Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

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Schedule 12
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Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 11 Mar 2018 17:43

Last year I referred a client an elderly lady who had bailiffs for her grandson's fine.

The grandson did not live at the address, but the bailiff company brought it on themselves to decide otherwise and entered the house through the conservatory door at the back of the property.

A neighbour seeing the commotion, turned up, meaning the lone vulnerable person was no longer alone because she was now with an adult. An altercation took place and the bailiff called police on 999, and the neighbour started recording video asking bailiff and his accomplice to leave. The police spoke to the bailiff and confirmed the identity of the neighbour and satisfied he was not the defendant.

An attending constable on camera stated that he spoke to his inspector and asked whether the bailiff "had a warrant for the address" and was asked whether either officer has seen it. The constable digresses the question. Two further requests asking if any officer has seen the warrant with the attending address on it and the constable responded each time with obfuscatious remarks. A final request to the constable asking whether any officer had seen the warrant with the attending address, and the response was the Inspector has ”a reasonable belief there is a warrant for the address”.

Now under police protection, the bailiff unplugged the lady's TV and disconnected her internet connection and thus, her emergency call button. The bailiff then removed the TV and other equipment to the conservatory of the house when the lady brought out her credit card and paid the court fine with the fees.

The credit card company recovered the money taken, but the lady needed to call out a professional to reinstall her TV, her internet router and emergency call button. The bill came to £185.

The police force attending is also negotiating damages for dereliction of statutory duty to protect victims of crime. The police force was under a misconceived belief their duty is limited to protecting the peace.

The final bill when the lawyers have finished is expected to be about £15,000.

Further enquiries showed there was a warrant, but with another address. It has proven that someone in the police force was dishonest about a warrant while on camera and exposed an innocent victim to a robbery of money and leaving her home dishevelled.


The noteworthy points are.

Bailiff companies hand out standard training material which instructs new bailiffs to unplug televisions and electrical equipment and move them around the house to coerce payment. This policy now attracts a liability for damages because it is a breach of Paragraph 35(2) of Schedule 12 requiring bailiffs to return goods in the condition immediately before taking control of them.

This creates a benchmark case requiring paragraph 35 of Schedule 12 must be complied with when taking control of goods and establishes liability for failing to return them in the original condition immediately before taking control of them.

The gender and appearance of the occupant placed it beyond any doubt the bailiff made a mistake as to the address and the identity of the defendant. The bailiff company’s defence under paragraph 66(8) is defeated.

When I examined the video footage, a constable objected to being filmed, and said the video footage can be obtained from the bailiff - who at the time was acting unlawfully. It was skillfully explained that the bailiff would refuse to give the video footage citing "data protection act" and the phone recording must corroborate the enforcement agents footage and the police officers audio recordings. Without the video, proving the case against the police force for dereliction of duty would have been impossible due to difficulties getting evidence held by bailiffs and the police force. This indicated the constable objecting to being recorded, who himself was recording, and aware he was also being recorded by the bailiff, knew the bailiff was not acting lawfully defeating their defence the constable had a reasonable belief the bailiff was acting lawfully.

The expression “reasonable” as in reasonable belief must be endorsed by a reason to believe a warrant with the correct address existed. Notwithstanding the bailiff being unable to show it, the police force may have have relied on third party sources to give them a reason to believe a warrant with the attending address existed which turns out to be not true, the police force is responsible for the damages caused. It may pass those damages to the apparent third party source that provided the information that made the police force have a reasonable belief that a warrant with the attending address existed.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 08:39

Has this actually been to court?
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 08:56

It's out of court.

The lawfirm is a fairly new one to civil enforcement and its approach is by negotiation rather than straight-in litigation with minimalist pre-action work.

They say they can earn better fees and thus, a better deal for everyone.

They are still having a chat with the police force regarding their dereliction of duty.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 09:19

So not a benchmark case then. Have the bailiffs admitted any liability.

Para 35 doesn't mention anything about returning goods to their original condition.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 09:24

Schedule 12 wrote:
12 Mar 2018 08:56
They are still having a chat with the police force regarding their dereliction of duty.
If they're still in negotiations, is it wise to be posting about it on the open forum?
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 10:24

The liabilities have been established, its just the question of the lawyer's fees.

The names of the parties are not mentioned and the client has been paid.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 10:27

They've received an out-of-court settlement? From both the bailiffs and the police?
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 13:32

It's been decided, but the money hasn't.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 13:37

Pote Snitkin wrote:
12 Mar 2018 09:19
So not a benchmark case then.
I consider it a benchmark because its the first time a constable is accused and the force is settling a claim for dereliction of duty under a perceived belief that duty is limited to preventing a breach of the peace.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 13:44

Pote Snitkin wrote:
12 Mar 2018 09:19

Para 35 doesn't mention anything about returning goods to their original condition.
  • (2)He must comply with any provision of regulations about their care while they remain controlled goods.

  • (a)the enforcement agent must keep the controlled goods, so long as they remain in the enforcement agent’s control, in a similar condition to that in which the enforcement agent found them immediately prior to taking control of them;
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 14:32

Schedule 12 wrote:
12 Mar 2018 13:44
Pote Snitkin wrote:
12 Mar 2018 09:19

Para 35 doesn't mention anything about returning goods to their original condition.
  • (2)He must comply with any provision of regulations about their care while they remain controlled goods.

