Before we begin to look at what ‘powers’ the Courts have to send a ‘person’ to jail for none payment of Council Tax and what ‘powers’ the enforcement agents have to enter our homes and or remove ‘goods’ there are a few fundamental facts, points of law and words I wish to clarify for those who may be new to this kind of knowledge.
As a gentle opener here is an extract from a High Court case that I hope will steady the nerves…
‘It is clearly established that the purpose of imprisonment for none payment of Council Tax is to extract payment by coercion and not to punish’.
Essentially what this means is as long as we don’t point blank refuse to pay or break any existing agreement with the Court we cannot go to jail!
The following post is aimed at those who wish to easily and without too much study relief themselves of the burden placed upon them by what are essentially local gangs of the mafia who masquerade as Councils.
With that in mind the first thing one must realise is that all Councils are companies, all Magistrates Courts are companies and in fact all Police forces are companies, but that is for another day; this article is solely aimed at helping good-people to quite being intimated and threatened by the local mafia and their bully-boy enforcement agents.
To check your local council, court and cop shop you can go to one of the following:
So now we know that we are dealing with a corporation we must learn that legally a corporation can only do business with another corporation. This is because a corporation is just a piece of paper: it cannot see, hear, smell touch or taste, and it certainly cannot sign or agree to any kind of contract.
The trick that has been played on us since birth is very simple once it has been pointed out to us.
The word ‘corp-oration’ when split means ‘dead-speak’.
‘Corp’ being ‘corpse’ and ‘oration’ being ‘to speak’.
Some folks are surprised to discover that they themselves are legally considered to be a corporation and enquirer as to how this is so.
Shortly after we were born our Mother or Farther informed the Register office of their new baby and registered the Birth. Without going into too much detail the word Register means to transfer ownership and comes from ‘Regis King’ – to give to the King.
So legally the Birth Certificate in essence transfers the ownership of the Baby ‘us’ to the Crown which is also a corporation!
What also happens, and please check this on your Birth Certificate is that our names are split, meaning the given name and the Surname become two things. The given name is in one box written in correct English I.E. Ryan and in another box with the word ‘and’ between we see the surname which is written using the ALL UPPERCASE TEXT.
So now we have two names, the given AND the surname or do we. See according to the Oxford Styles Manual and others this ALL UPPERCASE TEXT is not English, in fact it is defined as both a symbolic-sign-language and or debased Dog Latin.
All we need to know for now is that the ALL UPPERCASE text, unless we agree to it, is not English. The relevance of my mentioning this style of TEXT is to point out that on grave stones the text is always written using ALL CAPS which signifies the dead.
What we have been told are our names are often written like this Ryan BROOKS or R BROOKS and the reason is that these corporations are tricking us with ‘spell-ing’ into becoming a corporation; believe it or not we are presumed in the eyes of the law to be legally dead!
This is due to an Act that was passed in secret back in 1666 whilst London was on fire, this Act is still in force today and is called the ‘Cestui Que Vie Act 1666’
I just wish to touch on titles and the use of the word ‘you’.
Essentially the titles Mr, Mrs, Miss and so-forth are dead military titles, and they place us in the military at the lowest rank. Titles are also known as epiphytes, ‘epi’ meaning on top of or before hence why the Police have epiphytes on their shoulders with their ID or collar number.
The title is assumed unless we rebut it. These titles change our status from the living man to what’s known as a person or 3rd class citizen-ship that has no rights.
We do not find any title on the Birth Certificate which as we know is the foundation document for all that we have ever done. The Birth Certificate got us the Passport, National Insurance Number, Driver Licence and Death Pledge AKA Mortgage!
As for ‘you’ let’s just say it’s plural, meaning one and another. IE the given name and the SURNAME joined which makes an incorporated corporation or incorporation.
I always ask them who or what is you?
Dear Ryan, we write to you…
So now we have established that we have two-names and legal documents have two-languages we begin to see that at best we are being fraudulently miss-led and extorted of the fruits of our labor.
Now that we have a better comprehension of some of the grammatical tricks they use against us I wish to clarify what the word ‘person’ means legally as all their Acts and Statutes refer to the person or persons, not the man or woman. In a nutshell a ‘person’ according to the law dictionaries is considered to be a corporation! So there we have it, this is how a corporation such as the council is able to trick us through spelling and words with somewhat different meanings into ‘contracting’ with them and paying them lots of money. That said, in this day and age it is hard to do business without being a ‘person’. We need this ‘legal person’ often called a strawman to do banking, obtain a passport or gain employment.
