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Hi everyone,

 

I enrolled on a college course last August 08, unaware at the time that I was pregnant.

 

On this day I paid £223.76 of the £895 fees.

 

Due to having my baby I left the course at the beginning of February 2009, & sent a letter to the college confirming this. No more was heard until March when I received a letter passed on from my previous address confirming I had been withdrawn from the course, no mention of an outstanding balance was mentioned so I far as I was aware that was it.

 

I had my baby, got married (hence my name changed) and due to my husband being in the army I have moved house 3 times!!!

 

In July my ex housemate rang me to say a letter had been hand delivered and looked quite important so she opened it for me and read out that it was from a Bailiff Company Marstons demanding £1118.34 on behalf of the college. I immediately rang the college to explain the situation and was told it was now in the hands of Marstons.

 

So I contacted Marstons via letter immediately to which I received no reply. 3 months then passed during which I received a weird phonecall asking for me in my maiden name claiming to be Royal Mail wanting to deliver a parcel and asking me to confirm my address which stupidly I did.

 

4 weeks later Marston have hand delivered without even attempting to knock on my door a letter demanding £1071.88. Therefore confirming that the phonecall claiming to be Royal Mail was indeed Marstons as no parcel was ever delivered and when ringing Royal Mail they said they would NEVER call the recipient.

 

My name has changed and there is absolutely nothing linking my maiden name to my current address, there is nothing even to link my new name to my current address even as it is a Ministry of Defence property and everything is in my husband's name.

 

The college had my mobile number and e-mail however apparently the only contact they and Marstons have made was by letter to the wrong address which obviously I never received.

 

Apparently this matter has been through court and I now have a CCJ but I have registered with Experian to check my credit report and there is no CCJ on there so I'm confused!

 

The letter from Marstons states the following:

 

Judgment Debt: £707.84

Judgment Costs: £147.00

Execution Costs: £101.75

Interest To: £28.00

Officers Fees: £156.28

TOTAL LEVY: £1071.88 as of 28/10/2009

 

They obviously can't add up though as if you add all the above the TOTAL LEVY actually comes to £1140.87!!

 

Sorry this is so long but obviously this is a lot of money to just hand over when I really don't see this is fair that it has been through court and they've charged me these fees when I knew nothing about the debt. Also why is there no CCJ on my credit report when they say it has been through court and I have got one?!

 

I would be very grateful for anyones comments/help.

 

Thank you.

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It appears obvious that the CCJ was registered in your maiden name at an address you used to live at. The original Court documents would have been sent there and as no reply was forthcoming you would have been found "guilty" by default. Whatever sum was then owing was never paid so those responsible have transferred up through the High Court for you to end up with the sums now claimed.

 

Action Plan:

1. You must find out which Court the CCJ was obtained from - ring the College to find this out.

2. As you were unaware of the original "summons" you may be able to apply for Set Aside.

3. To stop any further action with Marston you must apply to the High Court for a Stay of Execution until your Set Aside has been dealt with.

 

PT


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Thank you ploddertom for your reply, I will definately be doing this.

 

However, in the mean time would it be best to pay Marstons the full amount they are asking for to stop them coming back again and adding any further charges?

 

Would I then be able to claim back any money that I didnt owe if I applied for a set aside?

 

I just want to get this sorted and get them off my backs asap as I'm sat in my house worried sick I'm going to have some bailiff break in my house and take my things!

 

Thank you.

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Thank you ploddertom for your reply, I will definately be doing this.

 

However, in the mean time would it be best to pay Marstons the full amount they are asking for to stop them coming back again and adding any further charges?

 

Only you can decide this and yes it is a possibilty, it would save having to apply for a Stay of Execution until you sort things out and takes away the worry/threat of any further action they may take.

 

Would I then be able to claim back any money that I didnt owe if I applied for a set aside?

If you win your Set Aside then things go back to the stage where you first owed any monies. Marstons should pay back all monies taken from you including the original debt, and all charges they have administered. The Court would automatically notify Registry Trust and any CCJ registered would be removed. However you would still owe the original debt and it then be in your best interests to pay it as soon as possible. Do not rely on the original Creditor notifying Marstons if you win Set Aside it is best to do this yourself.

