Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

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outlawipcc
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#1 Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

Post by outlawipcc » 21 Jan 2017 09:34

The Canary, 20 January 2017

A woman spends 40 days in jail for the crime of being poor

The High Court

But the High Court has now ruled that her imprisonment was unlawful. Justice Lewis said:
  • There was no evidential basis on which the magistrates' court could conclude that there had been culpable neglect in non payment

outlawipcc
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#2 Re: Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

Post by outlawipcc » 23 Jan 2017 09:53

Magistrates struggle (again) with the use of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax

R (Woolcock & Bridgend Magistrates Court) v Cardiff Magistrates Court and Bridgend County Council [2017] EWHC 34 (Admin) (judgment awaiting publication)

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Schedule 12
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#3 Re: Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

Post by Schedule 12 » 23 Jan 2017 10:16

I'm surprised to see this. Magistrates I've spoken to don't like committing council tax payers to prison. Nobody wins.
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outlawipcc
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#4 Re: Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

Post by outlawipcc » 18 Apr 2017 10:25

CONCLUSIONS

38. The orders of 20 October 2015 requiring the Claimant to pay amounts of unpaid council tax in respect of properties at 1 Seagull Close and Precinct Rest Bay Porthcawl and fixing periods of imprisonment of 35 days and 50 days respectively in default of payment are unlawful. The magistrates' court failed to carry out a proper and adequate means inquiry as required by regulation 47 of the Regulations and were not in a position to determine if non-payment was the result of culpable neglect nor whether the orders were appropriate mechanisms for enforcing the debt. Further, the period of suspension was manifestly excessive and disproportionate. The committal to prison on 18 July 2016 was also unlawful as it was based upon non-compliance with the invalid orders of the 20 October 2015 and there was no evidential basis on which the magistrates' court could conclude that there had been culpable neglect in non-payment.

Judgment....

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Schedule 12
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#5 Re: Woman unlawfully jailed for council tax

Post by Schedule 12 » 18 Apr 2017 11:31

At least common sense prevailed. On comes the lawyers rubbing hands at the prospect of a nest-egg settlement.
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