How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

Hi I have a civil litigation case which I intend to take

Customer Question

Hi

I have a civil litigation case which I intend to take to court in Autumn against the UKVI and the home office of the United Kingdom (body in charge of immigration).

I made an application to extend my stay in the UK but it was severely delayed and this lead to loss of income/opportunity , lead to being diagnosed for depression which I was treated for by a medical professional and I have proof and medical records and to top it, the UK border agents visited my house causing distress to me and my wife.

I am considering suing them for an enormous amount as I need rehabilitation of my mental health in a private hospital, loss of income and distress caused from their visit.

I would be glad if I get a comprehensive answer to this question as this would shape up my case going forward as I can't seem to get a solicitor to take up this case no win no fee , so I have decided to represent myself.

Samuel e
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : how much are you seeking to claim please?
Customer:
Hi Alex


I have decided to sue for my health damages for £20,000 as I need a private hospital for rehabilitation.


I have sued for £16,000 for lost wages for a continuous period of 10 months.


I have sued for distress caused during their visit to me and my wife for £2,000


So total is £38,000.



Would be great to get a response from you.
Alex Watts :

Did you notify the government body before hand regarding the loss of income and loss of opportunity please?

Alex Watts :

Note, I am currently on holiday so there may be a short delay in my responses

Customer:

Hi

Alex Watts :

Hello

Customer:

yes, I did notify them with a formal complaint but it has failed to offer me a proper financial remedy as they offered me an ex gratia payment of £120, which I politely declined.

Alex Watts :

Did you notify the government body when you applied for leave that you would have a loss of income/opportunity please?

Alex Watts :

Also why did you go to a private hospital, why not NHS?

Customer:

Can you rephrase that question , please? because they were meant to respond between 4-13 weeks but in my case , it took 10 months which is approximately 40 weeks between which I couldn't seek appointment, in my case I couldn't launch my business, got diagnosed with depression, which was clearly not acceptable and they have clearly apologized. I haven't used the private hospital, i intend to use it for my rehabilitation if my claim is successful because I need the best care possible as all the NHS offers me now are anti depressants.

Alex Watts :

Why can't you use an NHS hospital?

Customer:

in case of "appointment" its "employment" excuse my spell checker

Customer:

this ill treatment came from a government body and the NHS is a government body .

Alex Watts :

So you would chose to go private rather than NHS?

Alex Watts :

Is the treatment cost within your £20,000?

Customer:

I have lost trust in goverment body and I don't intend to entrust my mental health to another one and again all NHS does today is hand me anti depressants

Alex Watts :

Is the treatment cost in your £20,000?

Customer:

Yes absolutely because , the service there would be at a premium... The treatment would be over a course of time and to secure an appointment alone with an expert there is £250 for an initial assessment. So I suppose, if I get a quote from my initial assessment, I would know how much it'll cost and how long it'll take for treatments.

Alex Watts :

And the business you were planning on launching, you were doing this self employed rather than seek employment?

Customer:

I am currently running a fairly successful business today www.e4computerrepair.co.uk & www.e4creations.co.uk , self employed as director of the business

Customer:

and I was able to get this business running as soon my VISA was approved in february 2013

Alex Watts :

Had your business started and running in the UK please?

Customer:

Yes, the business was incorporated in 30/09/2012 but was dormant till february 2013... Reason for dormancy is because I couldn't run the company because of my Visa hasn't been approved... Yes its been running in the UK from february 2013

Alex Watts :

And did you have employed jobs turned down because of your status?

Customer:

Okay, they didnt state clear reasons why it was turned down but i believe it was partly because of my status because its always at that stage of revealing my visa status, thats where i always got turned down

Alex Watts :

Ok thats the background - what is it you would like to know from me

Customer:

1.I just want to know how to tackle this case because its not a simple one... As no one has taken up this case for me in a no win no fee basis , i'd like to represent myself with me making minimal mistake.... 2. Do you believe I have a good case (i have all evidence from loss of income/opportunity to ukba raid) accompained with some amateur investigation of requesting documents from the UKBA

Alex Watts :

Do I think you have a good case yes and no

Alex Watts :

I think you may have a claim but I do not think it is worth £20,000

Alex Watts :

The problems you face are this.