 

I just want to get this sorted and get them off my backs asap as I'm sat in my house worried sick I'm going to have some bailiff break in my house and take my things!

 

He can not break in if he has not gained peaceful entry previously, and even so would have to notify you first. However as an HCEO he is allowed to break in to any detached shed/garage/building you may have.

 

Thank you.

 

 

PT


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Ok thank you so so much for your help, I'll get onto it first thing in the morning and let you know how it goes!

 

Thank you again!

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Sorry just another quick question, will applying for a set aside and then going back to court mean having to pay out more money?

 

Thank you

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Sorry just another quick question, will applying for a set aside and then going back to court mean having to pay out more money?

 

Thank you

 

Set Aside is done on Form N244 available on the HMCS website, believe cost at present is £75.

 

Not sure whether this link is allowed but here is some detail from the UK Insolvency Helpline Removal of CCJ's - Valid reasons to have your judgements set aside

 

To Site Team - apologies if posting link not allowed.

 

PT


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Hi,

 

I rang the court today who said I had a Writ against me and I wouldn't be able to apply for a set aside until the Writ is removed. What is a Writ and how do I get it removed?!

 

Thank you

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Hi Hootie16

I have had nothing but trouble with this lot (marstons)

Please look at my thread (carnation in the bailiffs section. They took complete advantage of me & then liwd to walk away with the money after adding nearly 500% interest.

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Hi,

 

I rang the court today who said I had a Writ against me and I wouldn't be able to apply for a set aside until the Writ is removed. What is a Writ and how do I get it removed?!

 

Thank you

 

Load of rubbish. You can still aply for Set Aside on the CCJ this is done in the County Court. The Writ will be a Writ of Fi-Fa which is what the HCEO has, as discussed earlier you can either apply to the High Court for a Stay or you were thinking of paying and sorting things out afterwards. Unfortunately those that work in the County Courts are very unsure of what HCEO's do or what their Writ covers. They usually work on the principle of any High Court action takes precedence over County Court.

 

In your instance the Writ issued in the High Court is treated for what it is and all other actions are done in the County Court. If stuck PM me and I'll try and explain a bit more but it might not be until late as I have to go back to work shortly for an hour or so..

 

PT


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I need help with them too . Had a message saying that removal contractors are to enforce a warrant . what does this mean and what can i do ? i have said i can make a payment to them but they have not got back to me . how much time to i have? any help would be great , and the place i live is not in my name , nothing is .

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I need help with them too . Had a message saying that removal contractors are to enforce a warrant . what does this mean and what can i do ? i have said i can make a payment to them but they have not got back to me . how much time to i have? any help would be great , and the place i live is not in my name , nothing is .

 

 

Hi Keiron

 

You neeed to start a new thread http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=168 and list/explain your problem in more detail.

 

PT


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Hi again!!!

 

I have paid off the debt in full to Marstons £1077.88 and firstly I got a letter from Incasso saying the debt is now settled and I need to apply to court for a certificate of satisfaction which costs £15, but today I've received a letter and a certificate of satisfaction from Marstons which is weird!!

 

But the reason why I am writing is I have been on my credit report on both Experian and Equifax but there is absolutely nothing on my report in the Public Record bit i.e. there is no mention of a CCJ, debt or anything on my credit report, which obviously I am very happy about but does this mean a CCJ never existed and I have paid money which wasn't owed?!!!

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It means the debt may not have been though court at all. If that is true then the bailiff was trading as a common debt collector and he cannot charge you any fees.

 

Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 comes to mind, the bailiff may have been instructed as a debt collector but approached you under the pretence they act as a bailiff. Its called fraud by false representation.

 

You might want to dig around for the facts before you approach police with your evidence.


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Hi Hootie16

I have had nothing but trouble with this lot (marstons)

Please look at my thread (carnation in the bailiffs section. They took complete advantage of me & then liwd to walk away with the money after adding nearly 500% interest.

 

I am taking Marston Group to court for applying unlawful fees which are not prescribed by the court. Marston Group in my instance have provided a false statement of account and the breakdown of their fees is not legitimate, they never even had a vaild Walk in Possession Order. I have involved the Police in this matter and offenses have been committed in relation to Sections 1 - 5 of the Fraud Act 2006. I suggest all that have had these unlawful fees applied by Marston Group do the same and be sure to lodge a complaint with the court that issued their status as Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers.

