Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 234567 LastLast
Results 126 to 150 of 157

Thread: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

  • Share
  • Thread Tools
  • Display
  1. #126
    Adamna's Avatar

    Member



    Joined
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    76
    Mentions
    1 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Is it not for the police to investigate? If you have a burglar break in to your home, are you supposed to provide all the fingerprint evidence, check them against files of known reprobates....?

  2. #127
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    The force hasn't investigated anything and are not even professional at telling porkies.

    The complaint alleging Misconduct in Public Office runs to 62 pages and there are over 50 supporting documents referred to in that paper which were never asked for.

    For example, Annex A to C of the judicial complaint (7 November 2015) was omitted but clearly stated "Request complete paper". This provided conclusive evidence to prove the allegations about the council but the police didn't bother asking for it.

  3. #128
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: 'outlawlgo'
    To: christine.wilson@humberside.pnn.police.uk ; enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk
    Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2016
    Subject: Investigation into misconduct in public office - ref: CW/DEJ

    Dear Ms Wilson

    Re: Investigation into misconduct in public office

    I received a letter dated 19 November 2016 (ref: CW/DEJ) from yourself.

    Though the matter concerned allegations of misconduct in public office about North East Lincolnshire Council's Chief Executive and Monitoring officers, the response is a series of spurious statements, with nothing supporting them, concerning decisions the force has previously claimed it had no remit to investigate.

    Notwithstanding that the matters have been misrepresented it is clear that the force hasn't investigated anything.

    The complaint alleging Misconduct in Public Office runs to 62 pages and many supporting documents were referred to in that paper which were never asked for.

    If the force seriously intended properly investigating these matters then an effort would have been made to gather all relevant information, but at no time did anyone from Humberside police enquire whether I had anything additional that would assist.

    I'm informed that the investigation has been carried out completely independently by an experienced Senior Investigator with no prior knowledge of my previous allegations. Unless you mean the Investigator does not serve with Humberside police I would contest the that this has been dealt with independently. Assuming then that the Investigator does serve with Humberside police I would like to know for the record who that person is and would also like to know at what level of seniority within the force this investigation and decisions are known about.

    Finally I wish my concerns about the failure to properly investigate the allegations escalated to the Chief Constable.

    Yours sincerely

    [outlawlgo]

  4. #129
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: Wilson, Christine 5531
    To: outlawlgo ; enquiries@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk
    Cc: Chief Constable
    Sent: Thursday, November 24, 2016
    Subject: RE: Investigation into misconduct in public office - ref: CW/DEJ

    [outlawlgo],

    Humberside Police are the responsible authority for dealing with criminal allegations made within the North East Lincolnshire area. Your complaint contained criminal allegations and was therefore directed quite properly to us to investigate.

    We have completed our investigation, and whilst you do not agree with the outcome I have no intention of investigating further. If you contest that every member of Humberside Police is in some way partial there is clear evidence within my assessment of independence that refutes this. The investigator was a Detective Inspector, but I will not pass you their name as I am concerned that you will in some way seek to contact them due to your disagreement at the outcome.

    That officer in their report to me did not feel it necessary to seek additional information. I concur with this assessment on the basis of the review report I have read.

    I note that you have copied in the IPCC and I have copied this into the Chief Constable.

    I will not enter into further correspondence in relation to this matter, but of course if you wish to make a complaint about your contact with me, or the investigation then please contact our Professional Standards Department.

    Christine

    Detective Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson
    Head of Specialist Crime Command

  5. #130
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Most local authorities automatically allocate payments that don't match an instalment to the oldest debt thus leaving the current years liability open to default and enforcement (though there are a few exceptions).

    It has been argued (blue in the face) that the lawful position would be to allocate unspecified payments to the current years account to avoid engineering unnecessary enforcement and comply with relevant case authority.

    Southwark Borough Council for some reason recently changed the way its council tax processing system automatically allocates payments where the amount paid does not exactly match an instalment.

    The Council's 7 December 2016 response (FOI 720193) states that:

    With effect from 10 October 2016 payments are allocated as follows:

    • Payments received that exactly match an instalment are automatically allocated to the year the instalment relates to.

    • If the payment amount does not exactly match an instalment the payment is automatically allocated to the most recent financial year.

    • If a payment has been received in respect of a particular Liability Order (e.g. subject to an Attachment of Earnings, Attachment of Benefits or a Charging Order) it is manually allocated to the financial year(s) the Liability Order in question related to.

    Prior to 10 October 2016, payments that did not exactly match an instalment and were not received to settle a particular Liability Order were allocated to the oldest debt first.
    It would be interesting to know why Southwark have recently changed its stance and if there will be more to follow.
    Last edited by outlawlgo; 7th December 2016 at 17:13:PM.

  6. #131
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Quote Originally Posted by outlawlgo View Post
    Complaint sent to MP on 15 November 2016 for referral to Parliamentary Ombudsman.
    Please note the following Parliamentary Ombudsman Decision Letter is contrived.

    9 December 2016

    Your complaint about HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS)

    Thank you for sending your complaint to us. We are sorry to learn of your concerns. We have now completed our assessment of your complaint and we are writing to give you our decision. We have decided that we are unable to take further action on your complaint as the matters you have raised fall outside of the Ombudsman’s remit to consider. I will go on to explain this decision in detail below.

    Your complaint

    You have complained about various actions of HMCTS in relation to two court cases. In particular, you say in both of the cases the courts and the Judge did not take into account your evidence. You says the Judge colluded with the claimants, the CPS and the police to ensure that the case was ruled in favour of the claimants, and that you did not receive a fair trial. You also say HMCTS failed to reopen a case after a judge ruled against you when you did not attend in person.

    Because of this, you say HMCTS colluded with the claimants, CPS and the police to financially defraud you. You say it aided the claimant in committing perjury, you say you have received unwarranted attention from court appointed bailiffs and have an incorrect conviction recorded against you.

    You would like a financial remedy, and a role creating within HMCTS to ensure that issues like this do not remain unresolved in the future.

    Our role

    I thought it would be helpful to reiterate that our role is to undertake independent investigations into complaints that an organisation has not acted properly or fairly or has provided a poor service. In deciding whether to investigate a complaint, we first assess if we are legally able to consider the issues raised.

    Our decision and reasons

    We have carefully considered your complaint, the points you have raised in all your correspondence and the papers we have received from you, and have discussed these in detail with you over the phone.

