver it up.

For that you would need a Solicitor to draft proceedings to present your argument in Court.

But a Court order is what you need.

I hope this helps.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there any way that the vicious boyfriend could block this? What is involved? As we are going to court anyway, but I dont know when, which woulod take precedence? I need the car now!!

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

You would need an order from the County Court ordering that the Police release the car.

You need to make an urgent application to the County Court.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do apologise, but I dont believe you have answered my question as to whether the ex could block this - or do the same thing? I am not in a position to spend thousands of pounds and have no idea how much this would cost - and if there is a risk that he could block it, then I will have to re-consider that line of attack.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

The ex could ATTEMPT to block it.

You would make representations to the Judge and so would your ex.

The Judge would then decide whether it should be delivered up.

The cost is £80 for an application fee to the Court and then the cost of a Solicitor if you want one.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

....and would this application take place ahead of the magistrate's court hearing otherwise there would be little point.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

Yes.

You would raise a complaint in the County Court and make an application there.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Are you able to quote a precedent for when a wealthy man asks for his "gifts" back and he is refused? This ex is claiming that the car was a loan and I am claiming that it was a gift. I have had it for over 3 and a half years and insured it from the very start in my own name. Over that period I have also claimed the V5 from DVLA as I was, at the very least, the registered keeper. However, I understand that the V5 is not proof of ownership. What would say say is such proof after 3 and a half years?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
You dont need a precedent for this.

It would be down to the Judge and who he believes.

Whoever brings the claim has to prove the claim. It has to be proven on the balance of probabilities - ie more likely than not.

3.5 years seems rather a long time for a gift!


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


"3.5 years seems rather a long time for a gift!" - or do you mean "rather a long time for it not to be a gift?" He turned up in my drive way, having had no contact for 3 years, with a digger , digger driver and a low loader and tried to drag it away. We called the Sussex police who immediately determined that this was a civil dispute. He then reported it to the Kent police, had a marker placed on the car, and I was arrested for allegedly stealing the vehicle. This is how the Kent police have seized the car....and guess where the ex lives and runs his multi million pound empire - in Kent!! It smacks of corruption. oh yea, he was arrested for assaulting me when he appeared with the digger, but the CPS decided not to prosecute. What are my chances?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
Yes (spell check).

You can't claim corruption etc - otyherwise you will just look mad.

I think you have a decent case.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sadly it's a true story - otherwise it would be laughable! Thanks for your help. I might come back to you in the next few days if that's OK?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

Welcome - please remember to give me a good rating............

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I will. I have one more question for now - does it have to been the County Court in Kent? It is hugely biased in his favour but I live in Hampshire,XXXXXaway, and he is on the doorstep of the Medway police station. The Kent police had the car taken over to Kent - at the public's expense - but it was in Steines when I was arrested........ Now I have to get to Kent - without a car!!!

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

If you are the Defendant then it will be transferred to your local County Court.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So do I have to lodge the application in a Kent County Court to start with, given that the Kent Police have taken the car over there, even though I am in Hampshire? As the police are bringing the case to court, am I the defendant? I was the one accused of stealing the car, which they have no determined was a false accusation.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
The matter will automtically be transferred to your local Court.

But you will need to make an application to your local Court once it has been transferred, otherwise it will be dealt with at the Court where the claim is currently.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Am I taking the Police to Court and am I therefore the plaintiff though?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
Yes, you are the Claimant.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Rats, so I am back into his patch! How long could this process take please?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

After proceedings are issued and you defence you both fill out an Allocation Questionniare.


When the Courts gets this back it will be transferred.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry - is this a matter of days, weeks, months....and I will leave you in peace! Thank you for your help.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

Weclome - please remember to give my answer a good rating.



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry - you didnt answer my last question about how long this could take?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

It could take a few weeks.



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UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience: Called to the Bar in 2007
UK-Justice and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For UK Justice only - Is this the correct route to asking more questions please?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1) Will I have to notify the police of my intention to go to the County Court?


If so, will they notify the ex?


2) If they do, what can he specifically do in response?


3) If the County Court decides in my favour, that would surely mean that the police would no longer have the car?


4) If so, can the police then still take the case to the Magistrate's court?


5) It is essential that I understand all the timing implications of this action - I dont want to get stuck in a County Court and them say let the Magistrates Court decide.....is that a possibility?


Many thanks

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
1) They will be notified yes and you should

They may or may not notify your ex

2) He - nothing

3) Yes

4) No

5) Its not possible no

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. XXXXX do we lodge in - I assume it will be the one closest to the Medway Police Station, even though I am in Hampshire?


 


Can I now request the return of my V5 which the Sussex Police took from me when they arrested me? I assume it has gone to the Kent Police. Are htey allowed to hang on to it?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
You would lodge at your local county court.

Yes you can request the return of your v5 document.

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Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?
Customer
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sadly your answer was incorrect about the police power. Under the Police Property Act, they DO have the power to hang on to the car, as it was part of a criminal investigation. Now that they have determined that it is a civil dispute, they still have the power to hang on to it and to instigate court proceedings in the magistrates court. I am very disappointed that your information has been incorrect.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

But there are no proceedings.


You did not say they were taking action.

 

If there are no proceedings they can't hold onto this.

 

I know because I prosecute for the CPS.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

 


Please see my Optional information: Already Tried: "They are taking the dispute to a magistrate's court".


 


We are waiting to find out when this may happen and have, in the meantime, issued an Interim Relief Order.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

They can't take the dispute to the Mags Court if it is a civil matter.

But thanks for the update and good luck with this.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would then be really grateful if you could advise what we need to do to convince them of this. Is there something you can please refer me to?

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 4 years ago.

It is the law under the Act you mentioned.

They can ONLY hold onto it during proceedings or where a crime is being investigated.

They can't keep hold of it as long as they want.........

If they do you can complain to the independnt police complaint commission.

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