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Form 4 Complaint: Judge warns debtors against taking "legal advice" from the internet !!!


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Form 4 complaint: Burnley County Court: May 2013. His Honour Judge Butler

 

 

This particular Judgment is very serious indeed and it being posted as it is in the public interest to do so.

 

Firstly, the contents of the Judgment are vitally important but, as can be seen from the top right hand corner, all 3 pages have been copied from a particular website.

 

It is sadly the case that the website in question have continually claimed that it is a "myth" that Courts have ever ordered claimants to pay costs if a Form 4 Complaint is dismissed. This is all the more serious given that this judgment appeared on that particular website on around 29th May 2013 and the entire thread was removed from public view by the website owner on 3rd June 2013 after a post had been made about the judgment on Consumer Action Group.

 

From reading the final paragraph on Page 2 and the closing statement on Page 3 it is very clear that His Honour Judge Butler is confirming that costs have indeed been ordered and, as an example, he confirms that in one "recent case" at Southampton County Court a cost order of £10,000 had been ordered against the person making the Form 4 complaint. In fact, I referred to this particular Form 4 outcome a few days ago and it is my understanding that “costs” are still being debated and look likely to reach over £20,000 !!!

 

The Form 4 Complaint for Mr Kirk (the complainant) had been drafted by the website in question and this was confirmed on the thread started by Mr Kirk ( before it was removed from public view) and is evident by the PDF of the thread.

 

This Judgment needs to be available to the public and there are many reason for this:

 

Mr Kirk had initially posted a query on Consumer Action Group and he was advised in no uncertain terms by posters on here that he should not consider a Form 4 complaint in particular given......that the amount in dispute was just £20!!

 

The brief background is that the bailiff levied upon a vehicle owned by Mr Kirk's sister and that he charged a fee of £24.50, £18.00 and a "levy fee" of £28.00 There was also a small additional amount of £26.00 which apparently related to a shortfall against a previous account.

 

Mr Kirk complained to Rossendale’s about the levy. Sensibly, they removed the levy fee and visit fee and credited the account with the sum of £50.

 

The debtor was not happy to be told on this forum that he had no grounds in which to file a Form 4. Subsequently, he sought advice from another forum and from reading a copy of the PDF of his thread, it would seem that he was encouraged to file a Form 4 Complaint. The website in question are known to charge a fee of £99 for “drafting” the Form 4 complaint.

 

Before the website had removed the entire thread on 3rd June 2013 a copy of Mr Kirk's Form 4 had been displayed. Sadly, it referred to at lest 14 legal cases most of which were irrelevant "19th century law cases".

 

As a warning to anyone else who may quote such case law in a Form 4 complaint, it is noteworthy that His Honour Judge Butler stated that if he had felt it necessary to list the Form 4 for a hearing that he would have required the complainant to bring to the court copies of the legal cases referred to in the Form 4 and most seriously; he would have requested that the complainant or "his legal adviser" would have been required to attend court explain to the Judge the relevance of such legal cases !!

 

Finally, in paragraph 6 His Honour Judge Butler refers to Mr Kirk's comment that he had "taken legal advice" and he questions whether such "advice" had come from "face to face" advice from a solicitor or CAB or alternatively whether the "legal advice" had originated from "internet research". If so, he stated that "if from the latter he should not assume that this information is correct and nor should he assume that the court is aware of the matters he relies upon” ( in this he refers to the "19th century legal cases")

 

As mentioned above, within hours of brief details of this highly critical Judgment being posted on the CAG forum the judgment and the claimants entire thread were removed from public view.

 

The effect being that any new visitors to the website would be "kept in the dark" about the response to a Form 4 complaint that the website had drafted for him. To this day, that same website continue to advise debtors to file Form 4 complaints and most seriously....to "claim" that costs will not be awarded against the claimant.

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This is their original thread on CAG.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?386206-Rossendales-unlawful-charges-and-sceptical-actions&highlight=fbnts

 

It looks like they applied for the Form 4 complaint, before they even asked about this on CAG. Advice on CAG, was not to do this and if already submitted to withdraw. They were provided with links to CAG threads warning of costs.

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The particular website have consistently stated that any Form 4 judgments that are posted about on this particular forum have been doctored or are false. They are neither. The public can read them for themselves to decide.

 

This particular judgment was displayed by the debtor on that same site and is EVIDENCE that costs are indeed awarded and His Honour Judge Butler confirms this.

 

Given that the website charge a fee of £99 for completing Form 4 complaint it would obviously be in their own financial interest if debtors continue to be hoodwinked into believing that Form 4 complainants will not be ordered to pay the bailiffs legal costs in the event that the Form 4 complaint is rejected.

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The following is a copy of an exchange that took place on that particular site only one week ago!!!!