    Our legislation prevents us from looking at any issues that are an exercise of judicial or legislative function, or any actions, administrative or other, that have been taken on judicial authority, or under the orders of a Judge. We are only to look at matters that are administrative in nature, that have not been ordered or considered by a Judge.

    We have discussed the case in detail with you over the phone, and have been unable to identify with you verbally, or in the documentation you have provided, any elements of complaint that would be within our remit to investigate. This is because you have not complained about administration failings on the part of HMCTS court staff but rather the actions or decisions of the court or the judge themselves. These are matters which we are not able to consider. For this reason, we will not be taking any further action on your complaint.

    Other organisations complained about

    You have expressed concerns that the Police, the CPS and the local council and the judiciary have acted inappropriately, and asked how you can raise your concerns in relation to these. I have the following information for you in relation to this:

    Police – The Independent Police Complaints Commission advises you would need to make a complaint to the relevant police force. More information is available on its website at https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/complaints.

    CPS – You can use an online form, email, post or telephone to complain about the CPS. More information is available at http://www.cps.gov.uk/contact/feedback_and_complaints/.

    Local council – in the first instance, you will need to complete the complaints process with the council concerned. You should contact your local council to do this. If you remain unhappy with its response, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman, further details available at http://www.lgo.org.uk.

    The Judiciary – If you have a complaint about the Judiciary, you may wish to seek independent legal advice into pursuing this, or you may wish to contact the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office http://judicialconduct.judiciary.gov.uk/.

    Summary

    As we will not be taking further action on your complaint, I will now close it accordingly. I understand our decision may be disappointing to you but I do hope I have explained clearly the reasons for this.

  7. #132
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    This one from Durham County Council (8 December 2016 Response) is also worth quoting to errant councils that like to engineer payment default:

    Where there is more than one year of Council Tax debt outstanding, payments are checked to ensure monies are allocated appropriately.

    In accordance with internal procedure, firstly accounts are reviewed to determine
    • If the customer has indicated where the payment is intended

    • Whether the amount is similar or the same as an instalment

    • Whether the payment is as a result of the issue of recent documentation

    • Whether the payment is from a third party, i.e. a direct deduction (monies will be allocated to the relevant debt)

    • Is there any impending action that would result in additional costs or hardship for the customer that could be avoided

    Should none of the above apply, consideration will be given to ring-fencing the older debt and allocating payments to the current financial year.

  8. #133
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: outlawlgo
    To: Monitoring officer (NELC)
    Cc: local government ombudsman ; Humberside police ; Information commissioner
    Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017
    Attach: Case stated application missing docs.pdf
    Subject: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order


    Dear Mr Maione

    Re: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order

    I write in reference to my email which was acknowledged by yourself on 5 January 2017 regarding undelivered documents in an application to the High court. I eventually obtained an unsigned copy of a key document on 3 January 2017 (over 3 years after it appears to have been produced), presumably prompted by involvement of my MP and Parliamentary Ombudsman.

    The application is a case stated appeal with North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) named the 'Respondent'. I have written confirmation from the court that by 13 January 2017 I will receive the signed 'case' which I intend lodging with the Administrative Office.

    With reference to a Council Tax liability hearing on 30 October 2015 and subsequent complaint (NEL/1172/1516) which escalated to the Local Government Ombudsman, this is yet more evidence that my appeal to the High Court had never been withdrawn and the Magistrates' court granted a court order erroneously.

    NELC succeeded in persuading the Magistrates' court that the council correctly allocated monies to a sum which was suspended pending the outcome of my High Court appeal on the basis that I had withdrawn the case and the sum no longer suspended.

    Attached is a document containing a number of relevant correspondence arranged chronologically spanning the period of the undelivered letters (since obtained) and positioned in context. This, and information already held by the council should be enough to satisfy the magistrates' court that the liability order should not have been made. It is therefore a reasonable expectation that the council apply in accordance [with] regulation 36A of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 to have the order quashed. When the council was previously asked to do this (See ANNEX A) the request was unsuccessful.

    NELC should also recognise that those unfortunate enough to find themselves caught up in these matters are subjected to time consuming and destructive disputes which are completely disproportionate to the issues they concern. A resolution should therefore be sought at the earliest opportunity and not be allowed to continue indefinitely. The Council has a responsibility to put right its errors and adequately compensate for them, taking further into consideration the gross inconvenience caused when protracted over such lengthy periods of time.

    If the Magistrates' court were to quash the liability order granted on 30 October 2015 then the £60 costs added in September 2015 would have been invalid and require removing from my account. The misallocated payment of £60 would require reallocating to the 2015/16 account and the disputed costs would remain suspended until the High Court appeal had concluded. Lastly, the £211 total outstanding on various accounts would be reduced to £91 (final instalment of 2015/16 account) which is an amount I do not dispute and would settle without fear of payment being allocated wrongly.


    Yours sincerely


    ANNEX A

    Excerpt from 26 January 2016 letter (Formal Complaint NEL/1172/1516)


    "Liability order

    Lastly there is no reason why the council should assert that the concerns raised about the Liability order falls outside the scope of the complaints process.

    The Local Government Act 2003 introduced into the Local Government Finance Act 1992 the provision enabling the secretary of state to make regulations giving magistrates' courts powers to quash a liability order if it was satisfied that one should not have been made. The explanatory notes to the 2003 Act describes the only avenue available for this before the provision which is as follows:

    At present, this can only be achieved on application to a higher court. The cost involved is unwarranted where there is no dispute about the facts.”

    I understand the above means a defendant may only appeal a decision to the High Court either by way of a case stated or judicial review. As implied, both are unreasonable procedures for an ordinary person to have to embark upon with it likely taking years (if ever) to succeed in having the case brought before the court. There is no dispute either about the facts in this case.

    The application was made because the council had misallocated monies to a sum subject to appeal on the basis that it believed the case had been withdrawn and the sum no longer suspended. The appeal had never been withdrawn and the simple fact is that the council could not have believed it had by the incriminating evidence in the form of Exhibits which supported its witness statement. It has the minimum duty to apply to the Magistrates to have the liability order quashed as it has been brought to the council’s attention that the application should never have been made......."

  9. #134
    Adamna's Avatar

    Member



    Joined
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    76
    Mentions
    1 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Waiting with baited breath for the signed case. Well done for sticking with it.