 

High Court Enforcement Officers are not permitted by law to add interest to a judgment debt unless specifically prescribed by the court. by doing so in full knowledge, the bailiff is committing an offense under Sections 1-5 of the Fraud Act and if proven guilty there is a sentance of upto six-months in prison and an indefinate revocation of the bailiff certificate if it can be proven that this group is trading unlawfully.

 

I welcome input from other forum members that support these actions.

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If you have given marston an opportunity to refund you then you can start litigation. This must commence BEFORE they initiate their own interpleader action. The small clams track is the way to go for maximum results. A CCJ against their name really screws when they renew their card payments terminal and their consumer credit license. Inrterpleader proceedings tend to side with bailiffs.

 

Download and complete a Form N1 from the HMCS website. The Defendants are addressed as:

 

[NAME OF HCEO COMPANY] a firm

 

Brief Details of the Claim - enter - Reclaiming unlawful bailiff's fees.

 

Particulars of claim: - modify as needed.

 

I received the defendant, a High Court Enforcement Officer collecting an unpaid debt. The defendant dishonestly charged me [£AMOUNT] contrary to Schedule 3 of Regulation 13 of The High Court Enforcement Officers Regulations 2004 prescribing fees chargeable by a High Court Enforcement Officer. The law does not provide for the defendant to charge me any fees where no goods have been transported or sold by them. The defendant did not move any goods in a van and I did not sign any documents for them. I have been defrauded by the defendant who is cheating with his fees and I asked for a refund but it was the defendant’s choice to keep the money. On 20 April 2007, Lord Lucas in the House of Lords asked HM Government (inter-alia) "whether it would be right for the police to claim that such an action is a civil and not a criminal matter"? Baroness Scotland of Asthal, The Minister of State, Home Office replied: (inter-alia) "A bailiff or any other person who dishonestly charges for work that has not been done will be committing an offence under the Fraud Act 2006". Reasonable costs have been defined by District Judge Advent on the 9th & 24th September 2008 presiding over Case No 8CL51015 Anthony Culligan (Claimant) v 1. Jason Simkin & 2. Marstons (Defendants). The court ruled that “because the Bailiff produces no evidence as to how the charge had been arrived then he unable to show that it is reasonable". I claim i) the sum of [£AMOUNT], ii) Interest under Section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from the date the money became due at the daily rate of 0.00022%, iii) reasonable costs the court thinks fit for being defrauded by the defendant iv) Reasonable costs the court thinks fit for Discovery of Information and compiling this case for court, v) costs allowed by the court at the prescribed rate.

 

If you are on a low income then complete an EX160 fee remission form.


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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your help & advice with Marstons, They still wont give me my money, so last week I was on my way to the courts with everything pertaining to the alledged debt & all replys from this lot, the whole file & then left my bag on the bus. I now have no evidence as the receipt was in there as well, How do I go about taking them to court now. What I do have in my favour however, the day they came they brought the police themselves incase it kicked off they said, I have seen the WPC & she remembers them & the lies they told to get my money, she heard them say they could take anything even though the debt was in my sons name, & if he proved he was innocent & the courts refunded the fine then they too would refund the £270 they took from me for the £45 fine. In all the docs I lost was the 1 from the court refunding the £45. She has said she will stand witness for me, what I cant understand if they are trading illegally or defrauding me as they have done, why did she let it go on.

Anyway happy new year to you all.

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your help & advice with Marstons, They still wont give me my money, so last week I was on my way to the courts with everything pertaining to the alledged debt & all replys from this lot, the whole file & then left my bag on the bus. I now have no evidence as the receipt was in there as well, How do I go about taking them to court now.

 

 

Contact the bus company and see if someone handed it in.

 

Did you file a copy of the receipt as an exhibit with your original claim? if yes, ask the court and they will send you a copy.

 

Otherwise several options are open to you.

 

You can make an affidavit saying the amount shown on the receipt and how it was left on a bus - the judge will accept this to be fact.

