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Pleae be gentle as this is my first post

Sorry about the essay folks but this is a rum one


A litle background


I have an ongoing batle with an ex business partner who skipped with in excess of £170K and still owes me


sometime near the end of last year I had occasion to lodge an apeal about the outcome of a case against my ex BP in the chancery court, The apeal was restricted and then disallowed; My ex BP was awarded court costs totaling some £2142.


I didn't pay the costs for a number of reasons

1) I was not asked by my ex BP or her solicitors for the money

2) If I had been asked I believed that my counter claim of in excess of £170K would have got any charges set asside


On the 23rd June while I was away from the premisses ( I was 300 miles away) my wife had reason to challenge a visitor who pulled up on our forcourt.

Asking what he wanted he first asked if she was **** ***** ( my ex BP)

She replied saying that BP had not been here for approx. 2 years and asked what it was about.

She was told that " I am a high court enforcement officer and I have come to seize goods from BP for me" and he again asked if my wiife was BP


When my wife denied it again he asked her to prove it.

Fine she replied. " come on in while I find my passport"


I should explain that my wife and I no longer live together but are very good friends. However my wife was not to know that I had no current action against my ex BP.


She tok him into a residential part of the building and sat him down with a cuppa ( very sociable my wife :) ) and went to get her passport


Having satisfied the baliff as to her ID she asked to see the paperwork he was holding. The paperwork clearly stated Me v BP and that he had right to seize BP's goods for payment of £2142 plus expences and interest totaling £540.88 a grand total of £2682.88. ( I still have the paperwork)


He then asked her if BP had any property at this address.

She replied that BP did have and was asked if he could see it.


My wife took him around the yard and showed him a corner where i had stowed all BP's personal goods plus disputed goods that i was holding.


Refering to more paperwork he stated that he did not have note of anything that he had been showed and asked about vehicles. My wife showed him around the rest of the yard where he managed to spot one vehicle that had a registration number on his list


My wife imeadiately stated that this vehicle did not belong to BP

He then asked about a locked container with houshold goods in ti.


Again my wife stated that this did not belong to BP but was her own personal effects.


At this balif became confused and had to ring his office

Still believing him to be acting on my behalf they retired to the kitchen to wait for a return call


When the call came my wife heard him say "so this is a reverse order then"


She hit the roof! interuped the phone call and told him that he had gained access under false pretense and ordered him off the premises.

He argued but she insisted so he went out and stood on the top doorstep.

"Not far enough" my wife stated "the gate is 1mile that way; Use it and close it behind you - NOW" ( she is quite funny when she gets riled LOL and very frightening :eek: )


He started to walk towards his car and turned to ask " will you talk to my office? " Of course she said taking the phone off him.


" your officer has lied to me and gained access to premises in my control under false pretence"; "he has commited an illegal action against me and my husband"; He leaves the premises now peacably or he will be removed - by force if need be" ( by this time there was 5 or 6 blokes that had come out of the workshop to see what all the noise was about)


He left


Next day on my return my wife relayed this all to me and I called the baliffs office to see what I could sort out.


They told me that it was due to a clerical error but made no appology. In fact they where very bullying and theatening.


I told them that I would accept that they had made a mistake but they needed to go back to square one, do not pass GO and do not collect £200

In short they needed to produce the correct paperwork and talk to me


They would not listen becoming even more threatening.

I do not take kindly to bullies so I ended the conversation informing them that there was nothing they could do and if they visited again the would not gain entry.


I called the court to complain about thier conduct and ask why i had not recieved due notice.

The court officer was very curt and impolite stating that I had no recourse and that I had to pay them regardless.


I lost it! I knew that there had at least to be an ofical complaints procedure. But this person was not playing and would give no information.


I decided that I needed to research this myself and that, in the meantime, no one would gain access.


The following day I recieved a letter from Marstons the bare bones of which stated that

1)i had refused to sign a walking possesion order

2) gave a long list of chatels that they had seized

3) told me to pay up or else


The long list they produced did not have 1 item on it that belongs to me and the average value (provable) of the items they listed was in excess of £20,000 per item


I laughed because I know that they cannot justify removal


I called them again with the intention of sorting this out. I knew it was for the court costs and I really don't mind paying them. Why would I £3000 circa when I have just landed £21500 from BP and another circa £150K plus costs, expences, compo, etc. still to come?


Again they would not play ball

i told them that I knew what they could and could not remove and that all the goods listed where either customers or belonged to other people. Pluss all where masivley over the value of the dept.

They said that i needed to get my customers to write to them informing them of the goods they owned

I said "yeh right" " I'm gonna get my customers to do that? That would mean my customers would loose confidence and remove their business and that would likley make me bankrupt" _ No chance " I can prove by my books what is customers and what is not"

They where still insistant and even told me that they would just turn up unexpected and without warning to execute.