  10. #135
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: Res - Customer Services
    To: outlawlgo
    Cc: local government ombudsman ; Humberside police ; Information commissioner
    Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017
    Subject: FW: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order

    Dear outlawlgo

    Thank you for your latest correspondence regarding this matter. To confirm North East Lincolnshire Council stands by the action taken and will not be undertaking any further investigation.

    Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council


    Eve Richardson-Smith LLB

    Legal Team Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

  11. #136
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: outlawlgo
    To: Res - Customer Services
    Cc: local government ombudsman ; Humberside police ; Information commissioner
    Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2017
    Subject: Re: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order

    Dear Eve Richardson Smith

    Stage 2 independent review

    Your response is entirely unsatisfactory. Firstly I have not asked the Council to undertake an investigation on account of one being unnecessary, and secondly, there is nothing to support the Council's decision.

    The council has been provided overwhelming evidence that it pursued Council Tax recovery through the Magistrates' court when it shouldn't have.

    The simplest way to remedy this is for the Council to apply to the court to have the liability order quashed.

    I understand that an application to the court under regulation 36A of the Council Tax Regulations can only be made by the local authority. However, that doesn't warrant the authority using its discretion irresponsibly where there is no dispute about the facts. If the person with overall responsibility for this decision continues to leave the matter unresolved (knowing the serious consequences) then there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the person is unfit for public office.

    Yours sincerely

    outlawlgo

  12. #137
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: Res - Customer Services
    To: outlawlgo
    Cc: local government ombudsman ; Humberside police ; Information commissioner
    Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    Subject: RE: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order

    Dear outlawlgo

    I refer you to the response provided to you on 26th January 2017 confirming that North East Lincolnshire Council will not be undertaking any further investigation into this matter. For clarity, no further acknowledgement or response will be provided to any correspondence of a similar nature regarding the same issues.

    Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

    Eve Richardson-Smith LLB

    Legal Team Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

  13. #138
    Milo's Avatar

    Inactive



    Joined
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    855
    Mentions
    72 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Quote Originally Posted by outlawlgo View Post
    From: Res - Customer Services
    To: outlawlgo
    Cc: local government ombudsman ; Humberside police ; Information commissioner
    Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2017
    Subject: RE: Application to magistrates' court to quash liability order

    Dear outlawlgo

    I refer you to the response provided to you on 26th January 2017 confirming that North East Lincolnshire Council will not be undertaking any further investigation into this matter. For clarity, no further acknowledgement or response will be provided to any correspondence of a similar nature regarding the same issues.

    Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

    Eve Richardson-Smith LLB

    Legal Team Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer
    It would seem that it is not only North East Lincolnshire Council that will no longer respond to your endless correspondence.

    Only a few weeks ago, the Information Commissioners Office released the following decision regarding your endless correspondence to Humberside Police.

    https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...fs50649463.pdf

  14. #139
    spirit2534's Avatar

    Member



    Joined
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    141
    Mentions
    1 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Quote Originally Posted by outlawlgo View Post
    Thanks. That's useful to know. The document is signed (and states who the witness is) on the original. Personal details have been redacted.

    There is however, a very serious concern raised by the content which I believe could implicate the council on a matter of perjury.

    - - - Updated - - -



    A judge is on this case.


    Judges are human, at least they claim to be, but certainly not infaliable.

  15. #140
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    North East Lincolnshire Council
    Municipal Offices
    Grimsby
    DN31 1HU
    24 February 2017

    Dear Mr Oxby

    Re: Council’s Legal Team Manager – Criminal misconduct

    I write further to my letter of 10 August 2016 that concerned allegations of misconduct in public office. I do so because despite having a legal and moral duty the Council has failed to act on new information that has come to light.

    It is no longer exclusively a matter of perjured evidence being improperly addressed by the Monitoring and Chief Executive officers. The matter has now taken a new twist, with the discovery of 10 items of post relating to the high court application allegedly sent to me by the Justices’ Clerk for the Humber and South Yorkshire. None of the letters were delivered, though copies dating back to August 2013 have since been obtained. The anomaly of the undelivered post is a separate matter to be investigated, but what is relevant to the council presently is that the new information, regardless of whether the letters were sent or produced afterwards, backs up conclusively that the appeal was never withdrawn.

    As the overriding reason for the alleged default was down to the Council’s claim that the appeal had been withdrawn, the Council has a duty to apply to the Magistrates’ court to have the order quashed. To recap, the Council suspended recovery of the sum being appealed in the high court until the case had been determined. However, it wrongly allocated monies to the disputed sum, leaving the balance of the year’s account that should have been reduced in default. The Council allocated monies to the wrong account attributing that decision to believing that the sum was no longer disputed because the appeal had been withdrawn.

    Even disregarding (a) the false statement; (b) monies being allocated to the wrong account and (c); summons costs being misrepresented, the Council’s opinion that the liability order was correctly obtained overlooks legislation providing that the council exercise discretion in deciding whether to seek the court’s permission to enforce.

    With discretion comes a responsibility to make the decision deemed most appropriate in the circumstances. This course of action, therefore, should not be determined arbitrarily. An obvious factor to consider would be whether pursuing court proceedings would disproportionately increase the financial burden on the taxpayer because of expenditure incurred by the council significantly outweighing alleged sums owed. Complaints for example, especially those which escalate to the Ombudsman (and elsewhere) would in terms of resource expenditure, burden the taxpayer to a far greater extent in cases where sums owed are insignificant and in any event known already to be disputed.

    Obviously the council has a duty to the taxpayer to collect arrears, but that cannot mean at any cost. Resorting to legal action in these circumstances would be seen more as a lesson teaching exercise than a proper use of the Magistrates’ court. An officer instituting court proceedings as a retaliatory measure against someone whom the council holds a grudge is not only an abuse of the court system but also a misuse of taxpayer’s money and clearly why the law does not provide the enforcement of debt to be used as a penalty. An officer identified for imposing court costs, bailiff fees and causing the protracted aggravation of having to address the injustice, for the purposes of gaining personal satisfaction, would in a properly run public authority, expect to be criminally investigated.

    The gross injustice I’ve been caused is one matter, but what someone must be held accountable for has been the obscene overall cost to the taxpayer. On a personal level, if it can be quantified in monetary terms, the cost (including potential loss of earnings) if aggregated over the years for the gross inconvenience of having to deal with the negligence, maladministration, and criminal actions of the Council would amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, if all the public authorities which it has been necessary to involve were factored in it would increase the burden on the taxpayer tenfold. The following list of public authorities have all been involved as a direct consequence of the Council’s blind pursuit of monies it is not entitled to:

    Continued.....

