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Hi, I need a little bit of advice about two things please, although they surround the same issue.


I owe an amount of money for council tax, which I don't dispute and which I have been in discussion with the Local Authority about paying back. It accrued through illness and my being self employed, which they know and which is being worked through.


Issue number one

- Somewhere along the line, Rossendales Bailiffs have been instructed to bully me for this money.

The first time he attended, I was in hospital nearly 300 miles away.

He caused an absolute scene outside my house, with the police in attendance, my partner being frantic, neighbours on looking

and all while he refused to speak to me on the phone and was threatening to levy a car that, while yes was on my drive, didn't belong to me.


This even carried on when the owner of the car turned up to confirm it to him.


He then turned up a few days ago, while I was in on my own.

I know some of my rights, so as nervous as I was, I escorted him out of the garden.

I told him the account was on hold (and it certainly was, the LA have confirmed that) and that I was dealing with it.


Now that he was out of the garden he began to get nasty.

He told me he wanted payment in full or he would continue with action.

I told him he couldn't unless he did it peaceably and that I wasn't going to let him and that I knew my rights.

He got really angry then.

He wouldn't produce the liability order or even a notice of a liability order.

He wouldn't produce any ID.


He shouted really loud that I should pay my debts and then he wouldn't be there if I did

and he kept coming as close to my face as he could without touching me, all while he kept saying he wanted payment in full.


I told him I would confirm this was on hold and being dealt with by calling the council,

however he keeps turning up when they are not open and leaving before they do.


He then threw his glasses into my garden and threatened that if I didn't move, he would remove me to recover them.

I told him I'd happily get them for him, but he said no.

Instead he ran around the garden and jumped over another part of the fence and then squared up to me again.

By that time I'd thrown them down the track and he was then even more aggressive.


I was shaken, only one week out of hospital and still frail and scared and so I called the police for help.

He immediately got back in his van, said there were no charges for the visit but that he would be back.

I went out to take images of him and then he nearly hit me with his van while turning around.


My complaint to the police was on criminal grounds.

He'd shown me no ID, he'd shown me no paperwork, liability order or anything else and refused to give me a card or phone number to call his office.


To me then, he could be anyone and even so, this was then harassment and it was the second time.

They did nothing apart from phone to speak to him. I'm quite sure they will have gotten no-where.


How should I handle this now?


Second issue is the liability order and while I know there's a lot of information online and indeed this very website,

a lot of it seems very confusing, so I hope you don't mind me asking for some advice here?


Very typically (from what I read), even while trying to sort out my council tax, I received a dodgy summons.

I called the Magistrates to ask if they'd sent it as it was unstamped and it was confirmed they had not.

Then it went to 'court' and I received a Notice of Liability. Since then this very aggressive representative for Rossendales has been visiting.


My issue is that while I'm happy to pay this tax (not really, but I'll conform) and I am attempting to and I can show that, I object to being bullied by the council and these hired thugs.


From what I can gather:


• The Summons was unlawful (sent by the council and not stamped)

• The Liability Order doesn't exist (the magistrates don't have a copy as they would with any other order, which they've confirmed), the council have admitted they don't have it in any physical form and so cannot supply me with a copy and that it was done verbally in court.

• Every time the Bailiff has attended, the account has been on hold.

• The Bailiff has been threatening, not following CIVEA and MOJ guidelines and has been very abusive.

• Typically the police in these instances knew less than the bailiff so they were no good, but while the money is a civil issue, surely violence, aggression and threats aren't? That's definitely criminal, so why are they never challenged?

• How do they even hear a civil case in a criminal court and if so, which rules do they follow?


So I'd like to know where I should go and what I should do please?


I would reiterate that I'm not disputing the money, I will pay it and I will do so as quickly as I can afford to, however I object to being targeted by this system (and thug) and would like to challenge it.


It's probably obvious that I'd tried to read a little bit previously and I know 'some' law, but this whole situation is filled with conflicting people saying conflicting things. Passing the buck seems to be their guard against being rumbled?


