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  1. Hello all. My partner was on Maternity Leave up until November last year and as such we were entitled to Council Tax Benefit up until that point. The council were advised and in January we received a letter stating we needed to pay back £353.04, so I called the council to arrange a payment plan. On speaking to the agent, I was advised I could not make a payment plan because monthly payments stop in January. I asked if the outstanding amount could be spread across this 2017-2018 bill. That was also not possible. I said that there was no way that I could pay the entire amount and was advised by the agent to pay what I could monthly. I paid £50 in February and an additional £40 in addition to the first month's payment of the 2017-2018 on the 31/03/2017. This morning I received a summons for Non-Payment of Council Tax to appear at our local Magistrates Court on 19th April 2017. There is a breakdown of costs, as follows: Council Tax: £303.04 Summons Costs: £70 Total: £373.04 I feel really aggrieved, as I was advised to pay what I could, which is exactly what I did, and I've got a summons anyway!! I hope someone can clarify what my position is. Many thanks in advance. Uncle Pete
  2. Hi all, This morning I have received court papers from Northampton Court for unpaid water bills. When I first moved into this property, after a while I realised that I hadn't received a bill for water, i phoned Southern Water and was told that I wasn't a customer of theirs. I told them that I was receiving water, but they insisted that I wasn't known to them. I tried again a few months later as it played on my mind and was told I would be phoned back - I wasn't. After a while I forgot all about it...for about 8 year! They have also sent a summons to my ex-partner who left about 5-6 years ago. This morning they are asking for £1800+interest. I'm considering admitting the claim, as I have had the water after all, but it annoys me that they have never sent me any bills at all, and flat out told me that I wasn't a customer of theirs. Before I do that, is there any defence I can submit? Oh, forgot to mention that I have had debt collection agency letters recently pertaining to it, but the figures changed each time as did the agency so I thought it best to ignore them as some looked like [problem]s.
  3. Ok, new here, so please go easy.... First off after reading some threads here today, i feel ive left this a bit long, but any advice is appreciated and will be taken on board. In December I received a Summary Court Summons for £3006.64. For unpaid shop direct handled by capquest. My Return date is 18th January (this is next week i know, so not a lot of time to decide what i'm gonna do) The original account with shop direct was 2010, and it was passed to capquest in 2012. I'm happy to admit full liability and offer to set up a repayment plan. BUT, if i recall at the time, I was barely able to make minimum repayments, yet they kept increasing my credit limit. Can I dispute the claim and try to reclaim some charges/interest to reduce my final figure?? This is my first full day off work in a few weeks, and no kids at home, means I finally have the time needed to get my response in. Again I'm sure i've done this all wrong, but just need some quick advice due to my circumstance...
  4. I am sorry that you all may of seen this issue a million times already but ive spent weeks reading forums and still feel so lost. So i hope you will bear with me and help sort my confused brain. When living in England I had several accounts. Credit cards. Catalogues and even a loan. When the recession came in 2010 I found myself without a job and no way to pay. My partners mother offered me a cleaning job but I had to relocate to Edinburgh September 24th 2010 was the day i left England, this job barely covered the rent so yes i am ashamed to admit I walked away and expected my creditors to make me bankcrupt, which never happened. 6 years later and i am finally on my feet again, my partner is now a full time student who i support and I avoid credit at all costs. End of november i received a court summons for a catalogue debt owned by capquest and shoosmiths are acting on thier behalf. After speaking to an advisor at national debt helpline the debt is possibly still enforceable in court as it was a buy now pay later item if i had decided to challenge i would lose and end up paying costs too i wrote to shoosmiths who has agreed a payment plan but is still proceeding with a decree. Fair enough another 6 years of no credit will be a good thing i suppose. My issue is capquest have now contacted me regarding two other debts which I believe are actually statute barred. Last payment to both debts were 6th september 2010 i checked my old bank statements. I have sent the national debt helplines template letter for statute barred debts using the scotland template as although it was an English debt all my creditors only needed to do was check my credit file to see ive lived in scotland since 2010. I know very long winded but what will happen next do you think. Will shoosmiths take me to court on these two debts aswell. For the first time in years i am losing sleep again over this . It is so nice to not be broke and to go back there again is the worst thing i can imagine. I cant afford a solicitor to help me etiher it would be just me against a massive law firm and i am pertrified that i cannot afford what the judge will tell me to pay back Please help and advise what the next step will be regarding the two statute barred debts. Ive already lost on the catalogue debt and will be paying back 32 per month for a good few years.!
