Council Tax

Mae'r ymateb i'r cais hwn yn hwyr iawn. Yn ôl y gyfraith, ym mhob amgylchiad, dylai Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM fod wedi ymateb erbyn hyn. (manylion). Gallwch gwyno drwy yn gofyn am adolygiad mewnol.

Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,
It appears to be common practice for Billing Authorities to include thousands of Council Tax accounts on a single "complaint" to Magistrates Courts in persuit of a Liability Order.

1. Is there any law or rule limiting the number of complaints that can be dealt with in any one hearing?

2. What is the highest number of accounts listed on any single "complaint"? What was the total costs awarded and what was the total court fee paid on that complaint (before any refund)? What was the date of the hearing? What was the billing authority?

3. When a person attends Court to show the Magistrates they are not liable for the Council Tax demanded and the account associated with that person is just one of thousands of accounts on a list in front of the Magistrates, can magistrates make a liability order against the other several thousand accounts if they are satisfied the one Person before them is not liable?

4. Considering that the Court receives thousands of pounds in Court fees in relation to each "complaint", and considering that the Court Clerk, despite being a civil servant, is supposed to be independent from Local Government, and despite the fact there are identical "complaints" made by every billing authority every month, is the Court Clerk required to know relevant Law relating to Council Tax eg. Chargeable Properties, billing periods, billing procedures, fair hearings, evidence and other relevant matters so they can correctly advise Magistrates?

5. When Court Clerks advise Magistrates they "have no power to go behind the list" are they referring to the list of thousands of accounts included in the same "complaint" asking for a liability Order? Or the potentialy erroneous listing that the Billing Authority told the VOA to create?

6. What do Court Clerks advise Magistrates when deciding whether a person is Liable for Council Tax ie which of the following is a matter of fact & Law (within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates) and what is a matter of VOA decision making (not within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates):-
A. Whether the property is a business premises or a domestic dwelling?
B. Whether the Person is a liable person or the property is a chargeable property in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992?
C. Whether the Property is a completed apartment or a building site/unfinished project during the relevant billing period?
D. What is required for the hearing to be fair eg evidence, hearing representations, swearing an oath or statement of truth ?
E. Whether a credit from another account in the name of the sole Director of a company be considered as payment for the debt in respect of the Company where the Director has specifically asked for the credit to be used to prevent enforcement action prior to the complaint being brought to the Magistrates.
F. Whether the debt demanded is the result of Council Maladministration?

7. What evidence, Oaths, statements are required to be given by the billing authority when presenting their complaint to the Court for the first time?

8. In the last 10 years what is the total number of account numbers that have been subject to Billing authority "Complaints".

9. In the past 10 years, how many times has a person satisfied the Magistrates that they are not liable for the tax demanded? How many Liability Orders have been refused by the Magistrates?

Yours faithfully,
Without ill will vexation or frivolity
Kirsty Eccles

Jones1, Sian, Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM

1 Atodiad

Dear Kirsty Eccles,

 

Thank you for your request dated 13^th January 2019 in which you asked for
the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ): 

 

It appears to be common practice for Billing Authorities to include
thousands of Council Tax accounts on a single "complaint" to Magistrates
Courts in persuit of a Liability Order.

1. Is there any law or rule limiting the number of complaints that can be
dealt with in any one hearing?

2. What is the highest number of accounts listed on any single
"complaint"? What was the total costs awarded and what was the total court
fee paid on that complaint (before any refund)? What was the date of the
hearing? What was the billing authority?

3. When a person attends Court to show the Magistrates they are not liable
for the Council Tax demanded and the account associated with that person
is just one of thousands of accounts on a list in front of the
Magistrates, can magistrates make a liability order against the other
several thousand accounts if they are satisfied the one Person before them
is not liable?

4. Considering that the Court receives thousands of pounds in Court fees
in relation to each "complaint", and considering that the Court Clerk,
despite being a civil servant, is supposed to be independent from Local
Government, and despite the fact there are identical "complaints" made by
every billing authority every month, is the Court Clerk required to know
relevant Law relating to Council Tax eg. Chargeable Properties, billing
periods, billing procedures, fair hearings, evidence and other relevant
matters so they can correctly advise Magistrates?

5. When Court Clerks advise Magistrates they "have no power to go behind
the list" are they referring to the list of thousands of accounts included
in the same "complaint" asking for a liability Order? Or the potentialy
erroneous listing that the Billing Authority told the VOA to create?

6. What do Court Clerks advise Magistrates when deciding whether a person
is Liable for Council Tax ie which of the following is a matter of fact &
Law (within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates) and what is a matter of
VOA decision making (not within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates):-

A. Whether the property is a business premises or a domestic dwelling?

B. Whether the Person is a liable person or the property is a chargeable
property in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992?

C. Whether the Property is a completed apartment or a building
site/unfinished project during the relevant billing period?

D. What is required for the hearing to be fair eg evidence, hearing
representations, swearing an oath or statement of truth ?

E. Whether a credit from another account in the name of the sole Director
of a company be considered as payment for the debt in respect of the
Company where the Director has specifically asked for the credit to be
used to prevent enforcement action prior to the complaint being brought to
the Magistrates.

F. Whether the debt demanded is the result of Council Maladministration?

7. What evidence, Oaths, statements are required to be given by the
billing authority when presenting their complaint to the Court for the
first time?

8. In the last 10 years what is the total number of account numbers that
have been subject to Billing authority "Complaints".

9. In the past 10 years, how many times has a person satisfied the
Magistrates that they are not liable for the tax demanded? How many
Liability Orders have been refused by the Magistrates?

 

Your request is being handled under the FOIA.

