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Liability orders how they are processed and issued FoI


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Some posters are or have asked in the past about how and if a LO needs certain things for it to be legal/lawful.

Please read the attachment to answer some of these important questions, as the FoI shows it can and does answer many of these questions for you. Some questions have been

 

 

Signatures

Stamps and so on this may answer your questions

 

This FoIA request was made in June 2014 (not by me btw)

 

 

The document was named as council_-tax-liability-order-hearings-plymouth-magistrates-court or here

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F324610%2Fcouncil_-tax-liability-order-hearings-plymouth-magistrates-court.doc&ei=Fr5ZVYusD8v8Uv3bgZgM&usg=AFQjCNEpoIEH9Sp0CS3UqetGpvmrG-ENHw&sig2=WIUzNwsDh4f4n4gz6vQprg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congratulations to Paul Nicholson: exposing, and overturning unreasonable summons costs charged by Haringay council.

 

I am reminded about the on-going multiple xxxxx: which occurs as Brum City collects similarly-unfounded charges from Council Tax late-payers.

 

Information currently published on Birmingham City Council's website states clearly that late payments of council tax will firstly elicit a reminder letter; then a (red-print) FINAL reminder; then, if the due tax remains unpaid, a court summons.

As the Council HAS NO INTENTION of following this specified procedure; I must conclude that this is patently xxxxx!

 

In practice, the red final reminder is skipped: which Brum council justifies by referring to an high court ruling a few years ago. Apparently some other council won a case on the basis that a late/non-payer should reasonably have known he had to pay council tax; and therefore this other council did not have to ensure that two reminders were delivered. BUT, does this actually excuse any council from SENDING two reminders? I read the ruling as absolving a particular council from ENSURING DELIVERY.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

During a spell of rearrangement of our household bill-paying last year; our direct debit payment for Brum council tax went unpaid one month, due to there being insufficient funds in one particular bank account. By the time I got the ONLY reminder; there was again plenty in the account; so I guessed the council tax would be duly paid, when the direct debit was re-presented.

But, apparently they did not re-present the DD; nor did they send a final reminder, as specifically stated on the Council's website; but they did issue a summons instead: at £80 cost to me!

 

I went to the city-centre Magistrates' Court specified on the summons; and paid under protest. I wrote to the Council, pointing out that their own procedure, as published online, stipulated a second "final" reminder would be sent out.

The Council did refund the £80 summons charge; but despite my reminders on this matter, the website information remains unchanged!

It appears that the Council's office, which is actually located WITHIN the Magistrates' Court, is geared to unscrupulously extract summons charges: presumably £80 from each one of thousands of unwarned tax-payers each year!

 

This is extortion by xxxxx: deliberately telling folk they will get TWO reminders; but always with the INTENTION to prematurely issue a summons, with its associated additional charge of £80, after only ONE reminder!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I have no relevant experience; but perhaps a F-of-I (Freedom of Information) request from BCC (B'hamCityCouncil) might find answers to questions like:

(i) how many council tax summons' were issued by Birmingham City Council during the tax year 2014-2015;

(ii) how much money was raised by this summons issuing process; and

(iii) how many refunds of the £80 did they have to make, after complaints about the issue of the summons.

 

I would further question the validity of all of these summons: as they are sent out "en masse" by Brum Council employee(s), but "rubber-stamped" with a facsimile of a Magistrate's signature.

By allowing the use of his/her name on the council's extortionate fraud; the magistrate may inadvertently be jointly liable.

 

And finally, I suggest there is a further conflict of interest here:

If the council uses a magistrate's signature on its claim for money; how can any magistrates then claim to act with legally-required impartiality, in any argument betwixt council and its citizen(s)?

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The whole council tax collection system is unfair, and flies in the face of natural justice, in the case of BCC it is infested by Capita, so the quicker they can get the summons cost and an account sent to their wholly owned bailiff subsidiary Equita, the better for them.

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Do Liability Orders effect credit rating ???

jaxads

 

Halifax - £2281, successfully refunded all charges after LBA letter & telephone call.

Have been offered the difference between the £20 and £12 charges from Capital One -- am sending LBA for remainder.

GE Money - Received settlement of £441, being total charges requested. No interest though.

CCA'd Bank of Scotland / Blair Oliver Scott to produce CCA Agreements on two Credit Cards - well in default, although still chasing payment!!!

EOS Solutions "ceased action on account" on behalf of a friend.

 

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Do Liability Orders effect credit rating ???

 

I believe not, but it would probably take some time to re-find the source where that belief came from.

 

EDIT:

 

Council Tax - Recovery Process Explained and Frequently Asked Questions (Cheshire East Council)

 

Look under 'black-Listed'

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A "Liability Order" is an 'order' granted in the Magistrates Court permitting a local authority to enforce the 'liability' (of arrears of council tax) by a range of methods....one of which is the use of bailiffs.