So for now we shall assume that we are all ‘persons’ and see what within this world of legal fiction we can do safely and lawfully to empower ourselves into giving up being scared and intimidated by the local mafia.
To begin with, ‘Council Tax’ despite what they may lead us to believe is a yearly, rolling offer to contract and there are no Laws that compel us to pay it; that is unless we consent. The consent can come in many forms, the obvious consent comes when we sign and register with the council to vote, again there are no Laws which compel us to register. Sure they word the electoral registration document in such a way we believe we MUST. – Must legally = may!
And if it is written in all caps like this ‘MUST’ is it English?
The 2nd form of consent would be given by us creating what is known as joinder.
Joinder simply means consenting to be this fictional corporation I.E. Ryan and BROOKS by giving the name and surname, plus the date of birth and address. Again there are no Laws that force us to furnish anyone other than a constable who suspects a crime has or is about to take place these details.
So this is all well and good if like me one has not given the local mafia any ‘joinder’.
What do we do if we have?
Firstly it is not wise to simply stop paying as essentially this is considered to be a breach of contract and could end up with the matter going to an administrative hearing that may be heard at some point by the Magistrates Court. Instead we write to the council and ask questions. I like to start with whom or what is Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council? A good way of doing this is to send what’s known as a DSAR or subject access request.
Here’s a copy of the DSAR:
:Ryan: of the house Brooks.
For the claimant known as Ryan of the house Brooks is writing to make a request for access to data pursuant to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations. Please note that ‘Notice of Conditional Acceptance’ that was hand served to your legal department on the :07~02~19: still stands, and thus far remains unrebutted and unanswered. For the claimant wishes to make clear that he is not refusing to pay any lawful debt that he may owe, such as Council Tax, however the claimant does require that the following concerns and questions be answered in full.
Please provide the claimant with the following information:
1. Who or what is Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council?
2. For what purpose and reason have Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council been accessing,
processing, storing and holding our data?
3. Please provide us with irrefutable evidence of proof of our explicit consent for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to access, process, store, hold and share our data.
4. In what Fiduciary capacity has Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council accessed, processed, stored, held and shared our data?
5. Provide us with a detailed list of;
a. Who has our data been shared with.
b. For what purpose, and the reason it has been shared.
c. In what fiduciary capacity was that person/s (company or individual) acting?
6. Please provide hard copies of all data that you have accessed, processed, stored, held and shared.
7. In addition, please note that Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is required by law to provide irrefutable evidence of proof of claim/debt. What capacity Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has to make a legal claim on that debt in the form of an appropriate executed Notice or Deed of Assignment and acceptance compliant with section 136 Law of Property Act 1925.
8. Provide irrefutable evidence of proof that our address: *********Stourbridge has been a non-domestic dwelling from the years 2001 – 2019
9. Please provide the name of the dictionary that Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council use to define the meanings of the following words: Person, Occupier, Resident, Order, You, Must, Human, Bill, Statement, and Account.
10. Please provide us with the name of the Styles Manual that is used by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to format its documents.
11. Please clarify, why are some words on Dudley Metropolitan Borough Councils documentation are written/signed in ALL CAPITAL TEXT, is this word art, dog Latin, America sign language or Capitis Diminutio Maxima ? Moreover, is this ALL CAPITALIUSED TEXT a GLOSSA as defined by the Black’s law Dictionary: Glossa viperina est quae corrodit viscera textus. In English: It is a poisonous gloss which corrupts the essence of the text.
12. Why are boxes placed around certain text, do the boxes break the continuation of the facts, jurisdiction? Moreover, does the [boxed off] text remove it text from the page?
