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A Government Body (Dept of Agri), made a forestry grant payment

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A Government Body (Dept of Agri), made a forestry grant payment to me in 2007. I sought payment of 6.95ha and they decided to pay me on 7.31ha. They have now in 2013 writtent to me saying that they overpaid me and want me to repay around €4000 which is what they say is how much they overpaid me. Can they do this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Fran and thank you for your reply. No I have not found the answer and I still do need assistance from one of the professionals to answer the question so I wish to continue waiting... thank you N

Expert:  wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. At the outset, there is a six year time limit on the recover y of any payment made by mistake. Accordingly, as the payment issued in 2007, you have, or almost have, six years gone bye since the payment was made. Accordingly, the better course of action here would benot to acknowledge that claim by the Dept of Agriculture as it is or should shortly be statute barred, given the lapse of six years. I see that you are appealing the decision. However, this is not the best course of action in law, as this is an acknowledgement that the monies are owing. You would have been better off ignore the correspondence and simply raise the Statute of limitations.
2. Secondly, if you used the 4k overpayment in respect of normal living expenses or used it to increase your general living standards, or otherwise used the payment to your detriment, then you will be able to raise the defence of change of position. This is an equitable defence which you can raise to any claim for restitution of monies paid by mistake.
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Buachaill, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8415
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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