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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I had a fine with the court of £ 760 which I paid to the courts

Customer Question

I had a fine with the court of £ 760 which I paid to the courts 2 days late. I have received a letter from a Bailiffs company called Marston which says that I owe them £105 for a warrant of Distress order and £215 for bailiffs costs. My question is :
1.) Are they allowed to demand these sums even although the court had accepted my payment and that they had not sent this letter until after my payment was excepted ?

Many Thanks for your time.

Lee.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

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

What was the initial fine for please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

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

Did you arrange a payment schedule with the collection office?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry the initial fine was for speeding to which I did not supply drivers details which resulted to me going to court and receiving 6 points and a fine to which paid late .

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no no payment schedule I just paid the fine in full to the courts which then gave me a Auth code for the transaction.


I was sent the letter for payment on the 3-1-14 giving me 10 days to pay which would have been the 13th , however I made payment late being the 29-1-14.


The courts accepted this payment to which I received my Auth code, me thinking this was the end of the fine. However on the 20-02-14 I receive my letter from Marston Bailifs demanding the further fees.


Many Thanks Lee.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

Do you happen to know the date of conviction?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was the 19th December2013

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I see what's happened here.

The short answer is that you probably are liable for something but this does seem excessive.

Whichever way you look at this, you didn't pay on time. The conviction date was in December and you didn't pay for 4 months. Usually the court makes a collection order of 28 days and after the 28 day period the matter is dispatched to bailiffs.

The reason I do think you have a limited challenge is that the court sent you a letter giving you 10 days to pay. Of course, this does only apply if the letter came from the court not the bailiffs. Now you didn't pay within 10 days either but if the letter was as you said then they should not have sent this to bailiffs until after the expiry of the 10 day period. It might have been that they did that but they should not have incurred £300 plus in costs in such a short time period.

In any event, the facts that you paid and they accepted the money does not mean that they cannot add additional fees if the matter has gone to bailiffs but I do think it is unlikely that these bailiffs could have incurred this amount of work in such a short time.

There isn't much point in refusing to pay though. That would just rack up the costs. The thing to do is pay and then reclaim by suing the bailiffs. You need to ask for a breakdown of their fees and then complain to the company that instructs them. If that fails then you can sue.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

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