For a very long time I have raised concerns on here about inaccurate information regarding the enforcement of Magistrate Court fines. The reason for my concern is because, unlike any other debts, (penalty charge notices, liability orders etc) the enforcement officer has the right under the warrant to 'force entry'.
Yesterday, the Parliamentray Under-Secretary of State for Justice; Shaliest Vara, clarified the position regarding enforcement agents fees....the 'pro rata' distribution of payments.... and most importantly, how courts deal with direct payments (after a warrant has been past to the enforcement agency. A copy of his statement features in my second post.
By way of background, the following is a copy of a post that I made earlier this month:
In the past couple of weeks I have received reports of six cases where a locksmith had been used to enforce a debt for magistrate court fines after a debtor had relied upon misinformation on the internet and believed that paying the amount only of the court fine (minus bailiff fees) to the court (as opposed to the enforcement company) would mean that the warrant had been satisfied.
In four cases, payment had been made to the court on receipt of the Notice of Enforcement (when bailiff fees of just £75 had been added). In the remaining two cases, payment had been made following an enforcement agent agent visit (fee of £235 had been applied)
In each case, the person had relied upon the following statements featured on social media sites (with close links to the Freeman on the Land movement).
The warrant for court fines only enables the enforcement of the "Sum Adjudged". Section 76 of the Magistrates courts Act 1980.
Pay the fine online. That extinguishes the power to control of goods. The warrant only gives a power to take control of goods for the "sum adjudged".
In each debtors case, after making payment to the Magistrates Court they had received notification from the court that their payment had been forwarded to the enforcement company so that the company could properly deduct their Compliance fee of £75 and apportion the balance on a pro rata basis in line with legislation.
By following the inaccurate advice, each debtor had incurred substantial additional fees. In four cases, an enforcement fee of £235 had been added and in each case locksmith fee had also been applied.