Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

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whoopie
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#1 Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by whoopie » 22 May 2016 11:37

We had a visit from Martons on Thursday looking for our son over an unpaid speeding fine, which had now gone up to £652 He has not lived with us for about 6 years but picks up his post every few weeks. it appears his driving licence address was still our home. We had no knowledge of the speeding fine as had not seen the letters etc and explained this to the bailiffs. They seemed unimpressed and said (what I have since found out is normal) they can get a locksmith and force entry and can seize any goods that we cannot produce a receipt for. As we have never dealt with bailiffs before we didn't know if they were telling the truth or not. I left them at the door and went back into the house to see if my wife had a phone number for our son. At this point they walked into the house and said something like "we're coming in" although I didn't catch exactly what he said. I would have protested but thought if they can get a locksmith what is the point.
After several phone calls to our son who cannot pay the fine we are faced with these people asking for payment. As we obviously don't have receipts for everything in the house we felt we had to pay to get rid of them, even though it was not our debt.
I'm still trying to establish if this was a criminal or civil matter and therefore whether they had the right to enter the property.
I'm also not sure if we should have been made liable for this debt as we knew nothing about it, and if not can we get our money back.

Any advice welcome

Thanks,

Peter

Mark1960
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#2 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by Mark1960 » 22 May 2016 14:20

By leaving the door open and moving away from it, the bailiff will have implied a right to enter.

As he had been told that your son does not live at the address, I don't believe that he should have been so hasty to do so and further enquiries would have been more appropriate.

It should have been pretty obvious that the goods were yours and you should not have been required to provide receipts-How many people can provide receipts for household belongings that have been acquired over time?

I would write to Marstons, asking for the money to be returned and also request a copy of the footage they have. I'd also write to the fines manager of the court in the form of a complaint and demanding your money back.

Finally, I would contact CIVEA who are the trade body whom Marstons are a member. They normally side with their members but this is a pretty strong case.

The two factors that you should focus on are:

1. Entry by implied right (via an open door), despite being informed that the person they were looking for did not live there.

2. False representations regarding what goods they may seize

3. Failure to identify/accept that the debtor clearly did not live there.

Go as far as you can with this-They are in the wrong and need to be stopped doing this to others.

whoopie
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#3 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by whoopie » 22 May 2016 17:13

Thanks Mark.

Will have to find out which court it is that issued the fine and write to the fines manager. I can write to Marstons right away though, and see what response I get and go to CIVEA if I'm not happy.

Cheers,

Peter

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Schedule 12
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#4 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by Schedule 12 » 24 May 2016 11:29

I wouldn't bother writing to CIVEA.

They have never held a complaint in the debtors favour. Its just an apologising service for its member bailiff companies.
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whoopie
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#5 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by whoopie » 03 Jul 2016 19:41

We have now had a reply from Marstons answering some of our questions and raising new ones.
What I am not sure of now is about the procedure for proving residency / non residency of our son at our address. Marstons state that when they receive no reply to a notice of enforcement, they then progress the instruction to an enforcement agent to visit to verify residency. When they arrived we told them he did not live here and yet they continued to threaten to seize goods. I don't see how we can prove that he does not live there. Is it up them to prove he does live here before they can seize goods? I would have thought they could check the electoral register to confirm this but am not sure.
Marstons also state their procedures are in line with the Tribunals, courts and enforcement act 2007 schedule 12. I have looked at this on line but didn't see anything about residency.

Thanks,

Peter

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#6 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by Pote Snitkin » 03 Jul 2016 20:37

Get a statutory declaration into the court.
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#7 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by Schedule 12 » 03 Jul 2016 20:55

And here's a Template.

Marston can't defeat it because if they take an enforcement step against you, then that will attract a liability for breach of Paragraph 10 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 which states;

  • An enforcement agent may take control of goods only if they are goods of the debtor.


In any case, the debtor does not even live at the address, so any enforcement would be in breach of paragraph 14(6) of Schedule 12, which states;
  • (6)Otherwise premises are relevant if the enforcement agent reasonably believes that they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor—
    (a)usually lives, or
    (b)carries on a trade or business.
This is why I always tell my clients not to bother complaining to bailiff companies and their trade associations. They will palm you off with nonsense.

However as you are not a debtor, you cannot bring legal proceedings against the bailiff under Paragraph 66 of Schedule 12.

You CAN however bring an action for injunctive relief under section 3a of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Marston is not acting in "execution of duty" because they are in breach of Paragraphs 10 and 14(6) of Schedule 12. However you must give Marston notice the debtor does not live at your address.

If Marston takes an enforcement step after giving notice, or threatens you with enforcement, then contact me. We can do something about it. It will cost you nothing because the bailiff company pays your legal costs on an indemnity basis because they are in breach of Schedule 12.
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whoopie
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#8 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by whoopie » 04 Jul 2016 11:26

Just looked at the statutory declaration and not sure if this is intended to stop them harassing me now or will it help me get my money back. As we were forced to pay under threat of seizure of goods we are not getting harassed by Marstons.

From what you say about them being in breach of paragraphs 10 and 14, it looks like they collected the money illegally.

So would the injunctive relief action you mention below be the right course of action to get the money returned?

Thanks,

Peter

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#9 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by Schedule 12 » 04 Jul 2016 14:12

Injunctive relief only stops a bailiff acting unlawfully.

Getting money back can only be done by chargeback or recovering it through the courts.

I would not engage Marston. Just ask for your money back then start the proceedings. This article gives a summary of the procedure for bringing a claim in the small claims court.
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whoopie
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#10 Re: Son's speeding fine and unexpected visit from Marstons

Post by whoopie » 04 Jul 2016 16:55

I'll have a good look over the document and all the links and then I'll probably do a telephone consultation with you to thrash out how good my case is, and decide whether to proceed.

Thanks for the advice.

Peter

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