Having not paid Council tax since last August 2009 some very interesting facts have emerged. This information has been backed up by others who have uncovered the same routine, in which Councils act completely unlawfully.
After you decide not to pay Council, tax you will receive a ‘Summons’ to the local magistrates Court.
This appears to be a Summons issued by the Court. It bears a royal seal and is “signed” by the Clerk to the Justices for the petty sessional area of xxxx. It states:
“Complaint has this day been made before the undersigned by the London Borough of xxxx. You being a person liable to pay the Council tax and from whom payment of that tax has been duly demanded have not paid the sum as due below.”
“You are therefore Summonsed to appear before the magistrates at xxxx on xxxx at xxxx
“If you do not appear, you may be proceeded against as if you had appeared and dealt with according to the law”.
The first paragraph states that,
“complaint has been made before the undersigned.”
This looked immediately suspicious as the “signature” for Clerk to the Justices seemed to be deliberately deceptive as it was indecipherable, and photocopied onto the document (Part of the signature on this particular Summons was cut off) The other big problem being there was no name printed under the ‘signature.’
Having phoned both the Court and the Council and neither being able to tell me who signed the Summons I put in a freedom of information request to the Councils head of Governance and Law as to who was the acting Clerk to the Justices in the borough. The reply I got indicated that this person definitely did not sign the document. The Council were then instructed that the document was defective as it was not signed by a person known to the Court or the Council.
In the first Notice served on the Councils Head of Revenues and Benefits it was suggested that the Summons was defective. The Head of Revenues and Benefits replied:
“Summonses must be authorised by a Justice of The Peace or Clerk to the Justices and who’s signature appears on the Summons must have personally considered the complaint. As you now know this makes the Summons lawful and not defective as stated in your letter paragraph 5b.”
This is typical of the response from Councils, there is an over confident reply which is completely at odds with the facts. They also refer to Notices as ‘letters.’ There seems to be a cosy arrogance in all the correspondence, and if you nail them on anything they say its their ball and they are not playing! They are compartmentalised within their departments and seem to have no idea or no interest in what is really going on, those higher up the corporate ladder however must know.
Maybe some of my info did sink in as I Noticed that the job of Head of benefits and Revenues was recently being advertised in a local employment agency window!
Yes WE Summons you to Court
The next revelation was even better! It became clear that the Summons document was the same typeface and border as other Council documents. Yes, the Council issue their own Summonses! Now this has been confirmed as fact by Council staff. This is fraud and perjury under the 1911 Perjury Act and a crime under the Administration of Justice Act. Anyone except a Court issuing a document, that appears to be from a Court, is breaking the law.
This was pointed out in the next Notice to the Head of Benefits and Revenues but the reply came from someone else in the department. This seems to be the strategy when difficult questions arise – nobody takes responsibility. The reply stated,
“No further correspondence on the issues you have raised will be entered into.”
As far as the suggestion goes that the Council was guilty of fraud and perjury, their response was that they would defend themselves in Court and I would be liable for their costs if they won the case. This makes sense, as in the Borough I live the Court and town hall are on the same Council owned land. If your part of the corporation, everybody Wins!
It now appears that Councils all over the Country issue their own Summonses, they then hire a room in the Court for a ‘bulk hearing.’ The room is not part of the Court, as the Court are not involved (apart from financially). This has also been confirmed by people who work in the Court. As there is no due process being followed here, it would appear the whole procedure is a sham.
Issuing a Summons
If there is a case to be heard in the Court it has to be sent to the Court clerk (or Court manager at County Court) to consider, they then issue a Summons which is sent directly from the Court. As the Council issue the Summons it is not a Court matter, they just make it appear so by inviting (Summonsing) the person to the Court. As this is just a procedural matter for summary judgement (person already liable) and not of course a “hearing” it makes sense for them to do it themselves!
No Liability Order
The Council then state in the follow up documentation, ‘Notice of impending enforcement action’ or ‘Liability Order notification’ – this means a Liability Order was issued against the person, but it’s of course not possible as there was no Court. No Liability Order has been received from the Court by anybody I have met who has stopped paying Council tax. The reason for this is of course because there was no Court. Two corporations are involved, the Council who hire the room in the Court; and Court officials/staff in the Court who are paid by the Council. In many boroughs the Town Hall, Council buildings and Court are on the same land, owned by the Council.
This ‘Notice of impending enforcement action’ or ‘Liability Order notification’ is not a Liability Order. It also makes threats including making you bankrupt in the high Court with all assets frozen; being sent to prison; a charging Order put on your property; and then at the end of this diatribe, appointment of bailiffs. These documents are pretty generic in the different boroughs and presumably represent new powers given to local authorities – they are deliberately intimidating, but enforcing all this is of course a completely different matter.
A Liability Order has to be signed by the Judge or Magistrate and also sealed by Court. It is then sent to the person liable and also the Claimant. If the amount on the Order is not paid within the specified time then the Court can appoint bailiffs on behalf of the Claimant.
