You got bailiffs out of the blue about a mystery court fine

 

You can:

Make a Statutory Declaration under section 14 of the Magistrate's Courts Act 1980. That stops the enforcement immediately.

Make a statutory declaration proving non receipt of a Further Steps Notice

Make a statutory declaration proving non receipt of a Notice of Enforcement.

 

You might have been traced by the HMCTS Port Talbot Historic Debts Team

 

 

Make a Statutory Declaration, Stop enforcement and cancel the fine and conviction.

If you learned about the conviction or a fine AFTER you were convicted, the law says the proceedings are INVALID. Section 14 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980.

You make what is called a "Statutory Declaration" addressed to the "designated officer of the court" within 21 days of becoming aware. This limit can be extended if you can show reason.

You must complete and sign before a solicitor or a commissioner of oaths, about £5, or free at any COUNTY Court. Take photo ID with you and make a copy of the notarised statutory declaration. Post the original by RECORDED DELIVERY to the sentencing MAGISTRATES Court.

 

 

 

WARNING! - WARNING! - WARNING!

DO NOT repeat, DO NOT take it in person to the magistrates court.

Court staff will make you book an appointment to make your statutory declaration. This is a ruse to get you into court so they can re-convict you a kangaroo proceeding to reinstate the fine and continue with the enforcement where it left off.

This policy has NOT been approved by Parliament. Court Service do it to protect the commercial interests of the bailiff company.

You must send it to the magistrates court by RECORDED DELIVERY.

- END OF WARNING! -

 

 

 

Make a statutory declaration proving you had previous knowledge of the proceedings. It cancels the conviction, the fine and stops the bailiffs instantly.

 

If you are outside the 21 days limit, you can still make the declaration but you must say why you are late. For example;

You were out of the country

You didn't know you can make a statutory declaration when you learned about the conviction

You were in hospital or prison

 

Then send it by RECORDED DELIVERY to the fines officer. The law says the declaration must be given by Royal Mail recorded delivery. Otherwise you can give it in person (not recommended, because they will make you wait around for hours while they try to get you re-summonsed for a new hearing there and then).

If you don't know the sentencing court, then the declaration is given to the fines officer at your nearest magistrates court in this list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Further Steps Notice or Collection Order received

If you were aware of the proceedings, but you had moved since you were fined, then the court service failed to comply with court rules requiring a "collection order or other notice" under Rule 30.2 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 to inform you that you have an obligation to pay and how to pay it. This is designed to give you an opportunity to pay the fine before enforcement begins. This was previously known as a "further steps notice"

Example Further Steps Notice

If the address on the bailiff's warrant is wrong then the law says the bailiff can only take control of goods at the address on the warrant. Paragraph 9(a) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 says an enforcement agent may take control of goods only if they are on premises that he has power to enter under this Schedule, or on a highway.

Regulations require the bailiff to return the warrant back to the court and a collection order is sent. Rule 30 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015, so the collection order can be properly served. You must tell the sentencing court by making 'formal complaint' addressed to the court manager saying you did not receive the statutory notice.

Formal complaint and attached statutory declaration to be sworn in before a solicitor.

 

 

 

No Notice of Enforcement Given

Paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

(1)An enforcement agent may not take control of goods unless the debtor has been given notice.

 

Regulation 6(1) of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 makes it unlawful for an enforcement agent to take control of your goods unless you have been given notice at least seven clear days in advance.

If the Notice was given by post, then it is second class post unless the bailiff company proves to the contrary.

Authority and clarification in how to calculate notice served via post is provided by 2.0 Practice Direction - (8 March 1985) Service of Documents - First and Second Class Mail, which states;

delivery of 2nd class post is on the fourth working day after posting, and "Working days" are Monday to Friday, excluding any bank holiday.

Here is an example Notice of Enforcement

 

If your have been visited or charged any fees regardless whether taking control of goods has taken place without being given a Notice of Enforcement, then everything that follows is revoked. You can make a formal complaint and ask the council to comply with regulation 6 and withdraw from enforcement action until seven days clear has passed plus time allowed for postage.

It is the practice of bailiff companies to say they sent the notice by post, and you have to "contact Royal Mail". If the bailiff company is unable to give a tracking number, then it is unable to prove the document has been sent by post.

Here are the templates

 

 

Possible reasons for a surprise bailiffs visit

Bailiff companies stand to gain by not sending you a Notice of Enforcement. They make an instant £235 just by turning up and hope you are unaware the law says you must be given notice before any bailiff attends.

They take it upon themselves to "trace" defaulters that have moved, and start enforcement action knowing a collection order or a Notice of Enforcement has not been given because it was sent to your previous address.

You can even claim damages for wrongful enforcement action because the bailiff has breached paragraph 7(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and you can bring an action under paragraph 66(3) of that Schedule.

If this happened to then you are not liable for any fees. This article explains.

Then take the necessary action the kill the warrant

 

 

It is the practice of some court managers at Magistrates' Courts to re-list your case for a new hearing. You can either defend the allegation, or enter a guilty plea.