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What can a bailiff do regarding rail travel Magistrates fine (Non criminal)


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Hi

Just a quick question.

Does a Bailiff have any more power if they are collecting a fine set by the Magistrates court for an incorrect ticket "offence" on rail travel, than they usually do, i.e can they force entry into your home etc?

 

Thanks

Lisa

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A bailiff collecting overdue magistrates fines normally does, yes. Although they generally prefer not to unless they really have to.

 

 

council tax Liability orders are not fines, or criminal. That's why the bailiffs powers are so limited.

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With these fines it is VITAL that you do something QUICKLY as the fees that the company can charge are very steep indeed.

 

Just yesterday our office dealt with a similar query where the train ticket was just £7.30 The bailiff's 1st letter fee is £50 and a visit fee is an additional £175.

If you did not receive notification of the fine ( ie where documents had gone to a previous address etc) then you would need to file a Statutory Declaration IMMEDIATELY. This will take the debt back to the Magistrates Court and all bailiff charges will be removed.

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Hello

 

We have managed to get the money together to pay for a fine inflicted on my husband for not having his photo ID card whilst travelling on the train with a weekly ticket.

 

Even though he has disputed this, both the rail company and the courts have ignored all his correspondance and they have now passed it to Bailiffs.

 

I am damned if we are going to pay the Bailiffs £50 for something that we have been totally ignored over, so if we pay the court direct do the Bailiffs have to go take a running jump, just like they do for Council Tax collection if you pay the debt direct to your local council?

 

Thanks

 

Lisa

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I've posted up on a new thread but thought I would ask on this one as well - can we pay this fine direct to the Court still and Bypass the bailiffs, I can't stand dealing with them as they are such liars and bullies!

 

My husband did receive notification of the fine after it had been to court, but was never notified that it was going to court in the first place.

The last correspondence he had from the rail company thanked him for his letter and stated that he was not to send them any money and the letter finished at that.

We thought that they were going to be investigating his objections further and then a couple of months later the court order came through the door, why wasn't he told about the court date so he could go and defend himself? Surely Human rights have been violated somewhere along the line?

 

Can we still contest all this as it's just ridiculous the amount of charges been added to something he was told not to send money to pay in the first place?!

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Contractually HMCS should refuse to accept payment but some people at the courts don't know this and if they do accept it the warrant has to be returned to HMCS immediatley with no firther action taken.

 

So yes, try and pay direct.

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Quick question !! Were you aware of a hearing for this ? Or if not then how or why were you corresponding with hmcs and or the train company ? you need to tell me straight as i can guide you on this but need to know exactly .

So whats cooking today ?

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Hi

 

When my husband first received a letter from the train company about this "offence" he wrote back disputing it.

The next letter received from them stated nothing about taking it to court and not to send any money to the train company and left it at that.

The next letter he received a few months later was a judgement from Camberwell magistrates court, which is miles away from where we live, stating that he had been fined £355!!!!

 

He immediately wrote to them stating that he hadn't even been made aware of it going to court and that it was grossly unfair he wasn't able to defend himself, and agian waitied for a response.

A few months later a threatening letter from the court arrived in regards to the fine not being paid, so he wrote to them again stating he was disputing the fine and was still waiting to hear from someone at HMCS .

This happened a couple of times until about 2 weeks ago a letter from Marstons arrived for him with another £50 whacked on top of the fine for their "costs".

 

I paid the £355 yesterday using the last paying in slip the court sent back in january and the Bailiffs can sing for their money.

 

Will he still be able to contest the fine even if he has now paid it?

 

Thanks

Lisa

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello

 

I could do with some of your expert advice please.

 

A few weeks ago my husband got a letter from Marstons in regards to an unpaid court fine, which he is still in dispute over.

Anyway as we could really do without the hassle of more Bailiffs coming round (got them for Counil tax too!) he borrowed the money from work and paid the £355 fine directly to the magistrates court on the paying in slip which they had provided him a couple of months earlier.

 

Well 10 minutes ago a big fat scruffy looking thug was banging on my door, which I chose to ignore, so he put a removals notice through my letterbox. My annoyances over this are as follows: -

  1. The grand total which it now states as owing is £580 - £225 more than the original fine!
  2. Why did he come at all when the fine was paid to HMCS 2 weeks ago, surely they should have told Marstons it had been settled
  3. The notice isn't in an envelope, whioch I thought they were obliged to do for privacy reasons?

