Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Hi,am having a hellish time trying to get my car back from bailiffs who stole it & towed to their pound. I purchased my car in july from a girl that used to rent room in my place, sold as seen. I then proceeded to insure car in my name and have used it without incident. On monday I returned to where I left my vEhicle with 3 young kids, only to find it was GONE. I didn't know where it was, was miles from home & contacted TRACE & Police to see if they knew of its whereabouts. They didn't, after numerous calls to every agency imaginable, I found out from the LA it was taken from, that a lovely bailiff firm hired by the council, had my car in a pound in relation to 2 pcnicon's incurred before I bought the car from previous owner. They gave me bailiff no. I phoned & was basically told that unless I pay 1401.xx my car would be sold @ auction in 7 days wtf!!! I explained that I bought the car,am the new owner and am not liable for these 2 PCN's. I was told that I should pay up & then take the issue up with the previous owner!! The previous owner used to rent a room in my place, has since moved & I have no forwarding address for her, in fact all mail for her is returned to sender. There begun the beginning of a nightmare. Realising I was going to get nowhere with bailiff, I contacted LA again explaining my situation & that their agent had stolen my car, a simple DVLA check would have revealed my name as new registered keeper. They asked me to submit logbook, insurance certificate, proof of purchase & covering letter...no problem I did this, only to be told after repeated phone callsicon and chaseups (after faxing over...they allegedly don't deal with members of public in person...I wonder why!) That I have to deal with the bailiffs, as "its out of their hands". I argued that its far from being "out of their hands", as these bullying extortionists are employed by them as their agents and so they must be liable for their actions. Long story short, didn't get anywhere...something about make a complaint & meanwhile bailiffs are still detaining my car and could sell it think. This is horrible, I've explained I 'm not liable, have 3 young kids & we've been deprived of our only means of transport just before xmas, but these people are heartless & are only concerned with getting paid. Don't know what to do, but am thinking to report my car stolen by these thieves, if only to prevent car being sold & lost forever


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Go to the police, usually they are not concerned and say its a civil matter. However in this case it is your property which you can prove and they are intending to deprive you of it by selling it permanently which is theft!


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Times not on your side here because of the time of year. Normally you would write to them and give them 48 hours to return the car on the threat of court action. You can still take this path but decide yourself what time limits to put on it.

    Don't threaten court action unless you are prepared to go through with it. It can be done on line.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    You are right to approach the council rather than the bailiff.

    Did the bundle of documents you gave them prove beyond doubt that you purchesed the car on such-and-such a date? If so, I would suggest phoning the council again and insisting on speaking to a senior manager in parking and explaining what happened. (Don't just settle for speaking to the first person who happens to pick up the phone).

    They have authority to withdraw the debt and instruct the bailiff to return your car - although you'll probably be told to go and get it yourself! If your documents support your case, they ought to allow this. After all, they asked to see them for a reason, right?


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    I suspect the problem underlying the log-jam is that the OP has registered the car at their home which is the same address as that of the previous keeper. The council (and the bailiffs) may well suspect that they are being snowed and with good reason as the passing of vehicles between family members, for example, is a common manoeuvre used to shake councils and the like of their tails.

    With this in mind the only route that I can currently see by which the OP is likely to recover their car is to commence proceedings seeking an immediate injunction to prevent the bailiffs from disposing of the vehicle. The proceedings will also have to include the council because it is their debt the bailiffs are pursuing. At the heart of the OP's case there will have to be a detailed affidavit setting out their relationship with the previous owner, the purchase of the vehicle, their complete ignorance of the outstanding issues (if this is true) and the fact that they have no knowledge of the previous owner's whereabouts. Statements from witnesses in support of this affidavit would be very helpful.