13. Please also provide a copy of all Dudley Metropolitan Borough Councils financial accounts, showing how much money comes in and from where, how much goes out and where it goes; please give a full breakdown and report showing the percentage of funds that go to West Midlands Police in particular. Moreover, I require sight of the accounts for all trading names and derivatives of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
14. Please clarify who owns the companies listed on the attached pages which are numbed 3.
15. Who grants the permission, power and authorization for these companies to make demands upon good men and woman?
16. Please clarify what law is being used to make demands for ‘council tax’. If it is the Local Government Finance Act please provide us with evidence that our home is a commercial property and not a domestic dwelling. Moreover, as this is only an Act and not law, please provide details of our consent along and a copy of the proclamation for this Act. Furthermore, please provide us with your company’s definition of a ‘person’ as the above Act is only aimed at ‘persons’ not people I.E. living men and woman.
17. Why does DMBC hire a room in the building trading as DUDLEY COURT HOUSE and print off what looks very much like a summons?
18. Why is the name of the Justice of Peace on these articles a retired solicitor that no longer has any kind of licence to practice?
19. Why does DUDLEY COURT HOUSE have no recorded or copy of any of these so called warrants? (I have attached a copy of both the the Perjury and Fraud Act I strongly suggest that one’ reads both.)We require Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to be aware at the outset that we expect a reply to our request within one month of the date of this letter, as required under Article 12, failing to do so will result in us forwarding our enquiry along with a letter of complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).It may be helpful for you to know that data protection law requires you to respond to a request for data within one calendar month. If you need any more data from me, or a fee, please let me know as soon as possible.We advise Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to take this request with the utmost of seriousness. If the ICO find that our data is/has been concealed or wilfully refused it is a criminal offence and will be reported to Action Fraud.If you do not normally deal with these requests, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer, or relevant staff member. If you need advice on dealing with this request, the Information Commissioner’s Office can assist you. Its website isico.org.uk or it can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.For the claimant hereby gives Sarah Norman fourteen (3) three days to reply to this notice from the above date with a notice sent using recorded post and signed under full commercial liability and penalties of perjury, assuring and promising the claimant that all of the replies and details given to the above requests are true and without deception, fraud or mischief.Please Note: the claimant wishes to deal with this matter in writing and the claimant does not give your organization or any of its agents the permission to make contact by telephone or face-to-face. Should you or any of your agents do so, I must warn you that the contact or calls could constitute ‘harassment’ and I may take action using the Harassment Act 1997.
Sarah Norman we look forward to your response
Yours sincerely by: Ryan of the house Brooks.
At this point before we fry ever bodies head here is a letter that we use when dealing with either the council or their agents. Feel free to copy, paste and edit to suit. Note there is no date; this is because the letter must be sent by registered mail, thus post dated
Also note that our details are down the left hand side and theirs are down the right, this makes us living and not dead. Also note that the surname is of the house Brooks and not of the family. Family essentially means a household of domestic ‘slaves’ so avoid the use of this!
For the attention of Kevin O’Keefe in his private capacity.
Ryan of the house Brooks
Borough Council Dudley Limited
Date as per Registered Mail Post Mark.
Dear Kevin O’Keefe
For the claimant who is known as Ryan of the house Brooks is not aware of any legal relationship with your company which currently trades as ‘Borough Council Dudley Limited’.
For the claimant requires the Kevin O’Keefe to provide him with the evidence that a legal relationship exists.
For the corporation which currently trades as Borough Council Dudley Limited is merely a construct on paper and as such it cannot perform any function as it is not a living, breathing entity. It cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste, therefore has no ability to engage in any intercourse/relationship with the claimant who is a living, breathing, sentient-being.
For the Borough Council Dudley Limited being a corporation has no ability to bring any claims against the living-masculine-being known as: Ryan of the house Brooks; only a man can bring a claim against another man.
Pursuant to the Maxim “Fiction can rise from Law but Law cannot rise from fiction” is a
Statute not Law; it is legislation to regulate and control fictitious constructs such as corporations, not men and woman. Whereas the conduct of interaction between flesh and blood is regulated by the Natural Law, better known as Common Law.
For the Borough Council Dudley Limited a “corporate entity” and can only do business with another corporation without breaking the “in kind” rule of contracts. For the claimant Ryan of the house Brooks as we have established is neither a corporation nor an agent for any corporation such as a ‘legal fiction’ I.E. Person.
For any and all assumed, presumed, expressed or implied power, authority or right that the Borough Council Dudley Limited or its agents believes it has is rebutted.
