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Council Tax Summons - which defence?

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  • Council Tax Summons - which defence?

    I own my home but had need to move out and rent private elsewhere with the intention of either selling or renting my home. I notified the counciltax department of this on July 24th. I received a response from them on 15th August asking for further information which I gave to them the day after. I then waited until 11th October for a reply which apologised for the delay and said I should receive a new bill in the next few days. It also said that a summons may been issued to me but which I should ignore as it had been withdrawn.

    A few days later, I received the bill and the summons and something just told me to ring and check it has been withdrawn and to my horror, it had not and I was told that it wouldn't be due to my not offering to pay by installments! I asked how I was supposed to do this if I had not received the bill but they were adamant that it would not be withdrawn.

    The email was dated 11th October. the bill was dated 12th October and the summons was dated 19th October.

    I note that only particular defence reasons will be accepted (which is on the back of the summons) so which do I use?

    The court hearing date is 9th November so ny help would be appreciated, thanks
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

    Is the summons only for the amount on the bill dated 12th Oct ?
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    • #3
      Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

      I've had 3 or 4 bills with different amounts on since that last email but no, there is also a summons cost of £82.00

      Thanks for replying so speedily Amethyst :-)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

        You should contact your local Councillor(s) and ask they intervene.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

          This was the email received (note the date) then the summons was received on 19th. I was advised to ignore it but something told me to ring them which is a good job because it wasn't withdrawn

          - - - Updated - - -

          If you knew my councilor ploddertom, you wouldn't advise that lol
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

            Don't forget your Councillor works for and is paid by you as a rate and tax payer

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            • #7
              Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

              Originally posted by wales01man View Post
              Don't forget your Councillor works for and is paid by you as a rate and tax payer
              Get hold of a councillor right away.

              I had this some years ago in Shropshire. The court hearing never happened, I turned up and sat in a room full of people who were called individually into a room with Council staff to discuss a repayment arrangement.

              As I recall, there was a case a few years ago where someone (a vicar in London I think) challenged the scam of charging legal costs when the court wasn't involved.

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              • #8
                Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                Originally posted by legallystressed View Post

                - - - Updated - - -

                If you knew my councilor ploddertom, you wouldn't advise that lol

                If your Councillor refuses or is reluctant have you checked to see if there is more than 1 that covers your Ward? If still no joy then try the Leader of the Council and/or his/her opposite number.

                If it were me and my Councillor acted as what yours maybe does then my next step is the local press - mud sticks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                  If the worst comes to the worst and the only option is to defend the council's action at the liability order hearing, then according to the excerpt from the Justices Clerks' Society under heading "Procedure: Liability Order Application", you could send your evidence/defence to the court, without actually attending.

                  2. The court hears a bulk application for all non-attenders: the Council representative proves the technical requirements and gives evidence that the sums levied have not been paid.

                  3. Any defendant attending or writing to the court is dealt with individually and orders made (or not made) in their case. Their attendance or otherwise is also recorded

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                  • #10
                    Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                    The Magistrates are very limited in what defences they can consider - the law prevents them from considering anything which would be subject to the remit of the valuation tribunal. You have no defence to the magistrates on the grounds of liability, any defence would, as above, be on the basis that the correct procedures have not been followed in respect of the process to obtain the liability order.

                    At many of the liability order hearings I've attended over the years there was at least one letter or fax which had been sent to the court to dispute bits and pieces. Some of these were outside the court's remit but if it fell in to their remit it was presented to the court for consideration. In most of these cases the case was withdrawn for further consideration or adjourned for a fuller hearing at a later date. Some of these cases were down to a summons not being stopped and it was a simple issue to stop the liability order going ahead, the court were simply informed of the withdrawal and they never disputed it.

                    The email was dated 11th October. the bill was dated 12th October and the summons was dated 19th October.
                    The summons cannot be off the demand notice dated 12th Oct as the legislative process would not allow that - the demand notice would require 14 days notice of payment before a reminder/final notice could be issued. It would then be at least 7 days before a summons could be issued.

                    It sounds like they've superseded the earlier summons with the new demand notice but for some reason the issuing of the previous summons has crossed. Only the council can say exactly what has happened but I've seen a good few similar cases over the years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                      Thanks for all the replies. I have only got 3 days left now so I guess I will just have to write a letter to the court explaining that I notified the council of my new correspondence address and asked what information they needed from me, if any, yet they sent all the correspondence to the address I had notified them I had move out of. Further, that I was assured the summons was to be ignored as it had been withdrawn. Just have to keep my fingers crossed that the letter actually reaches a magistrate and that common sense prevails! I really don't hold out much hope though, just wish I could have attended in person.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                        Originally posted by legallystressed View Post
                        Thanks for all the replies. I have only got 3 days left now so I guess I will just have to write a letter to the court explaining that I notified the council of my new correspondence address and asked what information they needed from me, if any, yet they sent all the correspondence to the address I had notified them I had move out of. Further, that I was assured the summons was to be ignored as it had been withdrawn. Just have to keep my fingers crossed that the letter actually reaches a magistrate and that common sense prevails! I really don't hold out much hope though, just wish I could have attended in person.
                        Don't just sit on the issue in the meantime - contact the council regarding what you were told regarding the summons and argue the point. If you leave it and the court issue the liability order it's going to be much harder to have any dispute with the council over it.
                        Last edited by lgfa92; 6th November 2017, 14:26:PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                          Yes, I will try that route. I have just spoken with the Magistrates Court and I've been informed that my summons reference and all the details therein do not exist! Apparently, the council arrive at court with a whole bunch of summons and a hearing only takes place if the person arrives or writes in to defend their case. What a money making racket

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                            Originally posted by legallystressed View Post
                            Yes, I will try that route. I have just spoken with the Magistrates Court and I've been informed that my summons reference and all the details therein do not exist!
                            The court don't have reference to the individual summons on their systems - they'll have a single reference for the application. If they care to look through the complaint list that they signed to issue the summons the individual council tax reference and details will be shown. The court either usually can't be bothered to look (it's an issue I've seen many times) or haven't retained a copy of the complaint list they authorised.

                            Apparently, the council arrive at court with a whole bunch of summons and a hearing only takes place if the person arrives or writes in to defend their case. What a money making racket
                            That's the way legislation is written. Even if a person doesn't turn up at the court there will still be a hearing - the council will present the list to the magistrate, swear under oath they believe it is correct and the magistrate will sign the paperwork to authorise the liability orders in the absence of the defendant. If someone wishes to dispute the order then they will be a specific hearing for them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Council Tax Summons - which defence?

                              Yes, I was summonsed a few years ago, again due to administration error and when I arrived and said I wanted to defend myself, the council didn't like that at all and were very put out indeed, particularly when it was decided in my favour

                              Comment

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