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Magistrate Court FINES and Bailiff fees......


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Tomtubby, has there been any cases where bailiffs have taken someone to Court just for their fees. Apart of course from the recent one where the Bailiff company took Westminster Council to Court

when they cancelled their contract and gave it to another bailiff company.

I am asking about instances where a warrant has been paid but not the bailiff fees.

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Marstons still came to my ex-wives house even after they were informed that I no longer lived there.

Then they asked for the attendance fee which I begrudge paying 100%.

If I have to then I will pay the admin fee but not the attendance fee.

Am I being unreasonable ?

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Tomtubby, has there been any cases where bailiffs have taken someone to Court just for their fees. Apart of course from the recent one where the Bailiff company took Westminster Council to Court

when they cancelled their contract and gave it to another bailiff company.

I am asking about instances where a warrant has been paid but not the bailiff fees.

 

I have not heard of any court cases being taken and I would not expect to either. What I do have every single day is endless enquiries from debtors who have taken "advice" from various websites which encourage debtors to pay the fine only at the "cash machine" at the court and to then write lengthly letter to the courts, the police and Ministry of Justice and these "guinea pigs" are then receiving letters from the court advising them that the payment has been received and the bailiff company advised of the "part payment" and that enforcement can and WILL continue.

 

I am sure that you and others will have noticed that the various "advice" sites have never once provided any evidence that their personal theory is correct.

 

I fact, what does happen is that if a debtor posts on the various forums that bailiffs or police have re-attended...the entire thread magically DISAPPEARS into a "private members area". In others words.....make sure that the public do not get to see responses from the letters of complaint.

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It cannot be any fun having one of Barstons gorillas at the door trying to spoof her into paying .In many cases they rely on intimidation and hollow threats to make you cough up . Whether it be for c/tax or an overdue library book. Does she know where you live ? Could she give them your address so that you can deal with them instead ? IMO Barstons are acting no better than gangsters collecting protection money.

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It cannot be any fun having one of Barstons gorillas at the door trying to spoof her into paying .In many cases they rely on intimidation and hollow threats to make you cough up . Whether it be for c/tax or an overdue library book. Does she know where you live ? Could she give them your address so that you can deal with them instead ? IMO Barstons are acting no better than gangsters collecting protection money.

 

I am interested in your above post where you have said about a LIBRARY BOOK.

 

I do voluntary work for a small debt charity and around February time we had a query from a lady who had been woken by loud banging on the door and found 2 POLICE OFFICERS and a Magistrate Court officer at her door regarding NON PAYMENT of a fine for failure to return library books. I have to confess that I did not know such an offence could be deemed criminal.

 

She was taken in the police car to the local police station where she was fingerprinted and the police then went through her handbag and listed all of the contents on a sheet. She had to sign to confirm that all items were hers.

 

She was then driven in the police car to a Magistrate Court nearly 20 miles away. She was handcuffed and put into cells until 2pm when she was then taken upstairs to the court. The judge made it clear that non payment of court fines would not be tolerated and that too many people are ignoring criminal fines. She made the point very clear indeed that in her court there had recently been quite a few people who have been sent to prison or wilfully refsuing to pay a court fine.

 

The judge stated that the amount due to clear the matter was £130 and that the debtor could avoid prison by paying into court that day the sum of £130. Worryingly, the debtor tried to say to the Judge that she could not afford to pay the full amount on that day to which the Judge responded to advise the "defendant" that should would adjourn the matter for 10 minutes to allow the debtor to carefully consider what she had just said in court.

 

During the short adjournment the debtor was able to speak with an "advisor" who informed her that earlier in the morning the police had made a list of items in her handbag and that from this list it was confirmed that the debtor had £188 in cash in her purse and that the Judge could therefore rule that the debtor was willfully refusing to pay. When the Judge came back into the court the debtor stated that she would be able to pay and she was then released. She did try to expalin that the money in her purse was needed to pay her rent but the Judge made it clear that court fine are a PRIORITY DEBT.

 

I can assure you that the above is true and it certainly has demonstrated to me that courts are taking unpaid court fines very seriously indeed.