  • (a)the enforcement agent must keep the controlled goods, so long as they remain in the enforcement agent’s control, in a similar condition to that in which the enforcement agent found them immediately prior to taking control of them;
Right, that's moving onto reg 34 of teh 2013 regs. That does only say a similar condition, not an identical condition, plus it's only whilst under control. There's no duty to return the goods to their exact location and function. The claimant would need to justify calling out an engineer to reconnect her broadband - it's not much more than plugging it in and turning it on is it?

Doesn't it say somewhere that the EA only has to make controlled goods available if the debt is paid?

I just don't want another drawn out case that will be easily argued away. As long as the claimant has had her money returned, the £185 repaid and anything the police offer then I'd leave it at that.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 14:39

The goods were not the debtors so she was entitled to costs for restoring them to their original condition.

There is nothing to say the TV was damaged, but it was not in the condition the bailiff originally found it. He moved it to the conservatory and refused to return it to where he found it. That gave rise to damages.

The damages have been agreed. The negotiations are only relating to fees and costs.

This is often a sticking point because one bailiff solicitor saw my name on a costs summary as a fee earner. They tried to wriggle by claiming I sourced the client and my fee is a "prohibited fee". Solicitors play on this to rack up more fees.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 14:40

Schedule 12 wrote:
12 Mar 2018 13:32
It's been decided, but the money hasn't.
So no settlement as yet. It would've been better to wait before posting any of this.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 14:45

The settlement has been agreed.

As far as I know, it's only the legal fees and costs are still being negotiated.

We are digressing now because the claim is a first of this type to involve a bailiff unplugging a television resulting in a liability, a police force for a misguided belief their statutory duty is limited to preventing a breach of the peace, and a Police Inspector being caught out saying he had a reasonable belief a warrant for the address had been issued when it had not.

How much the solicitors on each side make from it is not relevant.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 12 Mar 2018 15:19

In one post you're saying a settlement has been agreed, in another you're saying liability has been agreed but the money hasn't. Ignoring anything the solicitors are wanting for themselves, has the lady in question received a monetary settlement, and is it a significant amount?

Have the bailiffs admitted liability for damages for not returning the goods to their original condition?

Have the police admitted they lied about the warrant?
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 12 Mar 2018 15:33

Pote Snitkin wrote:
12 Mar 2018 15:19
In one post you're saying a settlement has been agreed, in another you're saying liability has been agreed
Liability has been agreed.

The fees have not been agreed.




but the money hasn't. Ignoring anything the solicitors are wanting for themselves, has the lady in question received a monetary settlement and is it a significant amount?
I don't know the amount negotiated, but the same firm previously negotiated £500 for the unlawful entry and £50 a minute on the property without lawful authority.

The law firm has asked not to be named on the internet because they say Sheila Harding may start probing into the private lives of the partners and employees and posting it on the internet incognito. They know about Peter Fel-tons policy of making nuisance complaints to a senior partner about me and satisfied Peter Bardsley's website is the work of a retard.


Have the bailiffs admitted liability for damages for not returning the goods to their original condition?
No admission, but the settlement is for costs in returning the goods to their original condition being the engineer call out charge.




Have the police admitted they lied about the warrant?

They deny lying about a warrant. The police said they had "reasonable belief" a warrant with the attending address had been issued. We now we discovered that is not true. The police force refused to disclose whether an Inspector was disingenuous or he relied on wrong third-party information. Either way, the police force is taking the bullet for it without naming the source of their information giving rise to a "reasonable belief".
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Michelle » 13 Mar 2018 23:22

Looks like we are lucky to be living in a civilised country! :mrgreen: I've seen a program on TV where the Houston PD trashed a family's apartment when they carried out a drugs raid in the apartment next door, apparently they had to make sure the other flat wasn't being used. They broke the windows, the blinds and caused extensive damage to this newly rented property that was home to 4 adults and 2 toddlers, apparently nothing could be done against the force because they were simply doing their job. :x :evil:
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Mar 2018 07:19

The American TV cop shows are mostly artistic license.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Michelle » 14 Mar 2018 09:55

Schedule 12 wrote:
14 Mar 2018 07:19
The American TV cop shows are mostly artistic license.
It wasn't a cop show, it was one of them programs about people who weigh 600lbs. They had just moved to Houston for medical treatment and had the flat trashed by the cops, but they didn't show the cops actually doing it as they do on the cop shows, just when they got back home and it looked like there had been an earthquake, and they explained what happened, so there was none of that cops showing off for the camera element.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Mar 2018 14:50

I often have clients whose homes have been trashed - by bailiffs.

The videos and stills taken from the scene look like they are from a burglary.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 14 Mar 2018 15:06

To be fair, most of those were probably down to Fat Brian just turning around.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Mar 2018 15:58

Its thinks like having bedroom drawers opened the contents strewn all over the floor. Tables and chairs thrown about etc.

In some cases, bathroom cabinets are emptied onto the bathroom floor, and large mirrors ripped off a wall. On one occasion, a gas cooker was ripped from the wall breaking the chain links that connected it to the ground.

Bailiff training teaches them to rummage the debtors home to get them to stump up the money.

When such property is given to me, we claim damages because Schedule 12 does not provide for bailiffs to disrupt the property in this manner.

Only today, DCBL have another claim to defend. They clamped a landlord car for a tenants debt. It seems that indiscriminate clamping is the way to go with bailiffs.
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Re: Bailiff unplugs the telly, big bill for the creditor

Post by Syd Snitkin » 14 Mar 2018 16:35

Schedule 12 wrote:
14 Mar 2018 15:58
It seems that indiscriminate clamping is the way to go with bailiffs.
Same as it ever was.

(c) Eno/Byrne 1981
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