 

You can ask the court to order the defendant enters Standard Disclosure - that means the bailiff has to produce the carbon copy receipt even if it incriminates them. It they are unable or unwilling to produce the copy-receipt, then you cant lose because it indicates the defendant is concealing evidence.

 

If the bailiff discovers you have lost the receipt, he could try and fabricate a new receipt showing a lesser amount. Do you have bank or card statements to confirm the money transfer? - Witnesses?

 

You might otherwise have to tuck tail at the hearing, and explain to the Judge you left your receipt inside the claim bundle on the bus.

 

I wouldnt worry about the police at this stage, you want a finding of fact against the bailiff before you make a criminal complaint to Police or a Magistrate, and delay the Form 4 until after you have been refunded.

 

There is a neat way to get a quick refund, do as this poster did. Contact the court manager and tell them the bailiff charged you fees. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bailiffs-sheriff-officers/229873-help-philips.html#post2547500


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Many thanks for this information Nintendo Pu. I have already started litigation and have completed the Form 4 Complaint to initiate the process and will follow your advice on the N! form in addition.

 

I have been contacted by their litigation solicitor who provided me with a cock and bull document about how I supposidly threatened their staff. Its funny however that the first time they gave any indication that I have threatened their staff was AFTER I lodged my action against them. I have highlighted this in the Statement of Case I have put together which has also been forwarded to North Yorkshire Police, the court that issued the judgment (which I have paid in full) and my M.P. I will gladly provide you with a copy of this report to your private mailbox upon request as it may help to shed some further light on the matters and how I manaed to get Police to investigate this as a criminal matter, as well as my own action in the civil courts.

 

I am no longer unemployed and I have some funds to allocate to ensuring Marston Group are exposed and dealt with legally for their actions (which are clearly unlawful)

 

I have found the input from many forum members to be very helpful and would like to thank everyone for that and I wish you all a happy and prosperous (bailiff free) New Year.

 

If you have given marston an opportunity to refund you then you can start litigation. This must commence BEFORE they initiate their own interpleader action. The small clams track is the way to go for maximum results. A CCJ against their name really screws when they renew their card payments terminal and their consumer credit license. Inrterpleader proceedings tend to side with bailiffs.

 

Download and complete a Form N1 from the HMCS website. The Defendants are addressed as:

 

[NAME OF HCEO COMPANY] a firm

 

Brief Details of the Claim - enter - Reclaiming unlawful bailiff's fees.

 

Particulars of claim: - modify as needed.

 

 

 

If you are on a low income then complete an EX160 fee remission form.

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how I manaed to get Police to investigate this as a criminal matter,

 

Can you tell us how you achieved this?

 

and were there any excuse lines played by the police before they conceded and gave you a crime number?


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Can you tell us how you achieved this?

 

and were there any excuse lines played by the police before they conceded and gave you a crime number?

 

When I first contacted Police I was visited by an officer who told me that they could not do anything as the matters were of a civil nature. I explained to the officer that I could demonstrate that Marston Group had committed several offenses and that I have evidence in the form of a letter from them trying to extort from me fees which were not prescribed by the court and that the fees were not valid as they are charging for work that had not been carried out. I went on to explain that if I had set up a limited company and began issuing invoices for work that had not been carried out I would be committing offenses under the fraud act 2006 and these matters would obviously be treated as criminal offenses and I would be arrested. Why are the Police not arresting Marston Group Directors? They too are a limited company trading fraudulently, the only difference is the fact that they are using their status as HCEO's and bailiffs as a leveraging tool to extort these unlawfully applied funds. I also added that I would go directly to Scotland Yard if these matters are overlooked by North Yorkshire Police.

 

On the day prior to contacting Police I had put together the following, which I forwarded to the most senior ranking officer:

 

STATEMENT OF CASE

 

 

I write with a crime report concerning Marston Group Ltd Bailiffs that have utilised their status as High Court Enforcement Officers to extort fees from myself and many others by deception. I am in a position to call upon several witnesses that have experienced similar unlawful activities stemming from Marston Group Ltd officers and aside from reporting the criminal matters to Police and bringing to light the grounds from which these offenses have taken place, the civil issues of recovering the funds unlawfully applied are being conducted by me in the Northampton County Court. I respectfully add that the matters are relating to criminal law as the offenses correspond with Sections 1-5 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

Upon contact with a Police officer in this matter I will provide the letter I received from Marston Group on the 21st December as evidence to support this case. The letter was received in response to my official complaint to Marston Group concerning these matters.

