Woman fined for raising Clameur de Haro loses her appeal

AN Islander who used an ancient legal right in an attempt to prevent her eviction has had her case dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Caroline Powell going into Royal Court for an earlier hearing regarding her raising the Clameur de Haro.  Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30542270)
Caroline Powell going into Royal Court for an earlier hearing regarding her raising the Clameur de Haro. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30542270)

Caroline Powell raised the Clameur de Haro in late February on the driveway of the St Brelade property she occupied. She lost the property after becoming party to a degrèvement, a process in which banks or businesses apply to take over ownership of a property owned by a person or business unable to pay their mortgage.

On 2 March, Mrs Powell’s case was thrown out by the Royal Court after she claimed that the eviction order had been made improperly, that she did not have the resources or time to respond properly and that the action was a violation of her human rights.

Mrs Powell then took her case to the Court of Appeal, which heard the case on 24 March. The judgment was issued yesterday, with Commisioner Sir William Bailhache dismissing the appeal.

To enact the Clameur, which is believed to have last been raised in 2000, the aggrieved party must go down on one knee in the location of the offence and then, with hands in the air and in the presence at least two witnesses, must call out: ‘Haro! Haro! Haro! A l’aide, mon Prince, on me fait tort.’ This translates as: ‘Hear me! Hear me! Hear me! Come to my aid, my Prince, for someone does me wrong.’

Mrs Powell was fined a nominal fee of £50 for wrongly raising the Clameur.

Advocate Marcus Pallot, representing the property’s new owners – referred to in court as Mr and Mrs Sheppard – made an application that his clients’ costs in respect of the appeal should be met by Mrs Powell, whose action he described as ‘frivolous and vexatious’.

Sir William, sitting with James McNeill QC and George Bompas QC, granted Advocate Pallot’s application for costs, describing Mrs Pallot’s case as ‘a hopeless appeal’.

Sir William adjourned the case in order to consider the quantum of costs.

Mrs Powell had indicated that she may seek judicial review for the case, although she was warned by Sir William that she would face an ‘uphill battle’ in such a quest.

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