Again I informed them that they just needed to be sensible and start again. I told them that

I was not refusing to pay

I had not refused to sign a walking posession

I believed their action todate had been at least unethical and unreasonable possibly illegal and i was waiting for legal advice on the sit

I would be making a formal complaint both to the issuing court and to the HCEO


So instructions went out that in the event of any unidentified visitors turning up then someone would drive around the back and block the track into our place. There is only one way in or out and it is a private road so it's easy.

If the baliffs do attend with a removal crew they will not be allowed to leave with anything that they are not legaly entitled to take. ie my personal belongings but only up to a reasonable value in order to settle the dept and not including such items that are necessary for me to work my business ----- good luck with that one :D


Yesterday I got a letter telling me that they are comming on the 14th to enforce.


Thanks for the heads up guys :p


I do not mind (as already stated) paying the origonal costs I was due to pay

I do mind that Marstons seem unable to or unwilling to deal with mistakes they make

And I do object to being asked to pay the extra inflated fees that they want to charge


What, in these circumstances, must I pay

What, if anything, can I do about the way that they have behaved?


I don't have any confidence in the complaints procedure as I have learned from experience that anything to do with complaints about the legal system or any Government department or Government run department appears to be brushed under the carpet. Often at the expense of the complainant


I have already writen to Marstons and outlined my complaint and stated that I am not refusing to pay etc.

I have proof now that this has been read on at least 3 different occasions


I look forward to any input folks can give on this sit

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Ahh marstons again.. If I could swear on this forum I would call that company a few choice words.. Hang tight some one with more knowledge on this sort of matter will be along shortly.

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Long post, TLDR.


1. whats the debt for?


2. In your name?


3 At the address bailiffs attended?


4. Did you get an opportunity to defend it beforehand?


5. Did you incur the liability or agree to the debt? (if yes, where the contract or laibility order/charge certificate etc).


What do you want marstons to do?


For now, keep your place safe & secure. Do not open the door and ask them to leave until you have consulted a solicitor.

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Long post, TLDR.


1. whats the debt for?


2. In your name?


3 At the address bailiffs attended?


4. Did you get an opportunity to defend it beforehand?


5. Did you incur the liability or agree to the debt? (if yes, where the contract or laibility order/charge certificate etc).


What do you want marstons to do?


For now, keep your place safe & secure. Do not open the door and ask them to leave until you have consulted a solicitor.


I know it is a long post but all the info is in there


1) awarded court costs

2) paperwork and attending baliff gave the wrong name

It should have been in my name

3) The address is correct


5)I asume by that you mean court notification??????????

As already stated in the OP costs where awarded against me but defendants sol has never asked for it to be paid and if they had then I would have applied for a set aside. It would seem that the def sol didn't need to do this and just applied for a writ of execution and I was never informed first I knew was this lot

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Post in legal section. Make an Application to have order set aside on the grounds you were not served with the notice of proceedings.


It looks like the other side filed proceedings at court without serving them on you.

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Most important decision you must take is to apply for a Stay of Execution until the muddle is sorted. This stops all further enforcement action and charges. You may apply in person at any District Registry and usually a Judge can be found that will issue it immediately. When you have it send a copy by email first and then post using Signed For to Marstons.



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Well done plod. Didnt know you can just turn up and do that.


What kind of debt can a Stay of Execution be applied for? e.g. JUdgement, Council tax, Parking, HCEO etc.

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Well done plod. Didnt know you can just turn up and do that.


What kind of debt can a Stay of Execution be applied for? e.g. JUdgement, Council tax, Parking, HCEO etc.


I assume most as all I have experience of is with HCEO's - strangely enough you can ask for a Stay if you are skint and can't afford to pay. You have to remember the title though and that is Stay of Execution - usually when a Warrant or Writ is being enforced against.


To apply against a Judgment is usually along the lines of Set Aside or Variation or whatever the Order or Directions say.


With Council Tax its usually because of the levy the Bailiff has done and even when blatantly wrong they refuse to remove or correct - in that case you apply for a Regulation 46 Complaint against the Council in the magistrates Court as you are aggrieved by the levy.


Hope that helps.



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Thats interesting stuff.


I will suggest an tweak to your Acme letter, add a clause requiring an HCEO to show sales invoices giving rise to his costs in Regulation Part C/Fee 12.


I had a tenant renting a shop (a launderette & dry cleaners) who had HCEOs turn up for the previous tenant and the case was assigned to solicitors. They asked the HCEO to prove their hundreds of pounds of miscellaenous costs by showing sales invoices to support the amount claimed - and the HCEO came unstuck.


On Further investigation, it was discovered the VAT content of HCEO fee invoice had not been entered on their VAT return they submitted to HMRC, it was a bogus invoice. The real invoice is only entered on the VAT return if the debtor pays. VAT rules require unpaid VAT invoices be paid by the registrant.

