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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Please can you advise on the following paragraph as I feel

Customer Question

Please can you advise on the following paragraph as I feel that this is untrue and that I am able to obtain the transcripts?

"there is no transcript what was said in the court room as we do not record proceedings in the magistrate's court"

I attended court 3rd November 2011 as summoned to the court by Arun District Council for an unauthorized structure in my garden ie a skate board ramp I appeared in front of the magistrate's and was asked if I was guilty or not guilty, I pleaded not guilty. I defended myself and I was told by the magistrate's I had been found not guilty of an unauthorised structure and therefore I was entitled to my costs I asked for the sum of £7000 which was the cost of dismantling and rebuilding the ramp as I had now won the case, as I had removed the ramp before the court hearing awaiting the court outcome. The court at this point changed tact and notified me that Arun District Council had withdrawn the case I had not been notified by the court of this development until after the final judgement the court advised me that I should contact the council and ask them for my costs which I argued I felt it was the courts responsibility to do this which at first the clerk was willing to do this, but this did not happen therefore the council refused to pay my costs.

In order to make the council aware of the court outcome I attempted under the freedom of information act to obtain the transcripts of the hearing which the court has replied that the case was withdrawn and the letter finishes with the paragraph above in " "

Anyone I have spoken to about this seems that all court hearings are recorded in some way - where do I stand and what do I do to get my costs?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

There are no transcripts of Magistrates Court hearings I'm afraid. Its not a Court of record.

What you can apply for is the notes of the court clerk on the day. You do obviously have to show good reason such as an appeal or a subsequent hearing etc.

But there are no transcripts.

I'm afraid the fact that you have been found not guilty does not mean you are entitled to all of your costs. The current rule is that even where a person succeeds they are only entitled to costs of up to the legal aid rates which will be nothing like £7,000 Im afraid. There are some challenges to this that will be decided next year but thats the current rule.

The way to make an application though would have been at court when the matter was dismissed and then you just seek a costs order from central funds.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Jo


 


Thank you in your response


 


Steve

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.

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