  5. Hi, I recently rented out one of my properties and my tenant vacated without notice and eventually I gained access to the property once it was confirmed he did one on me. As he was on housing benefits, the council tax was paid by the DSS. However, on vacating, I took on the owed amount. In short, I received a letter from the council informing of the amount due (no specific payment date was noted) and a payment plan was annotated. However, this was contradicted as I missed a payment I was then not able to pay by D/D. The payment I missed was a listed payment prior to the letter being sent and me being in possession of the property so there was not much I could about that. Although the letter was dated 22/12/2016, I did not actually receive the letter until the new year due to the Christmas period. Based on the letter, I decided to pay in full and this was done on 24/1/2017 as that was when I got paid. On the evening of the 26/1/17, I received a court summons due to not paying council tax I contacted my bank who then confirmed that payment would have hit the council by 26/1/2017. The court summons was dated 24/1/2017 this would not have been deemed served until 26/01/2017; the day payment cleared in their account. I contacted the council the morning of 27/1/2017 to confirm if payment had been received and they said no then an hour later said they had found the payment and have just allocated it against my account. They also apologised. They said I would not have to attend court or have to pay the fee. I then requested this be sent via mail. No letter has been received and they will not answer any of my correspondence; clearly I am worrying. I then contacted the Court and have since received confirmation from the court that I don't need to attend as the council stated that I have paid in full so the case will be withdrawn at court on 13/2/17 (not quite sure what this means - is the case still being heard? Can i still be found guilty?) As I only paid the council tax owed prior to receiving the summons, do I now still need to pay the court fees? I was of the understanding this was a time overlay of me paying at the time of them issuing a court summons. No mention has been made that I owe or don't owe other than the Lady i spoke to but nothing is in writing as they are not responding to me. They are very fast at issuing court summons but very slow at reassuring given that the court date is only a week away. Also, does having a court summons, even though it will be withdrawn on 13/2/2017, sit on any public records or even my DBS? I ask as this could impact my job. I did not go out of my way not to pay, I was trying to get my house back again from a rogue tenant and I did pay as a matter of priority. Many thanks in advance. Dea
  6. Hi , some advice please , this morning i have had a summons for non payment. I have spoken to the council and my account is actually up to date but i pay a week late each month due to when i can afford it. I haven't received a final demand but did receive a letter warning me to pay on time I have asked them to remove the costs of £70 as im not actually in arrears , which they have refused. Is there any way at all around this? Thanks
  7. Is an unsigned & unstamped Magistrates Court Summons legal. A semi literate friend of mine went to court on the wrong date (too late) to defend a parking ticket summons. When he told me about this later that day he had all the paperwork with him and it is blank as far as to who issued it, it is on headed paper with the Court address and telephone numbers, case number, his name and address, date of birth, that is it, nothing else. I have gone round in circles for 4 days trying to find out for sure if this summons meets the criteria required as he will appeal if he has a chance to reverse or cancel the MASSIVE fine & costs of over £850.... yes EIGHT HUNDRED + for breaking down on double yellow lines. The actual charge was :-Allowed a motor vehicle ................... to wait on a road, namely ............. when waiting was prohibited. It all started when his car was broken down and he was waiting for a tow and told a Warden as much and showed him all the oil that had been dumped by his car on the road. The warden still issued the ticket, unfortunately my friend ate it (his passive protest). His car was subsequently towed away with the aid of a friend. Can anyone give advice on the required format of a summons please. Thanks in advance Mike
  8. Hi A few days ago I posted on here about a Company who installed some pipework above my Café ceiling and caused the ceiling to come through due to water damage. I raised an Invoice for loss of earnings and food waste, but the Managing Director has ignored it, as well as an email asking him when payment would be made. I am now a little suspicious of this particular director as I have since found that he has another five limited companies all registered to the same address, plus, a dissolved Company which was also recent. All of the listed companies are registered to the same address, however, none of the Directors home addresses show. So, can I only raise the summons against the Ltd Company that carried out the work or, can I also include him as an individual if I find his home address? I'm just worried that a CCJ may mean nothing with a dissolved Company and six others on the go. Any advise please?