Debt collectors not Bailiffs
The Council although unable to produce a real Liability Order, then states that bailiffs have been appointed on behalf of the Council to recover the debt. This is of course impossible as there was no Court, so no bailiffs can be appointed, as they must have an Order from the Court that appointed them.
Bailiffs also have to be reregistered every two years; have an ID number; and give their full name, which can be verified by doing an Internet search. Debt collectors call themselves bailiffs and rely on peoples’ ignorance. Your birth certificate made you a ‘person’ who is ‘liable’ so ‘let he who will be deceived be deceived.’
The corporate nature of the Councils and Courts just means they pretend that bailiffs have been instructed, this is of course not possible so they appoint a debt collection agency who then send out ‘bailiff’ letters. These letters are very threatening in capital letters with a box stating ‘Removal of your goods’ or ‘Bailiff Removal.’
Bailiffs do have certain powers to collect debts, but debt collectors do not! (The powers given to bailiffs can be easily found on the Internet). Debt collectors do claim they are bailiffs and also send out documentation that is unlawful and completely unethical.
The problem with all these ‘bailiff’ letters that I have seen is that none of them bear the Bailiffs full name, certification number and Court Order reference, which of course they must have if they are issued by a bailiff.
This means of course that the debt collection agency is a third party interloper who has purchased or contracted with the Council for the Council tax debt offences. This means that the debt no longer has anything to do with the Council and the debt collector has no real power of enforcement action as a Court was not involved.
Ask your Council for a true copy of a Liability Order and see what happens, things could go VERY quiet.
Return to sender
If you want to have some fun look up the debt collection company on the companies house register and redirect all mail back to the Managing Director (after having served Notice on him or her with fee schedule attached) at their registered address and update your fee schedule on each new envelope that you return.
If you want to read what these computer printout ‘Notices’ say hold them up to a powerful light and you will see it all through the envelope. One thing is for sure, it won’t be signed by a bailiff with the relevant info. Another good idea is to let them know that your fees for handling their deceptive ‘bailiff’ letters will be collected by a debt collection agency! This has to be the next logical step, getting debt collectors onto the debt collectors and Councils.
The Councils only form of redress after this is to go to Court and put a Charging Order on your property if you ‘own’ it or try some other route like trying to get you into Court. If you ignore all this there seems to be little they can do, as they run out of ideas when the robotic paper trail stops. If you are on Benefits or in Council property refusing to pay Council tax, it may not be a good idea, as they can evict you or have Benefits stopped at source.
And finally for your delectation and delight… The unlawful Debtors Notice… Flatulence in contract is an offence.
Along with the document ‘Notice of impending enforcement action’ or ‘Liability Order notification’ the Council also include a ‘Notice’ to debtors, which makes threats and menaces. It also makes unlawful ‘demands’ for information on the reverse. There is also a quote from a local Councilor! The document states:
“It is an offence not to complete and return the enclosed financial information form”. xxxx xxxx Council are now taking legal action against customers who do not return their form fully completed. This legal action will result in a criminal conviction and fine of up to £1000.”
This is of course completely untrue. Other Boroughs just ‘request’ this information, my Council demand it as if it is the law. This ‘demand’ is of course never followed up. Information demanded includes National Ins number; name of employer; address of employer; date of birth; and all details of benefit claims etc. Then there’s part C that states you MUST fill it in. This demands name; email address; telephone number; and then of course you MUST sign it!
These threats are carried on at the bottom of the form saying,
“You will be committing a criminal offence if you do not give the above information and you can be fined up to £1000 pounds, as well as getting a criminal record. The same will happen if you give information that is not true.”
They also state that they would take legal action against anyone who did not fill the form in and that cases had been held in magistrates Court and the debtors receiving fines of £100 plus £85 costs. This is a bare faced lie!
Of course if you were unfortunate or gullible enough to fill in this badly worded junk mail they really have got you. If you filled it in and gave false information that would indeed be an offence. Fraudulence in contract IS an offence, but IGNORING an unlawful piece of paper is not!
One of the other many problems with the form is that the Council is known ONLY as LBWF and it was confirmed in writing that xxxx xxxx Council did not exist! Their corporate office stated this in a freedom of information request. I also included this in my Notice that demanding payment for an organisation which did not exist appeared to be fraudulent. This fact was of course ignored.
Having found out the name of the Council solicitor who put this rubbish together, I stated this would be investigated. Having served Notice on the Head of Governance and Law, (the top lawyer in the Borough), I can say from experience these people do not know how to do their jobs or even know the law, and they just seem to break it when it suits them.
In short there is a lot of noise and threats made which are just hot air in order to scare the public into paying off the banks and the national debt!
For anyone who saw the film “Councils, Courts and Conmen” on YouTube the Order at the end of the film was not a Liability Order, just the amount of liable persons who were ‘Summoned’ to the Court. There was no name on the Order, it was simpler just to make the point that the ‘liability’ was established before the hearing, and of course they had to book Court number 1 because 14 witnesses turned up! This appears to be just part of the huge corporate scam that Councils are involved in. There is much more we have uncovered and will post in due course.
Well that’s the end of the paper trail for now. However, when there is a registered PERSON at your address, you know there is bound to be more!