 

 

Debtor

 

“Form 4 complaint i have heard so much about courts being on the bailiff side and the debtor ends up paying everything, this is what is scaring me in using form 4, do i have a chance? if so then form 4 it is”

 

Website owner:

 

“The idea of complainants being made to pay a bailiffs costs is largely myth, but there is a procedure for it if the complainant is a vexatious litigant or the complaint is a repeated complaint against the same bailiff”

 

“Post your form 4 complaint before you send it and we can strengthen it for you”

 

“If you make a form 4 complaint you will not end up with a large bill from the bailiff company (my emphasis).

 

"That is just scaremongering put about by the bailiff companies on the CAGforum to stop people from doing absolutely that, complaining”

 

Debtor:

“So I’ll begin the form 4 complaint will you please help me with this and where do i begin?

 

Website owner:

“If you want to instruct time to draft your docs, I'll quite enjoy doing that one”

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TT

 

The bit I don't understand is why the hearing was held so quickly, within a month of the complaint. From what has been reported on here previously, people have waited for months for a hearing.

 

It would appear that there was not actually any hearing in the court, as the Judge decided on the basis of the paperwork received. Is this correct ? This is my reading of the PDF documents. So I wonder why the costs would be so high if this was the case ? Seems a bit excessive.

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Good question.

 

If you read the judgment carefully, the Judge made a decision WITHOUT calling either party and he is perfectly able to do this. This saves valuable court time and brings the matter to a speedy conclusion. This is all the more important given that courts are now being simply inundated with Form 4 complaints.

 

The Judge did NOT impose costs against Mr Kirk. Instead, he advised him that if a hearing had been necessary that the debtor would have been at risk of an adverse costs order "far in excess of the initial debt" and he confirmed that costs generally in excess of £1,000 have been granted in other cases.

 

He also confirmed that a cost order of £10,000 against the debtor had been awarded at Southampton.

 

PS: The case where costs of £10,000 was awarded related to a hearing that lasted 2 days. It is my understanding that representatives from a Freeman on the Land TV channel were in attendance for one of the 2 days.

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A very worrying situation that I am now hearing about is that so many of these Form 4 complaints relates to a query regarding bailiff fees and as a consequence, the Judges reading such Form 4 Complaints are INSTEAD referring the matter instead for Detailed Assessment !!!

 

There have been a number of serious cost orders imposed against the debtor in such cases.

 

A Form 4 complaint should NOT be considered on respect of bailiff fees. Such a complaint should be for the local authority to resolve.

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....A Form 4 complaint should NOT be considered on respect of bailiff fees. Such a complaint should be for the local authority to resolve.

 

Councils lie and cover-up far too frequently to be trusted with resolving complaints about their contractors defrauding taxpayers.

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Uncle Bulgaria.

 

From a PM that I have just received it would seem that you have raised a question on that site about the Form 4 complaint. It comes as no surprise to hear that the site are "claiming" that this particular query "pre- dates" their website which is most odd given that His Honour Judge's Judgment is only dated 5 months ago and the website in question has been operating for over a year !!!

 

They also deny any knowledge of this Judgment an deny assisting anyone with such a Form 4 complaint. This is not true.

 

The Form 4 was indeed drafted by the website in question and is evidenced by the PDF of the removed thread. The poster was fbnuts. His real name as confirmed in the judgment is Mr Kirk.

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Yes I have raised the question on DWB, as it appears a little odd that the thread is no longer available. Perhaps they have moved it to the private area of their forum.

 

It is a shame if it has been removed from public view, as the fourm should be confident enough to allow a thread to continue until conclusion, with the result published, if the OP is happy to allow this.

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If the judgment had of been either a sucessful outcome or one where the Judge complimented the drafting of the Form 4 compliant then without any doubt the Judgment and thread would have remained on the site for everyone to view and furthermore; would have been referred to by the website at each and every opportunity.

 

Given that the opposite is true, the entire thread was removed into a private members area and worse still, the site owner appears to want to distance himself from ever knowing the poster. Shameful.

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Yes I have raised the question on DWB, as it appears a little odd that the thread is no longer available. Perhaps they have moved it to the private area of their forum.

 

It is a shame if it has been removed from public view, as the fourm should be confident enough to allow a thread to continue until conclusion, with the result published, if the OP is happy to allow this.

 

Just for the record...I would like to thank the many regular contributors to Cag who took to send me copies of the reply Uncle Bulgaria.received to his question on 'that' site.. I did not get to see the latest round of defamatory comment levied at me personally when they appeared as I did not return home until late evening, however I have since looked in on the site as a 'guest' (my one and only membership application having been refused earlier this year) but I see the entire post has been swiftly tucked away in their 'flame pit' out of the general public's view.