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Thanx For your replies. I went to police & that was a waste of time, they still told me 'its a civil matter'lol.the council are just as bad, after asking me to submit all my documents, which I did, they then turned around and said "its out of their hands the bailiffs have to make a decision",,so what was the point in asking for all my docs?? I was told out of goodwill they are submitting them to bailiffs on my behalf!! Aarrrgghh!!!sorry needed to do that...& u are right Jamberson, the so called customer service agents council places on the frontline are totally useless, but getting to speak to a senior member of this team has alluded me so far. I keep hearing references made to a top secret, hidden specialist team in the 'back office' & it seems I would need a Mi5 pass and a few tons of dynamite to get past this frontline! There is no accountability, I've demanded to speak to a senior & keep getting told their policy is they don't deal directly with members of the public...if don't laugh, I swear I"ll cry! Bailiffs, at least, have told me their senior manager will look @ my case BUT she won't be back until next wednesday,,however they have said my car won't be sold until decision is made,I don't know do you take a bailiff's word for anything?? Am just feeling so frustrated & violated,,could the timing of this be any worse? I Am prepared to go all the way to court on this, its my car, I'm not liable for these pcnicon's & its a bloody cheek that they can just steal someone's property, without even checking with dvla, as to who the reg. Keeper is,, diabolical.


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    I Think I should write that letter threatening court action, can anyone asvise on best way to do this? Thanx in asdvance for your help


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Snowy thanx for reply, yes I can appreciate that they might suspect that, but that is not the case and I thought the burden of proof was 'beyond reasonable doubt', but even in cases where relatives passover ownership, is that illegal in eyes of law? I explained in the cover letter I submitted to council, that previous owner was a previous lodger and that I don't know her new address and no I didn't have prior knowledge of her debts. If she is using a redirection service would I be able to trace her through this, as I don't even see mail for her arriving anymore?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    this thread should be in the bailiffs forum


    Put your complaint in writing (use e-mail ) head letter FORMAL COMPLAINT addressed to the revenues dept and the chief executive of your council

    can you tell us what local authority and what bailiff firm you are dealing with

    looking for Equita or bristow & suitor as the bailiff firms and your council using Capita (who own both bailiff firms) to administrate pcnicon


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Hi hallowitch, not sure how to move this to bailiff thread. Thanx for reply. The council I'm dealing with are ealing and their bailiff firm is collect services ltd, have never heard of them before this.


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    I have sent a message to the site team asking for the thread to be moved to the bailiff forum


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Hi hallo

    Thread moved to bailiffs forum.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Appreciated!!


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Tour Formal Complaint and any legal claim must name the council as the PRIMARY defendant, as they are WHOLLY LIABLE the actions of their tame TWOCERS the bailiffs I would follow the advice given PDQ as after tomorrow it will be game over and you won't get the car back until next year if at all.

    (TWOC take without owners consent which as you aren't the debtor, the bailiffs are, and are therefore thieves no matter what plod says)

    The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Ok, how do I go about making legal claim and does it take effect immediately, I.e before wednesday? Also how do I get council to look @ my formal complaint right away? Urgent,, any help appreciated


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Ok, by the looks of it there is nothing that is going to take immediate effect. Does this mean I have to pay this grand & half or lose my car??


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Mr Martin Smithsmithm@ealing.gov.uk; chiefexecutive@ealing.gov .ukTel: 020 8825 7089
    http://directory.londoncouncils.gov....ling/officers/


    I suggest you send an e-mail (then phone) to Mr Martin smith informing him that
    you are not the debtor
    there is no Distress warrant in your name
    you have provided proof to both ealing council and collect services ltd that you are the owner of the car
    the car was removed and no notice or seizure or removal notice was provided (the notice of seizure/distress would have given you the chance to inform the council you were not the debtor before removal)
    you may also want ask him why a dvla check was not performed before removal to conform the debtor was still the owner of the car before removal
    ask him to arrange for the return of your car or you will have to issue formal proceedings against ealing council


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Thankyou hallowitch, I could cry right now. Am grateful to evryone here


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    Contact your local councillor and his/her opposite number and ask they intervene in this disgraceful affair NOW or you will be going to the press in the first instance and issuing a Form 4 complaint to the magistrates naming both bailiffs and council as the defendants.

    WD


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    Default Re: Help!! Car towed by VRP bailiffs for PCN fines owed by previous owner!!

    You need to phone and email the contact posted by hallowitch ASAP, as they will slope off for Christmas by lunchtime tomorrow.

    The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!
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