  9. First, some background: I'm 77 but both my wife and I are still working due to need. I work through a private limited company in a form of consultancy, my wife in a retail business partnership. We rent privately a house where we've lived for some 20 years and where the Council Tax has now risen to nearly £280/month for 12 months. During 2015 my work opportunities dropped dramatically, worsened by a couple of largish bad debts. Although I was always up to date with CT payments things started to get particularly difficult from about February and I fell into arrears amounting earlier to over £900. For other reasons (non-priority debts) I'd worked out personal financial statements and these showed monthly shortfalls of income over expenditure of between £350.00 and £150 at different periods; I've steadily reduced expenditure, applied for and received from April Working Tax Credit (about £80/month) and steadily and systematically sell possessions (eBay mainly) while also trying to get work-related income. I've corresponded and spoken with the local council who were prepared to make some timing concessions re payment by scraping around as mentioned above I've got the debt down to just under £500 while still keeping monthly CT payments up to date. I've looked into both getting housing benefit or some form of CT relief but this isn't possible because my wife both owns a house elsewhere in the UK, several hundred miles away, and has tied-up financial assets of over £16,000. My earning are currently zero and so my monthly income (other than from sales of personal goods) is around £525 (state pension + WTC) while my wife's is about £800 (state pension + about £550 earnings). Despite making slow progress in reducing the debt and despite keeping the Council updated with my situation I received last week a court summons for the £500-odd, including a £40.00 court fee. In my last letter to the Council I'd pointed out that I was genuinely doing what I could, that clearly I didn't want to incur additional costs unnecessarily and that if the issue went to court I would argue that I simply had insufficient funds or access to funds and so the Council would perhaps get less than I was actually paying at present. So, some questions: there was no notice of an imminent summons although there had earlier been a general warning of court action. Is it not the case (as the Patricia Perl book suggests) that any court action should be preceded by a clear final demand a fortnight or so before that action? By juggling money around and probably defaulting on other expenditure (including September's CT) I can probably just about meet the demand in time (court date is 5 September) although I'd been working towards paying the current CT and another £100 off the debt. I'm not at all pleased not only about the actual summons but also the added £40.00 I'm considering making a complaint to the Council about premature action contrary to apparent agreement and refusing to pay the added cost (though I guess I'd have to pay it and subsequently claim it as a credit against future payments). How realistic are these approaches and is there anything else I can or should do? Clearly the long term need is to get properly back on track but that's going to take months and in the meantime I need to avoid getting prosecuted. I've seen references to protection of OAPs but I can't find anything specific which supports that. So, any useful suggestions will be very welcome. Thanks in advance.
  10. Action Fraud has issued a warning about [problem] emails claiming to be from the Crown Prosecution Service doing the rounds. These messages state that you have to appear in court and instruct you to click on a link to view your start time/case details. Action Fraud says clicking on the link is likely to lead to malware infecting your device. However, the CPS says it would ‘never email witnesses in order to summons them to court.’ https://www.lovemoney.com/news/56317/is-this-court-summons-crown-prosecution-service-email-a-[problem] -emails-oct16"]http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/alert_-_fake_witness_summons_emails/
  11. Hi , I heard a legend about something that happened to a friend of a friend: They were stopped on British Rail allegedly without means to pay and intent not to pay, They changed address. Summons Letter went to the wrong address They missed the court date. (A month ago) Only recently. the occupant of previous address notified them of the letter. They have been advised to do the following steps: 1. call the court ask for Statutory Declaration to re-open the case. 2. This will trigger an interview to decide on re-opening and they will be asked for their plea.. 3. Do not submit a plea - but say they want to get legal advice. 4. This will adjourn the case ? This is the bit where the story gets cloudy - does it sound right ? Now its adjourned, they can petition , plead with the rail company to settle out of court and avoid a criminal record? If the rail company refuse then they get one of these 'fare dodger' specialists to help mediate for out of court settlement. Hows that for a story?
