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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71041
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a council tax liability order issued and now notice

Customer Question

I have a council tax liability order issued and now notice of enforcement saying they will call back with a removal unit and a magistrates court order to enforce the liability order.
Should I not not be informed of any magistrates court order so that I may be able to attend ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Why didnt they send you a summons?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The council said they obtained a liability order in June 2014 - but am unsure if I received a copy, but did come to an arrangement which I was unable to maintain.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, plainly they were entitled to obtain a liability order but they do usually send a summons out so that representations can be made. Bearing in mind that you can go to prison payment of council tax it is not really acceptable court to fail to summons.
You could try to get this set aside on the basis that you didn't receive a summons. The plain fact remains though that you do owe the money and you were in default so a liabilty order was inevitable anyway. I'm not sure what it would achieve therefore except additional costs.
They will enforce the liability order though. You need to deal with that fairly quickly. A further arrangement with them might do so.
Can I clarify anything ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate I owe but are the bailiffs allowed to say they will turn up with a magistrates court order without me being informed of any kind of summons to enforce the liability order.

And how do you hold a council to account if they are not providing the service you pay for.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
They are if they already have an order which must be the case or this would not have gone to bailiffs.
In relation to bad service, that is an interesting question. Even if the councils downed tools and stopped providing at all you would still be liable to pay. It is a legal duty not a contract.
However, there is an argument that councils are under a duty to provide the services they advertise. Usually failures can be dealt with by complaints to councils and MPs. If that still fails though there is an argument that you can pay an independent contractor to do the work and sue the council cost.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is a liability order the same as a magistrates court order ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
A liability order is a Magistrates Court order. It is not a CCJ from the County Court.