Am I talking rubbish?


I would appreciate any and all advice.


Thanks - Emma

Edited by EmmaB33
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If the LA are aware that you are vulnerable then they should be dealing with this. You say they are aware in which case they should have recalled the bailiff.


There will be others with more knowledge along to advise as soon as they can.

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You need to make a formal complaint to the council about there agents rosendales

Your local MP

And local councillors should be able to help you on this


The bailiffs are acting out of line they are relying on fear and intimidation to get your money

There is no forced entry no locksmith no police to arrest you either


Any and all payments direct to the council

Sounds as council should take the debt back

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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Thanks for the replies.


Yeah the LA are fully aware, or should I say they have been made aware on numerous occasions of my hospital stay, my recovery period and the fact that I was finding their bailiffs, especially in light of the fact I am cooperating with them, especially difficult.


I understand they have powers to enforce collection and I understand that if this is backed by a Liability Order then I would have no recourse other than to keep offering payment and blocking the bailiff, but neither the Magistrates or the Council will admit to having it. Where is it then?


The council say they definitely do not have it and that to confirm its existence I need to speak to the court. When I do that (and I have done a few times for prudence), they insist they do not have it either and immediately refer me back to the Council.


I had an issue before where a CCJ was issued without my knowing; for example. I applied to have this set aside and in the process of doing so, I was able to pay a small fee and get a copy of the signed and stamped judgement to base my case on.


Granted that was County Court, but how can any judgement be given verbally and not recorded anywhere unless it's unlawful? What happens to Civil Procedure Rules and how does that apply when a civil hearing, especially in bulk, is heard in a criminal court?


Sounds dodgy to me? Please someone correct me if I'm being naive?


I am currently drafting a complaint letter to Rossendales (who have been dismissive so far), CIVEA, my Local MP and Councillors and I may well send it to the local press offices both here and in Rossendale. Despite not being ideally fit enough to deal with this thug, legitimate or otherwise, he hasn't even followed his own industry guidelines and has tried to take advantage of my vulnerable situation.


He also knew I was in hospital in London as I spoke to him and coordinated the police from there, so there's no denying it.


I would like to address the council legal department too, but I sense this would have to be done very precisely?


Again, I really appreciate any advice.


Thanks in advance

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The process of a liability order is totally different to a ccj

Imagine the basement in the court building

Put a desk there and a council employee sat at it


You can attend court and speak to that council employee if you wish

The only defence is if you do not owe the money


That council employee passes on all the paperwork for rubber stamping and you have a liability order on council headed paperwork !


It is legalised robbery

Deal in writing with the council

Keep car off drive to prevent a levy doors and windows locked

There is little bailiffs can do at this point

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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Hi Emma


You are classed as vulnerable under the vulnerability clause.



This is typical bailiff behaviour and you have a right to complain about how this bailiff conducted himself, which certainly was NOT in a professional manner.


Here is a link to a PDF file on how a bailiff should behave.



This may also help you understand a little more with regards to the bailiff levying on items and distress.



You have good grounds on making a complaint to the following people - CEO of the issuing council - Rossendales complaints department. - CIVEA - Your MP. Send to each a copy of the complaint. if you reach an unsatisfactory outcome then you can progress the complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, they will inturn look at your case and advise on what to do next.


Keep copies for yourself and keep a record of all conversations if and when they arise.


I hope the above helps.

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Thanks for the replies, they have helped me a lot.


Even though I already have copies of the CIVEA code of practice and the MOJ guidelines, I hadn't considered that I would be classed as vulnerable. I am going to write the complaints letters and send them to the people suggested.


I will also be donating to the website, it's clearly invaluable and I appreciate all the help.


As of now, I will continue to deal with the council and I will continue to convey to them that I am still in recovery. I will also send them a letter by recorded delivery to specify that I am not trying to shirk my duty to pay this tax. I'm going to do that so they can't claim I'm trying to evade paying and go down other routes. I will also continue to pay when I can.