 

I am being harassed by Marston Group officers in light of the fact that the judgment debt and execution costs have been paid in full. These bailiffs are threatening to remove my goods on the basis of trying to extort money from me which I do not owe and their letter is a vain attempt to cover their actions, which I can clearly demonstrate to be unlawful.

 

The Walk In Possession Order assigned on the 8th of December 08 is not legally enforceable and no bailiff levied distress on any other goods at my property. Marston Group are unlawfully claiming fees for work that has not been carried out and that I am not liable to pay. This constitutes sufficient grounds to prosecute under Sections 1 – 5 of the Fraud Act 2006 and the infringements of law can be demonstrated on different counts and by several independent witnesses, witnesses that I have met through the Consumer Action Forum. The witnesses have experienced activities by Marston Group employees that is also deemed to be unlawful, unlawful in the context of criminal, rather than civil law.

 

On the day the Marston Group officer visited my home I informed him that the cars he attempted to levy on do not belong to me and that I could prove this by showing the log books. The officer replied “If you don’t pay the debt we will be removing them regardless of who’s they are and I would have to pay the fees to have them un- impounded”. I understand that bailiffs or High Court Enforcement Officers cannot use another’s goods as collateral for somebody else’s debt, and by doing so the bailiff is committing an offence under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and if he had removed goods, an additional offense under Section 12 of the Theft Act 1967. In this event the bailiff had no valid Walk in Possession order and no goods were seized, yet Marston Group are charging me for this work which has not been carried out.

 

Marston Group charged me interest and “Enforcement Fees” which were not prescribed by the court. The law does not provide for bailiffs/High Court Enforcement Officers to charge fees or interest of any description that are not prescribed and I understand this is also an offence under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

Any police officer previously investigating criminal allegations surrounding Marston Group Ltd should have been sufficiently vigilant and knowledgeable in criminal law to prevent a such crime being committed.

 

Marston Group are acting unlawfully, not only in my case against them but also on mass. I can substantiate my additional evidence against them by calling upon the independent witnesses that have suffered similar losses which are in contravention of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

In the knowledge that matters of this nature have been reported to Police in the past and that Marston Group/Drakes are still acting unlawfully I believe the Police may be misinformed in relation to what a bailiff can and cannot do. I must stress that I intend to pursue this matter to the fullest extent and therefore ask for a dignified and thorough investigation into these matters.

 

I have recorded answer phone messages left by a Marston Group officer stating that they will be coming TODAY with a removal vehicle to remove goods as I have not kept up to date with this High Court Writ. The last message I received was on the 18th December at a time when this debt had been paid in full. At no point did Marston Group provide me with a statement of account showing me that the debt was paid and instead continued to apply extortionate fees which I have not been made aware of and that were not prescribed by the court.

 

I had waited indoors on six occasions after having received threatening messages from Marston Group, on no occasion did a Marston Group officer attend my property to levy open further goods or to remove the goods listed in the original (invalid) Walk in Possession document. The actions of Marston Group officers has put my family and I under considerable stress, causing harassment by making threats to remove goods unnecessarily and then not following through on their actions.

 

I am now thankfully in full employment and I intend to seek a Temporary Restraining Order on Marston Group Ltd preventing them from trading whilst a civil investigation into these allegations is in process. May I suggest that Police seize Marston Group documentation in order to conduct an investigation into their criminal activities.

 

These crimes are being conducted in mass, causing unnecessary and unlawful loss of revenue to many people, many of whom may be in financial difficulty or may not have a thorough understanding of UK law enabling them to recognise when offenses are being committed.

 

I am happy to make a full statement to Police and to attend court in these matters.

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Well done, and I thank you for sharing this with us.

 

Can you let us know the trial date when it is known. I'll find out who is prosecuting and I might be able to lend a hand.

 

Thats a very good approach you played on the police, you should be commended for it.


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An excellent read and clearly laid out. Thankyou MGC.

