Form 4 complaint: Burnley County Court: May 2013. His Honour Judge Butler
This particular Judgment is very serious indeed and it being posted as it is in the public interest to do so.
Firstly, the contents of the Judgment are vitally important but, as can be seen from the top right hand corner, all 3 pages have been copied from a particular website.
It is sadly the case that the website in question have continually claimed that it is a "myth" that Courts have ever ordered claimants to pay costs if a Form 4 Complaint is dismissed. This is all the more serious given that this judgment appeared on that particular website on around 29th May 2013 and the entire thread was removed from public view by the website owner on 3rd June 2013 after a post had been made about the judgment on Consumer Action Group.
From reading the final paragraph on Page 2 and the closing statement on Page 3 it is very clear that His Honour Judge Butler is confirming that costs have indeed been ordered and, as an example, he confirms that in one "recent case" at Southampton County Court a cost order of £10,000 had been ordered against the person making the Form 4 complaint. In fact, I referred to this particular Form 4 outcome a few days ago and it is my understanding that “costs” are still being debated and look likely to reach over £20,000 !!!
The Form 4 Complaint for Mr Kirk (the complainant) had been drafted by the website in question and this was confirmed on the thread started by Mr Kirk ( before it was removed from public view) and is evident by the PDF of the thread.
This Judgment needs to be available to the public and there are many reason for this:
Mr Kirk had initially posted a query on Consumer Action Group and he was advised in no uncertain terms by posters on here that he should not consider a Form 4 complaint in particular given......that the amount in dispute was just £20!!
The brief background is that the bailiff levied upon a vehicle owned by Mr Kirk's sister and that he charged a fee of £24.50, £18.00 and a "levy fee" of £28.00 There was also a small additional amount of £26.00 which apparently related to a shortfall against a previous account.
Mr Kirk complained to Rossendale’s about the levy. Sensibly, they removed the levy fee and visit fee and credited the account with the sum of £50.
The debtor was not happy to be told on this forum that he had no grounds in which to file a Form 4. Subsequently, he sought advice from another forum and from reading a copy of the PDF of his thread, it would seem that he was encouraged to file a Form 4 Complaint. The website in question are known to charge a fee of £99 for “drafting” the Form 4 complaint.
Before the website had removed the entire thread on 3rd June 2013 a copy of Mr Kirk's Form 4 had been displayed. Sadly, it referred to at lest 14 legal cases most of which were irrelevant "19th century law cases".
As a warning to anyone else who may quote such case law in a Form 4 complaint, it is noteworthy that His Honour Judge Butler stated that if he had felt it necessary to list the Form 4 for a hearing that he would have required the complainant to bring to the court copies of the legal cases referred to in the Form 4 and most seriously; he would have requested that the complainant or "his legal adviser" would have been required to attend court explain to the Judge the relevance of such legal cases !!
Finally, in paragraph 6 His Honour Judge Butler refers to Mr Kirk's comment that he had "taken legal advice" and he questions whether such "advice" had come from "face to face" advice from a solicitor or CAB or alternatively whether the "legal advice" had originated from "internet research". If so, he stated that "if from the latter he should not assume that this information is correct and nor should he assume that the court is aware of the matters he relies upon” ( in this he refers to the "19th century legal cases")
As mentioned above, within hours of brief details of this highly critical Judgment being posted on the CAG forum the judgment and the claimants entire thread were removed from public view.
The effect being that any new visitors to the website would be "kept in the dark" about the response to a Form 4 complaint that the website had drafted for him. To this day, that same website continue to advise debtors to file Form 4 complaints and most seriously....to "claim" that costs will not be awarded against the claimant.