Alex Watts :

Any claim for personal injury over £1,000 is put what is called in the fast tracvk

Alex Watts :

* track *

Alex Watts :

This means if you lose you are responsible for the legal costs of the other side

Alex Watts :

Therefore there is a risk

Alex Watts :

The next thing I think you have difficulty with is causation

Alex Watts :

You need to prove it was a direct result of what UKBA did that made you suffer depression

Alex Watts :

You need to show a causal link

Alex Watts :

Not only that you need to show that they owed you a duty of care, they broke that duty and you were injured as a result

Alex Watts :

I sadly can not see, whilst I accept their service was poor, that this was negligence that caused you a personal injury

Alex Watts :

Even if I am wrong about that the next hurdle you have to overcome is remoteness

Alex Watts :

That is, are the damages you claim within the reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time of this

Alex Watts :

I am unable to see a clear link between you applying for a visa, it being turned down and then you seeking to recover £20,000 and suffering depresssion

Alex Watts :

Would it have been reasonable for UKBA to foresee this when you applied - I can't see how it can be

Alex Watts :

Then the final issue is the loss

Alex Watts :

You want to claim loss of business for a business that had not started. I can not see how you claim that.

Alex Watts :

If the business had been trading for several years, you could show a trading history and then I could see potential for some loss of earnigns

Alex Watts :

But here, the business had not started and you were self employed. Any loss there is therefore theoretical and not actual. Courts are not minded to award theoretical loss

Alex Watts :

Finally there is the issue of the private mental heath treament.

Alex Watts :

As a victim you have a duty to mitigate your loss

Alex Watts :

Therefore the Courts would not award you private health care for rehabilitation. They would expect you to minimise any loss and go via the NHS

Alex Watts :

The NHS is a government department but with everything that you do in the UK, they are government departments

Alex Watts :

You can't claim private health care just because you don't want to use the NHS, this would simply not be allowed

Alex Watts :

Therefore given the difficulties you face which are:

Alex Watts :

1) proving negligence

Alex Watts :

2) causation

Alex Watts :

3) remoteness

Alex Watts :

4) loss of opportunity

Alex Watts :

5) loss of business

Alex Watts :

6) loss of employment

Alex Watts :

7) health care

Alex Watts :

I think whilst you do have a claim, it would not be anywhere near the figures you are seeking to recover

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

My application for the VISA was never turned down

Customer:

my job application were turned down

Alex Watts :

That makes no difference - I understand it was delayed by 10 months

Customer:

and what do you mean by remoteness

Alex Watts :

Yes I understand your job was turned down

Customer:

?

Alex Watts :

Remoteness - was the loss in reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time of the application

Alex Watts :

If not - its too remote

Customer:

Please can you explain in plain English

Alex Watts :

I am involved in a car accident - I am injured

Alex Watts :

With me so far?

Alex Watts :

I can not work

Alex Watts :

My loss of earnings are £10,000 for say 6 months

Alex Watts :

That is reasonably forseeable

Alex Watts :

However if I then decide I can't pay a loan and was made bankrupt, that could not have been forseen.

Alex Watts :

The test is "You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour."

Alex Watts :

When driving a motor car it is foreseeable that a passenger as well as other road users directly affected if the driver is careless

Customer:

got it

Alex Watts :

It might be foreseeable that a victim may suffer physical injuries if D drives carelessly, but it would not be foreseeable that she should suffer a miscarriage.

Alex Watts :

Whilst I think there may be a case, it will be a hard one

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

So you believe they don't owe me a duty of care?

Customer:

as a govermental body

Alex Watts :

In terms of applying for a visa, no

Alex Watts :

Not in terms of negligence

Alex Watts :

They may have been sloppy, but is not negligence

Alex Watts :

Even if it was you have the problem of remoteness and your damages

Customer:

no, they confirmed I wasn't having a case worker till december 2012, so basically my documents where in the archives and after my visa was approved, my biometrics card took another month and a half to arrive

Alex Watts :

Yes I understand that.

Alex Watts :

But negligence against a government department (save for places like hospitals etc) is quite hard to prove

Alex Watts :

Even the Police do NOT owe the public a duty of care

Alex Watts :

But there is nothing stopping you bringing a claim

Alex Watts :

You asked me for my view and that is you will face diffculty.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

what about the raid to my proeprty?

Customer:

property

Alex Watts :

You have never said in your question about a raid to your property?

Customer:

Please read my original question

Alex Watts :

Yes it does not mention about a raid.

Alex Watts :

It simply says 'distress caused from their visit'

Alex Watts :

They visited your house causing distress

Alex Watts :

They are legally entitled to visit premises

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

You did not said you were raided.

Alex Watts :

But by law they have the power to do this.

