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I hope that some people can give me some advise here as I was given 2 working days to pay my council tax but the letter didn't even arrive until after the 2 days were up.

 

Here is the letter I am sending to the magistrates court, I've put this here as it explains what has happened and saves me typing it all out again, if you have any questions for me please ask (note I have put my address and the summons number on the letter but havn't put that here)I'm hoping someone can give me advise on the letter and advise on a defence.

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I have today received a court summons for the 15th August 2012, I am writing to request an adjournment of the case until either the 13th or 14th September 2012.

 

I recently moved to Sussex for work and cannot make the 400 miles round trip in 1 day , nor can I get the day off work at such short notice, however I am supposed to be in Bradford on the 13th/14th September 2012 so could attend then.

 

If you can not accept an adjournment please allow me to submit my defence in writing.In March 2012 I informed Bradford Council that I was moving address and that I would no longer be responsible for the council tax on [Address].

 

I informed the council of my forwarding address, my telephone number and my email address.

 

Having heard nothing from the council I presumed that my bill was settled.

 

On the 26th July 2012 Bradford Council sent me a reminder bill via second class post that I still owed them £56.07.

 

On the 30th July 2012 (2 working days after I was sent my bill) I was issued with a court summons, as this was sent via first class post it was received on the 1st August – the same date I received my bill.

 

I called Bradford Council on the 2nd August to ask why I was sent a court summons only 2 working days after I was sent a bill – I was informed that they had previously sent bills to my old address in Bradford and an address in Crawley that I have never lived at. They confirmed that all this mail had been sent back to them as “Addressee Gone Away”, thus they knew that I had not received any of these letters.

 

My defence is as follows:

 

1) The Direct Debit for this account is still active on my bank account, thus Bradford Council could have taken payment any time they wish – they simply neglected to do so.

 

2) Bradford Council knew that I was not at any of the address that they were sending mail to yet refused to use either my contact email or telephone number (both of which I have confirmed they have on file and are correct) to contact me for an upto date correspondence address.

 

3) When Bradford Council finally did send me a final bill I was given 2 working days to pay, and as the bill was sent second class post I did not receive this within the 2 working days.

 

As Bradford Councils own rules state that I should be allowed 14 days to pay then they have broken their own rules in this regard.

 

I accept that I must pay the bill of £56.07, but as the court charge is down to the processes of Bradford Council (unable to call/email me for an address and sending letters to addresses they know I do not reside at) I do not feel that it is fair to charge me for the fee, particularly as they only gave me 2 working days to pay up after they finally got my correct address.

 

Yours Sincerlyxxxx xxxx

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