Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No.2) Order 2010

The request was partially successful.

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

I would like all information/calculations/cabinet/committee documents etc. which make reference to how NELC arrived at the following charges which appear on NELC's website:

http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/counc...

The specific content here:

"If I don’t pay, are there extra costs?

Yes. Late or non-payment results in extra work for both the Council and the Court. We add these costs to the amount that you owe.

A Council Tax Summons is £70

A Committal Summons is £240 plus £75 for a Warrant of Arrest"

NOTE:

Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No.2) Order 2010

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/...

"Liability Orders
4.1 Proceedings under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 or the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989 on an application for a liability order – £3

Note: Fee 4.1 is payable in respect of each defendant against whom the liability order is sought.

16 Warrants
16.2 On an application for any other warrant where no other fee is specified – £75

17 Commitment
17.1 Proceedings under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 or the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989 on an application for a warrant for commitment – £240"

Of particular interest is why NELC deem only a sum equal to the prescribed court fees to be reasonable costs incurred for an Arrest Warrant and in Committal Proceedings, whilst they consider it necessary to multiply the application fee by a factor of around 23 for summons costs.

Yours faithfully,

Rob Down

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number 5955/1314

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

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T. Ruth left an annotation ()

dont understand nothing but mystincts tell me that nElinc.cownty Cnl are robbers the Cityzens of lincs

Robbo Robinson left an annotation ()

Yes they must be robbers, like I said in another annotation, they stole your dictionary

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down 

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 5955_1314.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

I would like all information/calculations/cabinet/committee documents etc.
which make reference to how NELC arrived at the following charges which
appear on NELC's website:

 

[1]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/counc...

 

Documentation regards the Summons costs can be seen on the below link and
the attached documents.

 

[2]http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/consul...
`

 

 

Of particular interest is why NELC deem only a sum equal to the prescribed
court fees to be reasonable costs incurred for an Arrest Warrant and in
Committal Proceedings, whilst they consider it necessary to multiply the
application fee by a factor of around 23 for summons costs.

 

`As you quite rightly state the Committal Summons and Arrest Warrant costs
are set prescribed costs and laid out in legislation thus the Council
charge these amounts.

 

With regards to the Summons costs they are reasonable costs incurred, NELC
and the Grimsby Magistrates Court have deemed the costs reasonable.`

 

The Council Tax Administration and Enforcement regulations 1992, state
that the Council may add costs reasonably incurred by the authority in
connection with the application; North East Lincolnshire Council does not
hold a breakdown for the calculation of the £70.00 fee, as it was set
based on comparisons with
the fees charged by neighbouring authorities.

 

The proposed figure of £70.00 was then compared against national averages,
and then checked to ensure that the monies raised from applying costs of
£70.00 would not be greater than the cost of the service.

 

If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you have the right
to request an internal review by the Council. If following this you are
still dissatisfied you may contact the Office of the Information
Commissioner. If you wish to request an internal review, please contact me
and I will make the necessary arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

Resources Directorate

 

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Re, the council's response:

Documentation regards the Summons costs can be seen on the below link and the attached documents.

http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/consul...

From that link:

"Income Generation

In relation to proposed areas for charging to be introduced, 81 per cent favoured increased charges for summonses compared to 57 per cent who supported charging for replacement bins or garden waste collections. Only 15 per cent were not in favour of any charges being introduced."

The increase was to meet budget requirements and involved consulting ‘the views of residents, businesses and scrutiny [panel]’ on areas from which they favoured boosting revenue.

The decision then to increase summons costs was not because incurred costs had risen but geared to preferences of the respondents to the consultation.

The increase was a budgetary measure as proposals being put to a vote testifies. Costs, according to law must be reasonably incurred. The decision to increase them on the strength of a ballot suggests it was done simply to generate income rather than a measure to compensate for additional incurred costs.

Statement made by NELC, item 4 of this link:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

“The decision to increase the summons charge and make no subsequent charge for a liability order was agreed by members following public consultation in relation to the budget proposals.”

NOTE:

The council set court costs outside what the law allows. The law allows for "reasonably incurred costs", not to plug a hole in its budget.

Dear PPD - FOI,

The link appears not to provide any information relevant to the costs incurred by the council in arriving at the summons costs.

It merely details that raising the costs to meet the council's budget was agreeable with participants of a consultation.

The rest of the response is complete and utter rubbish and I'm not buying any of it.

There is no distinction between how the Committal Summons (and Arrest Warrant costs), and the Summons costs are provided for under the Council Tax Administration and Enforcement regulations 1992 nor the Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No. 2) Order 2010.