 

In this particular case, the debtor confirmed that she had received the Further Steps Notice but it would seem that the Fines Officer had decided that instead of issuing a distress warrant or attachment of earning order he would apply for committal proceedings.

 

I quite agree that bailiffs are acting very badly indeed but I can assure you that courts are taking a very tough stance with unpaid court fines.

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I have not heard of any court cases being taken and I would not expect to either. [uNQUOTE/]

 

If they have the Law on their side, why would they not pursue their case through the Courts.

 

I do apologise.

 

I have not heard of any cases and I would not expect to either and it is quite simple why this would be the case.

 

As you will see from my post number 21 the wording on the warrant states as follows;

 

 

"You may take goods and money belonging to the defendant to the value of the money owed.......and the costs of carrying out this warrant"

 

 

If the"costs of carrying out the warant" is not paid, then as far as I can see, the warrant has NOT been satisfied and the bailiff can merely continue with enforcement and this is EXACTLY what seems to be happening every day.

 

Therefore, there is NO NEED to go to court. The warrant has not been satisified and enforcement may continue.

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My library book reference was supposed to be in tongue and cheek. We know that Barstons will try to collect on anything and everything including ancient court fines . This has got me worried .I am behind with my daughters school dinner money . Will Barstons turn up at her school and put a levy on her pencil case ?

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I do apologise.

 

I have not heard of any cases and I would not expect to either and it is quite simple why this would be the case.

 

As you will see from my post number 21 the wording on the warrant states as follows;

 

 

"You may take goods and money belonging to the defendant to the value of the money owed.......and the costs of carrying out this warrant"

 

 

If the"costs of carrying out the warant" is not paid, then as far as I can see, the warrant has NOT been satisfied and the bailiff can merely continue with enforcement and this is EXACTLY what seems to be happening every day.

 

Therefore, there is NO NEED to go to court. The warrant has not been satisified and enforcement may continue.

 

We are going around in circles with this . The contract with the courts and bailiffs must cover the costs The courts cannot expect the bailiffs to work for nothing , because not all defaulters will pay up, are the bailiffs supposed to take the rough with the smooth ?

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I agree (as much as I despise them) that bailiffs cannot be expected to work for nothing BUT to still attend a property when the have been informed by letter, telephone and email that I no longer live there, knowing I will not be there and then expect me to pay for their "jolly boys" outing in my opinion is out of order?

 

Admin fees yes, attendance fee NO.

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BUT to still attend a property when the have been informed by letter, telephone and email that I no longer live there, knowing I will not be there and then expect me to pay for their "jolly boys" outing in my opinion is out of order?

,

I would not for one minute want to give any support for the bailiff industry but sadly whether you believe it or not, it is the case that many people write to bailiff firms to "claim" that the debtor no longer lives at the property.

 

Such letters are frequently sent by partners, parents etc and many times; the information is proven to be incorrect.

 

It is because of such misleading letters and phone calls that bailiff companies will not treat letters such as your with much truth and will attend the premises to ascertain for themselves whether you live at the property or not.

 

Also, you need to be aware of the strict wording on the warrant which states the following:

 

"You are hereby commanded" etc etc. This is effectively an ORDER/COMMAND for the Approved Enforcement Agent to attend the premises on the distress warrant etc.

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@ tomtubby ""You are hereby commanded" etc etc. This is effectively an ORDER/COMMAND for the Approved Enforcement Agent to attend the premises on the distresslink3.gif warrant etc."

 

This is why when there is a mistake debtor non resident, never lived there etc, wrong B Jones/J Smith etc the aggrieved party MUST provide the court with the information, and yes do a stat dec if the court wants one, otherwise the bailiff will continue to call until he is told to cease and desist by the court. Whether he listens to the court is another matter, one or two bailiff firms have form for continuing to call once warrant withdrawn as their fees go down the pan at that stage meaning they have worked for nothing.