 

Even though this 'order' is granted in the Magistrates's Court it is nonetheless the case that it is a 'civil' order (as opposed to a criminal order). Again, given that the order is granted in the Magistrates Court there is no provision in the regulations enabling such 'orders' to be registered with Registry Trust.

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While I would like to offer my congratulations to the Reverend, with his small win, it totally missed the biggest fraud of all, 99% of councils do not apply for summons to be issued as per English law, they print them them illegally, committing Perjury and fraud...

Edited by duncanb

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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While I would like to offer my congratulations to the Reverend, with his small win, but it totally missed the biggest fraud of all, 99% of councils do not apply for summons to be issued as per English law, they print them them illegally, committing Perjury and fraud...

 

Your above statement is wholly incorrect.

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Dear Bailiff Advice, I have recently spent two years investigating just that, the Courts have admitted the fact, the council involved did the same, so how is it wholly incorrect. English law specifically states for a summons to be issued a complaint must be brought before the Justice of the peace and the complaint must be "heard". sending printed summons from the local councils hired hands, is not applicable with English Law. Search for Bridget Prentice's document regarding this matter on the Parliament.gov web site...

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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duncab, can you provide a link please.

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Dear Bailiff Advice, I have recently spent two years investigating just that, the Courts have admitted the fact, the council involved did the same, so how is it wholly incorrect. English law specifically states for a summons to be issued a complaint must be brought before the Justice of the peace and the complaint must be "heard". sending printed summons from the local councils hired hands, is not applicable with English Law. Search for Bridget Prentice's document regarding this matter on the Parliament.gov web site...

 

Oh dear.

 

Put in basic terms. The council send the courts a list of people that they plan to bring before the courts. Someone at the court signs off on that list and then the council send out a summons (with the full permission and knowledge of the court). There is, unfortunately, nothing illegal (or unlawful) about it.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Dear Bailiff Advice,

Try it for yourself, if you receive a summons for council tax, go to the "issuing court" and ask them to review the details, in their log book or similar, The pat answer is (and against the Law) we don’t keep records of this kind of summons...

Edited by duncanb

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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Dear DragonFly1967

the procedure you describe is not lawful, it is a sordid arrangement made between the councils and the magistrate courts, read The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 {1992 Part V1 Enforcement 34-(1)(2). & The Magistrates Clerk Rules 2005, neither allow for " The council to send the courts a list of people that they plan to bring before the courts. & Someone at the court signs off on that list and then the council send out a summons (with the full permission and knowledge of the court)." this is Perjury.

Falsifying court documents or Fake summons is a serious crime in most western countries.A summons must be "heard" see,

A summons must be issued in accordance with Justice Clerks Rules 2005 (S.I.2005 No.545) The granting of summonses is more than a rubber stamping exercise. The person issuing the summons must be authorised to do so and must scrutinise the information to satisfy themselves that the requirements are met and a summons properly granted. See Tesco Stores Ltd [1981] Q.B.470,DC.

 

 

&

 

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } Regina v. Brentford Justices. Ex parte Catlin

The closing comments of Lord Widgery C.J

"....It must however be remembered that before a summons or warrant is issued the information must be laid before a Magistrate and he must go through the judicial exercise of deciding whether a summons or warrant ought to be issued or not.

If a Magistrate authorises the issue of a summons without having applied his mind to the information then he is guilty of dereliction of duty and if in any particular justices' clerk's office a practice goes on of summonses being issued without information being laid before the Magistrate at all, then a very serious instance of maladministration arises which should have the attention of the authorities without delay...."

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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English law specifically states for a summons to be issued a complaint must be brought before the Justice of the peace and the complaint must be "heard".

 

Sending printed summons from the local councils hired hands, is not applicable with English Law. Search for Bridget Prentice's document regarding this matter on the Parliament.gov web site...

 

I have read Bridget Prentice's document and it does not state that a complaint must be brought before the Justice of the Peace. Instead, she states that the following:

 

"The issue of a summons for non payment of council tax or non domestic rates must be authorised by a justice of the peace.....
OR
legal adviser with delegated powers from the justice's clerk".

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On a related note, open question to all, has anyone actually seen a "Liability order" issued from the Magistrates court for council tax.

And this is a trick question, because, they do not issue them, the councils just Issue "Liability order notices", the two documents are not the same. One is an official document from the court the other is a fraudulent attempt to make you believe they have a liability order....don’t believe me? check, If you have a "Liability order from a local council for council tax, read it carefully, it will state across the top "Liability order notice", to enforce council tax they need the actual order, that does not exist. ask the council or the court to provide it or a copy, I have waited over a year for this information and it still has not arrived....

