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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11271
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I feel I'm being harrased for feeding birds. Over 3 yrs ago

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I feel I'm being harrased for feeding birds. Over 3 yrs ago a neighbour started pushing bread through letterbox. I accepted my bread took back bread that wasn't from me. Ridiculous I know.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Blackrod, I had 5 letters from council about the birds and waste. Then a visit, later received letter to say no case to answer and closed. This was last Yr. Now its all started up again and have had 2 letters
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None, am asking for advice. In letters they are saying ime feeding pigeons, there is only the odd 1 or 2 around here. I've approached the rspb and I'm not putting anything out to encourage pigeons. We have quite a few starlings round here which the neighbours don't like. We have had rats only 2 as I've heard and I phoned the pest control regarding this. I don't feel I'm overfeeding the birds. I feed once in a morning and mostly everything's gone in 2 hrs. W
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Why can the council keep on sending letters out after the case was unfounded. On there last letter they are advising not to give bread, not to put anything on floor. I'm quite prepared to do this but how is it they can send these not very pleasent letters out without clarifying first if the complaint is genuine.

Hi, this is Jim, thank you very much for the question - I will do my best to resolve this for you today.

Sorry to hear of the harassment. You could ask a law firm to make an application for judicial review, to question the legality of the council's decision. Quite a few law firms offer this service and on a no win no fee service.
In the meantime, you can consider an application to the local county court for a civil injunction.

However, before you do this, send the council a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 7 days to stop their conduct). A template “cease and desist” letter is available at https://www.lawdepot.co.uk/

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter.

You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 7 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy.

Assuming they continue, you will need to complete the application for the injunction and send to your county court with a fee of £308 payable to HMCTS (unless you have a low income/low savings and/or you are in receipt of benefits in which case you can get a fee exemption so you do not have to pay).

For a fee exemption you need to check your eligibility here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees. If you do not qualify for the fee exemption, you can pay either by cheque or attend the court and pay at the counter. You will need to prepare a witness statement to accompany the form.

You will need to detail the history of the issues with the council to paint a picture for the Judge as they will not know what the council has done to you unless you describe it.

If the injunction application is successful you can ask the court for a costs order to be paid by the council.

The court will list a hearing where you attend and ask the District Judge for an order and the injunction. The application would be made under Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Harassment is defined as “unwanted conduct designed to cause the victim alarm or distress”.

If granted, the Order is then served on the individuals concerned (at the council) and they are bound by the court order - if they breach the order, they are in contempt of court and could well face a fine and a prison term.

The cease and desist letter may work so you may not need to apply but if you then I recommend you go to the court in person with the forms to ensure they are correct - they are fairly complex so it would save time by you doing this - the court staff should check them before they issue the papers.

If you do need to take that step and apply for the injunction, please come back here as I have the forms required.

If you prefer a law firm to do the above, please let me know as I can give you details of firms who can deal with judicial review and also the injunction too.
I hope this helps - please feel free to ask me anything else.

Have a good day,
Jim

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thankyou, I will run this by my daughter. I'm not good on doing things on line, don't have computer.
Where do I rate you?

Hi there, there should be a way to do that at the top of the screen.

Many thanks, ***** ***** good day.

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