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

The request was partially successful.

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

Residents Services FOI, Hillingdon Borough Council

Dear Lady Fleming, 

I am writing in response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, received 05/02/2019.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we have 20 working days to
respond to your request.  Therefore the deadline for our response
is 02/03/2019.

If we require further information or clarification from you in order to
assist us in responding to your request, or if we require a fee to be paid
before we can respond we will contact you shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Claire Varley
Members Enquiries & Complaints Coordinator
Residents Services
Hillingdon Council
tel: 6015 external: 01895 556015
[1]www.hillingdon.gov.uk

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Hillingdon Borough Council

Dear Lady Fleming

I am writing in regards to your request for information. I note from our
records that the response to your request is due today.  Unfortunately we
are unable to respond today and there will be a slight delay in our
response.  Please accept my apologies for this and we will endeavour to
respond as soon as we are able.

If you have any queries regarding this matter please do not hesitate to
contact me.

If you wish to request an internal review of our response you should
write, within 2 months, to:

Office Managing Partner, Legal Services, Civic Centre, High St, Uxbridge,
UB8 1UW (or via email to [1][email address] marked for the attention
of the Office Managing Partner).

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Regards

Data Protection &

Freedom of Information Officer
Legal Services (3E 04)
London Borough of Hillingdon
Civic Centre
High Street
Uxbridge
UB8 1UW
01895 55(6923)

 

 

 

From: [2][email address] [mailto:[3][email address]]
On Behalf Of Residents Services FOI
Sent: 14 February 2019 13:52
To: [4][FOI #550008 email]
Cc: foi
Subject: FOI : 7248963 - From : Lady Fleming - Due : 2nd March 2019

 

Dear Lady Fleming, 

I am writing in response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, received 05/02/2019.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we have 20 working days to
respond to your request.  Therefore the deadline for our response
is 02/03/2019.

If we require further information or clarification from you in order to
assist us in responding to your request, or if we require a fee to be paid
before we can respond we will contact you shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Claire Varley
Members Enquiries & Complaints Coordinator
Residents Services
Hillingdon Council
tel: 6015 external: 01895 556015
[5]www.hillingdon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

FOI ., Hillingdon Borough Council

Dear Lady Fleming

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your request

 

Please see the council's response below

 
1.  Date Of hearing    

2015/16 -   19/5/15, 16/5/15, 21/5/15, 1/9/15, 6/10/15, 3/11/15, 1/12/15,
5/1/16,2/2/16 & 22/3/16
2016/17 -   17/5/16, 21/6/16, 19/7/16, 6/9/16, 3/10/16, 7/11/16, 5/12/17,
16/1/17, 6/2/17 & 28/3/17
2017/18 -  15/5/17,19/6/17,17/7/17,4/9/17,2/10/17,6/11/17,4/12/17,
15/1/18, 5/2/18 & 19/3/18
2018/19 - 21/5/2018, 18/6/18, 16/7/18, 30/9/18, 1/10/18, 6/11/18, 4/12/18,
22/12/18, 22/1/19, 18/2/19, 18/3/19
2019/20 - 17/5/19, 13/6/19,15/6/19,

2. Number of CT Accounts Listed on a Complaint

2015/16 - 12318
2016/17 - 12582
2017/18 - 12910
2018/19 - 13109
2019/20 - 6739
3. Total Court fee paid

 2015/16 -  £36,954.00
2016/17 -  £37,746.00
2017/18 -  £38.730.00
2018/19 - £24,829.50
2019/20 - £3,369.50

4. length of hearing - defended/undefended    

Varies from each hearing anything from 40 minutes up to an hour or two.

5. Number of CT accounts Liability Order made against

2015/16 - 10155
2016/17 - 7725
2017/18 - 9020
2018/19 - 2599
2019/20 - 4227

6. Total costs awarded to Billing authority
No costs awarded

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

This information is declined pursuant to section 31(d) FOI 2000 as
disclosure will prejudice the assessment or collection of any tax or duty
or of any imposition of a similar nature  

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

This request is declined pursuant to S12 of the FOIA states that a Public
Authority is not obliged to respond to a request for information under S1
of the FOIA where it estimates that the cost of doing so would 'exceed the
appropriate limit'.  The 'appropriate limit', as laid down in the Freedom
of Information and Data Protection (Fees and Appropriate Limit)
Regulations 2004 (the 'Regulations'), is £450 which equates to 18 hours
work.

 

If you wish to request an internal review of our response you should
write, within 2 months, to:

Office Managing Partner, Legal Services, Civic Centre, High St, Uxbridge,
UB8 1UW (or via email to [1][email address] marked for the attention
of the Office Managing Partner).

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Regards

Data Protection &
Freedom of Information Officer
Legal Services (3E 04)
London Borough of Hillingdon
Civic Centre
High Street
Uxbridge
UB8 1UW
T: 01895  556351

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kasturba Lalbhai left an annotation ()

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

This information is declined pursuant to section 31(d) FOI 2000 as disclosure will prejudice the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature"

It was held in R (Nicolson) v Tottenham Magistrates 2015 that it was unlawful for the court to award costs without having sufficient relevant information from the billing authority to support them. Additionally it was held that any defendant wishing to challenge the lawfulness of the order before it is made must be given a fair opportunity to do so, requiring the defendant also to be provided with the information as to how the sum had been arrived at. See para 61 https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Adm...