 

Of course the allegations 'wonkeydonkey signing up spoof names and PMMing members of this forum pretending that she is a dissatisfied DWB client of mine and saying that I have lost her lots of money in bailiffs fees. It was only due to a quick-thinking member and a vigilantadministrator WD was caught knickers at half-mast secretly Pmming our members'.can be quickly dismissed as further 'rantings'. Perhaps the website owner would care to explain himself a little more or indeed he has my full permission and a public disclaimer to any action being taken as a result, should he be positioned to provide substantiated evidence to all the allegations he has taken to make over several months.

 

As I am not a member of the site it of course follows I do not have the facility to be 'PMMing members', I do not work in the bailiff industry so perhaps he can give clarity to the statement' I have lost her lots of money in bailiffs fees' and finally as I have not felt a draught from having been ' caught knickers at half-mast secretly' perhaps he could enlighten us all. That I am denied a right to reply on the site in question adds fuel to the speculation he is a 'coward'as well as a con man.

 

UB your post was made without malice and deserved a full reply..

Edited by wonkeydonkey
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I think if you were to now visit the site you will see that Uncle Bulgaria's questions have been removed as well.

 

It would seem that I am now also being accused of making telephone calls to obtain the website owners post code. Complete fantasy. Dubai addresses do not have street addresses and neither do they have zip codes or area codes !!!

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As you will see this thread concerns a Form 4 complaint and where the Judges warns the complainant of the dangers of taking "legal advice" of the internet.

 

When making a Form 4 the court have to decide whether the complaint is serious enough for him to consider that the bailiff is "not a fit and proper" person to hold a bailiff certificate. The words ""fit and proper" are taken directly from the Statutory regulations.

 

If the Judge makes such a finding, the bailiff will walk out of the court without his certificate and he will NOT be permitted to work again as a bailiff. Accordingly, a Judge will ONLY make such a decision in the most exceptional of cases and this is obvious given that his decision could lead to a bailiff losing his means of earning an income.

 

On Monday I received an email from a person who thankfully was not ordered to pay costs as her Form 4 complaint had been considered "on paper" without a hearing.

 

She was upset to read the Judge's comment that she could have avoided bailiff action altogether if she had bothered to pay the parking ticket when it was at £30.

 

Sadly, she had also visited the website in question and cut and pasted information from the site which led her to believe that she could file a Form 4 on the frankly crazy basis that a bailiff cannot clamp a vehicle outside of her home as clamping was banned last October under the Protection of Freedoms Act !!!!

 

WRONG !!! POFA only applies to private parking companies such as those that prowl supermarket car parks.....

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I think if you were to now visit the site you will see that Uncle Bulgaria's questions have been removed as well.

 

It would seem that I am now also being accused of making telephone calls to obtain the website owners post code. Complete fantasy. Dubai addresses do not have street addresses and neither do they have zip codes or area codes !!!

 

TT and WD

 

The point is that if they don't want to answer any question, they make a diversionary post attacking the information posted elsewhere. It is obviously inconvenient for there to be information online about cases where costs may be incurred following making a Form 4 complaint. I think the personal attacks are bang out of order, but online forums can be like the wild west. You can only really do something about it, if you have the funds to take relevant libel action and then for an ordinary member of the public using annonymous internet nicknames, it would be a nonstarter anyway. i.e how would quantify damage to reputation.

 

Anyway, it is probably best if I don't bother posting again to DWB and for us on CAG to ignore them. Let the authorities deal with the issue of unregulated 'paid for' advice being given on the internet.

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TT and WD

 

The point is that if they don't want to answer any question, they make a diversionary post attacking the information posted elsewhere. It is obviously inconvenient for there to be information online about cases where costs may be incurred following making a Form 4 complaint. I think the personal attacks are bang out of order, but online forums can be like the wild west. You can only really do something about it, if you have the funds to take relevant libel action and then for an ordinary member of the public using annonymous internet nicknames, it would be a nonstarter anyway. i.e how would quantify damage to reputation. This is indeed a very valid question, however, I am fortunate enough to have three tiers of legal advice at my disposal and each assure me it is more than just a possibility the person defaming your 'username' on a public site could be brought to justice. I will hold my hands in the air straight away and confess I did not understand the intricacies of what they were saying but I have no reason to call their appraisal into question.

Anyway, it is probably best if I don't bother posting again to DWB and for us on CAG to ignore them. Let the authorities deal with the issue of unregulated 'paid for' advice being given on the internet.

 

 

There is barely a post on there that does not encourage debtors to 'sue' anyone and everyone for the most trivial matters. Hceo's could have quite easily sat back and rubbed his hands in glee that there is someone out there giving so much misinformation to his advantage but, he put his head above the parapet to warn the advice is not helping the debtor..it is just costing them more heartache.