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Yes I can see why they do not beleive every letter that they receive, but I even sent them my telephone number foor Dubai, all they had to do was call me to prove that I am living there. I would have have paid for the phone call, after all it would be far cheaper to do that than be expected to ay £200 for a visit when they had been told that I did not live there.

 

But I suppose that woud have taken a bit of common sense from someone eh?

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Yes I can see why they do not beleive every letter that they receive, but I even sent them my telephone number foor Dubai, all they had to do was call me to prove that I am living there. I would have have paid for the phone call,

 

I would be very surprised indeed if a bailiff company would call you in Dubai. As I said before, mentioning to a bailiff that you work in Dubai would normally lead them to believe that you are making a very decent living indeed and tax fee as well.

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I would be very surprised indeed if a bailiff company would call you in Dubai. As I said before, mentioning to a bailiff that you work in Dubai would normally lead them to believe that you are making a very decent living indeed and tax fee as well.

 

Yes I understand why they would think that. If I LY it were true, I wouldn't be In this mess if it were :-(

The plan was to go out there to earn the money but the company that I joined have not been very honest and upfront with me to say the least. I am owed thousands, but that's another story!!

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I am sorry to hear that. I have friends and one relative working in Dubai and apart from one of them they are doing very well indeed but I hear that the cost of living there has risen so much.

 

If the post it can be a good place to go but as you have said, there are some companies that are not too honest. I hope things improve.

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  • 1 month later...

With the extraordinary increase in the number of websites offering to recover bailiff fees on a "no win, no fee" basis I will be looking at taking a lots of the posts in this thread and making them into a new "Sticky".

 

With unpaid court fines there are quite a few websites which "claim" that there is no legal basis that allows Her Majesty's Court Service to allow private sector bailiffs to charge fees when enforcing a Distress Warrant. This thread explains why fees are chargeable.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just read an email from a lady who unfortunately took "advice" from the internet (not this particular forum) and she was led to believe that there was no legal basis for Collectica Ltd to charge fees to her for enforcing a Distress Warrant. It would seem that the "advice" that she relied upon was as follows:

 

"One of Britain's most senior judges Lord Justice Elias has confirmed there is no contractual obligation on defaulters to pay fees of the enforcement company. JBW Ltd v Ministry of Justice (2012) EWCA Civ (see paragraph 38). He also confirmed the enforcement company bears the risk of running the enforcement service if they are unable to recover the fine or their fees".

 

 

It would seem that she wrote a letter of complaint to Collectica Ltd which they rejected and a further visit was made by them where she ended up paying the fees.

 

She complained to the Ministry of Justice and quoted endless "case law" which included the above reference to Lord Justice Elias. This complaint was also rejected.

 

Believing what she had read to be true ( a big mistake) she referred the matter to her local MP and today she feels really stupid.

 

Quite correctly her Member of Parliament criticised her for the tone and content of her complaint to the Ministry of Justice and informed her that before refusing to pay or to complain in such terms that she should have read section 38 of the above judgment for herself and that if she had done so, she would have seen that in fact Lord Justice Elias DID NOT at any time say that there is no contractual obligation on defaulters to pay fees of the enforcement company and that:

 

The truth is that Paragraph 38 is merely the SUBMISSION of Mr Peter Knox as representative of JBW Group.

 

 

JBW Group LOST the case.

 

 

 

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/8.html

Edited by tomtubby
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A few moments ago I was sent a copy of a thread that appears on another forum (one that "claims" that bailiffs cannot charge fees of £300 for enforcing a Distress Warrant).

 

Sadly, yet another debtor had taken the dreadful "advice" on that site and promptly paid the amount of the fine only to the court and refused to pay the fees to the bailiff company.

 

As predicted, bailiff returned to his home yesterday at 6am with a LOCKSMITH. Police were called and they took the side of the bailiff company. The debtor tried to convince the police that the "advice" that he had received from that website was correct (which it is not).

 

Most importantly, contrary to the constant claims on that site that bailiffs have NEVER forced entry, in this case the locksmith started drilling the lock ( which is actually quite common).

 

It would seem that the entire incident was most distressing ( not surprisingly) for all concerned and the bottom line is that the debtor ending up paying the bailiff fees of £300.