  16. #141
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Via email:

    North East Lincolnshire Council
    Municipal Offices
    Grimsby
    DN31 1HU
    10 March 2017

    Dear outlawlgo

    Thank you for your letter dated 24th February 2017, which I hereby acknowledge.

    I am aware that you have made a number of complaints to the Council over the past few years which have been investigated and responded to, as well as numerous freedom of information requests. In addition, the Audit Team undertook a review of your allegations last year under the auspices of the Council's whistleblowing policy and concluded that no evidence of fraudulent activity had taken place.

    Furthermore, following receipt of your subsequent complaint letter to me dated 10th August 2016, alleging criminal behaviour by officials at the Council, I referred the matter to the Humberside Constabulary for external investigation. On 19th November 2016, the Police confirmed that they had investigated the allegations and had found no evidence pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or allegations of perjury.

    I am also aware that you have also made various complaints to a number of other agencies, including the Local Government Ombudsman, courts and police and they have also found no evidence of wrong-doing.

    On that basis, I am satisfied that officers have acted properly with regard to processing your council tax payments based on the information available to them at that time.

    North East Lincolnshire Council considers feedback important and where appropriate will seek to identify improvements to the services we provide. I am, however, concerned at the amount of officer time and ultimately cost to the public purse that has been incurred by investigating and responding to your complaints. This officer time could have been put to much better use and I hope you will consider the value of intransigently pursuing a campaign when it has been addressed so many times by many different agencies, all with the same result.

    Finally, I also find that the content of your letter is derogatory in the assertions made against officers of the Council and your unreasonably persistent allegations to a range of agencies could be construed as harassment The Council will be considering its position as to whether it takes legal recourse against you if you chose to perpetuate the issue.

    Yours sincerely

    Councillor Ray Oxby
    Leader- North East Lincolnshire Council

  17. #142
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: outlawlgo
    To: Council Leader (NELC)
    Cc: MP ; Grimsby Telegraph
    Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017
    Subject: Re: Letter of Response from Cllr Oxby

    Dear Mr Oxby

    Re: Council’s Legal Team Manager – Criminal misconduct

    You have demonstrated in your 10 March 2017 response exactly why a need exists to continue pursuing matters with North East Lincolnshire Council. The cause is the Council improperly addressing concerns when initially raised. Take away the cause and the need for the Council to be asked to review decisions is also taken away. If the Council's concern is the amount of officer time and cost to the public purse that is incurred, then the solution is in the Council's hands. It simply needs to change its intransigent approach when dealing with customers who have suffered injustice because of official error.

    You seem to have been prejudiced by the alleged involvement of the LGO, police etc., or have simply found it useful to exploit in your response. Hiding behind the alleged findings of these organisation's does not alter the fact that the Council has been provided concrete evidence to support why it erroneously pursued recovery through the court. The Council will ultimately have to take responsibility for this. Incidentally your implied threat to take legal action if I continue to seek a just outcome is further proof of council officials routinely abusing their position.

    In your capacity as council leader (elected to represent the best interests of residents), I urge you to take responsibility for the injustice which so clearly lies at the hands of the council and ensure that the relevant officer applies to the Magistrates’ court to have the offending order quashed. My recommendation is if you fail to carry out what is reasonably expected of someone in your position you should consider standing down from your public role as council leader.

    Yours sincerely

  18. #143
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    From: "Cllr Ray Oxby (NELC)"
    To: outlawlgo
    Sent: 13 March 2017 15:16
    Attach: mayors coffee morning1.jpg
    Subject: Response to email dated 10 March 2017

    Dear outlawlgo

    Thank you for your email dated 10th March 2017.

    I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council stands by the action taken and will not be undertaking any further investigation into this matter.

    Yours faithfully

    Ray Oxby
    Leader - North East Lincolnshire Council


    From: "Cllr Ray Oxby (NELC)"
    To: outlawlgo
    Sent: 13 March 2017 15:27
    Subject: Recall: Response to email dated 10 March 2017

    Cllr Ray Oxby (NELC) would like to recall the message, "Response to email dated 10 March 2017".

    The North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council or Northern Lincolnshire Business Connect email system, including emails and their content, may be monitored for security reasons and to ensure compliance with council policy. Emails and attachments may be recorded for the effective operation of the organisation and for other lawful business purposes.

  19. #144
    Milo's Avatar

    Inactive



    Joined
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    855
    Mentions
    72 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    It would seem that it is not only North East Lincolnshire Council that will no longer respond to your endless correspondence.

    Only a few weeks ago, the Information Commissioners Office released the following decision regarding your endless correspondence to Humberside Police.

    https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...fs50649463.pdf
    How much your vexatious complaints are costing taxpayers can only be guessed at.

    I cannot believe that there there is yet ANOTHER decision regarding you from the Information Commissioners Office:

    https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...fs50636604.pdf

  20. #145
    Avalanche's Avatar

    Junior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    15
    Mentions
    0 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    A problem with the administration of your account , no stronger wording than this ever , seriously raises the standard of proof required .
    Sorry to hear it turned out this way .
    Submit your evidence and let the court decide if criminal charges should be brought themselves .
    I hope that comment makes sense

  21. #146
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    How much your vexatious complaints are costing taxpayers can only be guessed at.

    I cannot believe that there there is yet ANOTHER decision regarding you from the Information Commissioners Office:

    https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...fs50636604.pdf
    Information Rights Tribunal, Appellant’s notice (grounds of appeal) against Decision Notice:

    Supporting papers referred to in the Grounds of Appeal:

    Exhibit 1

    Exhibit 2
    Exhibit 3
    Exhibit 4
    Exhibit 5

  22. #147
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Local Government Ombudsman Complaint LGO
    (20 May 2017)



    What do you think the body did wrong?

    An email was sent to the council's Monitoring Officer, Tony Maione, on 12 January 2017. He responded by email on 13 January 2017 informing me that he had authorised the Council’s Deputy Monitoring Officer, Mrs Eve Richardson-Smith, to carry out the relevant functions of the Monitoring Officer and had copied her into the email.

    On 26 January 2017 Eve Richardson-Smith replied using the email address which is used for correspondence in 'Formal Complaints' (not her own email). I therefore assumed that the council had dealt with my email as a formal complaint.