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I'll have a look at that over the next few days when time permits. Unfortunately reversed she who must be obeyed's car into concrete post tonight so have to keep her sweet till I get it fixed.



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Below is a copy of the letter I sent via email with a trace route to Marstons. All identifying info has been changed to protect identities/ addresses etc



Dear Sir


Following and in reference to 2 attempts by myself to talk to you by telephone to resolve this issue


I am writing this in the hopes that it will belay the necessity for a complaint to the HCEOA and possibly, unnecessary legal action concerning the conduct and treatment that I and others unconnected to this case have so far received at the hands of your officer (s)


On 23/06/2010 your officer visited premises from which I work Namely **********************

This is a premise that I work out of but do not hold the lease and others work from the same premises


Your officer gained internal access to a resedential part of the above premises under false pretence which is at least unethical and possibly illegal. Especially considering that the part of the premises that you gained internal access to does not belong to me.


I was not in attendance at the property when your officer visited


Sometime around 10am on the 23/06/2010 your officer knocked on the door of a caravan at the above address and my wife answered the door.

Your officer asked for BP My wife informed your officer that BP was not present and had not been at the premises for approx. 2 yrs. And your officer was asked what he wanted and who he was.

He replied that he was an enforcement officer for the High Court and produced an ID card

My wife asked what it was he wanted

Your officer replied that it was a case AGAINST BP on My (************) behalf and he asked my wife for proof that she was not BP


(Detailed discription of what happened on the day, what was said by who to whom etc)


Upon my visit to the premises the following day the above information was relayed to me

I immediately called your office to try and sort this situation out

I was informed that the misunderstanding was due to a clerical error


I informed your office that I could understand that and these things do happen. However, the action taken by you officer was unacceptable and that it had undermined the security of my estranged wife

I stated that, because you had gained access under false pretence, that you needed to start again. I feel certain that I made it clear that I was willing to discus this situation. But you seemed unwilling to do so


Having received your letter today I have again called your office only to be stonewalled

You have threatened to remove articles from this premises most of which do not belong to me telling me that I must get the owners of property here to contact you and prove that they are the owners.

To do this would be very damaging as customers would themselves feel insecure and remove their property thus denying me work which would enable me to pay this bill and render me unable to trade and therefore push me into bankruptcy


Your letter dated 24th clearly states that I have refused to sign a walking possession agreement.

I was not present on the day of your visit so I couldn’t have refused to sign anything (my whereabouts are provable for that day if I should be asked to produce such evidence in court)

My wife was not asked to sign anything nor could she agree to do so on my behalf


I am more than willing to discus this situation and I am willing to sign a walking agreement but only against goods that you have a right under the law to seize

I am willing to meet with your officer or representative to discus either a walking agreement or payment but I cannot pay the £2684.49 that you claim with no notice


I am not asking for anything except for fair and just treatment under the law

I am not refusing to pay this dept


Had I been in attendance when your officer called I would have been aware that I had no action against BP at this moment in time and could have dealt with the mater accordingly and I feel sure that an arrangement suitable to all parties would have been accomplished

Instead I find myself having to defend a situation and protect others goods due to a mistake that has been made by your office

You cannot expect my estranged wife or other people in attendance at the property to be able to deal with a situation such as this


Furthermore, Had you asked for me instead of BP this mater would have been dealt with accordingly by the people in attendance at the time


I trust that this will receive the urgent attention that it commands and that your office will be in touch to discus options


signed *******************



The final result of this is that I had a phone call with one of the organ grinders of Marstons


I wasted no time in laying down the law to him but the shortened version whent something like; "Sit down, shut up and behave yourself. I don't do bullying unless I am the bully. You have oversteped the mark so now you deal on my terms or not at all."


I am now in reciept of a letter of appology and agrement that I will pay the origonal amount of the court costs plus a £50 execution fee and nothing else. And I will pay this within 1 month.


Needless to say they did not like this arangement and said that he would have to talk to the claiment. I was quick to point out that there was nothing here that they could legaly seize and so the claiment had a choice - acept the arangement and get paid or get nothing because if they failed to execute then that was the end of it and BP would need to go back to court :D


Arangement accepted


*** edited *** - yesterday BP was hit with an enforcement for £21k LOL

My bill is reduced to £2192 + some legal expences for the first part of my claim against her (aprox £1200)


I think I won that round don't you


However that is not the point. The point is DO NOT let the balifs bully you or walk all over you - fight back


You have rights

They MUST behave


I don't know what the outcome would have been if Marstons had called my bluff but again that is not the point. They overstepped the mark and they knew that I knew it.


They also know that if it had got legal it would have cost them more than it was worth to defend the case even if they had of won.


They also know that if they have occasion to deal with me again they will dot all the i's and cross the t's before they come near

Edited by citizenB
swearing edited.
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