Jump to content


How To Complain To The Court About A Certificated Bailiff.


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 6092 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

The following is a brief guide on how to complain to the court about a certificated bailiff. However, since the launch by the Ministry of Justice of the on line certificated bailiff register it is important that anyone considering making such a complaint should read the notes at the bottom of this page. This is very important!!

 

 

 

COMPLAINING TO THE COURT ABOUT A CERTIFICATED BAILIFF:

 

If you have a complaint about a Certificated Bailiff, there is a procedure that you can use which is refered to as a FORM 4 COMPLAINT. However, it is important to be aware that this is an application to the Court and as such is a form of Litigation and a hearing will take place in the County Court in front of a District Judge.

 

The Statutory Regulations relating to Certificated Bailiff's are found in the Distress for Rent Act 1988 ( as amended) and this provides for complaints about the conduct of Certificated Bailiff’s to be made to the County Court (where the bailiff obtained his certificate) using a very simple court form called a FORM 4.

 

A copy of your complaint must be sent to the court and they in turn will forward a copy to the bailiff and his employer. They have just 14 days to respond. If the judge is satisfied with the response, no further action is taken. If the bailiff fails to deliver a reply or, if upon reading the reply, the Judge is unsatisfied with the response. the bailiff will be summoned to court to "show good cause as to why his Certificate should not be cancelled". You should ensure that you attend the hearing.

 

THE GROUNDS FOR MAKING A COMPLAINT TO THE COURT:

 

The court will hear any complaint that you may have, but the following are the most common:

 

• The fees charged are EXCESSIVE and are not in keeping with Statutory Regulations.However, the court are commonly dismissing such complaints on this ground on the basis that the correct procedure should be to make an application to the Court for Detailed Assessment which will involve a Costs Judge examining the fees charged against those provided for in the statutory regulations.

 

• The bailiff's behavior has been AGGRESSIVE, RUDE or THREATENING. A bailiff has no right to force his/her way into your premises in order to gain entry to enforce the collection of Council Tax arrears, unpaid Parking Charge Notices, etc

 

• The bailiff has levied ILLEGALLY. This means that the bailiff has levied on goods which cannot be seized; (ie: goods that are not yours)

 

• The bailiff has levied IRREGULARLY. This means that the correct goods have been seized, but the events following the seizure are not correct e.g. the bailiff sells your goods after you have paid the debt or sells them for an undervalue.

 

• The bailiff has levied EXCESSIVELY. This means that the value of the goods seized from you is significantly more than the amount of the debt. However, it is important to be aware that auction values will apply and your goods will only realise approx 10% of their value.

 

 

NOTES ON COMPLETING THE FORM:

 

 

As explained earlier, a Form 4 Complaint is a form of litigation. The Judge reading the complaint will only be interested in facts. If the complaint concerns the behaviour of the bailiff and there were witnesses, it is wise to provide statements from them when submitting the complaint.

 

 

A Form 4 Complaint can have very serious implications for the bailiff in that he could have his certificate removed by the Court and this will lead to him losing his employment. For this reason, it is always the case that if you have a complaint about a certificated bailiff that your complaint should first be sent to the bailiff company to address and the Form 4 Complaint to the County Court should always be seen as a last resort. By ensuring that you have allowed the bailiff company sufficient opportunity to deal with your complaint, you will avoid being criticised by the Court and being accused of wasting court time.

 

If you have received a response from the bailiff company to your complaint and you are unhappy with the reply you may consider sending a draft copy of the Form 4 Complaint to the company and stating that unless the matter is resolved to your satisfaction within 21 days that you will consider submitting the Form 4 Complaint to the Court without any further reference to them.

 

In all cases, as the bailiff is working as an agent for the local authority, a copy of your complaint should be sent to the council as well and you need to ensure that you ask that it is recorded as a "formal complaint" and addresses for the attention of the Chief Executive.

 

 

WHAT THE JUDGE CAN DO:

 

At the hearing, the Judge may take the following action:-

 

• Order compensation to be paid to you. This means that the Judge can award you a sum of money from the “Bailiff Bond”. (see note below)

 

• Cancel the bailiff's certificate. This will lead to the bailiff immediately losing his employment and will naturally mean that he will not be allowed to work as a bailiff for any other enforcement company.

 

• Dismiss your complaint. At the hearing the Judge has to consider whether the complaint about the bailff is serious enough for him to cancel the bailiffs certificate (which will ultimately lead to the loss of his employment). From experience, when the court dismiss a Form 4 Complaint this is commonly because the complaint concerns the amount of fees charged and the correct procedure should an application for Detailed Assessment. The court will also dismiss complaints where it is clear that the complaint is not serious enough and where the debtor had submitted a Form 4 Complaint to the court before allowing the bailiff company the opportunity to resolve the complaint.

 

Note: In order to be Certificated, all bailiffs must obtain a £10,000 Bailiff Bond. Although some bonds are provided by an insurance company, the vast majority are provided and underwritten by either ACEA or ESA who are both Trade Associations for Bailiff Companies.

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:

 

 

The Bailiff and Sheriff section of the Consumer Action Group forum is extremely popular ( I am reliably informed that approx 1.9 million posts have been viewed since this part of the website started !!) and since the launch earlier this year of the on line bailiff register, thousands of Consumer Action Group visitors have used the search facility with a similar number of viewers reading this additional thread as well.

 

With the severe effects of the recession affecting so many people there has been a significant increase in Form 4 Complaints being made to the County Courts and as a result, bailiff companies are now routinely instructing solicitors or even barristers to represent their bailiff's at a Form 4 hearing and sadly there are many reports where Judges have been know to impose costs orders against the person making the complaint if the court dismiss the complaint at an eventual hearing. This will naturally have a devastating effect on debtors, many of whom may already be in vulnerable circumstances.

 

 

The Form 4 Complaint issued by the Ministry of Justice does not provide any guidance notes and neither does it warn the debtor that they could be liable for costs in the event that the Judge dismisses the complaint. As mentioned above, the filing of a Form 4 Complaint should be a last resort and the court will expect that you have first provided the bailiff company with an opportunity to address your complaint.

 

As a large proportion of Form 4 Complaints concern the amount of fees charged by a bailiff you may consider instead filing a simple N1 Small Claims application in the County Court. The small claims limit is £5,000 and it is only in the most exceptional circumstances that you could be liable for the defendants costs if you were to lose your case.

 

 

A Form 4 Complaint must be sent to the Court that certificated the bailiff. To search whether a bailiff is certificated or which court certificated him/her you will need to visit the following web link:

 

www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/CertificatedBailiffs/

Edited by tomtubby
Updating information.
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 6092 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...