 

Oh and don’t get me onto "bailiffs", a bailiff with regards to enforcing council tax is a "court bailiff" not a jumped up bully who thinks he has the right to harass you, all court bailiffs have to registered with the issuing court, and MUST register the company they work for, No moonlighting allowed.. again check it for your self, link to the Bailiff register.

 

http://certificatedbailiffs.justice.gov.uk/CertificatedBailiffs/

 

While I understand I may leave my self open for argument, I really did spend two years investigating this, took it to court, and while my results, were not as positive as the Reverends, the local council now leaves me alone...:)

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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Dear Bailiff Advice,

re "I have read Bridget Prentice's document and it does not state that a complaint must be brought before the Justice of the Peace. Instead, she states that the following:"

 

I know the above, but the Justice clerks rules and The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 {1992 Part V1 Enforcement 34-(1)(2). do. P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } Justice Clerks Rules 2005 (S.I.2005 No.545) The granting of summonses is more than a rubber stamping exercise.

The person issuing the summons must be authorised to do so and must scrutinise the information to satisfy themselves that the requirements are met and a summons properly granted.

See Tesco Stores Ltd [1981] Q.B.470,DC. ARCHBOLD 4-77 PAGE 177 Magistrates Criminal Practice.

(2:q) Note; If a summons cannot be a rubber stamping exercise, one would have to assume neither can the issuing of a Liability Order. Especially 2000+ Liability orders in one rubber stamping action.

(2:r) Quote; R v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte Preston [1985] AC 835 The House of Lords ruled that if a public body gives undertakings which conflict with its statutory duty, it was in principle entitled to go back on the undertaking. However, if the authority made an assurance and then exercised its statutory power in a manner which caused unfairness, that exercise could be viewed as an abuse of power and the undertaking upheld by the Courts.

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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I had a court summons early this year, for no payment of council tax, (even though I was paying) I had only £80 left to pay, they then charged me £120 extra for it going to court, can I claim some of this back.

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Dear Filrobbo

 

It is worth reading the The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 (the section on enforcement through the magistrates courts), and Bridget Prentice’s report, Councils are allowed to charge for a summons, a nominal fee, and then allowed to chage another fee for court attendance, this is detailed in both of the above documents, the councils have been conveniently adding the two fees together as a one off penalty. Obviously all cases are different but, if you received a summons, and then paid the outstanding and the summons, and did not attend court, it may be worth writing to the council and pointing out the two documents above and requesting a refund of the latter fee. (the court attendance...)

Regards Duncan

 

 

Dreams to Reality Through Persistence

"in the Acorn Sleeps the Mighty Oak"

"Persistence, Not Patience is a Virtue, "

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Dear Bailiff Advice,

 

Try it for yourself, if you receive a summons for council tax, go to the "issuing court" and ask them to review the details, in their log book or similar, The pat answer is (and against the Law) we don’t keep records of this kind of summons...

 

I do not need to 'try' anything for myself but instead, I would suggest that instead of making wild accusations of fraud and bribery that YOU test your own theory by doing the very same as the Reverend has done.

 

The Ministry of Justice's response to 'Ceylon' makes it very clear that the government disagree with your 'theory' and accordingly, it would be for the courts to decide.

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This is an interesting point because there has been talk of the EAs authority to pursue debts under the TCE in contrast to those for fines under the criminal powers of the magistrates court.

 

In fact the power to use the schedule 12 procedure to take control of goods is identical in the first instance(section 14/15), the only difference being that in the case of a fine the power is conferred by the warrant and in the case of the council tax via an enactment.( CTE regs.)

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In response to Revd Nicolson's successful Judicial Review, I have sent the following FOI request to my local council:

 

Please provide a table spanning at least the last ten years starting with the most recently available, showing for each financial year: a) the number of summonses issued; b) the number of liability orders granted; and c) the amount charged, and agreed by the magistrates, to each debtor to cover your costs.
In hindsight it would have been better to have also asked for the figures for NNDR too, but if needed I'll do another FOI for these too.

 

There has been a previous FOI request, and the council provided these costs to justify the £120 charge (and it includes general costs, not just those 'reasonably incurred' in the issue of the summons and court hearing. However, the council graciously rounds the figure down to £120).

Edited by Esio Trot
Better jpeg file

On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Read anything I write with the above in mind.

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I was told by the council that I would not be able to speak to the magistrate, and the £120 would be added automatically regardless if I attend the court or not. I have read The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 (the section on enforcement through the magistrates courts), and made a complaint to my MP regarding this matter but because the legalisation stats they can do it, then they is nothing more he could do until now .

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