• Welcome to the LegalBeagles Consumer and Legal Forum. Please register to get the most out of the forum. Registration is free and only needs a username and email address.
  • LegalBeagles® is a free forum, founded in May 2007, providing legal guidance and support to consumers and SME's across a range of legal areas.

    Please do not post your full name, reference numbers or any identifiable details on the forum.

Council Tax liability order increased. Advice needed please

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Council Tax liability order increased. Advice needed please

    Hello,

    Norwich City Council issued me with a summons for non-payment of council tax to the sum of £90.99 plus £45.00 costs.
    Since the summons was issued I paid £10 towards my council tax arrears.

    The "hearing" was held on 26 August (I didn't attend). I then received a 14 day Notice of Enforcement Instruction stating a liability order against me has been granted against me for £80.99 and £60 costs.

    How can "costs" leap from £45 to £60, and how do I challenge this?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Council Tax liability order increased. Advice needed please

    Originally posted by Black Shuck View Post
    Hello,

    Norwich City Council issued me with a summons for non-payment of council tax to the sum of £90.99 plus £45.00 costs.
    Since the summons was issued I paid £10 towards my council tax arrears.

    The "hearing" was held on 26 August (I didn't attend). I then received a 14 day Notice of Enforcement Instruction stating a liability order against me has been granted against me for £80.99 and £60 costs.

    How can "costs" leap from £45 to £60, and how do I challenge this?
    My guess is that the charges mention in the summons applied if the case didn't go to court and the extra £15.00 is charged because it did go to the hearing stage.
    If challenge this it probably would be best to complain to the CEO of you council.
    The advice I give and draft letters provided are drawn from personal experience and career training and are given freely and without liability.

    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice. I will not advise by private message. If you'd like me to look at your post please tag me in your post by typing @nemesis45;.

    If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team.


    Animo et fide.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Council Tax liability order increased. Advice needed please

      nemesis45's guess appears correct.

      I hold information that states £45 for a summons with liability order costs of £15.

      It would seem reasonable to argue that the £10 payment, made after the summons issue and presumably before the hearing, was a good enough indication that you were unlikely to default on your payment. Considering this, it was unreasonable for the council to go to court and obtain a liability order, or at least unreasonable that it should make you incur costs.

      I doubt the council would agree with my opinion, but it could be argued from the point of view of the High Court, as follows:


      Paragraph 34

      As a matter of straightforward construction of Regulation 34(7) that means that the Magistrates must be satisfied:

      i) that the local authority has actually incurred those costs;

      ii) that the costs in question were incurred in obtaining the liability order; and

      iii) that it was reasonable for the local authority to incur them.
      Paragraph 51

      If the necessary causal link is established to the satisfaction of the court then the next question is whether the costs claimed have been "reasonably" incurred. It may be that the method by which the costs are calculated demonstrates this without the need for further evidence; but there may be individual cases in which it would be open to the respondent to argue that the costs were not reasonably incurred, for example, if it was not reasonable for the local authority to take steps to enforce payment, or if the costs which were incurred were excessive – e.g. if the local authority sent a QC along to argue a simple point of law in the Magistrates' Court.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Council Tax liability order increased. Advice needed please

        Yes, the council obtained a liability order at court on the day and have simply charged you a further £15 for that pleasure ... the previous £45 was for costs involved in raising the summons. Such costs have been raised in line with the council's own choice and are the same for everyone. It's actually a shame that such costs have been raised for such a small debt of £90.99 and I suspect that you could have avoided them altogether by simply having an early and agreed payment plan in force. The logic that a council would issue a summons and obtain a liability order would be to give them additional powers in recovery such as bailiff action, attachment of earnings or insolvency. I am not sure what the current position is over 'applying for committal to prison' but many magistrates courts don't really want the involvement of that any more and raise their own costs in an attempt to dissuade the local authority's application.

        Not, in my opinion, a lot to challenge here and as I have said, it's a shame that this wasn't resolved before it escalated to such a level especially for a relatively small debt.

        Comment

        View our Terms and Conditions

        LegalBeagles Group uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to create a secure and effective website. By using this website, you are consenting to such use.To find out more and learn how to manage cookies please read our Cookie and Privacy Policy.

        If you would like to opt in, or out, of receiving news and marketing from LegalBeagles Group Ltd you can amend your settings at any time here.


        If you would like to cancel your registration please Contact Us. We will delete your user details on request, however, any previously posted user content will remain on the site with your username removed and 'Guest' inserted.

        Announcement

        Collapse
        No announcement yet.

        Court Claim ?

        Guides and Letters
        Loading...

        upgrade to vip

        Want exclusive access to forums, more privacy and a live chat box? Upgrade to become a bigger part of our community.

        only £15/yr

        Offers available. No subscription traps.

        sign up now



        Search and Compare fixed fee legal services and find a solicitor near you.

        Find a Law Firm


        Working...
        X