Rae.

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Thanks guys for your support. I will keep you fully updated as this case progresses and will let you know when I get a hearing date.

 

This hard line legal action should have happened to these fraudulent operators a long time ago. When I win this case it will open the floodgates for potentially thousands of others that have been defrauded by Marston Group to come forward and get a claim in against them.

 

If anyone reading this believes they have suffered similar losses from Marston Group or any other bailiff company which could be deemed to be unlawful I encourage you to share these with us.

 

There are many knowledgable and very helpful members here that will be able to help you get justice. As further evidence in my case I will draw the court's attention to the relevant threads in this forum and the number of complaints against them from a multitude of witnesses up and down the country. This presents the strongest evidence we could have in terms of proving that these offenses (both criminal and civil) are being committed en mass and that innocent members of the public are being defrauded. These public statements which have been broadcast to the public domain via this forum would present the judge with additional grounds from which to issue the restraining order I am seeking, as well as to shed light on the criminal matters to Police.

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Without doing a credit check on them I believe Marston Group Ltd must have a whole string of previous judgments for applying unlawful, excessive fees. In my case against them I will ensure that these previous matters are bought to the court's attention as evidence to prove that civil enforcement does not seem to be adequate remedy in preventing this company from continuing to trade unlawfully. The matters relate to offenses under the Fraud Act 2006, Sections 1 - 5. Offenses of Fraud and obtaining money by deception are criminal matters which should fall under the jurisdiction of a Magistrate or the High Court.

 

NEWS FROM THE COURTS - From Bailiffaedviceonline

 

2009 Marston Group and Detailed Assessment.

Ref: Judgement by District Judge Avent.

If a debtor considers that he has been overchared by a bailiff, he can apply to the court for Detailed Assessment. This will involve a Cost Judge closely examining the charges applied by the bailiff against the statutory fee scale as laid down by Parliament together with Case Law.

 

 

In the Legal Cases section of our Downloads area we are providing a full copy of a Detailed Assessment Judgement following a complaint by the claimant concerning disputed fees of £200 relating to a "clamp fee" of £100 and a further fee of £100 for “attending to remove” when enforcing an unpaid PCN that had been issued by London Borough of Camden.

This Detailed Assessment is vitally important as District Judge Avent, after considering Case Law and Statute, found that the purpose of putting on a clamp is to "impound" the vehicle and is therefore not part of the cost of removal.

At Paragraph 50 of his Judgement District Judge Avent stated that:

"Accordingly, in my judgement the bailiff should not and, as a matter of law cannot take any steps to remove goods until he has given the debtor a reasonable opportunity to pay what is due at the time of seizure. This being so, I cannot see that Form 7 (Notice of Seizure of Goods & Inventory) can or should include any costs of removal"

On the matter of the charge of £100 for "attending to remove" (although the vehicle was never actually removed) in that a tow truck was called and actually arrived at the Claimant’s home, District Judge Advent confirmed that:

"This amount (£100) cannot be recovered because the defendant (Marston Group Ltd) have produced no evidence whatsoever as to how this charge has been arrived at and therefore they are unable to show that it is reasonable”.

He also confirmed that:

 

 

"A bailiff does not have free rein to charge what he likes because the schedule of charges does not stipulate a sum but rather provides for "reasonable charges"

The District Judge in his conclusion further stated that:

"I am also conscious that my findings in this case may have wider consequences and may cause problems for bailiffs because they will not be able to charge for immobilising a vehicle as a separate charge but must include it within the cost of levying distress. To do otherwise would, in my judgement, be unlawful

“I would also add that if the Defendant or either of them in the light of this judgement now continued to apply such charges in the manner in which they have done up to now and, specifically, charge fees of £100 for applying an immobilisation device then that would amount to conduct which may well then found a legitimate complaint because in my judgement it would be unlawful....".

What this means in effect is that Bailiffs who continue to make unlawful charges may be guilty of misconduct and have their Certificates removed.

