The bailiff damaged your reputation

Damages to reputation or your business reputation is not addressed specifically in enforcement regulations, however, paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts Act 2007 states;

 

66(1)This paragraph applies where an enforcement agent

(a)breaches a provision of this Schedule, or

(b)acts under an enforcement power under a writ, warrant, liability order or other instrument that is defective.

(2)The breach or defect does not make the enforcement agent, or a person he is acting for, a trespasser.

(3)But the debtor may bring proceedings under this paragraph.

(4)Subject to rules of court, the proceedings may be brought—

(a)in the High Court, in relation to an enforcement power under a writ of the High Court;

(b)in a county court, in relation to an enforcement power under a warrant issued by a county court;

(c)in any other case, in the High Court or a county court.

(5)In the proceedings the court may—

(a)order goods to be returned to the debtor;

(b)order the enforcement agent or a related party to pay damages in respect of loss suffered by the debtor as a result of the breach or of anything done under the defective instrument.

(6)A related party is either of the following (if different from the enforcement agent)—

(a)the person on whom the enforcement power is conferred,

(b)the creditor.

(7)Sub-paragraph (5) is without prejudice to any other powers of the court.

(8)Sub-paragraph (5)(b) does not apply where the enforcement agent acted in the reasonable belief—

(a)that he was not breaching a provision of this Schedule, or

(b)(as the case may be) that the instrument was not defective.

(9)This paragraph is subject to paragraph 59 in the case of a breach of paragraph 58(3).

 

 

No Schedule 12 breach

If the bailiffs behaviour does not amount to a breach of Schedule 12 but his actions still amounts to a damage to your reputation or business reputation, then you can still bring an action, but you will need an appriately experienced solicitor to:

Bring the action

Prove and quantify the extent of your loss

Contact me if you would like me to refer to you a solicitor

 

 

Leading Case Law

See this judgment

A court will explore whether a claimant has suffered a real and substantial loss as a result of enforcement action against a person or business who is not the judgment debtor.

 

Summary:

Proceedings were brought by the claimant against the enforcement officer who had attended at their premises. The Claimant was not the judgment debtor but the enforcement officer refused to read documents offered by the Claimant.

The Claimant stopped execution of the writ by making payment on his personal debit card. The enforcement officer applied to restrain any proceedings for which the application was refused. The enforcement officer appealed.

The court ruled:

1. Paragraph 33. The Claimant had suffered a real and substantial loss in respect of the attitude and conduct of the enforcement officers.

2. Paragraph 36(i). The enforcement officers refused to consider any of the oral and documentary evidence that they were not the judgment debtors

3. Paragraph 36(ii). The premises did not belong to the judgment debtor and that there were no assets belonging to the judgment debtor on the premises.

4. Paragraph 35. The Claimant also suffered financial loss as a result of the interruption to business and the need to destroy food which was being processed at the material time and which had become contaminated as a result of the enforcement officer’s attendance at the premises wearing incorrect apparel.

5. Paragraph 37. The enforcement officers attended at an address not on his documents and the enforcement officer only had authority to carry out execution at that address.

6. Paragraph 39. Creditors should make clear which address or addresses the enforcement officer is to attend rather than relying on an enforcement officer’s area of jurisdiction.

 

 

 

 

Skidmore v Booth [1834] 6 C&P 777

The plaintiff rented warehouse premises in East London from the defendant. In June 1834 the tenant informed his landlord that he would he away in Liverpool on business for a few days, but upon his return would pay the quarterly rent that was about to fall due. The landlord stated that he was content with this and so the plaintiff departed, leaving a boy aged about 14 to look after the warehouse.

The next day the landlord met the boy outside the warehouse and assaulted him, demanding the key to the premises. Two days after that the landlord entered the warehouse with two other men and declared he had come to distrain.

They set about making an inventory, but as the boy still refused to give up the keys, the landlord called a police officer. The youth was threatened with arrest by the landlord and the boy began to cry whilst a crowd assembled outside.

The men conducting the levy remained about two hours; after they left the constable remained outside the door for about half an hour. The landlord also put up a "to let" notice in the window of the warehouse and, when a customer of the tenant came to collect some goods, initially refused to release them to him.

When the tenant returned to London he settled the rent immediately, but then issued a claim for trespass and damage to reputation.

The jury awarded the plaintiff damages.

 

 

Judgment of Tindal, CJ (summing up for the jury):

"... the defendant comes and says, "I am come to seize these goods"; and you will have to say whether what took place on that day satisfies your minds that a distress for rent was taken at that time.

There is no doubt that there was rent due... The difficulty I feel in the case is upon what the policeman has said. Circumstances may arise which may require the presence of a peace-officer. But it must be shown, to justify such a proceeding, that it was necessary, either from the apprehension of violence, the threat of resistance, or some similar circumstance.

It does not appear that either of the men remained in possession.

If the policeman was introduced other than as an assistant in taking the distress, you must find your verdict for the plaintiff, and give him such damages as you think he is entitled to.

It appears that people assembled on the outside, and asked what was going on. The landlord cannot justify under this form of pleading for anything but a distress. You may, therefore, consider whether he intended what he did as a distress, by seeing whether he confined himself to it.

Now, it seems, that he did more, for he put up a bill in the window. I think that, being in to make the distress, he might put up the bill without creating a new trespass.

If you are not perfectly satisfied that the intention was to make a distress, and that the policeman was introduced for the purpose of the distress, and was necessary for that purpose, you must find your verdict for the plaintiff."

The jury awarded the plaintiff damages (of 1/-).