    The deputy Monitoring Officer in essence refused to deal with the matter so on the same day I escalated the complaint "Stage 2 independent review".

    I have quoted below from the email sent on 12 January 2017 to the Monitoring Officer to outline the issues. The full contents of the email is attached to this complaint along with all other relevant correspondence including a letter from HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS):

    I write in reference to my email which was acknowledged by yourself on 5 January 2017 regarding undelivered documents in an application to the High court. I eventually obtained an unsigned copy of a key document on 3 January 2017 (over 3 years after it appears to have been produced), presumably prompted by involvement of my MP and Parliamentary Ombudsman.

    The application is a case stated appeal with North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) named the 'Respondent'. I have written confirmation from the court that by 13 January 2017 I will receive the signed 'case' which I intend lodging with the Administrative Office.

    With reference to a Council Tax liability hearing on 30 October 2015 and subsequent complaint (NEL/1172/1516) which escalated to the Local Government Ombudsman, this is yet more evidence that my appeal to the High Court had never been withdrawn and the Magistrates' court granted a court order erroneously.

    NELC succeeded in persuading the Magistrates' court that the council correctly allocated monies to a sum which was suspended pending the outcome of my High Court appeal on the basis that I had withdrawn the case and the sum no longer suspended.

    Attached is a document containing a number of relevant correspondence arranged chronologically spanning the period of the undelivered letters (since obtained) and positioned in context. This, and information already held by the council should be enough to satisfy the magistrates' court that the liability order should not have been made. It is therefore a reasonable expectation that the council apply in accordance regulation 36A of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 to have the order quashed. When the council was previously asked to do this (See ANNEX A) the request was unsuccessful.
    For the avoidance of doubt, I must stress that the matter of my complaint is entirely isolated from the issues involving the High Court application. The matter primarily concerns the Council refusing to deal with my complaint because if it did investigate the matter properly it would reveal serious maladministration.

    The Council suspended recovery of a sum being appealed in the High Court until the case had been determined (irrelevant except for context). However, it wrongly allocated monies to the disputed sum, leaving the balance of the year’s account that should have been reduced in default. The Council allocated monies to the wrong account attributing that decision to BELIEVING THAT THE SUM WAS NO LONGER DISPUTED BECAUSE THE APPEAL HAD BEEN WITHDRAWN.

    The appeal had categorically never been withdrawn. Seeing as though the overriding reason for the alleged default was down to the Council’s claim that the appeal had been withdrawn, the Council has a duty to apply to the Magistrates’ court to have the order quashed.

    The council continues to turn a blind eye to the evidence which proves overwhelmingly that the council obtained a Liability Order from the Magistrates' court when it should not have done. This has even continued when new evidence has been provided by HMCTS in a complaint outcome. It is one thing that the council continues denying this when the evidence is produced by myself but quite another when it refuses evidence from HMCTS' investigations.

    Under the circumstances, the most reasonable action for the council to take is to investigate the complaint and consider all the new evidence (not bury its head). Once it has been found that my version of events has been true all along it would then be justified in applying to the court to have the liability order quashed.


    How has this affected you?


    I have been put to an incalculable amount of injustice over a protracted period of time to get to the stage I am now at, i.e., to have obtained evidence from HM Courts & Tribunal Service that I had never withdrawn a High Court Appeal which the Council claimed I had.


    What do you think the body should do to put things right?


    The council should investigate the complaint and consider all the new evidence (not bury its head). Once it has been found that my version of events has been true all along it would then be justified in applying to the court to have the liability order quashed thus removing the court costs that were added in error.

    Evaluate all the hardship that the councils action has unnecessarily cause me and come up with a figure to compensate.

    Review its policies regarding its exploitation of the Magistrates' court to obtain liability orders as punishment.

  23. #148
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Local Govermnent
    OMBUDSMAN

    21 June 2017

    Your ref:
    Our ref:
    17 003 081
    (Please quote our reference when contacting us
    and, if using email, put the number in the email subject line)

    If telephoning please contact: 0330 403 4682
    email address: J.Gooch@coinweb.lgo.org.uk


    Dear Mr outlawlgo

    Complaint against North East Lincolnshire Council

    The Ombudsman has asked me to assess your complaint to see if it is about a matter we can and should investigate. I have also sent a copy of this letter by email. Please check your spam/junk folder if you have not received it.

    I am sorry to disappoint you but my current view is that we should not investigate your complaint. The enclosed draft decision explains how and why I have reached this view. Before I make a final decision, I would welcome your comments on what I say in the draft decision. It is helpful if, when commenting, you refer to specific paragraph numbers from the draft decision. If there is any relevant evidence that I have not seen which you wish to send me please do so. Please also take this opportunity to point out any factual errors in the draft decision.

    If you do wish to comment on the draft decision, please ensure that I receive your response (in writing or by telephone) by 28 June 2017. If I have heard nothing by then, I will make a final decision not to investigate your complaint for the reasons explained in the draft decision. If you need more time to comment, please explain why this is and I shall consider your request.

    ..............

    You will see that I have referred to you as Mr X. This is because we have a commitment to publish all of our decisions on our website if possible. If you consider that publication of the decision will identify you, please explain why this is and we will consider whether to make an exception to our normal policy.

    Yours sincerely

    Jeanette Gooch
    Investigator

  24. #149
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Local Govermnent
    OMBUDSMAN
    21 June 2017

    Complaint reference:
    17 003 081

    Complaint against:
    North East Lincolnshire Council

    The Ombudsman’s draft decision

    Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about a liability order from 2015. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.
    _________________________________________________

    The complaint

    1.
    The complainant, whom I refer to as Mr X, complains that the Council will not apply to the court to quash a liability order from 2015.

    The Ombudsman’s role and powers


    2. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word fault to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start an investigation if we believe it is unlikely we would find fault. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

    3.
    We cannot investigate a complaint if someone has appealed to a tribunal or a government minister or started court action about the matter.. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6), as amended)


    How I considered this complaint


    4.
    I read the complaint and documents provided by Mr X. I considered Mr X’s previous complaints to the Ombudsman. I invited Mr X to comment on a draft of this decision.


    What I found
    Previous complaints to the Ombudsman

    5.
    In 2013 and 2016 Mr X complained about court costs, of £60, that he incurred in 2012. The Ombudsman decided not to investigate the complaints because Mr X had started legal action about the court costs. The Ombudsman cannot investigate any complaint about something which has been the subject of legal proceedings.