 

The MoJ is required to provide you with a response within 20 working days.
You will receive a response to your request by 10^th February 2020. 

 

Regards,

Siân Jones

Head of Legal and Professional Services | Secretary, Justices’ Clerks’
Society

Legal Operations | Team Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate |
HMCTS | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H

Web:  [1]www.gov.uk/hmcts

[2]HM Courts & Tribunals Service logo

 

[3]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you

[4]Dyma sut mae GLlTEM yn defnyddio data personol amdanoch chi

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

legal.operations, Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM

2 Atodiad

Dear Kirsty Eccles,

 

Please find attached a reply to your request.

 

Regards,

Legal Operations Team | Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate |
HMCTS | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H

Web:  [1]www.gov.uk/hmcts

[2]HM Courts & Tribunals Service logo

 

[3]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you

[4]Dyma sut mae GLlTEM yn defnyddio data personol amdanoch chi

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service's handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax'.

You responded: " I am refusing to provide the information to answer questions 2(c)(d), 8 & 9 as I am
satisfied that confirming if the MOJ holds the information at the level of detail required
would exceed the costs limits. Section 12(2) of the FOIA means public authorities are
not obliged to comply with a request for information if it estimates the cost of complying
would exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit for central government it is set
at £600"

I believe you are deliberately avoiding complying with my foi request by exaggerating the cost of obtaining the records.

Provide me with the information I requested or I shall pass this file to the ICO

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Kirsty Eccles

legal.operations, Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM

1 Atodiad

Dear Kirsty Eccles,

 

Thank you for your request dated 7^th February 2020 for an internal review
of FOI 200113018 in which you asked for the following information from
the Ministry of Justice (MoJ): 

 

1. Is there any law or rule limiting the number of complaints that can be
dealt with in any one hearing?

2. What i...s the highest number of accounts listed on any single
"complaint"? What was the total costs awarded and what was the total court
fee paid on that complaint (before any refund)? What was the date of the
hearing? What was the billing authority?

3. When a person attends Court to show the Magistrates they are not liable
for the Council Tax demanded and the account associated with that person
is just one of thousands of accounts on a list in front of the
Magistrates, can magistrates make a liability order against the other
several thousand accounts if they are satisfied the one Person before them
is not liable?

4. Considering that the Court receives thousands of pounds in Court fees
in relation to each "complaint", and considering that the Court Clerk,
despite being a civil servant, is supposed to be independent from Local
Government, and despite the fact there are identical "complaints" made by
every billing authority every month, is the Court Clerk required to know
relevant Law relating to Council Tax eg. Chargeable Properties, billing
periods, billing procedures, fair hearings, evidence and other relevant
matters so they can correctly advise Magistrates?

5. When Court Clerks advise Magistrates they "have no power to go behind
the list" are they referring to the list of thousands of accounts included
in the same "complaint" asking for a liability Order? Or the potentialy
erroneous listing that the Billing Authority told the VOA to create?

6. What do Court Clerks advise Magistrates when deciding whether a person
is Liable for Council Tax ie which of the following is a matter of fact &
Law (within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates) and what is a matter of
VOA decision making (not within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates):- A.
Whether the property is a business premises or a domestic dwelling? B.
Whether the Person is a liable person or the property is a chargeable
property in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1992? C.
Whether the Property is a completed apartment or a building
site/unfinished project during the relevant billing period? D. What is
required for the hearing to be fair eg evidence, hearing representations,
swearing an oath or statement of truth ? E. Whether a credit from another
account in the name of the sole Director of a company be considered as
payment for the debt in respect of the Company where the Director has
specifically asked for the credit to be used to prevent enforcement action
prior to the complaint being brought to the Magistrates. F. Whether the
debt demanded is the result of Council Maladministration?

7. What evidence, Oaths, statements are required to be given by the
billing authority when presenting their complaint to the Court for the
first time?

8. In the last 10 years what is the total number of account numbers that
have been subject to Billing authority "Complaints".

9. In the past 10 years, how many times has a person satisfied the
Magistrates that they are not liable for the tax demanded? How many
Liability Orders have been refused by the Magistrates?

 

Your request is being handled under the FOIA.

 

A review is currently being conducted and a response will be issued to you
in due course.

 

The MoJ is required to provide you with a response within 20 working days.
Where requests are more complex this may be extended to 40 working days.

 

If you have any queries regarding this Internal Review please do not
hesitate to contact the above address quoting the reference number
200207043 in all correspondence.

 

Cofion, Regards,

Siân Jones

Head of Legal and Professional Services | Secretary, Justices’ Clerks’
Society

Legal Operations Team | Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate |
Law Courts  Bridge Street  Peterborough  PE1 1AD

Email: [1][email address] Don’t forget the 1!!  Phone: 0773
450 5621

People finder:  https://peoplefinder.service.gov.uk/peop...

Web:  [2]www.gov.uk/hmcts

[3]HM Courts & Tribunals Service logo

 

[4]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you.

[5]Dyma sut mae GLlTEM yn defnyddio data personol amdanoch chi.

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

legal.operations, Gwasanaeth Llysoedd a Thribiwnlysoedd EM

2 Atodiad

Dear Ms Eccles,

 

After careful consideration, please find attached my review of FOI
reference: 200113018

 

Regards

 

Dan Charman

Legal Operations Business Manager | Legal Operations

Courts and Tribunals Development Directorate – CTDD | HMCTS | Post Point
6.16 | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H 9AJ

 

I work flexible hours which means you may receive e-mails from me outside
normal working hours.  There is no expectation that you respond outside
normal working hours.

 

[1]cid:image001.jpg@01D5B673.87F4CF80

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir