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IN THE FIRST-TIER TRIBUNAL APPEAL: EA/2017/0019

GENERAL REGULATORY CHAMBER


(INFORMATION RIGHTS)

BETWEEN:

Appellant
and

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER


Respondent

EXHIBIT 1
Initial Bailiff complaint into fee fraud
Grimsby
North East Lincolnshire
DN32

FORMAL COMPLAINT (ID BSU2954 Stage 3)

THE CORPORATE COMPLAINTS CO-ORDINATOR

Municipal Offices
Town Hall Square
Grimsby
DN31 1HU

13/11/09

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: Council tax ref 550151 : Formal letter of complaint Stage-3

First of all I would like to say regarding the response to the stage 2 complaint, that I appreciate that
some of my complaints have been upheld, though there are still issues that have not been addressed.
And I still dispute certain aspects that have not been upheld.

I am dissatisfied with the complaints procedure as my first formal complaint wasnt recognised as a
formal stage 1. The council disregarded its responsibility by passing the letter to rossendales to deal
with, thus delaying the procedure.

The response to the recognised stage 1 complaint was effectively a reply from rossendales
through the council, with each of rossendales responses uncontested or accompanied by the
comment I can not comment , thus delaying the procedure even further.

Therefore as my complaint has not been resolved to my satisfaction, I would like my complaint to
be progressed to stage 3 of the councils corporate complaints procedure.

COMMENTS ON STAGE 2 REPLY

1) The first 2 bailiff attendances at your property.

I do not agree that leaving letters of this nature is acceptable i.e. wedging them in an area where the
door hinges. The one letter that I did discover wedged in the door (also mentioned in item 3) was by
pure chance in as much as I arrived home shortly after the bailiff had visited.

If on the two previous alleged visits letters had been left in this way, they did not get to me. I dont
believe any of my neighbours would withhold them. Another explanation is they may have blown
away. It was said in another reply that the letters where left under the security door. I have tried to
fit a letter under the security door myself and it is not possible. In any case if these letters had been
left in any of these ways it is negligent and a breach of confidentiality.
Additionally it was said in reply to a previous complaint that a neighbour confirmed my address and
there would be no need to leave letters in this manor, so Im beginning to seriously doubt that
anyone knows what really happened regarding these alleged visits.

2) The use of a nom de plume within rossendales company.

I dont know the law regarding fictitious names on letters demanding money, but it sounds a bit
dodgy to me.

3) The documentation left at your address when the levy was completed.

Im pleased to say this part of my complaint was upheld. Though Im curious to know why a copy
of the notice of distress was not left in the same envelope mentioned in item 1 of this letter. I cant
help suspecting that the notice of distress was devised after I had pursued answers regarding the
charges incurred.

4) The actual completing of the levy.

Im pleased to say this part of my complaint was upheld. However there appears to be no
consequences either for rossendales or the council for this illegality. I would expect that a company
such as rossendales would be able to receive DVLA information electronically via Approved
Conditional Access (ACA). If this was so 10 day confirmation by means of a V888 form would be
irrelevant. If in fact it did take 10 days for DVLA confirmation, the following quote from the stage
2 reply is irrelevant.

Due to the fact that the levy had taken place and that the vehicle in
question could have been removed in that 10 day window it is
unreasonable that a DVLA check is completed at this time and the
onus of proof changes to the third party of the vehicle.

It is irrelevant as it was impossible for me to know a notice of distress had been served on me, I
couldnt even guess that I had incurred a levy fee as I had at that time not received a break down of
the charges.

5) The fact that north east Lincolnshire council refused payment.

I have re-confirmed the following:-

At any time, even if bailiffs have already been instructed, the debtor
may pay, or offer to pay, the whole amount of arrears and
outstanding charges. The local authority must accept the debtors
payment or offer of the whole amount owed and instruct the bailiffs
not to proceed.

It states in the reply that it is within the councils practices and procedures that once the account has
been sent to the bailiff company the customer should deal directly with them.

The above statement implies that the council in this case is ignorant of the law, or chooses to invent
its own legislation.
6) The adding of apparently fraudulent charges to your account.

Im pleased to say that the fraudulent charge of 60 added to my account at the levy stage was
upheld. Though there appears to be no consequences either for rossendales or the council for this
negligence.

The 24.50 Schedule 5 head H fee added to my account was not listed on the bailiff fees and
charges sent to me by the council and therefore it was not agreed that this fee could be charged. I
believe this charge was added illegally.

The following is part of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations.

SCHEDULE 3 AND SCHEDULE 5 CHARGES CONNECTED WITH DISTRESS

1. The sum in respect of charges connected with the distress which may be aggregated under
Regulation 14(2) or 45(2) shall be as set out in the following Table-

H Where no sale takes place by reason of Either:-


payment or tender in the circumstances (i) 24.50, or
referred to in Regulation 14(4) or 45(4); (ii) the actual costs incurred, to a maximum of
5% of the amount in respect of which
the liability order was made.

REGULATION 14 AND REGULATION 45 DISTRESS

(4) Where an authority has seized goods of the debtor in pursuance of the distress, but before sale
of these goods the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment
or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount, the sale
shall not be proceeded with and the goods shall be made available for collection by the debtor.

Even if the above head H fee was allowable, the levy was illegal making any such charge null and
void.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

There are some points that have not been addressed.

1) The omission of charges incurred in each correspondence

The National Standards for Enforcement Agents require that, on every visit
which incurs a fee, the bailiff will leave a notice detailing the fees charged to
date, including the one for that visit, and the fees which will be incurred if
further action becomes necessary.

2) Van fee

How do Rossendales justify a van fee when they have supposedly levied on a vehicle? A van
to REMOVE GOODS may be charged for. Why did they not take the vehicle?
3) Threat of additional van fee

First letter of complaint to Council Appendix E Rossendales letter 5.

It advised that a 110.00 van fee would be incurred. This had already been charged (A van
to REMOVE GOODS may be charged for, but only for one visit and only if a levy has been
made).

First letter of complaint to Council Appendix F Rossendales letter 6

It advised again that a 110.00 van fee would be incurred.

It concerns me that councils and private bailiff firms around the country are extorting money from
people, relying on the general publics ignorance of the law. If I hadnt bothered looking into the
law and my rights I could have paid 319 to the bailiffs for a debt to the council of 57 which was
added to my normal council tax bill. I believe this must be happening to thousands of people around
the country and probably to a greater degree and it is a disgrace.

The following is a list of correspondence regarding this letter. If you have not got copies of any of
them, it is no problem for me to send them to you.

I Complaint to N.E.Lincs Council / Rossendales (08/07/09)


And appendices

Appendix A Rossendales letter 1


Appendix B Rossendales letter 2
Appendix C Rossendales letter 3
Appendix D Rossendales letter 4
Appendix E Rossendales letter 5
Appendix F Rossendales letter 6
Appendix G Rossendales letter 7
Appendix H Rossendales letter 8

II North East Lincs Council Council Tax (27/05/09) Rossendales


reply to a Subject Access Request
III North East Lincs Council Council Tax (27/07/09) Rossendales
IV Formal letter of complaint II (10/08/09)
V Complaint ID BSU2954-Stage 1 (19/08/09)
VII Formal letter of complaint Stage 2 (04/09/09)
VI Complaint ID BSU2954-Stage 2 (02/11/09)

Yours sincerely