Substantial five figure settlement achieved against the Home Office following an identity mix-up

In June 2009 our client, TA, had been settled in the UK for 19 years and had an on-going, valid immigration claim. On 17 June 2009 he was detained by Home Office officials because, as it transpired, his case file had been mixed up with that of another individual. By at least 26 June 2009 our client’s immigration solicitors had put the Home Office on notice that he had been mistaken for someone else, however the Home Office continued to detain him on the basis of criminal convictions which were not his. On 14 July 2009 our client was released on bail.

Eventually, on 17 April 2014, the Home Office wrote to our client’s immigration solicitors to say “initial investigations” appeared to show that there had been a mix-up. This was nearly five years after he had been detained. On 19 August 2014, after ten years, our client was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

MG & Co made a complaint to the Home Office. In their response, the Home Office asserted our client had “benefited from the mix up” but did provide him with an apology.

Our client’s case has now settled for a substantial and confidential five figure sum following a claim for false imprisonment and breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Following his settlement, TA said: “I was devastated by how the Home Office had treated me, when I felt, and my immigration solicitors told me, I had done nothing wrong. I thank my solicitor so much and appreciate all the efforts they have gone through and that my case has been successful. I am very grateful for this outcome. Thank you.”

TA’s solicitor, Harpreet Aujla, said: “This case demonstrated a shocking level of complacency and defiance to my client’s true identity, circumstances and on-going immigration claim, even by Home Office standards. To then say he benefited from the mix-up is plainly untrue. He was unlawfully detained for 28 days. My client is grateful the Home Office have finally settled his claim and he can move on with his life.”

Harpreet Aujla is a member of our Civil Claims Against Public Authorities Team. If you think you may have a potential claim please feel free to contact us on 020 8445 9268 or at london@matthewgold.co.uk.