    Council Tax Payments

    6. People should pay their council tax as billed. If they do not pay the exact amount which is stated on the bill the system allocates the payment to any debts that may exist. If the person does not keep their council tax payments up to date then the Council can apply to the court for a liability order. A liability order is a court order confirming the person must pay the council tax and the costs.

    What happened – current complaint

    7.
    In 2015/16 Mr X had a debt of £60 from 2012. The debt arose from court costs which he had disputed and started legal action about in the High Court. In 2015/16 Mr X was required to make monthly instalments of £91 a month. In May 2015 he paid £85. The system allocated most of the payment to the £60 debt.

    8.
    Mr X continued to make regular council tax payments but he did not pay enough to cover the £60. The Council issued a reminder and a summons asking him to pay £424 for 2015/16. Mr X did not do so. There was a liability hearing. Mr X attended the hearing and raised a defence before a district judge. Mr X argued that he did not have arrears because the Council had allocated the payment to the wrong account/year. Mr X also argued that the Council should not have used the payment for the 2012 debt because it was subject to a court case. The Council told the judge that Mr X had withdrawn the court case. The court issued the liability order in 2015.

    9.
    In 2017 the court service upheld a complaint Mr X had made about the handling of his application to the High Court. Mr X says this proves he did not withdraw the court case in 2013. Mr X asked the Council to apply to the court to cancel the 2015 liability order. He wants the £60 transferred to his account for 2015/16 and the costs from the 2015 court action cancelled. The Council declined to apply to quash the liability order.

    Assessment

    10.
    I cannot investigate any matter linked to the £60 costs from 2012 because Mr X started legal action. I have not seen any document which states Mr X is not liable to pay the 2012 costs.

    11. I will not investigate the Council’s decision not to ask the court to quash the 2015 liability order. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council. The Council applied for a liability order because Mr X had not paid his council tax. If Mr X had paid the amount stated on the bill then his payments would have been allocated to 2015/16.

    12. The Council applied for a liability order, which the court issued, after considering the points raised by Mr X. The court was satisfied the arrears were due. The recent decision from the court service does not affect the issue of liability in 2015. In addition, the summons was for £424. The dispute about the £60 costs does not cover the full amount of the arrears and the judge was not persuaded by Mr X’s argument about the allocation of payments. There is no suggestion of fault in the Council’s decision not to apply to quash the liability order or cancel the costs.

    Draft decision

    13. I will not start an investigation because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

    Investigator’s draft decision on behalf of the Ombudsman.

    _________________________________________________

    Draft Decision for your comments

  25. #150
    outlawlgo's Avatar

    Senior Member



    Joined
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    683
    Mentions
    38 Post(s)

    Default Re: Misallocating payments and ignoring email to exploit Magistrates court costs

    Local Government Ombudsman
    PO Box 4771
    Coventry
    CV4 0EH

    [Comments on the draft]
    Ref: 17 003 081

    28 June 2017
    Dear Ms Gooch


    Complaint against North East Lincolnshire Council

    The draft decision does not specifically relate to my present complaint. I was concerned that the specific issues of the present matter would be linked to my previous complaints and therefore be considered outside the Ombudsman’s remit for the same reasons stated by the Ombudsman at those times.

    It was because of this concern that I attempted to be clear from the outset that the area to be investigated was an entirely separate issue from what the Ombudsman had previously considered. I stated in my online application of 20 May 2017 the following:

    “For the avoidance of doubt, I must stress that the matter of my complaint is entirely isolated from the issues involving the High Court application. The matter primarily concerns the Council refusing to deal with my complaint because if it did investigate the matter properly it would reveal serious maladministration.”

    The draft decision does not make any reference to the specific issue of the present matter which is effectively the Council refusing to address my complaint to underhandedly achieve avoiding accountability.

    However, the draft decision seems to elaborate on issues which the organisation previously considered to be outside its remit, but evidently done so without considering the representations I made on its original findings. I will therefore separately;

    i
    ) further clarify why my present complaint does not concern the High Court application nor the laws surrounding appropriation of payments (thus irrelevance of the draft decision), and

    ii) point out any factual errors I have found /consider the draft decision and make representations on the findings.

    i) irrelevance of the draft decision to my present complaint


    Paragraph 6 of the decision notice has no relevance to my present complaint as it deals with laws surrounding appropriation of payments – specifically the way local authorities attempt to comply with the principles where payments are processed automatically by computer systems.

    To ensure that the Ombudsman recognises where my present complaint differs in this area it is essential to understand that the issues have nothing to do with how the council tax processing system is set to allocate unspecified payments (those not exactly matching instalments).

    The £60 from 2012 to which payment was allocated had been “suspended until the outcome of the proceedings” and therefore wrongly allocated to that sum. The authority, so it says, made the decision to “no longer [hold] action in attempting to recover the outstanding amount” on the basis that I had withdrawn the appeal disputing the costs.

    The council’s criminal actions which I allege have not been set out to be considered here and so are irrelevant to my present complaint. Whether dishonesty was involved is not a factor because what matters is that the council was at fault for refusing to deal with a formal complaint because it is inconceivable how it could have investigated the matter credibly without revealing that its error had caused me gross injustice which it did not want to be held accountable for.

    It states erroneously in the draft decision in paragraph 11 that the Council applied for a liability order because I had not paid my council tax. My council tax had been paid, moreover payments to my account were either up to date or in credit at all times at least up until the council instituted recovery through the Magistrates’ court.

    It also states in paragraph 11 that had I paid the amount stated on the bill then my payments would have been allocated to 2015/16. This is irrelevant because as aforementioned this particular matter deals with how the council’s system is set to allocate unspecified payments (where there are outstanding balances relating to more than one year/account). Where a council taxpayer has outstanding monies relating only to the current year’s liability, then payment, whether or not the sum matches the instalment amount can only reduce the indebtedness of the council tax account which is current at the time of payment. In other words the possibility is removed of payments being automatically allocated by the council’s computer system to another sum, potentially resulting in unnecessary recovery.

    These were the circumstances relating to my account because the sum from a previous year had been suspended until the outcome of the appeal (only the current year’s liability was outstanding). Payment was allocated to the disputed sum only because the council was at fault by no longer holding action in attempting to recover the outstanding amount on the basis that I had withdrawn the appeal.

