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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Bailiff guilty of many counts of fraud (in my opinion). Charged

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Bailiff guilty of many counts of fraud (in my opinion). Charged for numerous "phantom visits" and cannot give evidence of his work done. Also guilty of charging for an ATR fee for a tow-truck, when one was never called or ever needed, and unable to produce a receipt for the tow-truck.. Also guilty of seizing a work vehicle. Also guilty of making false statements (more fraud). Also guilty of 'advanced fee fraud". What are my chances in court to claim my losses & damages. I have already complained to the bailiff company and the company which sent the bailiff (TFL).
What are my next best options going forward and my chances of winning in the courts?
Are you asking if you can reclaim?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
im wanting to take them to court for fraud and claim my money back & all losses & damages
Ok. So are you asking if you can reclaim?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am asking, If I feel i've been a victim of fraud by a bailiff, which I have. What is my next best step? i.e, do i complain directly to the court that issued the warrant?
Do I file a case myself straight to the small-claims court?
Do I contact a fraud solicitor?
How do you know they were phantom visits?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mother is disabled and was home on the days in question, also NO 'notice of visit' pushed through letterbox. I have made a 'Subject Access Request' to the bailiff so i'd have copies... the SAR does not include copies of the notices as one would expect. I have them admitting in writing that they have no evidence for visit number 3.
Yes, but that isn't the same thing as being able to prove it didn't happen.Why does she remember these days in particular? Bearing in mind they would be months ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I asked her at the time. Letters through the post about a week later informed me "Our agent was in your area but unable to meet with you". If they are charging me for work done, surely the onus is on them to then prove that work has been done if I ask for proof? If they did in fact attend the address, why was there no knock at the door, and no 'notice' pushed through the door informing me of a visit that day. Also my mother and I are both happy & willing to make a sworn affidavit.. I have asked the bailiff company that they ask the bailiff to make one, so far this request has been refused.
Well, it depends.If you are suing them then you would have the burden of proof and if you allege things like fraud and theft rather than mistake then you would have to reach a high standard.To be wholly honest, this isn't enough to allege fraud. What this comes down to is that there was no notice which is quite common with bailiff's visits and your mother can't recall an instance of them trying to gain access. There might be lots of explanations for that. One might be that she didn't hear the door bell for lots of reasons.If you are going to call your mother to give evidence then it is enough to raise a challenge but i wouldn't allege fraud.Also, the fact that they have not yet supplied evidence of work doesn't mean they will not. They often don't comply with SARs. They do not bind them unless they are acting for a public body.A tow truck need not actually attend to be claimed. It depends.Seizing work vehicles can be legitimate depending on the nature of the seizure. Most 'work vehicles' are not tools of the trade. To be a tool of the trade it has to be something that has no other purpose but to be used for work. Even black taxis have been held to be exempted.It is probably worth suing but I would certainly not make allegations of fraud. Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So if I sue, on what grounds am I suing if not fraud? They are not going to provide any more evidence of work done, this has been going on 2 years and I am not expecting proof now, after numerous requests, plus they've admitted no evidence for visit 3. The van is a work tool and should've been exempt. when i challenged why they seized a work tool, their answer was "this was the only item available to cover the debt". This is more nonsense, i'd allowed the bailiff into the property (which i did not have to do), because of the very bad weather. So he was in perfect position to note down or seize other items to cover the debt. Also, even if i'd not allowed him in, there is/was items on the outside of the property that would have covered the relatively small debt (£630). It was his choice to seize a £3,000 van to settle a £630 debt (excessive levying). If he had in fact attended the property during the first 3 "phantom visits", why did he not seize or at least make a note of the other items on the outside property, for possible future seizure? Also, he'd already charged me the trucks ATR fee when I opened the door during visit 4 (really his first visit), this is from what I can tell 'advance fee fraud'.
I would just allege mistake. I wouldn't even think of alleging fraud.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would you recommend legal help with this, or do you feel I have enough to take my case to court alone?
Vans can be work tools. Depends whether they have any other purpose or, more often, contain any tools of the trade.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The van is only used for work and is clearly marked & signed up as a work vehicle.. As a courier this is my main tool of work.
Usually it is easy enough to sue yourself.In truth, there aren't many specialist solicitors so you wouldn't be all that much more assisted and the cost would be increased.I think it is worth claiming here. I would just try to understate your position. Always better to do that anyway.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
understate my position how, in what way? Pretend i'm oblivious to the fraud part?
It is a matter for you how you run it. I think I have expressed a view really. I wouldn't put it in the way that you propose to.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So your advice would be... small claims court and ask the judge to ask them to prove their work done and disbersements for the truck?
Yes, it is the county court actually but otherwise spot on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could you make me aware of the difference between the two courts, as I am not sure... never been to court before ??who do I take to court?... The actual bailiff, the bailiff company or the company who issued the debt (Transport for London) ??
Costs basically.The actual bailiff. Usually they are not employees so the company are not liable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm getting conflicting answers. Elsewhere i've been told its the crediting company (TFL), as the bailiffs act on there behalf. Any losses TFL suffer in court would be passed onto JBW. It may be difficult for me to take the bailiff himself to court, as all I have is his name & his company (JBW), if he even still works there at all... which he may well not.
That is wrong. You have to sue the bailiff. His name will be on the documents.Delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have his full name, but that is all... other than the bailiff company he was working for, who he may not even work for now. How do I take him to court with only a name, no address, date of birth or anything??
He may not work for them. It doesn't matter. He is still a bailiff.You have to complain to the company first and seek a break down, then the regulatory body to which he is attached and then the court for overcharging.You can always serve upon him at the company but you need to sue him. Bailiffs are not usually employed but are acting as agents.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have complained to the bailiff company, more than once, and also TFL. I have a breakdown of fees in the SAR, it was only when viewing the fees page that I noticed charges for 'visit 3', which I was totally oblivious to and also noticed he'd charged the ATR fee when there was no truck needed or ever present on the day. Not to mention he had no previous levy against the van or any other goods.I understand that bailiffs can be 'sub-contractors' rather than employees, but If he representing a certain company, I would have thought it was then that company who'd have to answer for his work..or lack of it?
What if lets say, he has completely changed career and has no connection with JBW any longer. Or if I serve him notice at JBW and they refuse to forward the notice to him??
TFL are the issuer? This is transport for london?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes thats right.
there is no point in suing them. They are not liable.Bailiffs are generally subcontractors. As I have said, you have to sue the can serve upon him at JBW as I have said. The next step is to complain to the regulator and if they won't tell you which then complain to all
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would the regulator be the ombudsman? As I have already complained to 'The CIVEA', complete waste of time.
Oh yes, it is a waste of time. But it needs to be done before you can sue to protect you from costs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's good to know. So by regulator you mean the ombudsman? I am just search their page now, I think they'll be my next port of call.
No, but you can complain to the Ombudsman. I have found them fairly toothless overall but it does no harm.Bailiffs are bound by a regulatory body. CIVEA is one of them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So after the bailiff company, the regulator (CIVEA) and the TFL themselves, which i've already complained to all 3. You're saying forget the ombudsman, go straight to court?
I have never found the Ombudsman successful but I suppose it wouldn't do any harm. You want to try to exhaust all options before court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well, i've just passed my complaint to the ombudsman, as you say it cant hurt.
Thats now;- Bailiff company
- The OmbudsmanThe next will definitely be court action.
Then sue if that fails.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks very much for the advice. I may be back for more if this goes to court.
No problem. All the best.