For your information Kevin O’Keefe the following information has been added:
“Personage” – The crime of knowingly or negligently misrepresenting a living man of woman as a legal fiction – some form of corporation, such as a public trust. Miss-characterising the living man known as Ryan of the house Brooks as Mr R Brooks, Ryan Brooks, Mr R BROOKS and so forth, all of the above are crimes of personage.
“Barratry” – The crime of knowingly or negligently bringing false claims or charges based on personage in order to use foreign statutory law against living people.
For as the claimant Ryan of the house Brooks wishes to remain in honour therefore requires the remedy so the alleged debt once proven can be settled. As the UK is in bankruptcy, the claimant could not pay any debt with a debt based currency.
Maxim: ‘He who brings forth the liability must provide the remedy’.
Failure by the Kevin O’Keefe in his private capacity to respond within three (3) days from receipt of this correspondent shall constitute legal accord and satisfaction.
Finally, as we have established that the claimant: Ryan of the House Brooks is a masculine-man that is living and breathing the claimant kindly requests that all correspondence and documentation be correctly addressed and directed as such, no dead titles, no ALL-CAPS names, no ‘you’ and no military post-codes.
By: Ryan of the house Brooks
(Autograph here) and Thumbprints.
No assured value, No liability. Errors & Omissions Excepted.
All Rights Reserved.
Without Recourse – Non Assumpsit
Before we get on to the Acts, Statutes Rules and Regulations that seemingly govern council tax I have added a glossary that can be skipped for now and referred back to at a later date.
Maxims of Law –Volenti non fit injuria. There is no injury to one who consents.
Ignorance of the Law does not excuse misconduct in anyone, least of all a sworn officer of the law.
· A general appearance cures antecedent irregularity of process, a defective service, etc.
· Certain legal consequences are attached to the voluntary act of a person.
· The presence of the body cures the error in the name; the truth of the name cures an error in the description
· An error in the name is immaterial if the body is certain.
· An error in the name is nothing when there is certainty as to the person.
· The truth of the demonstration removes the error of the name.
· A fiction is a rule of law that assumes something which is or may be false as true.
· Where truth is, fiction of law does not exist.
· There is no fiction without law.
· Fictions arise from the law, and not law from fictions
· Fiction is against the truth, but it is to have truth.
· In a fiction of law, equity always subsists.
· A fiction of law injures no one.
· Fiction of law is wrongful is it works loss or injury to anyone.
· For the Appellations used by your company – Mr, Ms, Mrs or Miss are military titles Refer (Style manual) is thee claiming that I the man is in the military?
· Use of Surname (Byname)
Name, title or epithet added to a person’s name.
For the use of the surname is a convention rather than a legal necessity, and the
Surname is never formally bestowed on a person but acquired by reputation.
At common law an adult may assume any surname by using such name, and
becoming known by it. A surname is not a matter of law but a matter of repute.
· Family Name – by its own definition is incorrect unless I choose to be
You’re franchised and/or bonded slave/servant.
By requesting the “Family Name” are you enticing me to be your slave/servant?
Use of Surname (Byname) Nomen / Cognomen
The use of surnames appears to be more a response to needs of state and church administration (the exchequer, legal transactions, and tenants’ rolls) than for purposes of self-identification.
The use of a surname is a convention rather than a legal necessity, and the surname is never formally bestowed on a person but acquired by reputation. In the most recent
· Family Name
Family (noun) early 15c., “servants of a household,” from Latin familia “family servants, domestics collectively, the servants in a household,” thus also “members of a household, the estate, property; the household, including relatives and servants,” abstract noun formed from famulus “servant, slave,” which is of unknown origin.
The Latin word rarely appears in the sense “parents with their children,” for which domus
(see domestic (adj.)) was used. Derivatives of famulus include famula “serving woman,
maid,” famulanter “in the manner of a servant,” famulitas” servitude,” familiaris “of one’s household, private,” familiaricus “of household slaves,” familiaritas “close friendship.”
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 727.
· Gender – Male/Female. Are we cattle or farmyard animals? Would not Man/Woman or Boy/Girl be more fitting? Masculine or Feminine.
· People – Man/Woman, Persons – Artificial/Natural & Private.
