Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

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vandamned
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#1 Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 18 Sep 2017 20:17

My home was searched for a person who may have lived in my house over 5 years ago by a bailiff. Bailiff knocked at my door asking for a person who lived here before we purchased the property at auction 5 years ago. I told him the person is unknown to us, he asked me for my ID. I went to get my passport, when I turned around he was in my vestibule. I asked what he was doing walking inside to which he said he had a warrant and could search my house. I reiterated that the person does not live here and is unknown to us.

He refused to show me the warrant because he claimed of data protection laws. I was very surprised to hear these words and managed to close the vestibule door, I then called the police and had to wait 2 hours holding the door. During the wait I asked many questions such as have they checked the electoral role etc to which he replied it is not his business to check up details he just serves the warrant, I told him we return all unknown mail to sender, the bailiff said people who do not want to be found do that also. The bailiff did disclose that the warrant was from Yorkshire dating back to 2015, We live far from Yorkshire. He also pointed out that he has the power to break down my door and was going to seize goods if he believed the person on the warrant was staying here, my wife asked who would pay for the damage, he said we would have to take it up with the person on the warrant. The bailiff also barged me a couple of times and shouted assault even though my hands were behind my back holding the handle.

Bizarrely he telephoned the person on the warrant and he answered, I could clearly hear the conversation as we were standing a foot apart, I assumed he expected to hear the phone ring in my house, however he told the guy who he was and how much he owed, he also stated that a warrant for his arrest would be issued if he did not pay. The guy said he could pay by the end of the month, unbelievably he did not ask for the guys address. When I challenged him on this he said "he probably would not have told him". He also continued that the guy could be hiding upstairs.

The police arrived I explained the situation, the officer seemed surprised by what he was hearing, he had to get advice from above which much to my horror stated I had to let the bailiff conduct a search. I still protested and asked the officer to telephone the guy on the warrant but he would not. The bailiff then searched our family home including mine and my wife's and our 5 children's bedrooms as well as our private documents. Of course he found nothing.

So people the situation is this, anybody can give your address for offences committed, bailiffs can sneak in to you property when your back is turned and search your house with the police watching over the event. I have called the courts named on the warrant, they will not discuss it, I have spoken to a solicitor, they say its lawful, I have called the local press, the are interested and I have an appointment with my Mp (who does not know what direction to take it).

My family are very distressed from today's events, I have lost a day of work, my wife missed an appointment and is devastated. I never believed such an event was possible.

Cbear79
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#2 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Cbear79 » 18 Sep 2017 20:30

I'm sorry I'm of no help except no one can prepare you for something like this. It's the unexpected visit that is the worst. It happened to us in July and I am still ill from it all, it shouldn't be allowed to happen the way it does, I'm not sure I will ever get over what happened to us.

One thing I will say is that this forum has been the only bit of useful advice I have been given, and I'm sure you will get some closure from the advice you will get from here. I am finally moving forward, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found this forum. Good luck

vandamned
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#3 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 18 Sep 2017 20:33

Thanks for your support

vandamned
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#4 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 19 Sep 2017 23:30

I actually expected some advice when I posted my incident on this forum from people in the know, I cant find a similar incident anywhere on the web. Seems the Police, solicitors and MP's are not not the only people who think its fine.

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Pote Snitkin
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#5 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Pote Snitkin » 20 Sep 2017 07:39

To be fair, your post wasn't asking for advice. Yes, bailiffs can be bullies and dim, police can be ignorant of the regulations around enforcement. Technically no laws have been broken - the bailiff can enter if the door is open or unlocked and once inside can make a search.

However by refusing to show his ID or authority to enter, he may be trying to hide something and he certainly cannot break a door for a civil debt. A complaint to the bailiff company is the first step if you want to address any losses from losing a days pay but don't expect much of a response. After that, you can complain to the creditor, then your MP.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

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Schedule 12
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#6 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Schedule 12 » 20 Sep 2017 10:00

You might have a cause of action because of an improper use of police authority and non-compliance with enforcement regulations.

I think you can make a criminal complaint because the bailiff said that a "warrant of arrest would be issued" and "break down the door" if you did not pay.

