Current Court Actions against boaters

Simon Robbins made this Freedom of Information request to British Waterways Board

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

The request was successful.

Dear British Waterways Board,

Please provide the information requested below about any current activity by your organisation against boat owners presently taking place in the Civil Courts in England and Wales.

Please confirm how many instances of Civil Court proceedings against boat owners currently on British Waterways managed waterways are 'live' as at 30 September 2011.

By live I mean any instances where court proceedings have been issued and where sealed Judgement or an equivalent final conclusion or other disposal by the Court has not yet been reached.

I anticipate (and by way of clarification to you) that such a list will include any cases concerning disputes with boaters over issues such as:

- alleged overstaying of moorings,
- alleged failure to comply with 'Continuous Cruising Guidelines',
- alleged unauthorised long-term mooring and or failure to vacate moorings at the end of a previous moorings agreement,
- failure to licence or register a craft , and
- all other breaches relating to the private use, navigation and mooring of boats on British Waterways controlled waters in England and Wales which are currently 'live' in the Civil Courts.

By way of further clarifcation please also list in your response all live cases where any part of BW's claim includes seeking to remove the boat in question from the waterways under 'Section 8 powers' assuming no other resolution is reached.

Please also include in your response the names of the defendents and the Court and associated case numbers where such proceedings have been issued.

Please also confirm which Officers or Postholders in British Waterways are duly authorised by the BW Board to institute Court Proceedings against boaters.

Please also provide any policy document or other guidance to staff you have issued which sets out the critrea and checks and balances that apply before taking out Court actions against an individual boater.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Information Request,

Dear Mr Robbins,

Thank you for your e-mail of 1st October which was received on 3rd October.

We will review the information that we hold relating to your request and a response will be sent as soon as possible but in any case within 20 working days of the receipt of your request on 3rd October 2011.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
Find out more about the exciting new waterways charity for England and Wales here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/charity
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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Dear British Waterways Board,

Your response to my information request is now overdue. Please would you respond.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Dear British Waterways Board,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of British Waterways Board's handling of my FOI request 'Current Court Actions against boaters'.

Despite an informal reminder that you have exceeded the statutory deadline for responding, sent to you last week, I have heard nothing from you.

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

Yours faithfully,

Simon Robbins

Information Request,

9 Attachments

Dear Mr Robbins,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the lateness of this response. It took us much longer than anticipated to source all the information that you had requested.

In your request, received on 3rd October, you requested the information below and I have addressed each point in turn for clarity:

1) “Please confirm how many instances of Civil Court proceedings against boat owners currently on British Waterways managed waterways are 'live' as at 30 September 2011. (By live I mean any instances where court proceedings have been issued and where sealed Judgement or an equivalent final conclusion or other disposal by the Court has not yet been reached).
I anticipate (and by way of clarification to you) that such a list will include any cases concerning disputes with boaters over issues such as:
- alleged overstaying of moorings,
- alleged failure to comply with 'Continuous Cruising Guidelines',
- alleged unauthorised long-term mooring and or failure to vacate moorings at the end of a previous moorings agreement,
- failure to licence or register a craft , and
- all other breaches relating to the private use, navigation and mooring of boats on British Waterways controlled waters in England and Wales which are currently 'live' in the Civil Courts.
By way of further clarification please also list in your response all live cases where any part of BW's claim includes seeking to remove the boat in question from the waterways under 'Section 8 powers' assuming no other resolution is reached. Please also include in your response the names of the defendants and the Court and associated case numbers where such proceedings have been issued.”

Please find attached a pdf document titled ‘List of live court claim files’ in response to this request.

2) “Please also confirm which Officers or Postholders in British Waterways are duly authorised by the BW Board to institute Court Proceedings against boaters.”

These include the following:-

- In house solicitors
- Appropriate members of Shared Services/Accounts Department
- Mooring Managers
- Enforcement Managers and Enforcement Supervisors and Officers.

3) “Please also provide any policy document or other guidance to staff you have issued which sets out the criteria and checks and balances that apply before taking out Court actions against an individual boater.”

Please find attached copies of our standard letters which the enforcement team hold along with process flow charts.

If we haven’t reasonably met your expectations in relation to a request for information or you believe we may not have acted in accordance with the above legislation you should write in the first instance to Kelly Radley Head of Customer Relations, 64 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts WD17 1DA outlining your concerns and asking for a review to be undertaken. Your correspondence will be acknowledged and a review of your case will be undertaken by one of British Waterways’ directors.

Should you remain unsatisfied by the response you receive you are able to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
In April 2012 the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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P Smith left an annotation ()

BW has neglected to provide the page of explanatory notes to the Section 8 Timeline/ flow chart. These are important as they presumably explain to the BW enforcement staff the provisions of the law in more detail, which would assist them to understand the extent of their legal powers and duties.

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