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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Regarding a civil matter. I possessed a Harrods rug which

Customer Question

Regarding a civil matter. I possessed a Harrods rug which was left with a local family rug cleaners for cleaning. They are now claiming I did not leave a rug with them for cleaning. I do not have a receipt. I do have evidence, (text messages which suggest I delivered a rug to their address) and witnesses vouching for me. Does the burden of proof now shift to the defendant rug cleaners to prove they did not lose my rug?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

How long ago did you leave the rug with them?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
17th May this year..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

No problem at all

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
any pointers regarding judicial precedent vis-a-vis burden of proof and leaving property with a third party and said third party losing property would also be helpful. Thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

In the context of civil proceedings, the party who raises an issue bears the legal burden of proving that issue. So if you are the one claiming that a rug was left with them or taken by them, then it is your burden of proving that. The burden of proof does not shift to the defendant. What the defendant does is that they have to prove the defences which they raise that uncover new issues, i.e. issues not previously raise by the claimant. However, if the defendant relies upon a defence, which merely amounts to a denial of the claimant’s claim, this does not impose any legal burden of proof upon the defendant. So in other words, if you make a claim that they took the rug and provide evidence to that effect, they can deny that and are not required to provide any evidence to back that up – the burden of proof is still yours to convince the court that what you are claiming is true. In the end a court will have to decide on the balance of probabilities whether your claim is valid or not. What this means is that you, as the claimant, must persuade the judge that your case is more probably true than not.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to take this matter further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thanks this confirms my understanding of BoP. I have initiated the small claims court process. I am awaiting a court date to argue my case however I am not necessarily seeking damages as the rug has mostly sentimental value. I am seeking information from them which identifies when and how they may have disposed of the rug as they claim that they always dispose of rugs not collected after 2 weeks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. As you are unlikely to be able to get the rug back now that they are claiming it was never received and may be lost, you would really be seeking compensation for its value. Sadly the courts do not award compensation for sentiment as that is difficult to measure and place a value on so financial compensation would be the best you can hope for.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Any pointers regarding judicial precedent vis-a-vis the level of burden of proof and leaving property with a third party and said third party losing property would also be helpful. Thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

I am afraid we are just a Q&A site so cannot delve into detailed research to find specific case law, especially considering the fees paid for this advice - this would be something you need to engage a lawyer for personally, thank you

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