    All that matters as far as my present complaint is concerned is that;

    (a) my assertion is true that the £60 court costs, which I dispute, were suspended by the council until the outcome of the proceedings,

    (b) the council no longer held action in attempting to recover the outstanding amount on the basis that I had withdrawn the appeal disputing the costs in 2013, and

    (c) I had, in fact, never withdrawn the appeal disputing the costs

    The first of the above (suspended court costs) can be pretty much verified by a letter of 19 July 2013 sent by the council’s Mrs Richardson-Smith (see attached letter ‘NELC 19 July 2013 suspended costs’).

    The council’s Witness Statement (last page paras 68 to 70), verifies that the council no longer held action in attempting to recover the outstanding amount on the basis that it believed I had withdrawn the appeal, and reinforces Mrs Richardson-Smith’s letter that court costs were suspended until the outcome of the proceedings. (see attached ‘NELC last page of Witness Statement’):

    68. The Council is aware that the defendant has taken matters further with regards to disputing the £60.00 costs incurred from November 2012.

    69. Correspondence received from the defendant as of 20th November 2013 stated that he had withdrawn his application for the Judicial review of the costs (NELC12)

    70. Given this the Council no longer held action in attempting to recover the outstanding amount.

    The recent decision from the court service which I submitted in support of my online application of 20 May 2017 provides conclusive evidence that I had never withdrawn the appeal disputing the costs.

    Although my present complaint focuses solely on the council’s refusal to consider new evidence, which proves conclusively that the liability order was applied for in error, it would perhaps be as well to point out that the council had no credible reason to believe that the appeal had been withdrawn. In fact, the council had been copied in to correspondence after November 2013 which documented the ongoing difficulties I was having progressing the case with HMCTS, which proved beyond all doubt that I had never withdrawn the appeal disputing the costs (see attached document, ‘Pursuing appeal correspondence’). The letters were sent electronically as email attachments dated 10 January, 13 February and 22 April 2014. Details relating to when the emails were sent and to whom etc., reveal that Mrs Richardson-Smith was copied in on all three.

    I have produced a case providing far more detail and damning evidence than has been mentioned here regarding the council’s false statement/perjury, however, I don’t propose forwarding it at this time but will do at the request of the Ombudsman if he considers it may assist, perhaps to prove a case of misconduct in public office for example.

    As a consequence of what is set out above, paragraphs 10 to 12 of the draft decision are irrelevant as the appropriation of monies was supported by the council on the basis that it believed the appeal had been withdrawn. It is immaterial to this complaint whether the council genuinely believed the appeal had been withdrawn - or - as my evidence supports beyond all doubt it was fully aware it had not. The council’s fault was to bury its head to new evidence, which proves conclusively that the liability order was applied for in error.

    The commencement of proceedings before a court of law

    Paragraphs 3 and 10 refer to the Ombudsman being restricted by the Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5, from investigating a complaint if someone has commenced court action about the matter. However, according to the publicly available LGO Guidance on jurisdiction (February 2017) at page 56 the idea is expressed that court proceedings may be the injustice as opposed to the fault, particularly concerning cases where, had no fault occurred, court proceedings could have been avoided. The relevant paragraph is as follows:

    “The exclusion of court proceedings from the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction was intended to prevent us considering those matters decided by the courts using different evidential standards, and applying the more restrictive test of legality as opposed to maladministration. But there is no prohibition of an investigation about whether, had fault not occurred, court proceedings could have been avoided. This is because, in such cases the court proceedings are the injustice as opposed to the fault. We have in the past criticised councils for taking bankruptcy proceedings where – even though the application was successful – we did not feel it was a proportionate response to enforcement of a debt, given the prohibitive nature of the costs involved for the person being made bankrupt. We have also found fault with councils obtaining Liability Orders from the courts for unpaid Council Tax where they should not have done so.”

    Though it is clear that the Ombudsman is referring to the appeal in 2012 it has been demonstrated that the application to the High Court is irrelevant to the present complaint (the disputed costs had been suspended). However, the Ombudsman may consider Schedule 5 to be applicable as a legislative bar regarding the court proceedings which commenced in 2015, but if the LGO Guidance on jurisdiction was applied to the decision making it would be reasonable to conclude that court proceedings could have been avoided, had fault not occurred.

    The Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6), provides another legislative bar in that the Ombudsman shall not conduct an investigation in respect of any action where the person affected has or had a remedy by way of proceedings in any court of law (a subtle difference from having commenced court action). However, it is clear that a clause is provided in sub-section 6 of section 26 which allows the Ombudsman discretion as it states as follows:

    “Provided that a Local Commissioner may conduct an investigation notwithstanding the existence of such a right or remedy if satisfied that in the particular circumstances it is not reasonable to expect the person affected to resort or have resorted to it.”

    It could be said that I had a remedy by way of appealing the Liability Order that was made against me in 2015 to the High Court, but the far simpler solution would be if the council applied to the Magistrates’ court under the provision of the Local Government Act 2003. This was a remedy enacted purposely to enable magistrates' courts powers to quash liability orders where there is no dispute about the facts, hence the cost involved is unwarranted. In normal circumstances a High Court appeal would be considered unwarranted, but the recent decision from the court service is enough evidence to justify that it would be wholly unreasonable to expect that I resorted to this remedy.


    ii) factual errors I have found

    Paragraph 7 of the decision notice states that I had a debt of £60 from 2012 but omits to record the very relevant matter that the council had put in writing that the sum was “suspended until the outcome of the proceedings”.

    In the same paragraph, clarification is required regarding the sum stated misleadingly as being £85 which I paid in May 2015. I had already paid May’s instalment on 21 April 2015 which was £91; the £85 which was paid on 28 May contributed to June’s instalment and paid out of a different bank account than that which a later payment of £7 was made. The aggregate of the two payments settled the amount due for June’s payment and were made by the due date.

    Paragraph 8 omits to say what my complaint aimed to accomplish regarding the suspended costs. Below is quoted from an email of 12 January 2017 to the Council’s Monitoring Officer, Tony Maione, which explains more clearly:

    “If the Magistrates' court were to quash the liability order granted on 30 October 2015 then the £60 costs added in September 2015 would have been invalid and require removing from my account. The misallocated payment of £60 would require reallocating to the 2015/16 account and the disputed costs would remain suspended until the High Court appeal had concluded.”

    To reiterate what I stated earlier, paragraph 11 incorrectly says that I had not paid my council tax.