  12. Hi all. I got into more than £50k of debt a few years ago and ended up in dire financial trouble. I read up on these debts using a site called ****** and used their three letters method to deal with the banks, credit card companies and DCAs. A couple of weeks ago I received a writ from my local Sheriff Court as seen in the photos: I'll be honest, I'm terrified now. I get limited legal cover through my work i spoke with a solicitor. He was decidedly unimpressed with the letters and advised me to do a trust deed. He says Cabot are a big company and will definitely have the assignment, they wouldn't have spent money on the legal costs to begin with if they didn't have them. He did help me with a skeletal defence for court: I have set a meeting for tomorrow to start to arrange the trust deed. My honest feeling is that Cabot have nothing, but I would be risking my house if i was wrong. And I have no real basis to believe they don't have what they need. I have never received any letters from Cabot before the writ. No notice of assignment or even a demand for payment. I have had other DCA's for this account but they stopped responding after the three letters. I immediately sent Cabot the three letters by recorded delivery but they have never responded. The last day for making adjustments to the writ or defences is 11th November. i have a bit of breathing space but I'm really worried. Any help will be much appreciated. Ps the letters are like this:
  13. i've got an admission to make . . . i used an 'easy' option in using Bank-Smart to do my leg work regarding 2 credit card debts with BarclayShark . . . happily they confirmed that both the debts are unenforceable blah, blah, blah . . . when i pushed them on the next step they fobbed me off and were useless . . . now one of the debts has been sold to MKRR and of course they are chasing me for it . . . i now realise i have to deal with it myself otherwise it's just not going to go away as no one else is interested etc . . . so if anybody could give me a heads up please on my next step before the other cc debt gets sold as well and/or MKRR start legal proceedings, which as yet they have not . . . Thanks in advance
  14. Hi All I arrived back from a work trip last night to a council tax summons, with the hearing date marked as 23d September, but having received it on September 27th I am now worried. I originally fell behind due to being out of work. But I have already have a payment plan set up starting October 1st, so I am confused as to why this has happened. Could anybody advise on how to proceed? (The council is Lewisham). Many thanks
  15. Hello, I hope someone can advise. I am looking for some assistance. I have just recieved a Small Claims Summons from a large organisation chasing a debt from a Ltd Company I was a Director for the sum of £840.70. The company I was a Director for dissolved in June 2015. I signed a trade account agreement in my name on behalf of the company as I was the Director. The company only had a £750.00 trade limit. It was a trade account but yet the large organisation is chasing me personally now for the debt. I started the business in the hope of success but was not paid by several customers and did not have the monies to chase the debt so closed the company as it was no longer viable and I got a job. Am I liable for this debt and do I have to pay?
  16. *POSTING ON BEHALF OF A FRIEND* Hi. I have a friend who engaged the service of a Company called Belmont Thornton to reclaim PPI some time ago - he is unable to remember exactly. The credit card being used advised they would refund a partial payment of the PPI and then increase the interest rate of the card to a ridiculous sum. He didnt take up the offer and advised Belmont Thornton he would not be paying them as the offer they were advisisng him to accept would make him financially worse off. DCA's who have chased the debt have been advised the same. Now he has received a summons for £131 from a DCA acting on behalf of Belmont Thornton for the services of Belmont Thornton and Court Charges. Can anyone advise which course of action is best to take as they are claiming a percentage of an offer which was nothing more than ink on paper. Does he pay up and do nothing more? Does he contest the summons on the basis he never accepted the offer as it was a worse financial position and therefore there was no refund to be claiming a percentage of. Any advice to give him please will be gratefully recived. Thanks :!:
  17. Hi, Cabot/shoosmiths have sent me a small claims court summons .... original debt is an overdraft with BOS. £1468.49 What is the difference between written application to pay by instalments? and apply for a time order?
