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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9335
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I WOULD LIKE TO SUE MY LOCAL COUNCIL, IN A NUTSHELL, OVER

Resolved Question:

HELLO, I WOULD LIKE TO SUE MY LOCAL COUNCIL, IN A NUTSHELL, OVER THE PAST 23 YEARS, YES 23, I HAVE HAD " COSTS " ADDED EVERY YEAR TOTALLING £1310-00 TO MY COUNCIL TAX ACCOUNTS, THESE ARE FOR SUMMONS, BAILIFF, LIABILITY COSTS, THIS IS INSPITE OF PAYING ALL MY ACCOUNTS ON TIME AND FOR THE RIGHT AMOUNTS, I HAVE SO FAR WRITTEN OVER 20 LETTERS IN MY BATTLE WITH THEM, LAST YEAR THEY FINALLY ADMITTED THAT THEY WERE WRONG AND CREDITED MY ACCOUNT WITH THE £1310-00 AND GAVE A THIN APOLOGY. I DECIDED TO WITHOLD THE LAST PAYMENT OF LAST YEAR £125-00 AS PARTIAL COMPENSATION FOR ALL THE HASTLE, AS A PUNISHMENT TO ME THEY DISHONESTLY MIS-APPROPRIATED THE FIRST PAYMENT OF THE CURRENT YEAR £130-00 TO CLEAR LAST YEARS ACCOUNT, INSPITE OF ME CLEARLY MARKING THE BACK OF THE CHEQUE, IN CAPITOL LETTERS UNDER MY ACCOUNT NUMBER " THIS PAYMENT IS THE FIRST OF YEAR 2016 / 2017 " THIS ACTION THEN TRIGGERED THE RECOVERY PROCESS ALL OVER AGAIN, MORE LETTERS, ANOTHER CREDIT, IN DESPERATION I HAVE WRITTEN TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE BECAUSE I FEEL THAT THEY HAVE CONDUCTED A RIDICULOUS CAMPAIGN OF DELIBERATE HARASSMENT BECAUSE I FOUGHT THEM AND WAS SUCCESSFUL, I AWAIT HIS REPLY, I DO FEEL THAT THEY NEED PUNISHING, PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM A PENSIONER AND THIS WHOLE AFFAIR HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL ON MY HEALTH.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

What do you want to sue your council for? Stress, inconvenience, and suchlike?

Has this cost you anything financially?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
THE WHOLE EPISODE HAS BEEN VERY STRESSFUL, I AM NOT OUT OF POCKET BUT DEALING WITH ALL THE CORRESPONDENCE HAS TAKEN A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
JUST CHECKING THAT MY REPLY HAS BEEN SENT.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. I had a client.

You have got couple of potential causes of action. Common law nuisance quite simply because this has been a nuisance. And, in respect of stress, personal injury.

I will deal with personal injury first. Unless you can get medical evidence that proves that you are suffering from stress or a recognised mental or psychiatric disorder brought on particularly by the council’s actions, your claim will fail.

Moving back to nuisance, I think you have a better claim in private nuisance because the council have been literally, a nuisance. The difficulty you have is that the claim is not worth thousands of pounds. It is worth a few hundred pounds simply for the inconvenience that you have suffered as a result of the council’s incompetence. It is unlikely therefore that you would get a solicitor to take this on either is an injury claim or as a nuisance claim, on a no win no fee basis because they would not recover their costs and the costs of bringing the action is probably going to be more than you would recover and hence, although you may win, you would still be out of pocket.

I think it’s unlikely that a claim for harassment would go anywhere because I cannot see a judge say that the council have intentionally harassed you. The judge may find that the council’s actions were reckless as to whether they harassed you are not but it’s still not going to be worth a fantastic amount of compensation.

I don’t know what the substance was of the letter you wrote to the Chief Executive but in my experience, an appealing letter asking for assistance would go further than an outright complaint.

I’m sorry to tell you that it isn’t something that I would suggest you took to court quite simply because the amount of work and time involved is going to outweigh the benefits that you receive even if you win.

The judge may decide that this is not nuisance after all and it was just a series of errors. I don’t accept that, but the judge may think otherwise.

What you can do which is cost and risk free is to make a formal complaint as you already have done and if that does not resolve satisfactorily, make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Can I clarify anything else for you even though I know it’s not the answer you wanted?

It would be reckless of me to tell you that you had a fantastic claim and that you should go straight to court

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Best wishes.

FES

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