Manchester City Council's spurious applications to court for Council Tax

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Rosey Garros (Account suspended)

Dear The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman,

Reference: 14 011 207
http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits...

Manchester City Council made a catalogue of errors beginning with the misallocating of a customer's payment which resulted in the threat of court and subsequently a court summons imposing court costs.

The customer attended court and proved his payment was made by producing his bank statement and the council who had wrongly taken him to court cancelled the summons and deleted all court costs from his account.

However, the Council said it did not consider further compensation was due because the customer could have avoided going to court if he had cooperated by providing some information.

The Ombudsman agreed that the customer was not entitled to be compensated for the council's errors because the customer 'stated that he wanted to go to court to show up the Council as incompetent' and 'he chose this route rather than working with the Council to resolve the matter at an early stage and avoid a court hearing'.

Did the Ombudsman not consider that it was the council that irresponsibly made the complaint to the Magistrates court?

Did the Ombudsman not consider that a council which makes spurious applications to court should expect someone who has been wrongly summonsed to do as instructed and present his defence in court and that it is in the public interest for someone to highlight the seriously flawed administration?

Yours faithfully,

Rosey Garros

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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Rosey Garros (Account suspended)

Dear The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, (re-sending)

Reference: 14 011 207
http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits...

Manchester City Council made a catalogue of errors beginning with the misallocating of a customer's payment which resulted in the threat of court and subsequently a court summons imposing court costs.

The customer attended court and proved his payment was made by producing his bank statement and the council who had wrongly taken him to court cancelled the summons and deleted all court costs from his account.

However, the Council said it did not consider further compensation was due because the customer could have avoided going to court if he had cooperated by providing some information.

The Ombudsman agreed that the customer was not entitled to be compensated for the council's errors because the customer 'stated that he wanted to go to court to show up the Council as incompetent' and 'he chose this route rather than working with the Council to resolve the matter at an early stage and avoid a court hearing'.

Did the Ombudsman not consider that it was the council that irresponsibly made the complaint to the Magistrates court?

Did the Ombudsman not consider that a council which makes spurious applications to court should expect someone who has been wrongly summonsed to do as instructed and present his defence in court and that it is in the public interest for someone to highlight the seriously flawed administration?

Yours faithfully,

Rosey Garros

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

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    attachment.delivery status

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    Re Freedom of Information request Manchester City Council s spurious applications to court for Council Tax.txt

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Your message to [lgo request email] couldn't be delivered.
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request-459122-d6a55. . . Office 365 foi.officer
Action Required Recipient
Unknown To address
How to Fix It
The address may be misspelled or may not exist. Try one or more of the
following:
* Send the message again following these steps: In Outlook, open this
non-delivery report (NDR) and choose Send Again from the Report
ribbon. In Outlook on the web, select this NDR, then select the link
"To send this message again, click here." Then delete and retype the
entire recipient address. If prompted with an Auto-Complete List
suggestion don't select it. After typing the complete address, click
Send.
* Contact the recipient (by phone, for example) to check that the
address is correct.
* The recipient may have set up email forwarding to an incorrect
address. Ask them to check that any forwarding they've set up is
working correctly.
* Clear the recipient Auto-Complete List in Outlook or Outlook on the
web by following the steps in this article: [1]Fix email delivery
issues for error code 5.1.1 in Office 365, and then send the message
again. Retype the entire recipient address before selecting Send.
Was this helpful? [2]Send feedback to Microsoft.

show quoted sections

Rosey Garros (Account suspended)

Dear The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, (sending again)

Reference: 14 011 207
http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits...

Manchester City Council made a catalogue of errors beginning with the misallocating of a customer's payment which resulted in the threat of court and subsequently a court summons imposing court costs.

The customer attended court and proved his payment was made by producing his bank statement and the council who had wrongly taken him to court cancelled the summons and deleted all court costs from his account.

However, the Council said it did not consider further compensation was due because the customer could have avoided going to court if he had cooperated by providing some information.

The Ombudsman agreed that the customer was not entitled to be compensated for the council's errors because the customer 'stated that he wanted to go to court to show up the Council as incompetent' and 'he chose this route rather than working with the Council to resolve the matter at an early stage and avoid a court hearing'.

Did the Ombudsman not consider that it was the council that irresponsibly made the complaint to the Magistrates court?

Did the Ombudsman not consider that a council which makes spurious applications to court should expect someone who has been wrongly summonsed to do as instructed and present his defence in court and that it is in the public interest for someone to highlight the seriously flawed administration?

Yours faithfully,

Rosey Garros

FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email.  If you are making a request
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FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Rosey Garros

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below. We will aim to response within 20 working days, that is, by 22 February. If we cannot meet that deadline I will contact you again to explain why.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

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FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Rosey Garros

Please find attached a letter in response to your request below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

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Rosey Garros (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

16 February 2018
"Dear Rosey Garros

Freedom of Information request re: 14 011 207

In your email to of 25 January, you asked whether the Ombudsman considered:

 that it was the council that irresponsibly made the complaint to the Magistrates court, and

 that a council which makes spurious applications to court should expect someone who has been wrongly summonsed to do as instructed and present his defence in court and that it is in the public interest for someone to highlight the seriously flawed administration.

I cannot provide further interpretation of a published Ombudsman’s decision.

If there was any consideration of these two points, the information would be included in the contents of a complaints file. Although the public do have rights to see information held by public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act, this Act (section 44(1)(a)) does not override any restriction on the release of information covered by an earlier law.

Such a restriction applies to the Ombudsman’s complaint files. Under the Local Government Act 1974 (section 32(2)), the Ombudsman is not permitted to disclose any information obtained in the course of, or for the purposes of, the investigation of a complaint, unless he considers it is necessary for the purposes of the investigation (or for other very limited reasons mostly related to legal proceedings)."

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