So after today’s court hearing House of Brag remains in its current location until at least 15 January! As with the IPO hearing for our first building, the court refused the claimants an IPO on a technicality. (See earlier blog posts if you’re unfamiliar with the legal terms) This time it was because:
1. The court papers were served wrong: they were handed to individuals rather than being attached to the front of the building like they’re supposed to be. The solicitor, cop and head of hospital security who were there all failed to spot this somehow…
2. When they eventually did serve the papers correctly it was long past the 24-hour deadline for serving them.
So now nothing will happen until our hearing for a regular possession order on 15 January. This is great news as it means our first few events of January will have a guaranteed home; this includes our talk on Queer and Race on the 5th, queer reading and discussion group on the 12th and more – check the calendar!
We’ve been pretty amazed by the lack of competence shown by the landlords’ legal teams. It’s benefited us so far. At every court appearance we learn more about the ins and outs of squatting law and the technicalities we can take advantage of. The law is still essentially not on our side, still favours the owners of empty buildings over those who would put them to use; but it’s still a tool we can sometimes utilise. Though in this case we did nothing; it was done for us by the claimants. Fortunately judges who have little sympathy for squatters have even less sympathy for lawyers who fuck up.
Support in court on the 15th, and during any eviction proceedings after that, would be hugely appreciated. Until then, come and check out our space! It’s lovely and they can’t kick us out of it yet.