Prosecuting a bailiff or a High Court Enforcement Officer.

 

A prosecution is a criminal proceeding. It is not suitable for applying for a claim for damages.

Magistrates have a power to award victims of crime compensation, but these are tokenary. On successful conviction, you only get your legal costs and expenses paid.

 

As soon as the crime has taken place, you must start writing everything down - while it is fresh.

NEVER rely on memory.

Your notes don't need to be legally formatted, just in your own words as a first person account saying what happened. Include information about your material losses.

 

 

 

Before you can start a prosecution

You must report the offence in writing to the police, and give them an opportunity to investigate the crime and give it to the CPS.

Use the following template to report the crime to police.

 

 

Give a copy to police. They may show outward signs that bailiff crime is a civil matter.

When the police have dismissed your complaint, then,

 

 

 

The law

Section 1 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980 states;

Issue of summons to accused or warrant for his arrest.

(1)On an information being laid before a justice of the peace that a person has, or is suspected of having, committed an offence, the justice may issue

(a)a summons directed to that person requiring him to appear before a magistrates' court to answer the information, or

(b)a warrant to arrest that person and bring him before a magistrates' court.]

(2)F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)No warrant shall be issued under this section unless the information is in writing

(4)No warrant shall be issued under this section for the arrest of any person who has attained the age of 18 years unless—

(a)the offence to which the warrant relates is an indictable offence or is punishable with imprisonment, or

(b)the person’s address is not sufficiently established for a summons to be served on him.

(5)F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)Where the offence charged is an indictable offence, a warrant under this section may be issued at any time notwithstanding that a summons has previously been issued.

(7)A justice of the peace may issue a summons or warrant under this section upon an information being laid before him notwithstanding any enactment requiring the information to be laid before two or more justices.

 

 

 

 

Prepare a written complaint to be laid before a justice of the peace

Using this free template.

Get it sworn in before a solicitor, then give a copy to the police for their information.

Contact me for a telephone consultation and assessment on whether your case is suitable for prosecution.

 

 

Here's how it works:

Using your notes and your emailed enforcement resolution advisory, I can draft the prosecution statements which can be laid before a justice of the peace. He will decide whether the suspect is to an answer the information.

If the justice of the peace is satisfied the suspect is to answer the information, he is given a summons to attend court on a specified date.

If the suspect fails to attend, an arrest warrant is issued to a constable who brings him before the court.

If the suspect pleads guilty, he will be sentenced there and then.

If the suspect pleads not guilty, he will be given court bail to re-appear at a later date. The information will be handed to police with instruction to investigate, process and pass to the prosecutor.

The suspect is charged at the station, and given police bail to await notice from the court to attend. When he attends, he will then be given court bail, and a further date to return to court and enter his plea

If the accused pleads not guilty, the court will list a date for trial.

If the suspect is tried, you may need to prepare to be cross examined by the bailiff's defence solicitor as a prosecution witness.

 

 

 

Bailiff crime falls into these categories

Damage to property
Clamping
Fraud
Assault

Each case need to be considered on individual merit whether it is suitable for prosecution.

 

 

Police officers can be guilty of abusing a power under section 26(1) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 if you are falsely arrested or detained knowing you did not commit an offence.

They can also be guilty of an offence if they fail to arrest a suspect when an offence has been committed and brought to the officers attention, section 26(5) of the Act.

 

 

 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of bailiff offences

 

Charging fees for work not done, Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and affirmed by HM Government in the House of Lords

 

Charging fees not provided by law - Section 2 and Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

Taking goods not belonging to the debtor and intentionally refusing to return them following a sworn statement made by the owner. Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 and Paragraph 10 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

 

Saying he has a court order when he has not, Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970. LIkewise, saying or writing on a document he has a "warrant" intending to mislead the recipient this means a warrant of entry under Paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 when he knows (or ought to know) it does not. Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

Writing on a document "warrant issued" or anything that indicates an authority exists when it does not. Section 40(1)(d) of the Administration of Justice Act 1970

 

Getting shouty or using swear words - Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986

 

Threatens violence or causes alarm or distress - Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986

 

Takes goods away without leaving an Inventory - Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968. See prescribed documents for use in enforcement

 

Threatening to break entry without authority of the court. Paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. A warrant os entry is required before bailiffs can break entry, and currently, only applied for the execution of court fines.

 

Using a wheel-clamp on a vehicle situated on private land that is not where the debtor usually lives or carries on trade or business. Section 54 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

 

The bailiff's certificate is not valid or is absent - Section 63(6) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

 

A bailiff executing a warrant of control for an unpaid magistrate's court fine commits an offence if he makes an improper charge, section 78(5) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980

 

The bailiff injured you or another - Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. (See making a personal injury claim)

 

The bailiff sent a letter saying he may attend your home with a locksmith without having court authority to do so - Section 1(1)(a)(ii), of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and contrary to Paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 requiring a separate warrant to break entry and search for goods belonging to the debtor.

 

The bailiff damaged your goods or your property section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Be sure to consider the operation of section 5 of the Act "without lawful excuse", and Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and civil liability under regulation 34 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.

 

The bailiff pushed you, caused you an injury used or threatened you with violence, section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. Common assault: section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 an arrestable offence under section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

 

The bailiff threatens to attend your home with a locksmith - Section 3 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Be sure to consider the operation of Section 5 of the Act "without lawful excuse".

 

The bailiff turns up at your property with a locksmith when an enforcement power has ceased under the operation of paragraph 6(3) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. - Section 25 of the Theft Act 1968 and paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

 

The bailiff said there is an arrest warrant out for you when there is not - Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970.

 

The bailiff is dressed to look like a police officer, or wearing an article of police markings. Section 90 of the Police Act 1996.

 

The bailiff presented himself to be an officer of the court by displaying on himself, the HM Court Service coat of arms. Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

If a bailiff company is training it's bailiffs to commit any of the above, the directors of the bailiff company are guilty of an offence under section 993 of the Companies Act 2006 and is not compatible with regulation 4(4) and Regulation 4(5) of the Approval of Enforcement Agencies Regulations 2000

 

Similarly, a person who procures the commission of a crime is guilty of an offence under section 8 of the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861.

 

A person, including a police officer who fails to apprehend an offender is guilty of an offence under section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 and can could amount to concealment of the offence under section 5 of the Act.

 

Threatening or using violence without lawful authority to enter premises. Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.