For the Vatican created the “Person”, it is not the living man; it is the rank in society, a military account holder. By consenting to hold any form of account, thee has agreed to act as the person and thus be deceived to serve the false GOD, and pay the accounts of Rome. For the ‘legal person’ is also the “vessel” in which the State has a security interest, via the Birth Bond. Upon reaching the full legal age, we become the Master, (Mr/Mrs/Ms) of that “vessel” that has “gone to sea”, and under the Admiralty Maritime jurisdiction, which is the “Law of the Sea” and the Cestui Que Vie Act 1666 (chapter 11 18 and 19 Cha 2) ‘persons’ are considered ‘lost at sea’ and can be salvaged. For I the man am not lost at sea, and I do not consent to being salvaged under any law and or jurisdiction.
· Person = Debtor = Trustee = Payer = Under Admiralty/Martial Law (Vatican)
· Surname capitalised = Ledger Account Holder (inc. address or part thereof in caps.)
· Man/Woman = Creditor = Beneficiary = Receives Benefits = Under Common Law/
Constitution. (Un)der the God, the Man has the dominion over the whole Earth and the contents.
Question – Is this a ploy by you and/or your corporation to trick thee into being a Vatican.
Account holder (person) and thereby losing our God-given creditor-status?
· Date-of-Birth/Berth ( D.O.B.) – Born or Birthed?
For the ‘Date Born’ and the ‘Date-of-Birth’ seem to be different events. The Date Born – requires no further explanation, and the date-of-birth for the surname is the date born. Moreover the Date-of-Birth for the ‘Court Christian’ (uses Given name/s only) and is the date when the birth was registered. – Refer Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 472 under DATE.
· Postal Address – Delivery of the Postal Articles to the Street address and/or the Post Office Box is also deemed Military. DO-NOT-USE-YOUR-POSTCODE-EVER!
Residential Address – “Persons” have “Residency” with the State. For I the man “Sojourn”. If somebody enquirers as to where I live the correct response is in here, pointing at my heart.
· Postcodes are Military Divisions also used to discriminate for insurance purposes
School funding, home loans etc., and to determine Centre of Main Interest.
· Four Corners Rule
Anything inside a box or square brackets creates an implied “inner box” that is separated from the “outer box” grammatically and thus legally isolates the contents of the “inner box,” – rendering what is in the “inner box” as mere reference or comment, but non-substantial to the outlying text of the contract in the “outer box”.
· Four Corners Rule
The Use of Brackets and the Four Corners Rule – Featured Content
FOUR-CORNERS RULE. 1. The principle that a document’s meaning is to be gathered from the entire document and not from its isolated parts. … 2. The principle that no extraneous evidence should be used to interpret an unambiguous document.
Black’s Law Dict. 8th Edition, Page 1941.
For the use of brackets on certain information on a form combines a grammar device with legal theory to legally isolate whatever is in the brackets from (thus, render it legally inapplicable and insubstantial to) the body of text within the surrounding contract.
Four Corners Rule (cont.
For the legal theory of this comes from the Four Corners Rule in law: Under “four corners rule”, intention of parties, especially that of grantor, is to be gathered from instrument as a whole and not from isolated parts thereof. Davis v. Andrews, Tex.Civ.App., 361 S.W.2d 419,423. (Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. p. 591)
· DOG-LATIN. The Latin of illiterate persons; Latin words put together on the English
Grammatical system. Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 569.
· GLOSSA VIPERINA EST QUIE CORRODIT VISCERA TEXTUS. 11 Coke, 34. It is a poisonous gloss which corrupts the essence of the text.
and/or – Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 820.
· CAPITIS DIMINUTIO MAXIMA. The highest or most comprehensive loss of status.
This occurred when a man’s condition was changed from one of freedom to one of bondage,
when he became a slave. It swept away with it all rights of citizenship and all family rights.
and/or – Black’s Law Dictionary 4th Edition, 1968, Page 264.
· Personation in general
Any person who, with intent to defraud any person, falsely represents himself or herself to be some other person, living or dead, real or fictitious, is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated, is a misdemeanour, and the person is liable to imprisonment for 3 years
· People – Man/Woman, Persons, – Artificial, Natural & Private.
There is a common misinterpretation by people in general as to the difference between a
Man/woman, a person, an artificial person, a natural person, and a natural & private-person.
