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Hi. I have just joined and need some advice.

The issues are around a Xerox DC250 we bought on 7th June 2006 from a Premier Partner of Xerox called Zerographic Systems Ltd that failed massively to perform as specifications.

 

I have just been to a CMC as a litigant in person

 

As a result of a long legal battle I have very serious issues to how I was treated at this CMC

 

I have also given a brief history below these questions.

 

Consumer questions

To get to the key of the dispute 6 years ago it was disputed that the machine had no fault and was working as per spec and the last 2 entries in the logbook were not Xerox engineers. This was made in statements and correspondence from as far back as December 2006. This has now in Feb 2012 been divulged that they are Xerox engineers.

 

In recent documents and statements by Xerox and Zerographic’s they have now said the logbook is completed by Xerox engineers and have used a document Customer Expectation Document (CED) that says the machine is only capable of between 10,000 and 40,000 clicks per month. The brochure I bought the machine on with the advice of Xerox at Ipex April 2006 indicated up to 200,000 per month. The 10k to 40k is 5% to 20% at best as advertised.

 

 

  1. The logbook has entries as listed here

a) 24th July 2006 – “problem” with “cyan spots on prints”

b) 10th August 2006 – “jams” and “finisher will only take approx 300 sheets”

c) 16th August 2006 – “duplex jams, “still having problems”

d) 18th August 2006 – “paper curl”, “advise of known problem with paper curl, no short term fix available”

e) 25th August 2006 – “fault still present”

f) 31st August 2006 – “ghosting”

g) 7th September 2006 – “curl!! mega problem”

h) 12th September 2006 – “visit to look at fuser curl and colour change – advised curl was a national problem – will add this machine to database”.

 

2. The CEC was produced on 24th June 2006 2 weeks after we were bought machine so therefore was not available to use in the selection of the machine.

3. We have 3 statements supporting the selection in 2006 at Ipex was by consultation with Xerox and we were told it would do as per the brochure and easily do our calendars.

 

This raises these issue and questions to what to do next. The machine has now been divulged as being sold to me with

 

  • A known Fault
  • Knowing it was not suitable for the purpose to which it was purchased (CED)
  • Specifications indicated on sale literature that were grossly exaggerated
  • Failed to comply to the sale of goods act
  • Made false statements
  • Manufactures withheld crucial documents from their partners therefore hindering their ability to comply with the sale of goods act. Namely the CED.
  • Refused liability for defective equipment
  • Failed to comply to trading standards
  • Infringed advertising regulations by over specifying a product
  • As a result of both of their actions since October 16th 2006 to March 2012 have perverted the course of justice and our rights under the sale of goods act.
  • Infringed our rights under EU Treaty.
  • Lied to the court and us for over 6 years concerning the CED and logbook.

My legal questions are:

1. Is there a limit on time to present a bundle and skeleton argument to allow a litigant in person to get legal advice? We were only allowed less than 48 hours to which the judge was informed.

2. Is it correct that a lay representative has to have legal knowledge? We were refused a Lay representative on the grounds he had no litigation experience although he was a Chief Inspector

3. Is there a statute of limitations on evidence unearthed 2 years later that cannot be re-opened? I am in mind how the Hillsborough case was re-opened and the resulting issues. Our evidence came about by recent statements, after 6 years, and these contradicted ones previously given and also was found to be contrived between a claimant and Part 20 defendant. This had a massive effect on our defense for over 6 years and decisions we made on the evidence now being told was false.

4. Zerographic’s were awarded another £400 per month on the £2000 already being paid. I protested that this was not possible to which he snapped back at me ‘If this is the straw the breaks the camels back, then so be it’ and adjourned the hearing. Can a judge mock a situation as he did by saying what he did at the end?

 

Is there what we see as irregularities in the actions of the court to our rights to a fair hearing?

 

 

OUR HISTORY

We have been in an expensive long battle with Xerox and Zerographic Systems Ltd concerning a large digital printing press (DC250) we bought through their Partners on 7th June 2006.

 

In September 2006 Xerox asked me to go to a meeting at Uxbridge to sort out the machine issues that were clearly evident in the machines Logbook. I hade a contract for service from Xerox.