Should we just put it in writing to the Magistrates court that the fine has been settled and we are still getting harassed by the Bailiffs, or should we write to Marstons as well?

 

Also are the £225 pound fees allowed, considering this was a first visit and all he did was push the notice through my door and drive off?

 

Any advice appreciated

Thanks

Lisa

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Guest Happy Contrails

Your post doesn't give the amount of original council tax due. Strangely enough there is no law obligating you to do business with a bailiff, your obligation is only to the council. Do not phone or cantact the bailiff and if you arfe feeling threatened or harrased by them then consider seeking advice about getting a restraining order under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

The law prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid council tax is the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and it provides £24.00 for one visit. No other bailiff's fees can lawfully be charged if a bailiff has not moved your goods in a vehicle and you have not signed any document consenting to a fee or agreed to pay them.

 

The law prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid parking tickets is Schedule 1 of the Enforcement of Road Traffic Debts (Certificated Bailiffs)(Amended 2003) Regulations 1993 but you have paid them direct to court so no fees apply. It looks like the bailiff is a fraudster and a cheat.

 

By charging you these fees the bailiff has committed fraud by false representation and you have a right to make a compliant to police because it is a criminal offence under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

Phone the Ministry of Justice Public Register of Bailiffs on 020 3334 6355 and ask which court issued his certificate, then download the complaint form http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/form4_0606.pdf and send the form to the certificating court enclosing supporting evidence such as the bailiffs document showing the unlawful fees and any amounts paid.

 

With either complaint, say what you have said in your above post.

 

Approach the council and offer to pay the council tax balance directly to them and quickly escalate to the Local Government Ombudsman if you are fobbed off with excuses by the council. The council wont like being caught hiring bailiffs who have been found cheating taxpayers with bogus fees. Make it clear you are contacting the local media and telling them their bailiff contractor is a fraudster and a cheat.

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Hi

 

thanks for your reply.

 

This is for a HMCS fine (train ticket) that the Bailiff showed up to collect, my C. Tax is being dealt with seperately and we are nowing paying the Council direct for that

 

Are the amount of fees still unjustified?

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Guest Happy Contrails

There is no legislation prescribing bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid court fines. Any fee agreement between the court and the bailiff can be establised under Section 92 of the Courts Act 1980 but this is only binding on the parties. A defendant is not a named party to that agreement so he has no obligaiton to pay any money according to that agreement.

 

If the court orders you to pay bailiffs fees in addition to the fine then phone the court and ask if such an order exists and if so, how much. If there are none then pay the fine duirect to the court. The law does not obligate you to do business with a bailiff.

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My Husband has just called the court and they are saying that even though we paid it 2 weeks ago, they aren't going to accept it and will bounce it back to us?

We paid it by cash over the counter at a Natwest branch, so how can they "bounce it back", are they goping to send us a cheque back for that amount?

If so that is bloody ridiculous as I cannot believe they are refusing my husbands paynent in full for the fine, surely they have to accept it?

 

As for Marstons charges, on the original letter a few weeks ago they had added £50 in addition to the fine and today another £175 has been added, what for I don't know.

 

Really don't need this crap at the moment, I'm 32 weeks pregnant and getting stressed out is not good!

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Guest Happy Contrails
My Husband has just called the court and they are saying that even though we paid it 2 weeks ago, they aren't going to accept it and will bounce it back to us?

We paid it by cash over the counter at a Natwest branch, so how can they "bounce it back", are they goping to send us a cheque back for that amount?

 

If so that is bloody ridiculous as I cannot believe they are refusing my husbands paynent in full for the fine, surely they have to accept it?

 

It looks like the court staff is being vexatious. You need to speak to a CAB asviser and appoint a solicitor. You should be able to get a free one so ask around and agree this before he starts work. Check your home insurance, you might have legal protection cover.

 

As for Marstons charges, on the original letter a few weeks ago they had added £50 in addition to the fine and today another £175 has been added, what for I don't know.

 

They commit an offence under the Fraud Act, you need a solicitor.

 

Really don't need this crap at the moment, I'm 32 weeks pregnant and getting stressed out is not good!

 

Make a claim for damages, but as the court is a prescribed government agency, its excluded from the Civil Provedure (small claims track) Rules. You need a solicitor to file the claim.

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Thank you so much for your advice, I will get down to my local CAB as soon as possible.

 

We're waiting for the court to call back with what whats (as far as they're comcerned anyway), I think we'll give them an hour and call them back advising them of the legal route we intend to take.