I am also going to send my letter of complaint (which I'll copy here), to the CEO of the council, Rossendales, CIVEA, My MP and anyone else I can think of. Should I give them a time limit to respond before taking it further? Is there a statutory time frame to handle the complaint? I realise CIVEA recommend 10 days for an initial reply, but still?


I will continue to keep my house locked up so that peaceable access is denied. The car that was not mine is now off my drive and so they have no other recourse than that of threats and bullying. I will continue to call the police and log event numbers. I presume they have no other choice but to return the account to a council I am willing to pay. Seems a stupid waste of time really.


I am also now armed with printed off and highlighted versions of the CIVEA code of practice, the MOJ National Standards for Enforcement Agents, Section 45 of the The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, relating to distress (which I've quoted below), a list of items that can and cannot be levied, details of my hospital stay/recovery period and a few other bits.


The point being that I am now more than prepared to cite any of this back to him/whomever when they come on their intimidation rounds and especially for the police who seem almost oblivious.




"(5) The person levying distress on behalf of an authority shall carry with him the written authorisation of the authority, which he shall show to the debtor if so requested; and he shall hand to the debtor or leave at the premises where the distress is levied a copy of this regulation and Schedule 5 and a memorandum setting out the appropriate amount, and shall hand to the debtor a copy of any close or walking possession agreement entered into."


According to the above, he must show me his written authority to collect on behalf of the council. This was not done and in fact when I asked him, he specifically said that he didn't need to and wasn't going to. I have also never been given a copy of this schedule, or a list of fees. We all know why I haven't seen an actual liability order.


I will complain, but I fear this will be pushed aside. They must get many complaints and yet they are still working in the field.


We now have a situation where he cannot enter the house peacefully and thus lawfully, so his work is pointless. I refuse to be intimidated; although I will admit it's very daunting and with my illness being what it is, I was out of breath trying to deal with him. I told him I was and why, but this was ignored.


So if they cannot levy, then their only option is to return it to the council for them to take another course of action, however if I am clearly talking to them and clearly willing to pay, surely their best option is to allow me to do that?


This simply comes down to people being bullied by the Local Authority who may not challenge it. It seems like a numbers game; they let lose the wolves and see what happens. It's bullying playground style.


Anyways, I'll write the letter and be back.


Thank you wonderful people!




Is it worth doing a Stat Dec for the items in the house?

Edited by EmmaB33
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Is it worth doing a Stat Dec for the items in the house?


This can only be done by the person the item belongs to.


You seem to have things under control, well done.


When you send off the bundles of information, make sure you keep one for yourself and keep it handy if and when the police have to be called. I would ignore any bailiffs that come knocking from this moment on until it has been fully investigated by the council, they are wholly responsible for any actions of their agent/bailiff.


On behalf of CAG, I thank you kindly for your offer of a donation, this is greatly appreciated. :)


Please keep us informed of your progress, any help we are able to give please come back and ask.


Thank you

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One more thing, pay what you can to the council. You can pay them via their on line payment facility via their website. Just use the ref number from the year the debts accrued.

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It is a strange situation. Both the Court and the Council will hold a copy of the L/O. so it is weird that neither of them are owning up to having one. Without the L/O the Council cannot send in the

Bailiffs but as the Council know the bailiffs are on your case, they must have thought at the very least that they had applied for it and received it.


It appears that noone is owning up to having the L/O including the bailiff. Until he can produce one I believe he cannot refuse to leave your property if asked.


Regardless of whether there is an L/O or not, you acknowledge that you do owe the Council so it is best if you make an arrangement with them and hopefully then they will recall the debt and cancel the bailiff.

In the meantime, complain to your MP and local Councillor and write to the CEO of the Council about the conduct of the bailiff and the council being unable to produce a L/O adding that you will up your

complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman if the Council cannot satisfy your complaint.

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That is awful way to be treated by them, there is a lot of information on the thread link below and worth a read. Do not expect much from council, but it should certainly be brought to their attention.


Hope you feel better soon.



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