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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33305
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi I have a magistrates order for MPS which was issued in

Customer Question

Hi

I have a magistrates order for MPS which was issued in 2012. The defendant had this reduced a couple of months ago and a new order was issued after a hearing. This new payment is also being collected via the Magistrates in Luton. The payments immediately fell into arrears which are escalating each month. As the final financial hearing has not been set until Jan 2014, I will really struggle to cope until then unless payments are made in full.
My questions are as follows:

1. Do I need a new order to collect payments via the Magistrates court even though this is just a variation to the original one?

2. What is the process for enforcing the payments? I need an attachment of earnings ideally and had hoped that the Magistrates court would sort this out when the arrears began - otherwise what is the point of Magistrates collecting the payments?

3. How long will this process take and will I have to return to court yet again? There is nonwaybthat his income has altered significantly in the last 3 months and he is effectively thumbing his nose at myself and the courts!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What do you mean by MPS please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I mean Maintenance Pending Suite - ie maintenance award prior to the final hearing

Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
This is clearly a family issue which isn't my area so I'll opt out for others
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first
May I ask why you transferred this to the Magistrates Court for enforcement?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi

I transferred the original order to the Magistrates as the payments were erratic and unpredictable. I was also advised that it would be easier to enforce but that has not proved to be the case.
As the arrears were not excessive, I decided not to press the matter. However the maintenance was reduced substantially at a recent hearing and I am unable to manage financially if the monthly payments are not made in full, hence my decision to enforce the debt. I want to chase the arrears as well but ensuring that future payments are made infill is my main priority.

Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Unfortunately having transferred the Order to the Magistrates court you are in their hands when it comes to enforcement and all you can do is stay in regular contact with them and ask them what steps they are taking to enforce the order - sadly it is now out of your hands how they do so
I am sorry to give such bad news on this point.
However there may be room for action in other ways - so may I ask what the delay in the final hearing has been
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We are due to have a 3 day trial so the courts have had difficulty in setting a date. There have also been delays in holding the FDR etc Dow to scheduling
The Magistratws court have advised me that they cannot enforce the maintenance as long as a court hearing is pending so I am in great difficult knowing what to do. As I see it, I have done the right thing and I obtained a court order to protect my payments so it seems ludicrous that I cannot enforce it more easily!

What is the usual process for Maigistratea to enforce payment?
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Lets roll back a little
The Magistrates court say they cannot enforce whilst WHICH hearing is pending?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The final financial hearing is ow ding in Jan 2014 at the county court. As far as I am aware the Magistrtaws courts can intervene but may be choosing not to. I wonder if there is anything I can do directly to force the issue? I thought that once here was a court order enforced via the magistrates, that any default would automatically be chased and formalised?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I have to be honest and say that choosing this enforcement option was a mistake - and one which you should not repeat when you have the final order
By registering the Order with the Magistrates Court you gave the Court the responsibility of enforcement - which the Court does in its own way and at its own pace
This should not mean that it is not done - just that it is done at their administrative pace and not controlled by you
There is no reason that I am aware of why the Magistrates cannot enforce the order - after all they reduced it (although this can be reversed in the final Order by the County Court of course) but I am afraid you cannot dictate the pace
I appreciate that this is bad news but it is the position that you are in - please ask if you need further details
Claire

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