All three are set prescribed fees under the fees order and under the respective provisions of the council tax regulations are similarly all reasonable costs incurred.

Does NELC deal with in the same way all requests made under the FOI Act that can't be provided with an answer? – just tell them anything they'll never know?

Will you provide a response which makes sense or alternatively just admit you have none?

Yours sincerely,

Rob Down

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for an Internal Review of Freedom of Information Request 5955/1314

Your request for an Internal Review has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council/the-co....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down
Further to your request an Internal Review has taken place into North East
Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information request 5955_1314,
concerning how the Council has arrived at the summons costs.
I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and find:

 1. That your request was responded to within the statutory time of 20
working days;

 

 2. That you were informed whether or not the information you asked for
was held by North East Lincolnshire Council;

 

 3. That you were provided with the information you asked for available
under the Freedom of Information Act;

 

 4. That your response provided you with your rights of appeal. 

 
I am therefore satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act in the handling of your request.
 
Further to your request I can confirm, that the Council is currently in
consultation with District Audit to produce and publish a document
outlining the costs to the Council and the reasonable costs incurred. At
present this information is only in draft and the authority are awaiting
comments to be made by District Audit.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000, Section 22 (1) states information is
exempt information if—
 

 a. the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),

 

 b. the information was already held with a view to such publication at
the time when the request for information was made, and

 

 c. it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph
(a).

 
Section 22 is a qualified exemption, therefore before it can be applied
the balance of public interest must be considered.
 
We have determined that at this time the public interest is to ensure that
the Council can effectively consult with District Audit, and that the
application of the section 22 exemption is in the public interest. The
breakdown of the Summons Costs is therefore at this time exempt from
disclosure by virtue of section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act.  
 
In adherence to the above North East Lincolnshire Council will produce and
publish the document once consultation has concluded with District Audit.
 
You also stated in your request ‘There is no distinction between how the
Committal Summons (and Arrest Warrant costs), and the Summons costs are
provided for under the Council Tax Administration and Enforcement
regulations 1992 nor the Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No. 2) Order
2010. All three are set prescribed fees under the fees order and under
the respective provisions of the council tax regulations are similarly all
reasonable costs incurred.’
 
The distinction between the Committal Summons and Warrant costs is that
they are a set amount as provided by the legislation. It quite clearly
sets out an amount (Committal Summons £240.00 & Warrant £75.00) that has
to be paid to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service on the
application.
 
The Council Tax Summons prescribes reasonable costs incurred.
 
There is therefore a clear difference between an amount which is set by
statute and an amount which is classed as reasonably incurred.
I trust that this Internal Review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act.
If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council
 
Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate
 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your reply but I have not asked for a calculation contrived to fit the current charges by who I assume will be your contractor auditor.

The request was to achieve knowledge of how NELC arrived at the charges which appear on NELC's website.

In regards your other point:

"The distinction between the Committal Summons and Warrant costs is that they are a set amount as provided by the legislation. It quite clearly sets out an amount (Committal Summons £240.00 & Warrant £75.00) that has to be paid to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service on the application.

The Council Tax Summons prescribes reasonable costs incurred.

There is therefore a clear difference between an amount which is set by statute and an amount which is classed as reasonably incurred."

I will draw your attention to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 1994, where under regulation 6 (Commitment to prison) it makes provision for reasonable costs for Committal Summons and Warrant costs, similarly to the way it does the liability order summons under regulation 34(5) to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/...

"6(A)...

b)....the authority’s reasonable costs incurred up to the time of payment or tender in making one or more of the applications referred to in Schedule 6."

For details of Schedule 6 and maximum costs, please see below:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/...

Amended by:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/...

It can clearly be seen from the information provided that:

"There is no distinction between how the Committal Summons (and Arrest Warrant costs), and the Summons costs are provided for under the Council Tax Administration and Enforcement regulations 1992 nor the Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No. 2) Order 2010. All three are set prescribed fees under the fees order and under the respective provisions of the council tax regulations are similarly all reasonable costs incurred [albeit with provision for maximum costs in respect of Committal Summons and Warrant costs]."

Yours sincerely,

Rob Down

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Re, North East Lincolnshire Council's response:

"....I can confirm that the Council is currently in consultation with District Audit to produce and publish a document outlining the costs to the council and the reasonable costs incurred...."

Watch this council very carefully, they'll be trying (and will succeed) to pull the wool over the auditor's eyes.

The council's auditor has, in the first instance, been supplied correspondence alleging to NELC defrauding its council taxpayers "en masse" with court costs. However, the receipt of evidence submitted subsequently has not been acknowledged by the auditor and so presume he is more likely to be influenced by officers at the council feeding misleading information and lies to satisfy him that their accounts are true and reasonable.