“JOHN HENRY DOE” is a corporate artificial person, a citizen, and a ‘legal entity’ created by the government as an agent/employee to collect revenue for the federal, state, and local governments and whose future earnings are pledged to these ruling corporation/s by tacit hypothecation.
An “entity” can also be called a “natural person” Refer Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition 1968, ARTIFICIAL
The (State owned) full name “John Henry Doe” is a ‘citizen’, a ‘resident’, a ‘natural person’, a ‘trustee’ and ‘usufruct’, consenting to accept and cover all debts of the State administrator by the use of ‘their’ surname. As a ‘slave’ J.H.D. consents to enter private international contracts and forgo all rights to natural justice (Common Law and Human Rights). Date Born used as D.O.B Birth.
A representative in unlimited capacity as a driver, tax-payer, rate-payer, etc. (jobs ending in er/or). The (Court Christian) Given name “John Henry”, in basic English grammar, is a name styled in title (upper and lower) case and is indicative of a living, breathing, flesh and blood man, created by God and able to exercise all his God given inalienable rights and is the only correct true full name to use. It is not our property. It is a creation of government, subject to security and is copyright
To make any mark, as upon a document, in token of knowledge, approval, acceptance, or obligation.
· SIGNATURE. … … A “signature” may be written by hand, printed, stamped, typewritten, engraved, photographed, or cut from one instrument and attached to another, and a signature lithographed on an instrument by a party is sufficient for the purpose of signing it; it being immaterial with what kind of instrument a signature is made.
And whatever mark, symbol, or device one may choose to employ as representative of himself is sufficient.
Black’s Law dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 1553.
· AUTOGRAPH. One’s handwriting.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 169.
· ALLOGRAPH. A writing or signature made for a person by another; opposed to autograph.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition, 1968, Page 100.
· Underlined, Underscored, Italics, and Bold.
Underlined, underscored – has the same grammatical effect as Italics and/or bold.
Refer (Government) Style manual- For authors, editors and Printers.
· Italics means removed from the page, or text that belongs in the margin, or from another place. It has no jurisdiction with the original content – rendering separation.
(Italics or cursive seem to be the ‘language’ of the Vatican.)
· Bold – Highlighted, stand off the page, thus it is not on the page – rendering separation.
The law governing the enforcement of payment of council tax
Enforcement of Council Tax is governed by Regulation 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, SI 613/992.
The relevant parts are as follows:
“(1) Where a billing authority has sought to levy an amount by distress under regulation 45, the debtor is an individual who has attained the age of 18 years, and the person making the distress reports to the authority that he was unable (for whatever reason) to find any or sufficient goods of the debtor on which to levy the amount, the authority may apply to a magistrates’ court for the issue of a warrant committing the debtor to prison.
(2) On such application being made the court shall (in the debtor’s presence) inquire as to his means and inquire whether the failure to pay which has led to the application is due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect.
(3) If (and only if) the court is of the opinion that his failure is due to his willful refusal or culpable neglect it may if it thinks fit–
(a) issue a warrant of commitment against the debtor, or
(b) fix a term of imprisonment and postpone the issue of the warrant until such time and on such conditions (if any) as the court thinks just.”
The legislation goes on to say, at that the maximum period of time is three months.
Further, the Act provides that if Council Tax is not paid as required a magistrates’ court may make a liability order against a debtor.
Deductions from income support
6 (1) Regulations under paragraph 1(1) above may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (“the debtor”) and the debtor is entitled to income support a job seeker’s allowance or state pension credit.
(a) the authority concerned may apply to the Secretary of State asking him to deduct sums from any amounts payable to the debtor by way of [that benefit], in order to secure the payment of any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made; and
(b) the Secretary of State may deduct such sums and pay them to the authority towards satisfaction of any such outstanding sum.
The case law is extensive and refers to poll tax default because of the very large numbers of people sent to prison by magistrates in the 1990s: 1,426 people in 1993 and 1,361 in 1994. The case law regarding poll tax imprisonment applies equally to imprisonment for council tax default, as the statutory provisions for enforcement are essentially the same. When challenged by judicial review the vast majority of these poll tax committals were held to have been unlawful.
