High Cost/Bulk Council Tax Liability Orders Impossible to Defend?

The request was refused by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Dear Billing Authority

Complaints to Magistrates for Council Tax (CT) Liability Orders.

Going as far back as is reasonable (eg 5 years), up to the most recent data available, Please could you provide me with a table of information under the following headings:-

1. Date Of hearing
2. Number of CT Accounts Listed on a Complaint
3. Total Court fee paid
4. length of hearing - defended/undefended
5. Number of CT accounts Liability Order made against
6. Total costs awarded to Billing authority
7. Actual cost of preparing for and attending the hearing.
8. Number of Accounts in name of a Limited Company?

Yours faithfully,

Lady Fleming

foi, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Dear Lady Fleming

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your information request below. It
has been allocated reference number FOI73352.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows for 20 working days to process
requests for information. You will receive a response no later than 4th
March 2019.

Yours sincerely

Angelica Popa

Information Governance and Elections Officer

Law & Governance Service

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Town Hall, St. Ives Road

Maidenhead SL6 1RF

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foi, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Dear Lady Fleming

I am writing to ask if you can clarify and refine your request as follows:

·         please clarify if the requested records are for the council tax
payers or just accounts that hold a liability with a limited company?

·         Please can you refine your request, we would have to search
approx..64k properties for each financial year going back 5 years to
extract this information broken down to the requested points. We would
anticipate this to take more than 18 hours to extract the data therefore
S12’cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit’ would be engaged.

Your request will be on hold until we receive your reply.

Kind regards

Angelica Popa

Information Governance and Elections Officer

Information Governance Team

Law & Governance Service

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Town Hall, St. Ives Road

Maidenhead SL6 1RF

T: 01628-685806

Website: [1]http://www.rbwm.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter: [2]@RBWM

Like us on [3]Facebook

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Dear foi,

I am not asking you to search Council Tax accounts. I am asking you to search for Court Hearings relating to Council Tax Liability Orders which your legal department should have readily available.

Most Billing Authorities have one Court hearing each month and larger ones may have them more frequently however it is more likely they would include hundreds or even thousands of accounts on a single application for a Liability Order. Liability Orders are provided on Form B and the List of accounts is shown on each Liability order. The Court fee is usually £3 x the number of accounts or 50p per account for more recent hearings. Your costs claimed is the amount you add to each account as an enforcement fee x the number of accounts. Sometimes there are less accounts on the Liability Order than on the Summons because people pay their debt when they get a summons.

Because the whole procedure is automated with just a bit of data entry, it should be very straightforward to search your system.

If you do not store certain information in a readily available form, eg. How many debtors defended the application in Court then please tell me what similar information is available keeping in mind that I want to know if anyone has ever successfully defended an application in front of the Magistrates.

Yours sincerely,

Lady Fleming

foi, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Dear Lady Fleming

I am writing to respond to your information request the details of which
are as follows:

Complaints to Magistrates for Council Tax (CT) Liability Orders.

Going as far back as is reasonable (eg 5 years), up to the most recent
data available, Please could you provide me with a table of information
under the following headings:-

1.  Date Of hearing

2. Number of CT Accounts Listed on a Complaint

3. Total Court fee paid

4. length of hearing - defended/undefended

5. Number of CT accounts Liability Order made against

6. Total costs awarded to Billing authority

7. Actual cost of preparing for and attending the hearing.

8. Number of Accounts in name of a Limited Company?

This is a Section 17 refusal notice. The exemption that is engaged is S.12
‘Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit’.

S12(1)  does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for
information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the
request would exceed the appropriate limit.

We do not hold the requested information in a way that can be easily
extracted. In order to collate the requested information officers would
need to go manually through thousands of records, we estimate that
corporately it would take more than 18 hours.

The only available information held are the grand totals which are not
broken down by court hearings within all financial years.

This concludes your information request.

If you are unhappy with the information we have provided in response to
your request please write to:

Jennifer Shaw

Data Protection Officer/ Senior Information Governance Officer

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Town Hall, St Ives Road

Maidenhead

SL6 1RF

or send an e-mail to [1][RBWM request email]

Yours sincerely

Angelica Popa

Information Governance and Elections Officer

Law & Governance Service

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Town Hall, St. Ives Road

Maidenhead SL6 1RF

Website: [2]http://www.rbwm.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter: [3]@RBWM

Like us on [4]Facebook

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