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1Chimchiminee1 | 07:04 Sun 26th Jul 2020 | Law
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Hello, would someone be kind enough to spare a minute or two to advise me the the first thing I need to do to which will start legal proceedings against my local council.
They have already received a letter before claim. Many Thanks.


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Are you using a solicitor or doing it yourself? If yourself, what type of claim is it? For money owed to you?
Question Author
Hello Fiction Factory,
I am attempting to do it myself.
Suing for negligence. The council are 'recycling ' cremated remains graves, without permission from families.
To clarify, completely excavating an already occupied plot for the purpose of another interment.
Unbelievable but very very true.
The groundskeeper involved tried hard to reassure myself and my daughter that the original 'occupant's remains would be returned when the excavated soil was replaced!
That's always been the way and it should have been made clear to you when you leased the plot. It is the save for burials, not just cremated remains. You lease the plot for a specified number of years, sometimes you are able to further extend the lease for a fee.

When the remains interred?
So you are seeking damages?
What council is it?
Question Author
Hello woof gang,
The situation has gone way past trying to sort out with the council.
Unfortunately they are using all their power and knowledge to cover up their actions.
Myself and other family members saw for ourselves the excavated plot that had previously contained a family member's remains.
Many thanks to you and Fiction Factory for taking time to help.
Greatly Appreciated.
Once again, to confirm, this is a genuine situation and my local council are doing their utmost to avoid culpability!
As I said this is standard practice. When were remains interred and what council is it?
Before spending money on court proceedings you need to:

1. Carefully read all the paperwork you have relating to the grave. You should have a Deed of Grant.
2. Identify the Registered Grave Owner as this is the person who can make the complaint.
3. Decide what you want the council to do in respect of your complaint.

It is possible the ashes were buried in an unpurchased grave (public grave). This means that the council can reuse the grave after 3 years and the family has no say as to who else is interred in the plot. This again is standard practice.
Question Author
Hello Barry 10 10.
The council has definitely broke the law by unlawfully exhuming a family member's remains.
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever with regard to their actions. The lease is valid for 50 years and the cremated remains grave plot was purchased for the purpose of 4 individual family interments.
After two years of to-ing and fro-ing with the council, the only forward is going to court.
I would be very grateful therefore if someone who has legal knowledge would advise my first steps to start court proceedings.
I haven't taken this decision lightly but neither I am prepared to be intimidated into 'shutting up' by council staff!
Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.

When was the plot purchased? Have you checked the wording on the Deed of Grant? What does it say about exclusive rights? What do you want the council to do to rectify the situation?
What council is it?
Question Author
Hello Barry 10 10.
Thank you again for your input.
I myself am the present leaseholder of the grave plot.
I have all the relevant paperwork and I can state without any doubt whatsoever that my local council have broken the law by exhuming the remains of my family member, without permission from family, and also without applying for the relevant legal papers that give permission for exhumations.
The council are simply, by law, not allowed to randomly disturb the last resting place of a loved one.
The only way forward now is to use the legal system. All I am asking is that someone will be kind enough to advise my first steps to obtaining the paperwork that will initiate court proceedings.
Thanks again.
It is impossible to advise you if you can't tell us what you want the council to do to put it right.
If you are simply claiming breach of contract and want financial recompense you could claim in the county court using the Small Claims' Procedure.
If you are claiming professional negligence and want the council to remedy the situation by putting the grave back to how it was you may have to claim in the High Court.

You still have not told us when the plot was leased nor the council concerned. Where are the remains now?
Have you made a formal complaint to the LGO?

We need to know roughly where you live because the legal procedures are different in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales.
Question Author
Hello again Barry 10 10.
The plot was leased in 2004 for 50 years.
I would rather not name the council involved as unfortunately the staff involved are without doubt 'covering up' on the instructions of their paymasters, and unfortunately in their effort to do this staff are making serious attempts to undermine my credibility and confidence, which I can assure you is extremely stressful.

Initially I was willing to have all my concerns addressed honestly by the council and for the
upset caused I was prepared to accept a donation by the council to a local charity.
Unfortunately, in their efforts to deny culpability over the last two years plus, the council's actions have been less than professional, and that is me being polite!!!
Now, I seriously feel that their appalling actions deserve nothing less than to be addressed in a court situation.

I want a public apology for all their unacceptable behaviour. I want all my concerns surrounding the unlawful exhumation, addressed by the council, and I will pursue for damages that will compensate for the act itself.

As to where the family member's ashes are now, I only have the word of the cemetery operative that they were to be returned to their original resting place.
Question Author
Hello Barry 10 10,
The council is situated in England.
Yes, I have contacted the LGO.
(Last year).

I have been informed they do not investigate legal situations.
Question Author
Hello Barry 10 10,
the exhumation was carried out due to lack of space at the family cremated remains grave.
The council sold the grave for the purpose of 4 individual interments.
Unfortunately someone at the council made a serious 'miscalculation' and the grave does not have space for 4 interments, only 2-3. Hence the council are covertly 'recycling' the previous family member's plot, hoping family don't realise.
As I have attended all the interments, on the day of my late brother's interment I immediately noticed that the plot prepared for my brother was previously the plot where I myself had laid the previous family member's cremated remains.
As you previously referred to 'Breach of Contract', will this apply to the situation I have outlined above.
Many thanks,
// their utmost to avoid culpability!//
you have nt shown they are ( culpable )
so they dont have to avoid ought

first of all read the terms of the lease ( only you can know this)
Question Author
Hello Peter Pedant.
Thank you for taking time to help.
There is absolutely no doubt that the council sold a cremated remains grave that was not suitable for the original purpose of 4 individual interments.
I have all the proof needed to pursue a legal claim. The only problem is I do not possess any legal knowledge as to how I am able to proceed.
Unfortunately my local council are relying on my financial situation in the hope I will not have the resources to pursue a legal claim. Hence the fact I am prepared to be 'A litigant in person'.
As I have stated in previous posts, I am not taking future legal actions lightly.
Your response is much appreciated,
Thank you,

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