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Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
On what basis is he able to claim the £400? How did he work it out please?
No basis. He just said:"I have your painting at my lock up. I have been offered 400 hundred for it but I am happy to give you first refusal."
What you need to do is write and demand release of the painting or say you will go to Court. Make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.
If he refuses then you can issue proceedings and ask the Court for an order that he 'delivers up' the painting.
He then also said:"I had to spend £3,500 removing all the rubbish that was left there last week...You owed over £30,000 pounds to us." The "you" here is the company I worked for and not me!
You would need to complete form N208 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf and submit it to Court.
The Court will then issue the claim and send a copy to the Defendant. He would have a limited time to defend it, if not he would be debarred from participating.
The matter would then be listed and a Judge would decide whether or not to make the order to deliver up.
If the Judge does and he refuses then the Judge could find him in contempt of Court for ignoring a Court order which could be fined or sent to prison.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
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Thanks for your help so far.Are you able to give me an idea of the likely costs involved in pursuing this matter through the Court as outlined above?Also, what prospect would I have (if any) of retrieving the costs from the defendant?
£175 issue fee.
The costs are listed here: http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/fees
Is this fee something that be claimed from the defendant?Also, he claims that as I didn't have a landlords waiver that allowed me to keep the painting on the premises and made clear that it could not be seized or warranted upon, he has no liability.Can you advise on this point?