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The court has just called back to say that they have sent the money back by way of a cheque, my Husband has advised them that he won't be cashing it as it's for paying his fine.

He also advised them of me being Pregnant and of Marstons fraudulemt charges and that the contract with Marstons is with the court etc etc, but they are refusing to listen to a word he is saying and they are basically saying Marstons have the right to do what they are doing

 

Husband has just spoken to the Office for Judicial Complaints about the way the Magistrates court are handling this and the Bailiffs excessive charges and found out the charges that are usually agreed between the Magistrates Court and the bailiff.

Debt more than £100

20% of first £100

4% of the next £400

2.5% of the next £1500

1% of the next £8000

0.25% of any additional sum

 

So for my Husbands £355 fine that should be a total of £31 in charges!

The woman who my husband spoke to said the bailiffs have committed a fraud and we should complain about the courts callcentre staffs conduct and the Bailiffs conduct directly to the Clerk of the Justices of the Magistrates Court and that the court really shouldn't be refusing the payment and if they do they need to make it clear to the Bailiffs what they an charge!

 

 

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Guest Happy Contrails

Lisa, where did you get that fee scale from?

 

The legislation namely Section 92 of the Courts Act 2003 and the Magistrates Courts (Civilian Enforcement Officers) Rules 1990 only provide for setting a fee scale between court and bailiff. There is nothing in the legislation binding a defendant to pay any bailiffs fees. There should be no charges payable by a defendant because the bailiff takes his fee out of the fine and pay the remaining balance to the court.

 

Ask the court for the order requiring the defendant pay bailiffs fees on top of the fine, if there is no order then only the fine is payable.

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Marstons is one of three companies with a contract to enforce unpaid Magistrates Court FINES.

The Contract with HMCS provides that the bailiffs can charge a letter fee of £50 and a visit fee of £175 (£225).

 

The contract also provides that all payments must be made to the bailiff company and in all such cases that we see, the Magistrates Court return any payments made to them.

 

Could you check to see how old the Warrant is. It MUST be returned back to the court after 180 days ( 6 months). In addition, the bailiff MUST have first sent you a letter. Did you receive this?

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Marstons turned up AFTER the mony had been paid to the court.

We do not have another £225 to pay them and I will take it to the very top if I have to!!!!

 

According to the Judicial complaints office ANY Bailiff charges have to be reasonable, to say that charging £175 to stand at my front door for 2 minutes is reasonable is ridiculous!

 

If it comes down to it we will pay £355 direct to Marstons for the court fine and they can take us to a claims court to get the rest.

 

We are still in dispute just about what this fine is as my Husband didn't even know he was being taken to court in the first place, we are not going to pay out £580 for something we knew nothing about when we have a new baby on the way and not a penny to our name as it is!

 

Everything in the house, cars included, are in my name as well so they have no claim over that as the fine is in my husbands name, so they're wasting they're time anyway!

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Guest Happy Contrails

The Contract with HMCS provides that the bailiffs can charge a letter fee of £50 and a visit fee of £175 (£225)

 

The contract does not make the defendant liable to pay bailiffs fees.

 

The court needs to make a further order requiring the defendant to pay further sums in addition to the fine, and the defendant has a statutory right to defend it. Otherwise payment of bailiffs fees by the defendant is voluntary.

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Hello

 

Just looking for some more fantastic advice in regards to those classed as vulnerable and the ir rights.

 

I've recently posted about being hassled by Marstons for a HMCS fine (train travel issue) which has been paid to the court and is solely to do with my Husband.

I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant, so I know that I could fall into the Vulnerable Persons category so does this mean the Bailiffs shouldn't come to the house at all as I'm near enough always the one home and the fine is nothing to do with me anyway?

Also our son, who is 5, is Autistic and on one occassion before has been present when a Bailiff turned up which caused him huge anxiety.

Now as he has a mental health issue and is a minor living in this house with us as his carers, does the vulnerable status also refer to him too?

 

Any thoughts/advice appreciated

 

Thanks

Lisa

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The bailiff has just been back banging on my door (I ignored it) and he's posted a notice through the door again demanding payment of £580!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Marstons are fully aware that the fine has been paid, of my Vulnerable status (33 weeks pregnant and carer of an Autistic child) and that we have written to the Chief Clarke of the court demanding to know why the Bailiffs are still calling.

 

I know Marstons know all this because they acknowleged the letter last week!

 

I wish I'd spoken to him now, why are they still sending Bailiffs for the full amount when they know it's been paid to the court?

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