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Posted by: John Brace | 29th May 2014

EXCLUSIVE: How Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants began on the 8th August 2013

EXCLUSIVE: How Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants began on the 8th August 2013

                          

Contents

Why am I redacting parts of court documents before publishing them?

Before I start with a blog post about how Wirral Council’s claim for a possession order for the land known as Fernbank Farm in Sandbrook Lane I am going to explain why I have redacted certain details from these documents before publishing them as well as the arguments for and against disclosing them without redactions. The general principles behind this I wrote about yesterday in Getting information about Fernbank Farm is made unusually difficult; what are they trying to hide?.

Attached to the particulars of claim is a map showing the land this case is about edged in red (although on the black and white photocopy I have it’s edged in black). Unfortunately the map is crown copyright and although Wirral Council have a licence to publish it I don’t, therefore the map and compass are blacked out from that document. I will however provide a description of where the land is and a link to a map. The title on the map lists it as being at Sandbrook Lane, Upton. Most people would regard it as being in Moreton, not Upton as it’s North of the M53 Junction 2 spur and the particulars of claim refer to it as being in Moreton.

To the documents that started the claim (the N5 form, particulars of claim and map) I have made two other redactions. The claim form itself has the home addresses of both defendants. However the request for a possession order does not relate to either of their home addresses, but to Fernbank Farm in Sandbrook Lane. During the fast track trial in February 2014 both defendants gave evidence from the witness stand and stated their home address in open court (at a public hearing) in front of about fifty people.

Personally I have no problem with my home address being in the public domain, as when you stand in an election it becomes public knowledge. My attitudes on privacy are therefore probably different to most of the population! Neither of the defendants are “public figures” and in my view therefore are entitled to a certain degree of privacy with such information. The case has nothing to do with their home addresses as it is to do purely with them being signatories to a lease with Wirral Council for Fernbank Farm.

Arguments in favour of disclosure of the defendant’s home addresses would be that these details have been given in open court and it would allow those reading this to contact them directly. However both have Facebook profiles, which can be used if people wish to contact them directly. If either Mrs Kane or Mrs Woodley are reading this and are happy with their home address/es being published my contact details are here.

Search engines cannot properly index or read scanned images, therefore the text of what is in these documents is included below it. As usual with images I post on this blog, a thumbnail is used and you can click on the thumbnail for a higher resolution image.

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N5 Claim Form for possession of property – How Wirral Council started its claim for a possession order for Fernbank Farm

This is a link to the current (2014) blank version of the N5 claim form (for possession of property) which has minor changes to the 2013 version used by Wirral Council in their claim.

Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley N5 Claim form for possession of property page 1 of 2 redacted thumbnail

Claim Form for possession of property

In the
BIRKENHEAD COUNTY COURT
Claim No.3BI05210

Claimant
(name(s) and address(es))
WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL
TOWN HALL
BRIGHTON STREET
WALLASEY
WIRRAL
CH44 8ED

Defendant(s)
(name(s) and address(es))
1) CAROL EILEEN KANE 2) VALERIE PATRICIA WOODLEY
(address redacted) (address redacted)
The claimant is claiming possession of:

land at Sandbrook Lane, Moreton, Wirral shown as the land edged in red on the attached plan.

which (includes) (does not include) residential property. Full particulars of the claim are attached.
(The Claimant is also making a claim for money).

This claim will be heard on: 20 at am/pm at

At the hearing

  • The Court will consider whether or not you must leave the property and, if so, when.
  • It will take into account information the Claimant provides and any you provide.

What you should do

  • Get help and advice immediately from a solicitor or an advice agency.
  • Help yourself and the court by filling in the defence form and coming to the hearing to make sure the court knows all the facts.

    Defendant’s name and address for service
    CAROL EILEEN KANE
    (address redacted)

    Court fee£175.00
    Solicitor’s costs£
    Total amount£
    Issue date08 AUG 2013

    N5 Claim form for possession of property (08.05) HCMS
    Document has the Birkenhead County Court seal and is also stamped Date of Service 12 AUG 2013 Solicitors to Serve

    Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley N5 Claim form for possession of property page 2 of 2 thumbnail

    Claim No.                       

    Grounds for possession
    The claim for possession is made on the following ground (s):

    rent arrears
    other breach of tenancy
    forfeiture of the lease
    mortgage arrears
    other breach of the mortgage
    tresspass
    (tick) other (please specify) expiry of tenancy

    Anti-social behaviour

    The claimant is alleging
    actual or threatened anti-social behaviour
    actual or threatened use of the property for unlawful purposes

    Is the claimant claiming demotion of tenancy? Yes (tick next to No) No
    Is the claimant claiming an order suspending the right to buy? Yes (tick next to No) No
    See full details in the attached particulars of claim.
    Does, or will, the claim raise any issues under the Human Rights Act 1998? Yes (tick next to No) No

    Statement of Truth
    *(I believe)(The Claimant believes) that the facts stated in this claim form are true.
    * I am duly authorised by the claimant to sign this statement.