    Paragraph 12 incorrectly states that the court considered the points I’d raised at the court hearing. The court did not consider my evidence because it was clear that the District Judge was satisfied with an argument contained in the Council’s Witness Statement relying on Devaynes v Noble (1816) 35 ER 781. It was this case which the Council sought authority to support its assertion that unspecified payments are presumed to be appropriated to debts in the order in which the debts are incurred and if no election is made the earliest debts are paid first, and cited the following from the judgment: “it is the first item on the debit side of the account, that is discharged, or reduced, by the first item on the credit side.”

    The case, however, concerned how payments were dealt with in relation to a "running Account" (banking account), where all the sums paid in form one blended fund, the parts of which have no longer any distinct existence. This case did not have any relevance to Council Tax whereby the accounts relate to distinct insulated debts, between which a plain line of separation can be drawn.

    The following I hope will be of use to the Ombudsman

    A more recent case, R v Miskin Lower Justices (1953), held that where an amount so obviously relates to a specific liability, it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate the payment elsewhere. It could be drawn from this that where an unspecified payment is made it must be carried to that account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce.

    The fact that it would be to the taxpayer’s detriment if allocated to the oldest debt is sufficient to infer that the payment is intended to reduce his current year’s liability. The 1953 case law, clearly serves, in these circumstances, to protect the taxpayer from the right of appropriation falling on the Council when its election may be to the taxpayer’s detriment. It can be concluded that billing authorities which have their systems set so non-specified payments are posted by default to the most current debt is because it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate monies to a sum in arrears if it is likely to also put the current year's liability in arrears.

    The council can change its system's settings so that non-specified payments are automatically allocated to the current year's account thus eliminating this element of unwarranted applications to the court. It has been discovered that a number of councils have their council tax processing systems set up this way – or – at least ensure that an unspecified payment is not allocated to the oldest debt if doing so would put the current year's account in arrears in accordance with R v Miskin.

    Middlesbrough Council


    "The Council Tax administration system uses an automated process to allocate payments received against an individual account. There are a series of checks made by the system, but in summary where a payment that has not been marked as received from an attachment source or enforcement agent fails to match a debt or instalment amount due then the payment would be allocated to the current year debt."


    Castle Point Borough Council

    "If payments are received that do not match the instalments that are due or as per an arrangement that has been made to cover the current or previous years, the payment will be allocated to the current year first."


    Croydon Borough Council

    “Croydon's council tax system has a complex set of rules for cash allocation; for each payment received the system looks to match it to the most relevant debt based on the amount - for example if the payment matches an instalment amount for a payment arrangement for arrears, it will be allocated against that debt. If the amount paid does not match any instalment plan or other rule within the system, the payment will be allocated to the current year’s debt.”


    Durham County Council

    Where there is more than one year of Council Tax debt outstanding, payments are checked to ensure monies are allocated appropriately.

    In accordance with internal procedure, firstly accounts are reviewed to determine

    • If the customer has indicated where the payment is intended

    • Whether the amount is similar or the same as an instalment

    • Whether the payment is as a result of the issue of recent documentation

    • Whether the payment is from a third party, i.e. a direct deduction (monies will be allocated to the relevant debt)

    • Is there any impending action that would result in additional costs or hardship for the customer that could be avoided

    Should none of the above apply, consideration will be given to ring-fencing the older debt and allocating payments to the current financial year.


    Southwark Borough Council

    With effect from 10 October 2016 payments are allocated as follows:

    • Payments received that exactly match an instalment are automatically allocated to the year the instalment relates to.

    • If the payment amount does not exactly match an instalment the payment is automatically allocated to the most recent financial year.

    • If a payment has been received in respect of a particular Liability Order (e.g. subject to an Attachment of Earnings, Attachment of Benefits or a Charging Order) it is manually allocated to the financial year(s) the Liability Order in question related to.

    Prior to 10 October 2016, payments that did not exactly match an instalment and were not received to settle a particular Liability Order were allocated to the oldest debt first


    Great Yarmouth Borough Council

    "Where money is paid to the Council for Council Tax, if the sum paid matches an agreed instalment it is automatically allocated to the year the instalment relates to. Where the sum paid does not match any agreed instalment plan the amount paid is allocated to the current outstanding bill.


    Lambeth Borough Council

    The council tax regulations are silent as regards payments allocations. Therefore we follow the general principles

    • that a payment tendered in an amount which matches an instalment calculated under the regulations, or has been otherwise agreed with the taxpayer in advance of payment, will be allocated against that instalment,

    • where the tax payer gives clear instructions at the time of, or shortly after, the payment is made the payment will be allocated in accordance with those instructions,

    • in the absence of clear instructions the council will allocate payments to the current year or youngest debt first and arrears after that is clear.


    Eastleigh Borough Council

    Yes this is correct re, ‘if it is likely that allocating an unmatched payment to the oldest debt would put the current year's liability ALSO in arrears, the payment would be allocated to the current year?’

    Note:

    It appears to be the Ombudsman’s opinion that he considers the costs should be paid regardless of the High Court having not considered the appeal and consequently there being no outcome. However, more worryingly is the signal being sent out that resorting to perjury to achieve this – requiring a further court summons and costs – is an acceptable approach if it is the actions of a local authority.

Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 234567 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 11
    : 14th November 2016, 09:50:AM
  2. Replies: 3
    : 23rd October 2014, 07:58:AM
  3. Can I take the Magistrates Service to Court.
    By rickierich in forum General Legal Issues
    Replies: 5
    : 9th February 2013, 09:28:AM
  4. Magistrates court fine from 2003
    By Dirac in forum Bailiff Help ( Enforcement Officers / Agents )
    Replies: 10
    : 22nd November 2012, 19:49:PM
  5. Magistrates Court Order
    By wahoo_thomas in forum Bailiff Help ( Enforcement Officers / Agents )
    Replies: 6
    : 5th December 2011, 19:56:PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Contact Us



© Celame (UK) Ltd 2016
Hosted by Lodge Information Services Ltd
LegalBeagles® are DPA Registered No. ZA158014
LegalBeagles® is the trading name of CELAME (UK) LIMITED ( 09220332 )
Registered Address: 25 Moorgate, London, England, EC2R 6AY
VAT registration number 206 9740 02
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.3 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Celame (UK) Ltd Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.3
Copyright © 2017 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

To find out more about managing your money and getting free advice, visit the Money Advice Service,an independent service set up to help people manage their money.

TOP