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What do you mean by Court Bailiff?. Are you referring to a bailiff from the County Court ? If so then NO he cannot force entry into your home, and in any event most county court bailiffs are very easy to deal with.

 

If the debt that you have is an unpaid "fine" that was granted in the Magistrates Court, then YES bailifs can break into your property.

 

This is VERY RARE but the power is there if necessary.

 

The type of fines are ones that are criminal fines, ie: unpaid tv licence, driving without insurance, speeding etc.

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Can a bailiff force his/her way into my house?

 

Most bailiffs do not have the right to force their way into your home to seize your goods. The only exception is that bailiffs from the Collector of Taxes (Inland Revenue) can get a warrant to force entry, but this is very rare.

 

All other bailiffs have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they cannot use force to enter your home, for example, by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter your property through an open door or window (front and back) and can climb over fences and gates, but cannot break them down.

 

You do not have to let a bailiff into your house. A bailiff cannot force their way past you if you answer the door. If all your doors and windows are securely closed they will not be able to gain peaceful entry to your house unless you let them in.

 

Bailiffs are well aware of their limited powers and may use a variety of different means to gain entry peaceably. They may attempt to walk in as soon as a door is opened. They may ask if they can use your telephone to check if an arrangement is satisfactory with their office. They may simply ask you if you would prefer to discuss matters inside. You do not have to go along with any of these methods.

 

Can I be arrested or imprisoned for not letting a bailiff into my house?

 

No. If a bailiff is accompanied by the police, they are only there to prevent a breach of the peace. You cannot be arrested for refusing to allow a bailiff into your home.

 

You cannot be imprisoned for not paying your debts. However, non-payment of council tax, child maintenance or magistrates court fines can lead to imprisonment if you 'wilfully refuse' to pay. This means that the magistrates must be satisfied that you have the money but choose not to pay. You should be required to attend a magistrates court means enquiry hearing before this is decided. This gives you the chance to explain why you have not paid.

 

Hope this helps

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Micheal.

 

Excellent response and most helpful. Unfortunatly however the right to force entry does exist in very limited circumstances. The following extract is from our website.

 

 

Can the bailiff force entry into my home?

 

If the bailiff is pursuing you for an unpaid fine of a criminal nature…then the answer, unfortunately, is yes. However, this is more of a threat, and during the past year, bailiffs forced entry into a home on less that 10 occasions.

 

The right for bailiffs acting on behalf of the Magistrates Court, the power to “enter and search any premises” for the purpose of executing a Warrant of Distress, was granted under Paragraph 3 of Schedule 4A of the Magistrates Courts Act 2004. This provision was also then inserted into the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 which was introduced last year.

 

The right to force entry however only applies to the collection of unpaid fines which are criminal matters.

 

It is important to note that these rules do not apply to the collection of unpaid council tax, business rates, unpaid parking and congestion charge notices, CSA arrears etc. The rules only apply to unpaid fines administered in the Magistrates Court

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Lets keep it in context shall we.

 

I am a County Court Bailiff.

 

The answer is very simple, but as the honorable TT said the bailiffs at County Court a very easy to deal, with, there are no powers of entry unless you have signed a walk in possession, which you have NOT, even if you had the, the judge WILL NOT grant a breaking in order, the claimant would need to indemnify the court for any costs involved in breaking in, this would need to cover things like the costs of breaking in the costs and sale of auction of the property removed, which will probably be only the TV, and thats subject to the tv being a 100in LCD. In essence what i am saying is that you need not lose any sleep over this, what you can do is ignore the bailiff, or make an offer to pay the court in small sums every week. If the bailiff confirms that you live there the claimant may try to get a order for questioning at court, but thats another issue.

** Credentials **

 

10 Years Finance Fraud Investigator

 

5 Year High Court Sheriffs

 

2 Years Tip Staff Royal Courts

 

Currently : HMCS Enforcement Officer

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Its nothing really its just an Order For Questioning into your financial affairs, the bailiff has to be able to first, serve you with the summons.

 

the scene script would be as follows

 

Bailiff knocks at the door of Mr Smith :-

 

Smith : Yes?

 

Bailiff : Hello there I am from Samfield County Court (made up) are you

Mr Smith?

 

Smith : No,

 

Bailiff : Can I ask who you are ?

 

Smith : BANG! door slammed shut.

 

Bailiff : (sad and walks away) thats me occasionally but i am pro consumer so i'm happy whilst i walk away.

 

Result Returned to Claimant: Sorry Claimant.....but we went to Mr Smiths address and he is not known.

** Credentials **

 

10 Years Finance Fraud Investigator

 

5 Year High Court Sheriffs

 

2 Years Tip Staff Royal Courts

 

Currently : HMCS Enforcement Officer

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Sorry if I'm being nosy, just tell me to butt out if you want to stop, or can't say any more.

 

So the scene is set with a very very unhelpful, hostile, debtor.

 

What is questioning going to achieve?

 

Hmm, there are two sides to this, we aren't always debtors, sometimes we can be aggrieved creditors too!

 

What happens next?

 

chris.

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Yes i am a pee'd off debtor.

 

If you are served with the summons and fail to appear at the court, then there will be a warrant for your arrest.

