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Council Tax non HMCTS Liability order hearings information & data

Danny Bamping made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

We're waiting for Danny Bamping to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

Please can you confirm 'which civil jurisdiction' is used when convening a 'non HMCTS' hearing in a magistrates court for a statutory obligated tax debt.

Please also confirm which judicial rules are in play during these non HMCTS hearings.

Please also confirm that 'legal consideration' must and is required to be applied to each and every order made in these non HMCTS hearings.

Please also confirm if the liability orders issued - are sent out to each alleged debtor?

Please also confirm that the issuing of the liability orders is a judicial or administration function?

Please also confirm that a 'justice of the peace' must sign each Liability order?

Please also confirm that under current legislation the Justice of the Peace must be identifiable when they sign?

Finally, can you confirm that the identifiable, justice of the peace, who signs the liability orders actually work for the council or do they work for the court?

Yours faithfully,

Danny Bamping

HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

Dear Mr Bamping

Thank you for your email of 8 February, which has been passed to this team of HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to respond as the agency responsible for the administration of the courts in England and Wales.

There is no statute which authorises (or prevents) a council preparing a summons on the court's behalf. Under section 51 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980...), a person can apply to the Magistrates' Court for a summons. If it is granted, it is customary that the person applying drafts their own summons and serve on the debtor, which in the case of Council Tax is the Local Authority. These documents are both legal and lawful.

The process governing and authorising the issue of council tax summons is determined by the following pieces of legislation: the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, Part 7 and Part 2 (rule 2.4) of the Criminal Procedure Rules, and the Justices' Clerks Rules 2005.

I can confirm that these hearings are properly constituted courts of law, and the Magistrates are under judicial oath at the time of the hearing. A paper copy of the Liability Order will be produced by the Local Authority. There is no statute which authorises (or prevents) a Local Authority from producing the Liability Order once it has been granted by the Magistrates.

The relevant legislation is Regulation 34 Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/...).

Kind regards
Karen Hamilton
Customer Investigations Officer | HMCTS Customer Directorate

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Dear Karen - HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

You have failed to answer the questions.

You have failed to provide me with the correct information.

Some of what you have provided is completely false.

Please try again; otherwise I shall be requesting an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Danny Bamping

HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

Dear Mr Bamping,

Thank you for your email.

As your enquiry of 8 February did not fall under the Freedom of Information regime it was treated by the department as 'Official Correspondence'. It may be helpful if I explain that the Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives individuals and organisations the right of access to all types of recorded information held, at the time the request is received, by public authorities such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Section 84 of the Act states that in order for a request for information to be handled as a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded information. For example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a copy of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in place. On occasion, the Ministry of Justice receives requests that do not ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions about, for example, a policy, opinion or a decision.

As your enquiry did not fall under the Freedom of Information regime, we cannot conduct an internal review. I have looked at the previous response my colleague sent to you and cannot add anything further

Kind regards,

Tom

Thomas Pateman
Customer Investigations Team, Customer Directorate| HMCTS | 10.34, 10th Floor, 102 Petty France | London| SW1H 9AJ

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Dear Tom,
Thanks for your response.
What grounds are you basing that decision on and who made that decision?
can that decision be challenged?
Would it assist if I reworded the questions?
Yours sincerely,

Danny Bamping

HMCTS Customer Service (Correspondence),

Thank you for your further email.

The decision was made by the team at DACU. They read all messages sent to the DACU inbox and if they decide the question does not come under FOI they forward it to the relevant team to reply as official correspondence.

I can only suggest you contact DACU if you disagree with their decision.

Christine Worsley | HM Courts & Tribunals Service | Customer Investigations Team | Customer Directorate
10th Floor (10.34) | 102 Petty France | London | SW1H 9AJ
e-mail: ComplaintsCorres&[email address]

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Danny Bamping please sign in and let everyone know.