  18. Hi - hope someone can give me any guidance. Back in December I was stopped by an officer and given a ticket for littering. When I was asked for my address (not "home" address), I gave my work address for the simple reason that where I was working was 100 miles from where I lived. The council had my home address connected to my work address anyway so there was no attempt to deceive. 3 weeks later I left that employer completely, due to the 50+ hours I was working each week plus travel, and frankly my head was up the proverbial when the officer stopped me and it went completely out of my head. 10 days ago my old employer contacted me to say I had received a court summons. I then contacted the council, offering there and then to pay the fine, but they said it was too late for that and forwarded me the court papers. My first question is simple - on the assumption that I am found, or plead, guilty, is that a criminal conviction that I have to disclose to my employer, and will it be picked up on a DBS check? Either would probably mean me losing my job, all for a fag butt that wasn't even a fag butt....... My second question is whether there is any basis for actually pleading not guilty? Its really based on 2 areas - firstly that this was a roll-up, from which I removed the filter (as I actually do by habit) and put down the drain (which I said to the officer at the time). Many people don't see the moral difference but there IS one - filters aren't bio-degradable and hang around for years whereas without it, its just a very small amount of plant material that would be degraded within a few days. That said, it probably legally still constitutes litter. The other point is that I am 90% certain I was never asked for HOME address, was never asked for ID to cross-check, and never asked if this was where I lived. If any of this had been done I would have given my home address and, on the first reminder, would have paid. Around this point there is some "inaccuracies" shall we say in the officers report. Which can be disproved in the event of a not guilty plea. I don't want to be one of those people who "gets off" on a technicality but neither do I want a criminal conviction and lose my job - all over a cigarette. Any help gratefully received
  19. I parked up in a car park last year which I did not realise was split into 2. One side apparently belongs to a hotel & this is who is chasing me for payment. I did not leave my vehicle, I pulled up to take painkillers & wait until I was fit to drive again, which took me somewhere in the region of 1.5 hours. When my first letter arrived it was to an old address so it took time to be forwarded on, but I did research & decided to ignore it as it was worded in a way that everyone insists isnt enforceable. The online advice was if you don't respond they give up & go away, whereas replying lets them know you are getting their letters. Over time they have pursued me to the point of checking my credit file to find my new address & carry on writing to me. None of these have ever arrived recorded or requiring a signature, but this latest one is now threatening to give me a CCJ. Anyone had the same, who can advise me? What do I do? Thanks judgement for claimant.pdf
  20. Hi Everyone, I've tried reading as much on here as possible however I'm now at a point whereby asking might be a clearer way forward. Debt - £2583.32 Creditor - Barclaycard I've had a letter through from Kearns Solicitors informing me that I have to pay the outstanding debt of £2583.32 is required in full otherwise I'll be taken to court in 14 days. I contacted them stating that I was unable to make any form of payment and that I had sent a financial statment to both IDR and Link whilst making an offer of £1pw. I was told that Kearns could either enter into a 12 month payment plan for the full amount of the debt or take full payment now. I said that this wasn't possible in which they said I would receive a summons in 14 days time. To cut a very long story short (as possible) I had to give up work to care for my disabled daughter whom is ventilated 24/7 and requires 2/1 care 24/7 in July 2013. On doing so it meant I was unable to pay my creditors and I also lost my house. As soon as I gave up work I started contacting my creditors informing them of my situation. Whilst most couldn't do anything until I actually defaulted, I was able to deal with all easily enough however this could only be done when my partner was present or the limited nurse cover we have was. Unfortunately I've lost track of who I've dealt with however I did forward a letter to both Link & then IDR along with a financial statement making an offer. I believe I spoke with Link however I can't be sure I spoke with IDR. Apologies if I've given any information not required however I thought some circumstances might be helpful. Any help/guidance would be greatly received. TIA
  21. Today I received a court summons for failing to identify the driver from a speeding ticket I received at work in last august. The problem is, at the time I was technically homeless (sleeping on friends/family's sofas) but using my dad's address so missed the first letters. Then I found a room to rent last September, changed the address on my driving licence and receive the letter, which I filled in and sent off just before Christmas so I thought it was done. Now I have a court summons for failing to identify the driver. Twice I have admitted I was the driver. Once when they sent the form to my work place and once when they sent it to my address. Now I've had to move out of the room I was renting because my landlord wanted the room back, but my licence is still on that address What should I do? I don't want to plead guilty to something I haven't done. Any advice
  22. Hello - I am looking for some advice please in respect of a recent matter regarding a summons to court. In May 2015, I travelled from Birmingham New Street to Retford in the morning. I had bought an anytime ticket which cost me £103.40. During my journey to Retford my ticket was inspected by adequate inspectors, which was always expected. However, during the day whilst in Retford, I had unfortunately misplaced both my outward and return tickets. It wasn’t until I got to Retford train station to go home that I realised that I had lost my tickets. I then bought a new single ticket from Retford train station to travel home to Birmingham. I still couldn’t find them and checked the pockets of my jeans where I had found the tickets. Whilst on the train from Sheffield to Birmingham New Street my ticket was inspected. I quickly presented the ticket to the person which was my ticket that I had previously thought I had lost. I didn’t intend to give this ticket, due to deciding it would be best to keep this ticket to use on a future return journey as I had another ticket which I had bought for the same return journey on 22nd May 2015. The new ticket that I had bought was only valid for that journey on that day. The ticket was stamped by the person and I placed it back into my bag. When arriving at New Street train station I went to get my stamped ticket out of my bag. All my tickets were together and I noticed that the ticket stamped was the wrong one and it should have been the other ticket stamped I accept that this was my mistake and down to human error. When I was off the train I made a phone call to the customer services department for Virgin Trains, who I had bought my original tickets from at New Street Station. I explained my situation to them and they said to me if the ticket I had used had been stamped with ink I could wipe the ink off and still use the ticket next time. When speaking to the advisor on the phone I asked if I would have any problems with using my ticket next time. She mentioned that it was a general mistake and if I was questioned to explain to whoever stopped me and mention that I had spoken to Virgin Trains customer services. However, on Friday 12th June I was stopped by the train manager travelling from Sheffield via Derby to Birmingham New Street. I presented my ticket and explained the situation at the first instance, even though the ink was no longer visible. The train manager seemed ignorant to what I was saying, and didn’t seem interested in listening to me. He told me my ticket was invalid and I either had to get off the train or I had to provide my details so they could be sent to Cross Country Trains. I noted to him that it wouldn’t be suitable for me to get off the train. I was miles away from home, and I was travelling alone. willingly, I gave him my ‘FULL’ details and I showed him my passport without hesitation. He took a note of all my details and whilst he was doing so I tried to discuss the situation with him again, in a calm manner. However, he just told me there was nothing I could do and he had taken the decision to refer my details to Cross Country Trains and that I could explain to them. He was very rude and abrupt with me and I felt embarrassed and upset as he hadn’t gone about the situation in a professional manner and the train was very busy. All I expected to happen next was that I would be contacted by Cross Country Trains, which in due course I was. They mentioned to me in writing that my case had been passed to another company and I would be contacted by Transport Investigations. They didn’t say when this would be, nor did they say how they would contact me, but I presumed it would be via letter. Time went by and I didn’t hear anything from Transport Investigations, I thought there may be a possible delay in them writing to me, therefore I just waited After a while I still didn’t hear from them so I believed that if they needed to contact me then they would. I accept I should have been more responsible and contacted them myself for an update. The case went to court without my knowledge and I was found guilty in my absence with Intent to Travel without a ticket . The case was returned to court and reopened. I appeared in court today, where the prosecutor took me to one side and said in his own words that the 'court won't believe me' he said to me that the ticket (evidence) he had with him in court, had actually been stamped twice before my journey which I was stopped on. This was the first thing I knew about this and the train manager hadn't discussed this with me previously. I have no explanation as to why it could have or would have been stamped on two seperate occasions. The case has been adjourned until June this year. A trial will then take place. In the meantime, I am looking at offering an out of court settlement to Transport Investigations. I don't intend to accept liability for what happened or say that I am guilty, because this is not the case. However, I would like to get this completed as soon as possible and I don't have the funds for a solicitor. What are peoples views?