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There is barely a post on there that does not encourage debtors to 'sue' anyone and everyone for the most trivial matters. Hceo's could have quite easily sat back and rubbed his hands in glee that there is someone out there giving so much misinformation to his advantage but, he put his head above the parapet to warn the advice is not helping the debtor..it is just costing them more heartache.

 

Perhaps a Judge at some point will use powers to require the site owner at DWB to attend the court. I vaguely remember a case where someone was relying on the advice of 'experts', which the Judge had trouble with and they made an order for the 'experts' to appear before them. I suppose it depends on how any claimant for a Form 4 complaint advises the court about the help they have been provided with by DWB.

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Im sure I am one of many here @ CAG; who is thankful & grateful to you all, esp TT, for bringing this to our attention regarding Form 4 complaints.

 

It is a great shame that Mr Kirk did not take the advice given to him here on CAG at the time. He instead chose to go to a Bailiff site for "legal advice" & paid for bad advice instead! As has been proved here.

 

I have been on that site myself & have read quite a few of the posts asking for help. And they are paying for letters, packs & so forth, all in the belief that the advice they are given is correct & can stand up in Court!

 

And as in Mr Kirks case, it wasnt & didnt!! As he sadly found out.

 

Hopefully members of the public who are in need of "Bailiff help" do end up here for the "correct & free" advice; as well as stopping them from making what could end up being a very costly mistake!!

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Can I first make one correction. The owner of the site is not a 'him,' it's a 'her' known there by a very leggy avatar in boots. He gives most of the advice.

 

Secondly, it is a great shame the forums cannot work together towards a common cause. Given that particular forum is clearly unable to do this, and having seen and read first hand everything that has been posted on there, I would like to pledge my absolute support for TT and WD. The personal attacks they have faced there are dispicable, and the very fact the site owner allows the comments to stand speaks volumes about the site and the site admin.

 

I hope sincerely that both TT and WD can see this for what it is. I appreciate fully that some of the allegations being made on there currently are serious, and potentially very damaging to someone's livelihood. That is clearly unfair, and I will pledge my full support in trying to get justice for that person.

 

Meanwhile, CAG continues to do what CAG does best - give solid counsel based on experience and knowledge. At the end of the day, the people behind the user names are real people (usually), and we remember that and help them properly. Sadly, if they don't like the sound advice they get here, there is little we can do to stop them going elsewhere.

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I second and third your opinion on this davyly, that particular site crewed by the merry vapour trails in the sky, is dangerous.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Can I first make one correction. The owner of the site is not a 'him,' it's a 'her' known there by a very leggy avatar in boots. He gives most of the advice.

 

.

 

Thank you for your post. At one time I would have agreed with you but I cannot see that the lady in question would have ever allowed her site to stoop to the levels that it is doing. As most people on here know, I have a male "username" but I am a female !!!

 

A most worrying issue concerns a message that I received earlier this morning from a poster who posted on that website about 2 weeks ago. That person was responsible for finding out that the website which has constantly referred to the legal case of Bannister v Hyde in relation to abandonment had never even read the Judgement and instead, were relying on an article supposedly written by a solicitor 50 years ago !!

 

That poster witnessed the most incredible level of abuse aimed at Consumer Action and me in particular. Details are in post number 74 on this thread:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?393990-WARNING.....Legal-claim-for-quot-levy-abandonment-quot-.-Case-LOST....claimant-ordered-to-pay-%A34-000-to-bailiff-company-!!!/page4

 

 

Apparently that same poster visited the sites Flame Pit last night and posted a comment ( a copy of which they send to me this morning). Astonishingly, the post does not yet appear on the site and instead, is awaiting "moderation". If the post does not appear this morning I will get permission to post a copy on here.

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.

 

Thank you for your post. At one time I would have agreed with you but I cannot see that the lady in question would have ever allowed her site to stoop to the levels that it is doing.

 

She would. I have suffered horrendously at her hands. A person with those tendencies with a bad influence behind her is capable of many things. I think I have emails somewhere to substantiate that.

 

However, I do believe that the 'him' is behind it all, and believes for anything libellous they can hide behind hosting in another jurisdiction. This is not the case. A highly respected solicitors have published an article on this, and I have that TT if you want a copy emailed to you.

 

The following is from an American site, but holds true in England and Wales:

There are three categories of libel participants:

 

  • Primary publishers, who are are strictly liable for statements that damage others, just like the standard for all authors.
  • Distributors (Message boards, blog owners) - Distributors can also include traditional book stores or libraries, which are held liable if they know or have reason to know of the defamatory nature of the material.
  • Conduits (AOL, Google) These companies hold no control over content and ordinarily are immune.

It will be interesting to see if the comment in the Flame Pit appears or not.

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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