Stop a Magistrates' court fines bailiff

Any of the following

 

Make statutory declaration

Make a part 30.2 statutory declaration

Use the law to get means tested

Do a "change of circumstances"

Ask for more time to pay

Pay the fine online

Deploy 'Pay & Reclaim'

Appeal the fine

Ask the court to commute the fine to unpaid work

Make yourself unavailable.

 

 

Make a statutory declaration

If you did not know about the court proceedings, or they commenced without your knowledge, then you make a statutory declaration and the proceedings are invalid.

The statutory declaration must be addressed to a designated officer of the sentencing court within 21 days of becoming aware. That revokes the conviction, the fine and takes the bailiff and his fees out of the loop. Simples!

 

Make the statutory declaration using the following template. It can be sworn in before any solicitor or a Commissioner of Oaths, fee is usually £5 and take photo ID with you. Send it by RECORDED DELIVERY to the designated officer.

 

If you do not use recorded delivery, the delivery WILL fail because the law specifically requires recorded delivery. Sub-section (2) of Section 14 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 states;

 

If you don't know which court issued the fine, send it to your nearest administrative magistrates' court relative to your home address from this list.

 

If court service staff or enforcement company get funny with you then politely end the call and add the following paragraph into the above template:

I telephoned the court service on [DATE AND TIME] and a person who gave their name as "NAME" was unwilling to supply the court service fine reference number.

 

 

 


 

Make a Part 30.2 statutory declaration

Make a Statutory Declaration to say you did not receive a "collection order or other notice" under Part 30.2 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015

 

Make a statutory declaration to stop enforcement.

 

 

 

 

 

Use the law to get means tested

If you have not been means tested, then complete a Court form MC100 and post it to court with the letter below

 

 

 

 

 

You had a change in financial circumstances since you were fined

If you have become unemployed, ill or lost your job since you were fined, you can ask the court to re-assess your means to pay.

Section 85 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980 gives the court power to remit fines where there the defendant has had a change in the financial circumstances. It states;

85 Power to remit fine.

(1)Where a fine has been imposed on conviction of an offender by a magistrates’ court, the court may at any time remit the whole or any part of the fine, but only if it thinks it just to do so having regard to a change of circumstances which has occurred—

(a)where the court is considering whether to issue a warrant of commitment after the issue of such a warrant in respect of the fine has been postponed under subsection (2) of [F2section 77] above, since the relevant time as defined in subsection (4) of that section; and

(b)in any other case, since the date of the conviction.

 

Write to sentencing court addressed to the fines officer.

Magistrates are much more likely to grant you a stay of enforcement if you plead your case in person at court.

 

 

 

Pay the fine online

Pay the fine online or go in person and pay the fine at court and get a RECEIPT.

There is an ATM-like machine in the court lobby to pay fines. Court staff call it a "drop-box". It will NEVER ask you to pay the bailiffs fees because the court service knows you do not have to pay them. Court ushers are on hand to advise you how to use the machine.

When you have paid the fine (The "Sum Adjudged"), the warrant no longer has effect. Paragraph 6(3) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

(3)The property in all goods ceases to be bound when any of these happens—

(a)the amount outstanding is paid, out of the proceeds of sale or otherwise;

(b)the instrument under which the power is exercisable ceases to have effect;

(c)the power ceases to be exercisable for any other reason.

The warrant issued to the bailiff company only confers an enforcement power to recover the "sum adjudged". Section 76(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 states;

Enforcement of sums adjudged to be paid.

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, and to section 132 below F1, where default is made in paying a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction or order of a magistrates’ court, the court may issue a warrant of distress for the purpose of levying the sum or issue a warrant committing the defaulter to prison.

 

That is why when you pay a court fine online, it will never ask you to pay any bailiffs fees.

 

Paragraph 58 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

58(1)This paragraph applies where the debtor pays the amount outstanding in full—


(a)after the enforcement agent has taken control of goods, and

(b)before they are sold or abandoned.

(2)If the enforcement agent has removed the goods he must as soon as reasonably practicable make them available for collection by the debtor.

(3)No further step may be taken under the enforcement power concerned.

 

Paragraph 31 of the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014 states;

Enforcement agents must not seek to enforce the recovery of fees where an enforcement power has ceased to be exercisable

 

You must notify the bailiff in writing under paragraph 59(2) of the Act, which states;

The enforcement agent is not liable unless he had notice, when the step was taken, that the amount outstanding had been paid in full.

 

To stop enforcement, the law says you must notify the bailiff when the fine has been paid to HM Court Service.

 

If a commercial bailiff company threatens or takes an enforcement step, e.g. breaks into your home to recover fees, contact me straight away. We can do something about it, and if the police were present, we can sue the police force for failure in their duty to protect you from crime.

Section 78(5) of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980 states;

If any person charged with the execution of a warrant of distress wilfully retains from the proceeds of a sale of the goods on which distress is levied, or otherwise exacts, any greater costs and charges than those properly payable, or makes any improper charge, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F2level 1 on the standard scale].

 

 

 

 

 

Deploy Pay & Reclaim

If you need more time to pay the fine, then you can use this government guideline issued to court service administration staff to get your fine taken out of bailiff enforcement and returned to court administration and you can pay the fine in monthly installments.

 

 

 

 

Ask the court to commute the fine to unpaid work

Paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 of the Courts Act 2003 states;

2(1)The relevant court may, on the application of a fines officer or of its own motion, make an order under this Schedule (a “work order”) where—


(a)it appears to the court that in view of P’s financial circumstances all the following methods of enforcing payment of the relevant sum are likely to be impracticable or inappropriate—

(i)a warrant of distress under section 76 of the 1980 Act,

 

Telephone the Court fines officer and say you want to appeal against the decision to issue a warrant of control.

 

 

 

Motoring offences - FPN's and NIP's

See if you have grounds to make an appeal. That stops enforcement. Sign up and make a post at the PePiPoo Motoring forums.

 

 

 

 

 

Make yourself unavailable

 

Don't answer the door to anyone you don't know.

Never give or confirm your name.

Make sure you don't leave your vehicle outside unless it has a disabled blue badge displayed inside. Otherwise park it on a neighbours property or allocated parking space. NOT on a highway. If your vehicle is lifted from land that you do not usually live and is not a highway, then contact me, we can bring an action for breach of paragraph 14(6) of Schedule 12 and recover your vehicle and claim damages.

The bailiff only has 90 days to complete the execution of the warrant, or he has to return the case back to HM Court service. You may get a summons, attend court and plead hardship. The court will pronounce a suspended sentence and allow you to pay in affordable weekly amounts. The bailiff fees are revoked and the enforcement power under the warrant ceases to have effect.


 

 

 

Bailiff companies

There are four bailiff companies involved in recovering unpaid court fines for HM Court Service

England

Marston Group Limited, (on paperwork as Marston Holdings)

Collectica

 

Wales

Swift

Excel Civil Enforcement