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Council obtaining illegal Liability orders?

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Hi,

 

I could do with a bit of advice about councils and liability orders.

 

Basically my local council last September recalculated my council tax and it went from me owing £40 to owing nearly £1000, which being on a low income I had no chance of paying by april.

 

I got the usual summons letter in November and attended the court, to find them not is session, in fact we had to go to the basement and talk to a council employee, for which we where charged £100

 

I had turned up with all the paperwork I felt I needed for my day in court, so asked the council lady when we would see the magistrate. She told me that I would only see the magistrate if I disputed the amount. I them made it very clear that I did dispute the amount and that I wanted to defend this in court.

 

She then insisted we make a payment agreement, which we didn't want to do, but she said we couldn't progress unless we did.

 

Before leaving I asked again when we would see the magistrate, and was told I would get a letter in a few days.

 

A few days later we did get a letter with the words "As you are aware we have obtained a liability order".

 

So they never gave me a chance to defend my corner.

 

Since then December I became unemployed so the council tax was recalculated to £38.85, which we where very happy about, until 3 weeks ago we got a letter from a bailiff company chasing £319.

 

I have emailed the council several times, but they keep avoiding answering my question as to why I didn't get a chance to defend myself in court and avoiding the fact that I keep asking for it to go back to court.

 

Was this a infringement of my rights? Surely I should have been given the chance to defend myself?

 

Thanks for reading

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It is the big council con and every council is on to it as i gets them thousands of pounds

 

They hire a room in the court it is just a rubber stamping exercise for what cost the council less than £5

There is no defense unless you do not owe it the council make there own rules up

 

You are doing right writing to them perhaps marking it formal complaint and follow it up with a letter in the post may get a result

Deal directly with the council not bailiffs


If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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Don't worry the bailiffs will be wasting their time!

 

Has anyone else on here had the £100 summons letter and did you try to defend yourself?

 

I am also refusing to pay the outstanding balance of £28.85 so that they HAVE to take me back to court even if it's for committal proceedings, at least then I get the chance to defend myself

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Hi,

 

I could do with a bit of advice about councils and liability orders.

 

Basically my local council last September recalculated my council tax and it went from me owing £40 to owing nearly £1000, which being on a low income I had no chance of paying by april.

 

I got the usual summons letter in November and attended the court, to find them not is session, in fact we had to go to the basement and talk to a council employee, for which we where charged £100

 

I had turned up with all the paperwork I felt I needed for my day in court, so asked the council lady when we would see the magistrate. She told me that I would only see the magistrate if I disputed the amount. I them made it very clear that I did dispute the amount and that I wanted to defend this in court.

 

She then insisted we make a payment agreement, which we didn't want to do, but she said we couldn't progress unless we did.

 

Before leaving I asked again when we would see the magistrate, and was told I would get a letter in a few days.

 

A few days later we did get a letter with the words "As you are aware we have obtained a liability order".

 

So they never gave me a chance to defend my corner.

 

Since then December I became unemployed so the council tax was recalculated to £38.85, which we where very happy about, until 3 weeks ago we got a letter from a bailiff company chasing £319.

 

I have emailed the council several times, but they keep avoiding answering my question as to why I didn't get a chance to defend myself in court and avoiding the fact that I keep asking for it to go back to court.

 

Was this a infringement of my rights? Surely I should have been given the chance to defend myself?

 

Thanks for reading

 

I would ask to be sent a copy of the liability order..

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hentooth

councils do have an option to apply to quash, or substitute (eg for a lesser amount), an LO under s82 Local Govt act 2003,

and also under common law an LO can be challenged re 'set aside'. eg

http://z2k.org/2013/01/liability-ord...strates-court/

http://www.greenhalghkerr.com/articl...bility-orders/

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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ps, as IHB points out, there is no 'hearing' as such, just rubber stamping. and turning up for an 'hearing' seems to put a spanner in the works of the machine which they can't seem to be able to deal with, as your experience points out.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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I thought I'd let you guys know the latest.

 

Me and the council have come to an agreement, they have reduced the amount I have to pay and have taken it back from the Bailiff company. I have agreed to pay £3.55 per week, which I can live with.

 

The way I managed to swing this in the end is I complained to the Chief Executive and also got my MP involved.

 

The council claimed to have left me a voice mail giving me a hearing date, but the only voice mail I had from them was "call to discuss my council tax". I did point out that it would have been better to have followed this up with a letter or email.. I have actually had a lot of problems with my voice mail including getting a womans voice mail instead of mine (and her calls) for 2 days and for 2 weeks the mail box was corrupted and my network provider had to delete it and make a new one.

 

But I'm happy enough with the outcome, I don't object to paying council tax, on the whole my local council actually do a good job, it was their collection methods I didn't agree with.

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amount reduced, affordable payment arrangement, no enforcement. you're happy. sounds like a fair result :) sometimes, it pays to complain. (not surprising though given that you were seemingly denied the opp to represent yourself at their 'hearing' :) )


IMO

:-):rant:

 

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The council claimed to have left me a voice mail giving me a hearing date, /QUOTE]

 

How very professional of the council NOT

 

in general most councils do a good job but they let themselves badly in many areas as you found out

 

good result:-)


If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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If there is no hearing as such, who then issues the council tax liability orders ?

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as posted, mags 'rubber stamp' ie yes owed, councils then send out letter saying have an LO. you're looking for a paper/hard copy of one. as previously advised elsewhere, there isn't one as such. no point relying on that. there's no 'hearing' as such if not disputed. if someone disputes liability following a summons, then they should go and insist that the mags hear them. but, as hentooths eg points out, such attempt may prove unsuccessful on the day. which would be a denial of a right to fair hearing (ie as mentioned, no wonder council later acceded here)

btw, hentooth, ooi, did they substitute the LO for that lower amount under s82?

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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A right to a fair hearing, human rights issue ?

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yes, human rights act an eg. but, where someone had received their summons :) and didn't attend/dispute liability, then no recourse there.

Edited by Ford

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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The wording of the latest letter I have received from the council states the following. At council tax hearings, liability orders ate applied for and granted for in bulk, as per a list provided by the council. Therefore there is not a copy of an order specifically relating to you, which I can send. That's interesting. Liability orders are granted in bulk, yet charge each individual £95.00 in court costs. Sounds a good racket to Me..

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Sounds like a case for the Fraud Act 2006, well they always loose in the European court cases if they are ever taken there/


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Sounds like a case for the Fraud Act 2006, well they always loose in the European court cases if they are ever taken there/

 

I think its fraud. I don't know how they are getting away with it..

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I think its fraud. I don't know how they are getting away with it..

 

 

 

Big Brother comes to mind.


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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..... That's interesting. Liability orders are granted in bulk, yet charge each individual £95.00 in court costs. Sounds a good racket to Me..

 

as hentooth said!

I got the usual summons letter in November and attended the court, to find them not is session, in fact we had to go to the basement and talk to a council employee, for which we where charged £100

IMO

:-):rant:

 

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