 

At that meeting they accepted that there was a fault and offered a loan machine for 2 months from 16th October. They offered to print our backlog of calendars to ease our problems. We are seasonal company in Calendars and Christmas Cards. They agreed to look at some sort of recovery package once our season was over. Good result. I worked with them by traveling twice to 3 times a week from Bristol to Uxbridge to pick up calendars they produced as per the agreement

 

On the 16th October they withdrew the offer of a machine with no reasons accept that they had none in stock. I tried to contact both Partner and Xerox with no response.

 

This started what was a very long and bitter legal battle.

 

In December 2006 Both of them said, via letters to our solicitor, as far as they were concerned the machine was printing as per specifications with no known fault.

 

We set them a very detailed history of the faults. This included the Xerox Logbook.

 

In May 2007, by then our business had suffered considerable financial damage, we had a meeting with Zerographic's director at our works. He refused to accept there were any problems with the machine. When shown the logbook he said Xerox had informed him the machine was working as per specifications and with no faults. I did loose my temper at this point and had to leave the meeting. The meeting after was a a farce and they left.

 

On 7th June 2007, one year later we bought the machine the best Zerographic's could do was take the machine back as we had chosen the wrong machine and that it we were using the machine well beyond its specifications.

 

I must point out that we challenged this by asking what specifications were they using as on the sales brochure it says the machine will double side A3 and print up to 200,000 per month and pointed out in 12 months the machine had only done 54,000 and that was on letterheads and leaflets as it was not capable to print A3. We accepted the offer to take the machine back but reserved our right to sue for losses and that they accept the logbook as being a true reflection of the condition of the machine. They relied by refusing our demands.

In August 2010 a judge ordered Zerographic’s to Part 20 Xerox. We had no contract with Xerox so this was a major event in our defense. In February 2009 we were sued for non-payments mounting to £52,000 for rental and clicks (minimum clicks 10k per month). We had defended this with a counterclaim.

6 months passed and Zerographic’s released Xerox as a Part 20 defendant with a Tomlin Order. The release was on a statement from Xerox that the last 2 engineers were not theirs and were our own. That the machine chosen was not capable of the work we had bought it for. We were using it beyond its specifications.

I was not happy and but was told we could not challenge the part 20 release but could demand the correspondence to look at. A large file of emails and letter arrived concerning the to and fro of the release.

This started another battle as they had criticised many other issues like paper stock conditions in the workshop. You name it they said it in Xerox’s defense of the Part 20 and in the statement supporting these issues.

In February 2012 we exchanged statements in preparation to trial.

The statement of Xerox was changed and they now admitted that the two last entries to which the first statement had said after extensive research were not Xerox engineers were now admitted were theirs.

 

In another statement the managing director used extensively a document called a Customer Expectation Document (CED). We had never seen this document in the brochure the machine is advertised as capable of up to 200,000 copies per month. The CED says a at best 10,000 to 40,000 depending on usage. They had used 10,000 as the key to their defense on the reasoning it was A3 double sided.

 

Our solicitors called a meeting to which they said this evidence made our case very week and needed to try and settle out of court.

We had at this point we were in shock.

1. We had been lied to for over 6 years concerning the engineers.

2 we had never seen the CED and if we had we would not have bought the machine.

3. we had spent by now over £165,000 on legal fees.

Zerographic’s were open to settle but wanted £45,000 plus cost of £180,000.

Our solicitor said he was shocked as they had been litigants in person until July 2011. He tried to reason with them but no response. We were advised to go on as it would be cheaper.

I gave the documents of the Part 20, which we received in Feb 2011, and also the new statements. To two retired policemen friends. One was a Chief Super and the other an inspector. Both contacted me with shocking reports.

1. Firstly the very damning CED was issued 2 weeks after we bought the machine so was not available for us to see let alone use in their defense.

2. That by lying concerning the last 2 entries in the logbook were not done by Xerox engineers and then saying they were was very close to perjury in context to a co-defendant being released by a false statement and a document that was not relevant the CED.

3. They both found very serious issues within correspondence that was conspiracy and perverting the course of justice.

 

We took our findings to a meeting with our solicitor 3 days prior to the final CMC to set a trial date. After the inspector friend presented the collective findings our solicitor said he would look at it and get back.