 

You will be brought before the court and sent to prison, 2 weeks no ifs buts or maybe's. Unless you can come up with a really good fib.

** Credentials **

 

10 Years Finance Fraud Investigator

 

5 Year High Court Sheriffs

 

2 Years Tip Staff Royal Courts

 

Currently : HMCS Enforcement Officer

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Lets keep it in context shall we.

 

I am a County Court Bailiff.

 

The answer is very simple, but as the honorable TT said the bailiffs at County Court a very easy to deal, with, there are no powers of entry unless you have signed a walk in possession, which you have NOT, even if you had the, the judge WILL NOT grant a breaking in order, the claimant would need to indemnify the court for any costs involved in breaking in, this would need to cover things like the costs of breaking in the costs and sale of auction of the property removed, which will probably be only the TV, and thats subject to the tv being a 100in LCD. In essence what i am saying is that you need not lose any sleep over this, what you can do is ignore the bailiff, or make an offer to pay the court in small sums every week. If the bailiff confirms that you live there the claimant may try to get a order for questioning at court, but thats another issue.

 

Oh Boy ! ... County Court Bailiff ?

Are you sure. If you really do want to pretend to be a CC Bailiff then do your homework and brush up on your spelling. "Walk in possession" ?...

"Breaking in Order" ? ... Behave yourself

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Im sorry about the mistakes, i am ill at the mo, but those who know me on here know what i do for a living, i will accept your comments with a pinch of salt, i am not offended, thanks for pointing out the "BREAKING IN" nonsense. Of course this should of read "Walk-in" and "Break In" I apologise to CAG members, for my less than acceptable mistakes.

** Credentials **

 

10 Years Finance Fraud Investigator

 

5 Year High Court Sheriffs

 

2 Years Tip Staff Royal Courts

 

Currently : HMCS Enforcement Officer

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I always thought it was a Walking Possession ?????

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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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You are of course right Ellen. It is a Walking Possession.

 

Good to hear from you again Oh Boy and your response confirms my previous post that County Court bailiffs are MUCH easier to deal with.

 

It truly is a shame that the right to break-in to a property is allowed (all be it rarely used) when pursuing unpaid fines handed down in a Magistrates Court. I say this becasue of the 16 searches of bailiffs that our office carried out today........just 9 of them were certificated. The rest could even be criminals themselves !!!

 

If this government brings in powers of forced entry by other bailiffs as proposed under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Bill , then we will all have something to worry about.

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"If this government brings in powers of forced entry by other bailiffs as proposed under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Bill , then we will all have something to worry about".

 

No, not ALL of us. Only debtors. This new law is very good news for creditors and those of us who are sick of people not paying their bills and sticking two fingers up. If you owe money why should you have a plethora of CD players, games consoles, plasma screens, new furniture, masses of DVD's etc? I have never seen a debtors house without these things.

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  • 1 year later...
Yes i am a pee'd off debtor.

 

If you are served with the summons and fail to appear at the court, then there will be a warrant for your arrest.

 

You will be brought before the court and sent to prison, 2 weeks no ifs buts or maybe's. Unless you can come up with a really good fib.

 

 

hello,

 

when you say served with the summons, am i right in saying that this can only be achieved face to face?? or is a letter through the doors sufficient should they believe you reside at the address??

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found the answer per below post. many thanks Kitchen Boy!!

 

Hi,

 

Okay, I had to attend an oral examination as a director of my company which ceased trading, this was with HMRC. Greenhalghs managed to get themselves on TV a little while ago and came across as a right bunch of maggots. This is definately a threat.

 

Any summons to appear under oath for questioning has to be served on you personally. You can be arrested for contempt of court if you do not attend once served with an order. As the consequences for the debtor not appearing are very serious, the creditor has to follow strict protocol and an affidavit of service has to be filed with the court. The order can't be left at your address with someone else nor can it be posted through a letter box.

 

The reason for an oral exam is that it is an effective way to establish the financial position of the debtor. The actual oral exam is not scary at all, you just fill in a form, a court officer then goes over it with you and the other side if they attend, you swear an oath and that's it, no Judge.

 

I think you can relax a little the onus is on them to serve the order on you and to prove it under oath. Also if by chance you are served they have to provide sufficient travel expenses to and from the court but only if you ask within 7 days of being served. They have to swear an affidavit as to wheather they were asked for travel expenses. You can then get Greenhalghs to pay for a return plane ticket.:grin:

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HI

 

i'm new to this forum, could someone give me a little advise. i ve had a high court bailiff attend my home for a business telephone bill that went to county court and then had a writ of ferris put on it, to cut a long story short, i have had no acknowledgement of the bills that were out standing and when we ceased business i infomed the tele company of that fact and asked for them to send me a bill. in turn i recieved a visit fom this bailiff who was quiet nasty and shoved a wad of papers which turned out to be a walking possession aggreement for my car which was on the drive. i havent signed this aggreement at all. the car is on hp and the bailiff wanted to know the hp company because he reckoned that he could ring the finance company up take my car and make a deal with them.

what do i do? and can he do that? can he break into my property as he is a high court bailiff. many thanks for taking the time to read this.

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