"barging" you is common assault.

You can also make a complaint to the IPCC if your criminal complaint is rebuked. They ought to explain why they will not arrest and charge the suspect.

Only approach the media after all proceedings are finished. I can provide you a media pack showing how to prepare a story for the press. I have got previous clients into the media albeit, only local media.
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vandamned
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#7 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 20 Sep 2017 12:47

Thanks for your response, just to be clear the person on the Magistrates distress warrant (we never saw) is unknown to us, the bailiff said he does not have to show the warrant to us, And is allowed to search my house. It occurred to me would this be possible at PM Teresa Mays house. Also the bailiff was wearing 2 separate id badges for 2 companies he claims to work for on a self employed basis.

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Schedule 12
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#8 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Schedule 12 » 20 Sep 2017 13:25

He has to show the warrant because it's the power to enter the property. Paragraph 26.1.b of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA 2007)

It looks like a defendant gave a false address. Possible train fare evaded something like that.
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vandamned
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#9 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 23 Sep 2017 00:18

I have been following up on the advice you have kindly provided, I have so far established that the bailiff was not acting lawfully by refusing to show the warrant of control, the magistrates court also stated the bailiff did not have to show the warrant in a phone call prior to entry.

"The bailiff refused to show the warrant of control"

The law says a bailiff must show evidence of his authority to enter the premises to the debtor or any person who appears to be in charge of the premises being attended. The authority to enter is conferred under the warrant of control. If the bailiff refuses to show the warrant, then he is not "acting lawfully". The bailiff can be thrown off from the premises or property without the debtor or person committing an offence of "obstructing an enforcement agent".

The bailiff had no right to enter the property, reasonable force was used to eject the bailiff as far as the vestibule from where I called the police and told them the wanted person did not live at my address and was unknown to us, however they attended and said I had to let him in contrary to the following paragraph,


"The bailiff is calling about a fine by a housemate or other person"

If the debtor named on the warrant of control does not live at your address, the bailiff does not have a right to enter the property. Bailiffs only have a right to enter the debtors home or premises he trades from. If the occupant is threatened, then call police on 999 reporting a disturbance. A constable takes a statement, contacts the bailiff and tells him the debtor does not live there. Do not show personal documents to a bailiff. You have no way of knowing if the bailiff is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998.

I used my insurance legal cover to contact a solicitor for advice and was told the episode was legal, at this point I have the bailiff acting unlawfully, magistrates court aiding the unlawful action via telephone, the police assisting the unlawful action and dodgy legal advice. Does all this sound correct, I am definitely planning to take action against somebody. I will be contacting all the parties armed with the insight I have gained from the forum this week. Would it be worth going to the small claims court for my losses directly against the bailiff?

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Pote Snitkin
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#10 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Pote Snitkin » 23 Sep 2017 07:41

You can request the bodycam footage from both the bailiff and the police. As said, before taking court action, first complain in writing to the bailiff company and the court - you can then escalate it to your MP. A court will want to see that you made efforts to resolve the matter before taking legal action. It's not going to be a quick process.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

vandamned
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#11 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by vandamned » 03 Oct 2017 12:08

Just following up on my incident, I began compiling my complaint by contacting the police for an incident number, during the call they read the log and said the bailiff should not have searched my house. I have contacted the court who issued the warrant .On the day they said the bailiff did not have to show us the warrant and could search, They now say thats not correct and dont know who told us that, they have however cancelled the warrant. Now writing to the bailiff company with a complaint.

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Schedule 12
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#12 Re: Home searched for unknown person with distress warrant

Post by Schedule 12 » 03 Oct 2017 12:38

I wouldn't bother complaining to a bailiff company. They will mess you about saying they were following instructions from the creditor. In this case, the creditor is the Ministry of Justice.

Your complaint must be directed to:

Complaints and Litigation Department
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France, 4th Floor
London
SW1H 9AJ


Say what happened, gives dates and times, and tell them what you want them to do to put things right, e.g. pay you compensation or a sum of money.

Refusing to show the warrant of control of control to anyone who appears to be in charge of the property is a breach of Paragraph 26 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
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