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CAPA are civil claims against a public body for acting unlawfully. Sutovic & Hartigan Solicitors specialise in dealing with claims against the lawfulness of detention within prisons and detention centres as well as the treatment within those places.


  • the decision to detain

  • maintenance of detention

  • place of detention

  • treatment in detention

  • accessing medical treatment and care

Notable cases:

Victory in false imprisonment action challenging the lawfulness of Home Office Iraqi removal exercise

QA v SSHD (D03CL294) in the Central London County Court
David acted for the Applicant, QA, instructed by Tori Sicher of Sutovic & Hartigan Solicitors, whose claim for damages for unlawful detention concluded mid-trial with an offer of settlement. The case challenged in particular the lawfulness of the enforcement exercise initiated by the Home Office in 2017, which operated contrary to the Iraqi Government’s prevailing and approved removal processes and the Home Office’s published Guidance which allowed only for documentation and return of persons prepared to leave voluntarily.

False imprisonment and personal injury claim made by Zimbabwean national lawfully present in the U.K

Tapiwa Matukutire settled at pre-action stage
False imprisonment and personal injury claim made by Zimbabwean national lawfully present in the U.K. who was falsely accused of being present irregularly and was subject to humiliating attempts to detain and restrain by more than 6 immigration officers in his own home owing to a failure to properly check his status before pursuing enforcement action. The case revealed the human cost of the information sharing created by the “hostile environment” policy which required banks, landlords, and the DVLA report on people they suspected were  in the U.K. illegally, through access to an immigration database. It disclosed too the weakness in the system due to the poor quality of data sharing — and then the poor interrogation of tip-offs by the Home Office. This case has also received media coverage from ITV News and Sky News.  

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