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Just need some advice please...My partner suffered a brain heamorrhage and stroke in Feb this year and is classed as disabled because he now has a form of autism, also he is waiting for an op to replace some skull that was removed in Feb and I am his full time carer. in April a Marstons Bailff came round due to non payment of court TV fine..i amanged to deal with it and get the fine returned to court where i as paying £10 a week..now after all that I went and stupidly lost my court payment card..I phoned the court but time had passed and i was late with payment and i was told it had gone back to Marstons, I was in tears and felt so silly not to have racted sooner but my days are extremely busy with caring for my partner and its only I 24/7 and i was shocked that i had missed the payment. Now the court said nothing they can do I have to deal with Marstons. Marstons have not contacted me yet ( dreading it) so please can anyone tell me what i can do , will Marstons accept payments..grrr I am so frustrated and worried. Thank you so much if you can advise me.

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After posting this I have been reading the forum and other similar situations. Should I write a letter to Masrtons and an email outlining my partners disabilities, he gets DLA and recieves ESA I get carers allownace for him, we also have our sons here aged 14 and 16, the stress of watching their father go through his brain bleed and having to cope with his difference in personality and mental state has been bad enough for them too without all this. I dont know where to turn.

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Putting aside your problems for a moment, in reality they have done nothing wrong as for one reason or another the fine has not been paid and they have even allowed a further chance at some stage.

 

How to tackle this may be a little more awkward because of your ongoing problems. I wonder if it is possible for you to have an Attachment to Benefits made whereby monies are deducted at source. I know nothing about these or what Benefits can be used and would hope others may know more.


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Yes I realise this is my fault for not keeping up the payments, I just wondered if there was anything I could do but thought probably not and I will have to find the money somehow.

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Yes I realise this is my fault for not keeping up the payments, I just wondered if there was anything I could do but thought probably not and I will have to find the money somehow.

 

Sorry, I wasn't having a go but think you could try going down the route I suggested, anything has to be worth a try. When the Bailiff next attends you should provide some sort of proof of your family circumstances & any Benefits you receive. It may also be worth trying the Court with the same.

 

On a different tack to try and help you, have you thought of approaching your Council or local CAB to see if they have a Welfare Rights Adviser who could check to see if you are claiming everything you are entitled to.


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oh its fine i did not think you were having a go, yes i am claiming everything we are entitled to. I am going to just save as much as I can then try to get a loan for the rest. I dont know what else to do. I heard nothing from Marstons yet, no letter no visit as of yet but expect them soon. I am happy to pay the fine as i know its my fault in the first palce , its just the thought of them breaking in, my partner could not handle it at all so i am just worried about confronting the bailiff, my heart beats when i even think of it, but if i can gather the money asap so when they knock at least i hope to stop them threatening a break in

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would my family be classed as vunerable, and if so what does the bailiff do in this situation if anyone could give me a heads up on that would be great ty. should I write to Marstons before they come? I really dont know how to approch this in the right way at all. because its happened again do i have a leg to stand on?

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There is certainly a good chance you could be classed as vulnerable but for some reason HMCTS have a different slant on this to others. I'd still be tempted to try the Benefits route, might be worth asking for a Means Test. Nothing ventured Nothing gained.

 

Of course eventually if he cannot gain access then there is not much he can do and the warrant will be returned back to Court anyway.


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Thank you ploddertom, I will try to see if I can get means tested, I cant lose by asking :) and will it go back to court? i assumed being for TV license they would eventually break in? well I wont be letting him in at all and is it worth sending a letter to Marstons regarding my partners disability? or should I wait til they actually contact me? my partner also suffers from very high blood pressure which was the reason her had a brain heamorrhage and stroke in the first place, as his capacity to fullky understand the situaion is very small the worry of this is making him very aggitated. Thank you for replying ploddertom

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By all means contact Marstons - by letter - about your partners disability, you will need to provide some proof - DLA Award notice should be sufficient. They may reply that as it is not you then it doesn't apply, they may need to be reminded it affects the whole household.


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One thing I would mention is that due to the effect the cerebral haemorrhage has had, do you have Power of Attorney over your partners affairs? This can be very persuasive when dealing with authorities such as HMCTS.

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I do not have power of attorney...my partner is seeing a CPN tomorrow for a mental assment, then tuesday he is going to hospital in london where he may be kept in. Its such a complex illness. He suffers from something called executive dysfunction due to right frontal lobe damage, even tho he can speak walk, his memory id fine, it is the day to day planning, desicion making where he mentally suffers. I am still waiting for Marstons to contact me, I have heard nothing as of yet. I have not written to them yet either, I am still not entirely sure how to tackle this the right way. I am happy to pay what i owe, i am just worried about them breaking in while we are at the hospital or when my partner is at home recoverying from his further surgery

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First thing tomorrow morning, ring the switchboard at the court involved and ask for the name and telephone number of the HMCTS Enforcement Manager. Don't take any crap from court staff about dealing with Marstons. Insist on the name and telephone number of the Enforcement Manager. This person has the authority to call Marstons off, though, Marstons have a habit of ignoring what HMCTS Enforcement Managers tell them not to do and, in one case I am dealing with, effectively told an HMCTS Enforcement Team to stick their instruction to discontinue enforcement where the sun don't shine. That is how arrogant and out and of control Marstons have become. The sooner their contract with HMCTS is rescinded, the better.