  23. Several months ago I received a court summons for Joe Smith, my name is Yux Smith — apart from the name, everything else is correct. I wrongfully ignored this summons and have since moved from this address. Could I face any repercussions for acting this way?
  24. A few days ago a vitally important judgment was released concerning (once again) the matter of Liability Order 'costs'. This particular case was an appeal and was heard in the High Court but unlike in the recent case of the Reverend Nicolson, this particular local authority (East Northamptonshire District Council) had prepared a schedule of standardised costs of the type encouraged by Judge Andrews in the Reverend's case (paragraph 46). The claimant; Edward Williams represented himself and his appeal concerned (amongst other points) the following: One: That the summons served was an abuse of process because within it, it included an amount of costs (£75). He contended that the Regulations make no provision for the summons to include an amount by way of costs and that costs could only become due once, and if, a liability order were made Two: That including the amount of costs on the face of the summons was an abuse because it was an unlawful demand for money which the local authority had no right to make at that time. He contended that the costs were not due and owing at the date of the summons. He pointed out that the complaint on which the summons was based made no reference to the costs of £75. He submitted that it was an unfair manipulation of the Court process to include an amount for costs on the face of the summons, particularly when the only real summons cost was £3. He suggested that the recipient of a summons would be misled into believing that the costs of £75 were fixed and could not be debated or challenged. Three: He wanted to appeal the earlier decision regarding the sum of £75 and whether the costs had been 'reasonably incurred'. Most importantly; (and this is of significance to all local authorities who had been waiting for this case to be heard), Mr Williams considered that when compiling a schedule of costs, East Northamptonshire Council were wrong to include figures for: Information and Technology costs. Chip and Pin costs. Pension deficit funding.
  25. In 2015 there was a important and high profile Judicial Review regarding the serious matter of summons costs in relation to a Liability Order for council tax arrears. The case was that of the Reverend Paul Nicholson v Tottenham Magistrates and the London Borough of Haringey. In short, the court rules that Tottenham Magistrate's should not have allowed London Borough of Haringey to claim summons costs of £125 for each Liability Order given that the court did not have sufficient information before them to reach a proper judicial determination as to whether or not the costs claimed represented costs reasonably incurred by the Council in obtaining the liability order; 
The court found that Tottenham Magistrates Court erred in law by failing to make further inquiries into how the £125 was calculated. Accordingly, J Andrews ruled that the costs claimed were unlawful. Following Reverend Nicholson's court success, there have been a lot of developments. Firstly, Haringey's Council's external auditors; Grant Thornton reviewed the level of costs, and, unlike the position before the Judicial Review where Haringey charged a fee of £125, the auditors instructed the council to charge separate costs of £102 for a summons and to reduce the charge for a liability order issued by Tottenham Magistrates to £110 from £125. Most importantly, Haringey Council have refused to make Grant Thornton's report public. The judgement made clear that it related only to London Borough of Haringey and was specific only to Reverend Nicholson's case. Accordingly, whist it may allow him to claim a refund for any earlier years, it did not assist the many thousands (approx 20,000) of Haringey residents who had been overcharged every year since 2008. It was with this in mind, that the Reverend made a further application to the High Court. The basis of this new application being that he wished to challenge Grant Thornton's decision not to apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is contrary to law under section 17(1) of the Audit Commission Act 1998. The Reverend considers that an audit is a public interest activity. Secondly, the Reverend wanted everyone who has been overcharged since 2008 to be repaid. His appeal was heard in the Divisional Court last Thursday (24th February). A copy of the press release and background to his dispute with Haringey Council is below. I will address the outcome of the appeal in a separate post. http://www.taxpayersagainstpoverty.o...paul-nicolson/
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