The day before the CMC, our solicitor, who said the barrister had missed this damning evidence, contacted my wife; as such he was going to sack him at the CMC and present this evidence to court that day

He did not do as we directed him to do. We did not get to the CMC. The history of why we were forced to pay them £110,000 out of court is still not clear to me but that is what my wife was made to do by both sides without my knowledge or my permission. Both my friend and I were told to not be present. My wife was only there to support our solicitor.

This is where I need advice and or guidance and are in reference the questions above.

 

We sacked our solicitor as a direct result of him not doing as agreed.

We then made an application to the court asking for a set aside on the payment to Zerographic’s while his Honour reviews the evidence we placed in front of him. We sent copies of our evidence and a statement of truth to the court, Zerographic’s and Xerox

The result was a CMC on Wednesday 31st October. The judge called the hearing so this was good news.

Zerographic’s were not happy.

Many letters later from them on the Friday 26th October at 17.05 we receive an email for Zerographics solicitor saying that as we had not sent a bundle to the court and so they had made theirs for the hearing and it was posted that night to us. A skeleton argument concerning the issues we had presented to the court will be in the post to us later. This was Friday after hours. I immediately informed the court by email that this bundle had not given me time to get legal advice due to being not delivered and not complete

 

On Monday at 11.15 a massive parcel arrived by normal post to our residence in Cornwall. There was no skeleton argument and the first page of contents had it mark to come. Again I emailed the court to point out with less than 24 hours to sort out some advice and that it was still incomplete was unfair and unjust.

On Tuesday we had to leave for Birmingham courts. We had arranged to stay with our friend who lives sin Solihull. No skeleton argument arrived prior to our leaving and has still not arrived. They did not post it.

We arrived at court and I asked the court to accept my police friend as a Lay Representative. The judge refused him on a ground that although he had criminal experience this was litigation and as such he was not acceptable.

I protested saying that I was not capable through illness of presenting our case to court while our friend was.

The judge then went through the whole court procedure in medical aid and again refused our request.

He threw out our request to stay payments on our undue influence claims. Using the skeleton argument from Zerographic’s.

He halted and asked me if I had received the bundle and arguments to which I replied I had received the bundle but not the arguments and that the judge was aware of the position via my emails that I had less than 48 hours to get advice. He ignored my plea and Zerographic’s handed me a copy of what was at least 1 days reading let alone while in court.

The judge accepted this as OK

He then refused to visit our finding I the Part 20 documents on the grounds that over 2 years old and we had our chance at the CMC 21st March. It was to our solicitor we needed to redress this issue.

He then read out the second statement of Xerox and said he could not see any conspiracy, perjury or evidence of perverting the course of justice.

We were in shock because of course not as he had not used the Part 20 documents to refer to to which the second statement was complied from. In the second statement there were many references to the CED and the engineers.

We were then set about being carved up like a piece of meat between their Barrister and the judge concerning cost. They were awarded cost of the CMC, the judge called, we did not ask him to re-open the case, of another £400 per month on the £2000 already being paid.

I protested that this was not possible to which he snapped back at me ‘If this is the straw the breaks the camels back, then so be it’ and adjourned the hearing.

 

I was now in a state of shock and experiencing severe stress pains and just left.

My police friend said it was the most disgraceful court hearing he had ever attended and there was a definite pr-hearing agreement to how this was going to pan out. He believes our rights to a fair trial have been violated by a prudence judge who made it clear not to come to his playground and try and join in.

 

Why did he re-open our case if he was only going to throw everything out of court and then to make us pay for his calling a CMC?

Edited by Conniff

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Wow this is a complex one.

 

A couple of questions please:

 

1) Are you (I.e. The Claimant) a Limited Company?

2) Do you have a copy of the Order from when your wife attended the hearing with your solicitor?

 

I don't see how your claims of perjury against the Pt 20 are relevant as they were released from the proceedings before the trial. This is a red herring and you should focus you attention elsewhere.

 

In relation to you policeman friend, I think he is going OTT by saying the outcome was pre-determined.

 

Also, the judge was correct in not allowing him to submit representations on your behalf - he is not a solicitor and has no rights of audience. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can rock up at Court and play lawyer. You were fit and well enough to attend the CMC.

 

I don't mean to sound harsh or attack you personally by the way.

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Also, as this is a consumer advice site, the help we can give may be limited in what appears to be a commercial case.

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Hi.

I am not a limited company.

