NNDR Summons – SI 1989/1058

Cherie Jerez made this Freedom of Information request to North East Lincolnshire Council

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

North East Lincolnshire Council did not have the information requested.

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Subsequent to a complaint being made to the Magistrates’ Court for a summons issued against a charge payer;

Please provide the reference in law (presumably in the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989), allowing North East Lincolnshire Council to impose £70 summons costs (or any amount), which if included along with the outstanding balance is paid before the Court Hearing date, would stop a Liability Order being granted.

Yours faithfully,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number 5135/1314

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:
[1]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

Feedback Officer

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

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Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

On checking the legislation (ref SI 1989/1058) there appears no provision for the charge payer being given the option to pay, along with the debt outstanding, a sum of incurred costs to influence that an order is not subsequently granted if settled before the liability order hearing.

Unless regulations have been amended for this purpose, once a summons has been issued by the Magistrates' court, an order of costs can only be made at the liability order hearing. Consequently, summons costs do not exist in the case of Business rates and only liability order costs can be lawfully charged to the account holder.

There is an amendment, "The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1990" (ref SI 1990/145) – regulation 7(2) – which makes provision for the authority if it so wished to request that an order is made in respect of a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in making the application in such cases where the sum payable is paid after a liability order has been applied for but before it's made.

Unless I've missed it, there's no provision corresponding to regulation 34(5) of the Council Tax regulations (see below) which allows payment of costs to halt proceedings once the application has been instigated.

Reg 34(5) SI 1992/613

" (5) If, after a summons has been issued in accordance with paragraph (2) but before the application is heard, there is paid or tendered to the authority an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a) the sum specified in the summons as the sum outstanding or so much of it as remains outstanding (as the case may be); and

(b) a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in connection with the application up to the time of the payment or tender,

the authority shall accept the amount and the application shall not be proceeded with. "

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez 
 
Thank you for your information request, reference number 5135_1314.
 
I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.
 
Subsequent to a complaint being made to the Magistrates’ Court for a
summons issued against a charge payer;
 
Please provide the reference in law (presumably in the Non-Domestic Rating
(Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989), allowing
North East Lincolnshire Council to impose £70 summons costs (or any
amount), which if included along with the outstanding balance is paid
before the Court Hearing date, would stop a Liability Order being
granted. 
 
The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Regulations 1990 [1]PART III Regulation 7
 
This allows for the court to make an order for reasonable costs incurred
in the application
 
 
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
 
Feedback Officer
 
North East Lincolnshire Council
 
 
 
 
 

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George Cant left an annotation ()

hi cherri

i have been researching the abuse of liabilty orders at NELC for years both private homes and nndr.

In your case, the council officer should have told the court that you had paid prior, thats were the mistake is,

Did you attend ?

On NNDR specifically, did you receive the full discount, lots dont, email me and i will explain

here is my research from a few years ago
http://www.crazycouncil.co.uk/council-tax

and here is some more relevent ones
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

send me an email if you want further info

Cherie Jerez left an annotation ()

Thanks for the helpful advice.

George, I've looked at the links you supplied. The information makes NELC's dealings look very questionable. What happened in 2004-05 to make the number of summonses issued (when compared to the previous year) jump-up by around 25% I wonder.

The reason for this FOI is because Ashford Borough Council displays this on its website:

http://www.ashford.gov.uk/the-cost-of-re...

"• Council tax summons

If you are summonsed to the magistrates court you will incur £60.00 costs.

• Council tax liability order

At the hearing the council will apply for a liability order. This application will add £60.00 costs to your account."

-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------

"• Non domestic rates summons

If you are summonsed to the magistrates court there is no cost.

• Non domestic rates liability order

At the hearing the council will apply for a liability order. This application will add £175.00 costs to your account."

There must be a reason why this Local Authority don't charge for a summons for NNDR. I presume they may be the only council (or one of few) that are doing it by the book, i.e. realise NNDR and Ctax regulations differ.

Dear PPD - FOI,

This is a reminder that by law North East Lincolnshire Council must reply by today (1 July 2013).