 

If the HMCTS Enforcement Manager agrees that Marstons should cease to have any further involvement, ask him or her to contact the police and inform them because of cases of non-compliance with instruction of HMCTS Enforcement Staff in other parts of the country. You should also inform the police yourself and give the HMCTS Enforcement Manager's name and telephone number as a reference. Make sure you obtain an Incident Log Number from the police.

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ok great ty so much, i will do that first thing in the morning. So I explain to the enforcement manager that my partner is very unstable etc...now i did write to the courtlast week, this is what they wrote back...

Dear Madam

I refer to your recent correspondence concerning your fine(s) and the comments you made therein.

I regret to inform you that, as you have failed to make a satisfactory response to this fine the Magistrates have now issued a Distress Warrant to the Marston Group (Bailiff Company) for collection.

The warrand has been issued correctly due to the acount being in arrears. As the responibility for the fine lies with you, I have no legal entitlement to withdraw the Distress Warrant and therefore you are liable to pay the fees levied by the bailiffs.

I appreciate that this is not the response that you would wish for, but I am unable to help you in this instance as stated in our letter dated to you 20th Aug 2012. You should therefore contact Marston Group as soon as possible and make arrangements with them.

 

That was after i wrote a letter explaining my whole situation. I cant find the letter they sent :(

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Was this from the Court Manager? If so, make a formal complaint. What they have written is total crap. The court can withdraw a Distress Warrant at any time.

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it does not say manager on the letter, a squigle then underneath ML, KSS Enforcement

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Who the hell are KSS Enforcement? If they are a private firm, by-pass them and go straight to the HMCTS Enforcement Manager who can over-rule them.

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ahh KSS being Kent Surrey and Sussex enforcement

but no mention of a manger

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would they withdraw a second time?..the first time i just a wrote a letter saying we were on benefits and can i be means tested or money taken from my benefit and they wrote back with the £10 plan, which i kept to and was even a week in front, just due to caring for my partner which is full on, and losing the flippin payment card i got behind, i feel so stupid now :(

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There will be an HMCTS Enforcement Manager who is responsible for the court bailiffs, HMCTS Warrant Officers and certificated bailiff companies under contract to HMCTS in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex areas. Find out who the HMCTS Enforcement Manager is for your area by following what I have advised in an earlier post.

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Does the court know the full extent of your partner's health problems and the hospital visits you have to make? If they don't, they will respond in the way they have. My gut-feeling is that they need to be put fully in the picture and if they still continue to be unco-operative, get your local MP involved, if you have not already done so.

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right i will do that then first thing in the morning , thank you so much for your advice :)

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well the letter i wrote last week did outline my partners health issues, but maybe i did not stress enough as I was panicking a bit. But I will ring tomorrow and see if I can get somewhere with the manager

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this was my original letter i sent them

 

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you in the hope that you will be able tohelp me in my situation regarding a fine I am trying to pay.

In Feb of this year my partner suffered a Brain Haemorrhageand Stroke which has left him, partially sighted and mentally impaired, He iscurrently waiting for another brain op due to be carried out in a matter ofweeks, caring for him is a 24/7 job which I do completely on my own without anyoutside support. My partner used to be a fit and active guy with a fair amountof intellect and as you can imagine after his event it has left my two youngteenage sons and I quite devastated and the day to day stresses of caring forsomeone with an acquired brain injury takes its toll on us all. I am nowsuffering with depression and am only just coping.

Last week, after trouble getting through on the phone for afew days I managed to phone the court as I had lost my payment card, I was dueto pay every 2 weeks £10, when I phoned I was told that I had missed a paymentand the debt had been sent to Marston’s Bailiffs. I asked the court if I couldpay and was told no. I phoned Marston’s and they knew nothing about my case asof yet. I am now extremely distraught and having panic attacks waiting for thebailiff, I have not slept or eaten for nearly a week. The worry of a bailiffturning up to take stuff and dealing with my partner in his vulnerable state isbecoming a nightmare. I just want to pay my fine and live a quiet life, I onlyoriginally got into trouble with this due to my partner collapsing and beingrushed to hospital and I was told he would die and my bills slipped. I waswriting in the hope that my fine could come out of my benefit each week orfortnight, as getting out to pay bills is sometimes an impossible task as Icannot leave my partner on his own and he is not always very good in publicplaces.

I would be so grateful for help in this matter as I don’tknow where to turn. My partner receives DLA and ESA and I get Carers Allowance.If the fine is taken from our benefit I know it will be paid on time andtherefore less of a worry and problem for me to deal with. I have a completeand up to date TV licence also so its just this fine I need to deal with.

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