Something sounds like it is binding in the hinges.
So you lift the seat part (it raises and pulls forward out of the way) then the seat back will not fold down?
There is nothing locking the backs in place until you put the seat bottom locked in position, so that makes me think the hinges are binding due to something that was done when the leather was installed.
I think I would put the seat bottoms forward and start looking closely at the seat back hinge area.
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