    signed (Surjit Tour’s signature) date 5th August 2013
    *(Claimant)(Litigation friend (where the claimant is a child or a patient)(Claimant’s solicitor)
    *delete as appropriate
    Full name SURJIT TOUR
    Name of claimant’s solicitor’s firm WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL
    position or office held Head of Legal & Democratic Services
                             (if signing on behalf of firm or company)

    Claimant’s or claimant’s solicitor’s address to which documents or payments should be sent if different from overleaf. Postcode

    if applicable

    Ref no.AB/26560
    fax no.01942 691 8482
    DX no.DX 708630 Seacombe
    e-mailalibayatti@wirral.gov.uk
    Tel. no.0151 691 8137

     

    Return to Contents

    Particulars of Claim

    Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley Particulars of Claim page 1 of 3 thumbnail

    IN THE BIRKENHEAD COUNTY COURT         Claim No.
    BETWEEN:-

    WIRRAL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL

    Claimant

    -and-

    CAROL EILEEN KANE (1)

    First Defendant

    -and-

    VALERIE PATRICIA WOODLEY (2)

    Second Defendant

    =======================================================================================================

    PARTICULARS OF CLAIM

    =======================================================================================================

    1. The Claimant is the owner of approximately 10.12 acres of land situated at and described as land at Sandbroook Lane, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside and shown edged in red on the plan attached.

    2. On 29 July 2008 the Claimant entered into a lease of the land with the First and Second Defendants who are trustees of the Upton Park Pony Owner’s Association. Upon expiry of the fixed term the lease converted into a monthly periodic tenancy in July 2011. The expressed rent payable for the lease was £4200 per year payable in equal monthly instalments.

    3. On 13th July 2012 the First and Second Defendants were served with a notice in the prescribed form persuant to section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act

    Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley Particulars of Claim page 2 of 3 thumbnail

    1954 the effect of which notifies them as Tenants of the intention to bring the tenancy to an end on 31st May 2013 but that the Council had no objection in the meantime to creating a new lease on certain terms.

    4. The terms specified within the notice indicated that a new lease could be agreed if the rent was increased to £4500 per year and a payment of £500 for legal fees.

    5. The First Defendant acknowledged receipt of the notice on 17th July 2012. She sent a letter to the Council in April 2013 to explain that the Association had been enduring a difficult period with increased costs due to, amongst other things, flooding and repairs/maintenance. She also rang the Council in and around April 2013 on three or four occasions expressing the same. She requested that the rent remain at £4200 per year and that the legal fee be waved on the basis that the lease would be in terms similar to the then existing lease.

    6. The notice gave the tenants an opportunity to agree a new lease on the proposed terms. In the event that the parties were unable to agree the terms of a new lease the notice specified that the tenants could either make an application to Court by 31st May 2013 or do so after that date only where there is agreement in writing from the Claimant to extend the deadline.

    Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley Particulars of Claim page 3 of 3 thumbnail

    7. No application has been made by either party nor has there been an agreement in writing or at all by the Claimant to extend the deadline for an agreement to be reached or an application to be made.

    8. There is a warning on the face of the notice saying that tenants will lose their right to apply to the Court if an application is not made on or before the 31st May 2013. As a result the tenancy has been terminated in accordance with the law and the Claimant is therefore entitled to possession.

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    The map attached to the Particulars of Claim

    Wirral Council v Kane & Woodley map attached to Particulars of Claim redacted thumbnail

    title
    Land at
    Sandbrook Lane
    Upton

    scale 1:2500
    date 8/7/2013
    map ref. 39SE

    © Crown Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Published 2010. Licence number 100019803.
    Tel: 0151 666 3884 Fax: 0151 606 2090
    Asset Management Section, Universal and Infrastructure Services, Cheshire Lines Building, Canning Street, Birkenhead, CH41 1ND

    The map is Crown Copyright but if you follow this link the land in question is the land North of Fernbank Lane (which is found next to the M53 Junction 2 spur), West of Manor Drive, South of the houses on Croft Drive and East of the houses in Ravenstone Close and The Park House.

    Return to Contents

    Continues at EXCLUSIVE: What was the defence used in Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants?.

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Responses

  1. […] and the right of the public to be informed” I will be writing tomorrow have written at EXCLUSIVE: How Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants began on the 8th Aug… about information I have found out from reading these […]

  2. Wirral Council did a fine work of redaction here, John. An excellent standard to aspire to one day maybe….

    http://goo.gl/JfexR3

    • If a document was ever that heavily redacted, I’d wonder what was the point of publishing the few innocuous sentences left! Unlike Wirral Council I start with the principle of publishing the whole thing, rather than the author of that document that seems to have started with the principle of redacting the whole thing and working backwards from there.

  3. […] continues from yesterday’s blog post EXCLUSIVE: How Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants began on the 8th Aug…. As with the documents published yesterday, the thumbnails should link to higher resolution […]

  4. […] How Wirral Council’s court case to evict the Fernbank Farm tenants began on the 8th August 2013 […]

  5. […] The Cabinet resolution of 7th November 2013 in relation to Fernbank Farm was (3) the decision on land at Manor Drive be deferred and reconsidered at the next scheduled meeting of the Cabinet when the outcome of legal proceedings will be known. The legal proceedings didn’t deal with relocation of the existing tenants but merely Wirral Council’s claim for a possession order. […]


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