Required to attend court as a witness
Thread poster: Burrell

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
May 18, 2010

Dear colleagues,

I have been required to attend court as a witness as I translated a transcript of a phone conversation. Over the course of years I have signed countless Witness Statements but obviously never dreamt that anybody would actually request me to attend. I will be more careful in the future when accepting this kind of jobs but it is now too late to cry - the milk has been spilt.

What I am worried about is how this is going to affect my pocket. The hearing is in Hertfordshire, I am based in the Southwest of Devon. There is no fixed date for my appearance so they can just give me a call and say you are expected tomorrow. I understand they will pay my travel expenses, but would I be expected to pay for my own meals (I do not have a habit of eating out as it is very expensive).

I also have three children. What on earth am I supposed to do with them? I do not have anybody who could take care of them except my husband yet he also has to work!!! Let’s say for the argument’s sake that I will find a child minder who will not mind picking the kids up from my home at 7am and dropping them off at 8pm (as my husband is at work during this time). Will they actually pay for the real cost of childcare or just the amount they think I should have paid for it?

And what about the loss of earnings? The sum they have down in witness expense forms is much lower than what I would earn in one day, yet I expect my visit will last two days (somehow I do not think the court will want to wait till my train rolls in at 11am, so they would want me to arrive the day before). Would I still only get the set sum they pay (I think it is around 85 pounds) regardless how many days it takes? As far as I understand, the time you give them stops once you walk out of the courtroom – yet it will take me around 6 hours to get home (or more, if I have to wait for the train).

Any suggestions that would help me to loose the least possible amount of money are very welcome.

Ines


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Video link??? May 18, 2010

Hi,

why don't you see if you can arrange to give evidence via video link, using a court which is much nearer to you - have you tried this option?

JP.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
French to English
Get your mother over? May 18, 2010

Tax deductible, which I find incredible, but since it is apparently the case....

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/44072-what_can_you_show_as_business_expense.html#319659

Whether or not some of these deductions follow the letter of the law I wouldn't like to say, and perhaps it is naive of me to think that the rules for what is and is not tax deductible have a spirit as well as a letter, but part of me can't help thinking that if you have indeed been deducting as a business expense the petrol and car parking fees for shopping trips to research the purchase of thank you presents, and the pens your kids lose (wholly and exclusively for business purposes?), then perhaps this is a question of what goes around comes around. Clearly you have minimised your obligations to the state as a tax-payer to the greatest extent possible. Speaking as another UK tax-payer, I would actually prefer the state to minimise its disbursements to you in return. We've got 6 billion quid to save - we gotta start somewhere


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Very helpful Charlie, thnx May 18, 2010

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Tax deductible, which I find incredible, but since it is apparently the case....

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/44072-what_can_you_show_as_business_expense.html#319659

Whether or not some of these deductions follow the letter of the law I wouldn't like to say, and perhaps it is naive of me to think that the rules for what is and is not tax deductible have a spirit as well as a letter, but part of me can't help thinking that if you have indeed been deducting as a business expense the petrol and car parking fees for shopping trips to research the purchase of thank you presents, and the pens your kids lose (wholly and exclusively for business purposes?), then perhaps this is a question of what goes around comes around. Clearly you have minimised your obligations to the state as a tax-payer to the greatest extent possible. Speaking as another UK tax-payer, I would actually prefer the state to minimise its disbursements to you in return. We've got 6 billion quid to save - we gotta start somewhere


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:11
Italian to English
+ ...
Court appearance May 19, 2010

Your best option is to contact the court directly and explain your situation, they're usually very helpful. If your evidence isn't crucial but rather just to confirm experience and qualifications, you could ask if you could submit a written statement to that effect and be excused from physical attendance.
I hope this is useful.


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Evidence might be important May 19, 2010

It was actually a transcript of phone conversation in a course of which one person threatened the other and it was very difficult to hear what he said. I have this sinking feeling that they will actually insist on me coming because they would probably grill me to make sure the person really said what I heard him say.

I did call the Witness Support and they said they will double check that I indeed have to appear. They had not realised that I am so far away from them because the agency that provided the translation is based in London and they assumed I am based there as well. They seemed nice and helpful but if the court is adjourned my plans are in tatters as I have planned to go to Portugal in August and by law they can just demand I appear regardless of anything.


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