We have not been to trial but were at the last CMC before a trial date was set. The court order was an out of court settlement my wife was cornered into doing without my knowledge and permission

 

I am aware that this is a consumer advice site but was hoping to find some answers to my thoughts. I do like plain speaking and wish I had the same from our lawyers.

 

Thank you fro clarifying the situation about a Lay representative but could not see where in the rules it said that they had to be a legal person.

 

I think you had to be there to understand the whole thing and our policeman friend had 26 years of experience and he still cannot understand that there is a limitation on evidence.

 

It is not pergury at trial but the evidence placed before the court for the release of the Part 20 which we have defended for over 3 years and 4 CMC's on evidence released during the Part20 what now declared as not true. We are talking Specification documents and engineers. For 6 years they have siad the engineers are not theirs and the machine had no fault. Now it is disclosed they are thiers and the specifications they relied upon were issued 2 weeks after we bought the machine 6 years later.

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Hi.

I am not a limited company.

We have not been to trial but were at the last CMC before a trial date was set. The court order was an out of court settlement my wife was cornered into doing without my knowledge and permission

 

I am aware that this is a consumer advice site but was hoping to find some answers to my thoughts. I do like plain speaking and wish I had the same from our lawyers.

 

Thank you fro clarifying the situation about a Lay representative but could not see where in the rules it said that they had to be a legal person.

 

I think you had to be there to understand the whole thing and our policeman friend had 26 years of experience and he still cannot understand that there is a limitation on evidence.

 

It is not pergury at trial but the evidence placed before the court for the release of the Part 20 which we have defended for over 3 years and 4 CMC's on evidence released during the Part20 what now declared as not true. We are talking Specification documents and engineers. For 6 years they have siad the engineers are not theirs and the machine had no fault. Now it is disclosed they are thiers and the specifications they relied upon were issued 2 weeks after we bought the machine 6 years later.

 

 

 

 

Why do you think Solicitors and Barristers are the most regulated profession in the country? Like I said, unless in very rare circumstance you need rights of audience to speak in Court on behalf of someone else. Your Policeman friend is unlikely to have any experience of civil law or the CPR so his experience is questionable.

 

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "The court order was an out of court settlement my wife was cornered into doing without my knowledge and permission" please? Is she involved in the business or did she have authority to give/take instructions on your behalf?

 

 

When the Part 20 was released from proceedings were costs mentioned? Perjury is a criminal matter and not something you can easily prove.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I still do not know on what regulation or rule that says a lay representative has to have legal knowledge. If it exists then where is this regualtion or guidance?

 

My wife is a business partner. I did not give here any permision to act on my behalf nor sign any papers on my behalf. I did not know what the deal was nor for why. We had spacifically agreed in two meetings with our solicitor to present very serious papers and documents that do shown the Part 20 defendant and claimant negotiated the contents of the statement. They spacifically asked that specifications the Part 20 defendant could not confirm as they had no knowedge or expertise then added this in to the first and second. They also said no less than 6 times and in the statement that the engineers were not Xerox and yet in the second statement they were. The part 20 defendant was released on a Tomlin Order supported by a statemnt that was corrected concerning key evidence and also that the machine specification used for 6 years to say that the machine was not capable was printed 2 weeks after we bought the machine. It is dificult to say all here. But 2 very experienced police officer say it is conspiracy and perverting the course of justice and very close to pergery.

 

Why the solicitor forced my wife under extreme stressful condition without my knowledge sign such an agreement is why i am trying to find out the law.

 

One question is the ay Rep.

The other is there a statute of limitations on evidence. The judge said as 2 years had passed he was not going to re-visit the Part 20 release. As they used evidence and documents spacifically released and now proven in march 2012 to be either false or dated after the dispute started to make the FEB 2012 Statement then this cannot be right.

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Hang on if your wife was a partner in the business then surely she had a joint liability and could negotiate on behalf of the company?

 

Just Google "Rights of Audience" and you will find 100s of pages explaining it to you. I think the Legal Services Act 2007 has replaced a lot of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 now though.

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As she is a partner in normal situations it may well be that she can negotiate but in the case of this it cannot be true that she can sign a legal settlement without my knowledge as I am a co defendants as we are not limited.

 

That I will have to find out but does anyone know the limitations in time to presenting a skeleton argument for a court hearing.

 

I have been told it is 7 days prior. Does anyone know the rules and where I can find them

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