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez

 

The original response was sent to you on 11th June 2013 and can be seen in
the body of the email below. I have copied in bold below for your
convenience.

 

The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Regulations 1990 [1]PART III Regulation 7

 

 This allows for the court to make an order for reasonable costs incurred 
in the application

 

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

 

Feedback Officer

 

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for your reply, I wasn't aware you had already responded.

I'd already looked at the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1990 (regulation 7) and was satisfied that there was no provision for payment in respect of costs to be made before the Court hearing date, which would halt the Liability Order application.

There seems to be in the council tax regulations, Reg 34(5)(SI 1992/613), but not in the case of business rates.

i.e.

" (5) If, after a summons has been issued in accordance with paragraph (2) but before the application is heard, there is paid or tendered to the authority an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a) the sum specified in the summons as the sum outstanding or so much of it as remains outstanding (as the case may be); and

(b) a sum of an amount equal to the costs reasonably incurred by the authority in connection with the application up to the time of the payment or tender,

the authority shall accept the amount and the application shall not be proceeded with. "

The same provision does not exist in The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1990.

Can you please clarify your response.

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for further information on
reference number 5135/1314

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:
[1]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

Feedback Officer

North East Lincolnshire Council

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

I believe you have misunderstood my message.

Although I asked if you could clarify your response, I was merely being polite.

I don't so much require further information, but rather was hoping for the information I had detailed in my request.

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez 

 

Further to your correspondence concerning the response to 5135_1314, I can
confirm that as you state for Business Rates there is no provision for the
payment in respect of costs to be made before the Court hearing date,
which would halt the Liability Order application.

 

I trust that this answers your query, please feel free to contact me if
you require any further clarification in relation to this matter.

 

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

 

Paul Ellis

Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for confirming there is no provision for the payment in respect of costs to be made before the hearing date, which would halt the Liability Order application.

Will North East Lincolnshire Council be making it known to all business ratepayers to whom the summons fee has been incurred that the council were not lawfully entitled to demand such payment and be offering refunds?

Also will the council be revising its recovery policy regarding summons costs for NNDR?

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez

 

Further to your correspondence concerning the response to 5135_1314, which
asked

 

Thank you for confirming there is no provision for the payment in respect
of costs to be made before the hearing date, which would halt the
Liability Order application.

 

Will North East Lincolnshire Council be making it known to all business
ratepayers to whom the summons fee has been incurred that the council were
not lawfully entitled to demand such payment and be offering refunds?

 

Also will the council be revising its recovery policy regarding summons
costs for NNDR?

 

I can  confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council has acted and will
continue to act in accordance with relevant legislation and are not
proposing to undertake the actions suggested in your correspondence.

 

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

 

Paul Ellis

Team Manager - Information Governance, Complaints and Consultation

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Dear PPD - FOI,

You have stated that North East Lincolnshire Council has acted in accordance with relevant legislation when clearly it has not.

I would like the council to back-up what appears at worse to be a barefaced lie or a misunderstanding of the relevant regulations.

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Jerez

With reference to your below email.

The council has provided you with a response to questions you raised under the freedom of information act 2000. If you are unhappy and disagree with the councils administration of business rates you can submit a formal complaint through the council feedback process. Please see attached link providing details of how you can raise a formal complaint http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/resident/say-i... Alternatively you can contact the Department of Community and Local Government and raise your concerns directly with them https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

Kind regards
Freedom of Information Officer
North East Lincolnshire Council

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Dear PPD - FOI,

I have already submitted a request to the Department of Community and Local Government.

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

Hopefully a greater interest will be taken if the department learns that councils up and down the country have been taking payments in respect of Magistrates' court summonses which have not been lawful.

The attitude I detect from NELC is one that suggests they are immune to prosecution or suffering any kind of consequences for thieving from their ratepayers.

Yours sincerely,

Cherie Jerez

T. Ruth left an annotation ()

hope this is as obvious to everyone else as it is to me that the police etc are willing to turn a blind eye to crime as long as thier salaries are being paid

muscS

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