I know the council have tried the same tactics in the past, for instance when it lied repeatedly to the Information Commissioner about not holding information it in fact did hold.

An application was made (almost a year ago) to the Magistrates' court to state a case to get these issues into the High Court. The Magistrates' court through misplacing the application, ignoring correspondence and breaching the Criminal Procedure Rules has managed successfully to stall the application for almost a year. Even an application for mandatory order through Judicial Review to coerce the court to play its part in the appeal to state the case has up until now failed.

I guess the tactics of delaying the appeal are so when the case is eventually put before the High Court, the council will produce its evidence, backed by the auditor's approval whose decision will have been influenced by the biased council.

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down

I am pleased to acknowledge your correspondence making comments in relation to the response to your information request 5955-1314.

As no further questions have been raised in your request, no further action will be taken in regard to it.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Paul Ellis
Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation, Informatics and Research, Resources Directorate| North East Lincolnshire Council

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Dear PPD - FOI,

In light of my previous comments I would like North East Lincs Council to reconsider its previous response which I believe was incorrect owing to the fact it did not take into account the relevant amendment(s) to the Statutory Instrument.

The relevant regulations were detailed in my comments previously made which I will reproduce here:

Thank you for your reply but I have not asked for a calculation contrived to fit the current charges by who I assume will be your contractor auditor.

The request was to achieve knowledge of how NELC arrived at the charges which appear on NELC's website.

In regards your other point:

"The distinction between the Committal Summons and Warrant costs is that they are a set amount as provided by the legislation. It quite clearly sets out an amount (Committal Summons £240.00 & Warrant £75.00) that has to be paid to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service on the application.

The Council Tax Summons prescribes reasonable costs incurred.

There is therefore a clear difference between an amount which is set by statute and an amount which is classed as reasonably incurred."

I will draw your attention to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations 1994, where under regulation 6 (Commitment to prison) it makes provision for reasonable costs for Committal Summons and Warrant costs, similarly to the way it does the liability order summons under regulation 34(5) to the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/...

"6(A)...

b)....the authority’s reasonable costs incurred up to the time of payment or tender in making one or more of the applications referred to in Schedule 6."

For details of Schedule 6 and maximum costs, please see below:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/...

Amended by:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/...

It can clearly be seen from the information provided that:

"There is no distinction between how the Committal Summons (and Arrest Warrant costs), and the Summons costs are provided for under the Council Tax Administration and Enforcement regulations 1992 nor the Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No. 2) Order 2010. All three are set prescribed fees under the fees order and under the respective provisions of the council tax regulations are similarly all reasonable costs incurred [albeit with provision for maximum costs in respect of Committal Summons and Warrant costs]."

Yours sincerely,

Rob Down

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down

Thank you for your further comments about your information request 5955-1314.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

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Dear PPD - FOI,

For the last time......

"In light of my previous comments I would like North East Lincs Council to reconsider its previous response which I believe was incorrect owing to the fact it did not take into account the relevant amendment(s) to the Statutory Instrument."

Yours sincerely,

Rob Down

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

You are clearly up against morons.

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Down

Thank you for your further comments about your information request 5955-1314.

North East Lincolnshire Council has reconsidered its previous response in an internal review and the details of the findings have been provided to you. North East Lincolnshire Council will not complete another review of your request.

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or the decision of the internal review you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

North East Lincolnshire Council are not willing to engage in further correspondence about this Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Feedback Officer
Resources Directorate

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Dear PPD - FOI,

"North East Lincolnshire Council will not complete another review of your request."

I have not asked NELC to conduct another review of the request, I have asked it "to reconsider its previous response which I believe was incorrect owing to the fact it did not take into account the relevant amendment(s) to the Statutory Instrument."

The reason it made a hash of the response was because the council department responsible for providing it are incompetent.

The public expense of escalating this to the Information Commissioner could be avoided if NELC had the balls to admit it was wrong, but it hasn't. I will therefore attempt to save the public purse by re-submitting the FOI request which you will be able to address again properly.

Please find below:

Magistrates' Courts Fees (amendment No.2) Order 2010 – MK II

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

P.S. When you wrote I should contact the Information Commissioner's Office if I remained dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, I immediately thought I should contact some other body, but it wasn't the ICO. I'll leave you to work that one out.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Down

Davo38 left an annotation ()

Robbo the rude robbing Robinson non other then jo Robinson mr Walsh's right bum cheek ...... Must think people are as dumb as they are

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