 

However....there is more........

 

The dreadful wrong advice EXPOSED the debtor to having to also pay the "locksmith fees of £190 !!!!

Knowing that the site commonly remove any threads which expose their wrong advice, I have kept a pdf.

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I know there are people that will disagree with my post here but if you speak to a court at the first opportunity they WILL listen to your case. it is the courts best interest to get the money in FULL asap. That's a fact. BUT if you talk you will NOT have to have BAILIFFS involved, or pay ANY FEE's that may have been added.

All good caggers know something about the law in one way or another. The fact a court fine is a PRIORITY debt and comes before your money to go out to the PUB,

 

As everyone must know income that comes in may be at a level that is lower than when you attended court, you filled in a means form and a repayment plan was agreed. Now you find yourself in a pickle because your income is lower than when the fine was imposed, with this in mind go back to court and ask for another means hearing, the bench will look at each case on its own merits, then make an adjustment order if they feel it is appropriate, not every case can have this done, but if you have an outstanding fine and miss a week go to the office before it gets out of hand.

 

I see this on a daily basis where someone does not think the fines matter, then find themselves locked up instead. All of you are aware the justice system has changed so much recently, the tolerance level for court debtors is getting extremely thin on the ground, bare this in mind for future reference, pay your fine on time, always keep the court up to date with regards to your financial circumstances at ALL times, this will make it much harder for the court to send YOUR case to the bailiffs in the first place.

 

To put it in plain English so you understand don't want a bailiff calling for non payment of fines then get your advice at the earliest opportunity, if you are unfortunately find yourself with a fine sort it out in the shortest possible time, clear it as if your life depended on it, so the end it comes to this

 

A paid fine means that's all you pay not some beer money to a BAILIFF. If this reply seems somewhat aggressive or in your face look at it this way pay on time you WILL not have to pay any more than the original fine

 

Sometimes I am too brutal and blunt in what I say, I do not mean to offend anyone facing the bailiffs for any reason, I've been there myself on the receiving end of their methods, but have been able to look into ways to stop this getting out of control. My personal advice is go to the court first and ask for that hearing, they must hear you in court, even if a bailiff is involved, they have a duty too. They will not put you on the poverty line.

 

No one wants to be here asking for help, but unfortunately people are, I have edited some of my post so not to look overly blunt, but have still made a valid point. You have nothing to lose going back into court, it can only help you in the long run. Hope all goes well with which ever way you go, if it goes well can you update the thread and let us know which way you went?

 

MM

Edited by mikeymack2002

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Some good advice in that post but, sadly by the time people get to read it they are already here looking for advice to find a 'cure' to their situation, having failed to follow 'preventative' measures.

 

It therefore becomes paramount these people are given accurate advice that outlines how to deal with their problem and warnings against following advice known to mislead. The above post by TT are not isolated instances of people following misleading advice given elsewhere, they are becoming increasingly common

 

 

Desperate people will grasp at anything and trying to warn them of the pitfalls of listening to what they want to hear as opposed to what they really need to know, will always be an uphill struggle. Nearly all posts on the site TT draws to our attention appear to have but one objective...simply ignore the fact a fine needs to be paid and seek reason to 'sue' anyone and everyone.

 

I have just read a post on that site relating to High Court matters and should the poster be lucky enough to look in here on cag .....well I can tell you the advice being given falls very short of what you need to know and do.

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Wonkeydonkey:

 

All you have said is true, the justice system in relation to the collection of outstanding fines seriously needs to be reviewed. The bailiff has a job to do not a good one but its a job. This is why HMRC take all the monies they can at the time of sentencing, hand you a receipt and tell you then if you fail to pay this will happen.

 

If the defendant then ignores this fact they chose to be in such a position, they can not think it will go away it wont, maybe at time of sentencing they should give a leaflet out stating what is/not the best way to deal with the fine.

 

This is always going to be a very hard subject to handle at the best of times is it not ? At the end of the day a financial review hearing is a way to go, at least the court then will see you are trying the best you can.

 

MM

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