The bailiff company obtained permission from the court to appeal this Judgement, and in granting this, District Judge Avent stated that:

 

"The bailiff was following the practice in force for 15 years. No one has challenged the right to charge for wheel clamping before. My decision that they cannot do so (at least to the extent that they have charged until now) not only affects the London Borough of Camden but also every Borough with de-criminalised parking

"Accordingly, it has significant local and possible National implications and that is a compelling reason why an appeal should be heard"

If Marston Group had appealed, the case would have been referred to the Court of Appeal and, if the Lord Justices agreed with the Judgment this would allow a precedent to be set and this landmark ruling could have led to significant claims being made against all bailiff companies by debtors.

Marston Group advised the court shortly afterwards that they had decided to accept the Judgement of District Judge Avent and accordingly they advised the Court of their decision not to appeal.

Note:

 

Since this Judgement, many people have relied upon this document when writing to the bailiff company to challenge "attending to remove....clamping or immobilisation fees" and it is also an important document to rely upon in the event that a small claim action in the County Court is being considered.

 

 

MARSTON GROUP and a FORM 4 COMPLAINT.

 

This complaint was made to Middlesborough County Court in February 2008 by a disabled lady, who is confined to a wheelchair.

 

Following this hearing the bailiff's certificate was revoked and compensation awarded to the lady from the bailiff's bond.

 

A parking ticket had been incurred and a bailiff from Drakes Group ( now Marston Group) had visited her home early in the morning and clamped her car BEFORE knocking at the door. The car was clearly displaying a disabled blue badge and the warrant in the possession of the bailiff was in the name of Motability Finance. It was therefore clear to the bailiff that the vehicle in question was a disabled vehicle. The bailiff charged her £553.36 before releasing the clamp.

 

The bailiff also maintained that he had visited the house the previous afternoon which was denied by this lady as the family run a business from their premises with approx 8 staff. Drakes Group, in attempting to prove that a previous visit had taken place provided satellite navigation print outs which the court dismissed as they only proved the bailiff had been in the vicinity....not at the house.

 

At the hearing, the Judge was critical of the bailiff, but in particular was most critical of the company; Drakes Group Ltd ( now Marston Group) for the following:

 

RE: THE CAR BEING CLAMPED BEFORE KNOCKING AT THE DOOR.

 

"There appears to have been absolutely no reason to do that except to bump up Drakes' fees.....which had already been bumped up, it seemed to me, by a heavily unjustified charge the day before".

 

RE: THE ALLEGED VISIT THE PREVIOUS DAY.

 

"I regard it as significant that there is no copy of the letter left (the previous day). I am told that this is a system of Drakes, but Mr X is the only person who can carry the can for an unsatisfactory system."

 

RE: THE CHARGES OF £553.36

 

"Looking at that document ( breakdown of fees) which contains five figures, there is a maximum of one which is accurate , all the others are excessive". He also said that "it seems to me that Mr X is trained to seek excessive amounts by is employers". The Judge confirmed that the "correct figure would probably have been something under £200 made up of the original £95 (PCN), letter and two visits if one took a favourable view about the first visit, certainly not £553.36"

 

RE: SUMMING UP, THE JUDGE SAID THE FOLLOWING:

 

"All in all, this is a disgraceful performance, which I find particularly disturbing since it seems to be in accordance with the policy of the employers Drakes Group Ltd. I find it a matter of considerable regret that there is no body which governs the company rather that the individual bailiff. If there had been, it seems to me that Drakes Group ought to be taken before it and deprived of any licence it had".

 

"It seems to me that it is perfectly clear that firms of this sort ought to be licenced and ought to operate under a statutory code of conduct rather than regarding themselves as......having a licence to rip off debtors".

 

PS: I will ensure that details of this case and indeed many others that our office have copies of are sent to Jack Straw's office today.

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    • well you need to get the warrant suspended best idea might be to get an N245 running to the court and also request the warrant be suspended for now a lot quicker than set aside the CCJ, that's poss for later thread moved to the main bailiff forum.   have a read of these threads explains everything https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-8889411648654839:3134625398&q=southern water CCJ warrant Bailiff&oq=southern water CCJ warrant Bailiff&gs_l=partner-generic.12...222377.222377.0.223565.1.1.0.0.0.0.151.151.0j1.1.0.gsnos%2Cn%3D13...0.0...2.34.partner-generic..1.0.0.pceIapA3BaY
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