Alex Watts :

If you think you were mistreated, the Ombudsman is the way forward

Alex Watts :

But if they did not find for you, the UKBA will bring this up to a Judge and that will be persuasive

Alex Watts :

As I said, I think you may have a claim but it will be hard and uphill

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you today please?

Customer:

if I am to take up this case, what evidence would I present to a judge to help my case

Alex Watts :

You need a psychiatric report

Alex Watts :

You need evidence confirming the link between what happened and your condition

Customer:

my medical evidence stated that i suffered from their mistreatment and my therapist would testify too

Alex Watts :

You need a psychiatric report

Alex Watts :

It would then be down to the discretion of a Judge to find for you

Alex Watts :

Litigation is not certain by any means

Customer:

what about loss of income/opportunity?

Alex Watts :

You would have to convince a Judge that was the case and reasonably forseeable

Alex Watts :

Does this answer your question?

Customer:

so sorry another thing

Alex Watts :

Of course

Customer:

I would want to an injuction from a judge to give UKVI a strict guidelines and dates to repsond to VISA applications... Would I be able to add this to my case as more than 100,000 non eu migrants are suffering from what i suffered

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

That is nothing to do with you

Alex Watts :

You have no standing to do that - that is a matter for the UKBA and the Goverment

Alex Watts :

Does this clarify?

Customer:

undermining thousands of me are suffering from this mistreatment

Alex Watts :

But you have no standing to bring an injunction

Customer:

who does?

Alex Watts :

A body like Amnesty International for Judicial Review proceedings

Customer:

So no one can bring a case to court and ask the judge to ask the body avoid incidence of such to happen in the future?

Customer:

involved

Alex Watts :

Organisations can.

Alex Watts :

But personally no

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you today?

Customer:

No thanks

Alex Watts :

If not might I ask you to rate my answer

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you please do say.

Alex Watts :

If you need further help please click reply

Alex Watts :

You have rated POOR SERVICE despite spending an hour and a half discussing the matter with you?

Customer:

Hi

Alex Watts :

Yes?

Customer:

I found you aggressive and not being patient with me, its a feedback ....

Alex Watts :

But you are happy with the answer I gave, the detail etc?

Customer:

not particularly but too some extent

Alex Watts :

If I could invite you to click OK service then please, otherwise I do not get credited for the hour and a half I spent discussing the matter with you

Alex Watts :

Unless there is something else you wish to discuss that we have not covered?

Customer:

you completely highlighted where I don't have a case and ignored where i potentially have a case

Alex Watts :

I said you may have a case, but highlighted the difficulties you may face

Alex Watts :

You have to concentrate on these because that is what the UKBA will do

Alex Watts :

And you need to prove the case to the Judge

Alex Watts :

You bring the claim, you need to prove it. As defendant the UKBA has to do very little

Customer:

please if you can take your time again and advise me of where I potentially have a case in detail like you did where I don't have a case, I would be very grateful

Alex Watts :

Ok - but I am currently on holiday so it may not be an instant response

Customer:

no no worries at all, take your time

Alex Watts :

Please also bear in mind that the fee you pay for the service is not the same as going to see a Solicitor, so time is more limited. If you were to see a Solicitor it would be £200 an hour and we have already spent 1.5 hours.

Alex Watts :

I think in terms of positives for your case, the fact the UKBA have offered some compensation does help

Alex Watts :

However in my view the most cost effective way of progressing this would be through an Ombudsman and/or your MP

Alex Watts :

This is because if you go to Court there is always a risk

Alex Watts :

An Ombudsman is a free service.

Alex Watts :

But I think in terms of Court you may be better off changing approach to Judicial Review

Alex Watts :

This is where a High Court Judge considers what they have done and decides whether it is legal and reasonable

Alex Watts :

The Judge can either agree with their decision or remit it back for further consideration or declare it was unreasonable

Alex Watts :

You should do that first of all as you may know where you stand in terms of damages if the Judge considers it unreasonable

Alex Watts :

There is a protocol you must followe

Alex Watts :

This can be found here

Alex Watts :

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/prot_jrv

Alex Watts :

In short you have to write setting out the position and that you will seek a JR

Alex Watts :

They have a limited time to respond

Alex Watts :

if they do not you can start JR proceedings'

Alex Watts :

The matter then goes before a Judge who sees whether it is contested

Alex Watts :

If not the Judge can make a declaration and you know where you stand

Alex Watts :

If the matter is contested it will be set down for a full hearing'

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No thank you very much, very helpful

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you