This was for several reasons. Firstly, the debtor was sent to prison as a punishment. The powers of the magistrates are coercive not punitive, intended to be exercised only when the debtor has the means to clear the debt. Thus, the sole purpose of issuing a warrant of commitment is to compel the debtor to pay where he has the means to do so. In R v Leicester Justices ex parte Deary, Brooke J stressed that:
“The court has now repeatedly made clear that the purpose of the powers of the court under Regulation 41 are not the powers of punishment for past misdeeds, but powers to ensure future payment of past liabilities.”
Secondly, in some cases, the court appears to have imposed imprisonment as a deterrent to other tax defaulters. Thus, in R v Leeds Magistrates ex parte Meikleham, Dyson J stated:
“It is clearly established that the purpose of imprisonment is to extract payment by coercion and not to punish … In my judgment there is no power in the magistrates to pass a sentence of imprisonment pursuant to Regulation 41(3) as a deterrent. They would not even have been able to pass a deterrent sentence had this been a criminal case. That is the effect of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. In my judgment, it is a fortiori in a case concerned with civil obligations.”
Thirdly, it has been established that debtors must not be imprisoned if there is an alternative:
“It is established that it is wrong in law to pass a sentence of imprisonment when an alternative to imprisonment is available.”
Fourthly, magistrates must not fetter their discretion, and thus deduction from state benefit must be considered as an alternative to imprisonment:
“I am quite satisfied that they [the justices] failed to have regard to the purpose of the legislation by failing to consider the alternative of deducting the applicant’s arrears from his income support. The failure to consider that alternative was, in my view, an unlawful fetter of their discretion.”
Fifthly, deductions from benefit should be ordered even if the debtor refuses to cooperate: In R v Hull Justices ex parte Johnson, Schiemann J stated:
“That procedure [to order deductions from social security payments] does not require the co-operation of the debtor apart from an ability of the authority to be able to specify the name and address of the debtor, the name and place of the court which made the liability order, the date when the liability order was made, the total amount of the arrears specified in the liability order and the total amount which the authority wishes to be deducted from income support.”
Finally, it has been established that the standard of proof is the criminal standard. In R v South Tyneside Justices, ex parte Martin, Sedley J held that finding that a debtor was guilty of culpable neglect on the balance of probability was not a good enough standard of proof, since the citizen’s liberty was at stake. The justices should have decided on the criminal standard of proof, beyond reasonable doubt, or the highest civil standard.
The High Court decision in R (on the application of Amanda Aldous)
In Aldous, above, the High Court found the decision of the magistrates to sentence Mrs Aldous to imprisonment was unlawful on five grounds.
First, the law requires that the Magistrates’ Court making the enquiry required by regulation 47 must treat each liability order, each year of liability, separately. In the case of Mrs Aldous there was no separate inquiry by the Magistrates for each of the separate years of liability. Following an earlier case, that would be fatal to the decision of the Justices.
Secondly, the requirement is that in respect of each amount there should be an inquiry as to means. In the present case, the enquiry was so hopelessly inadequate as not to meet the requirements of the regulations; there was nothing which could properly be called an enquiry’.
The third requirement of Regulation 47 is an enquiry whether the failure to pay, which has led to the application, is due to willful refusal or culpable neglect. In making their decision the magistrates should have taken into account Mrs Aldous’ offer to pay £20 per week towards discharging her liability. In failing to give proper weight to that factor the Magistrates erred. The Magistrates should have decided whether the failure to pay was due to culpable neglect or wilful refusal. In this case, they failed to distinguish between those two and failed to make the finding that was necessary as a precondition to fixing a term of imprisonment.
Fourthly, there is the fact that the purpose of imprisonment under regulation 47 is coercive. There had been no attempt to persuade Mrs Adous to make the payment in any other way, and there appears to have been no consideration of what period would be appropriate to the purpose of persuading Mrs Aldous to pay. There were other ways in which the local authority might have been able to obtain payment, for example, by attachment to the earnings of her husband.
Finally, the court stressed that it must consider the effect of imprisonment on the children. In this regard it held that although the existence of children cannot keep a person out of prison who should properly be sent to prison, a sentencing court needs to bear in mind what the effect on the children will be; if there are children and if the court does not have the information it needs in order to assess the effect of the parent’s imprisonment on them, then it must make inquiries so that it is properly informed. The court held that those enquiries were not made in this case.
This case reminds us that the power to imprison people for non-payment of council tax still exists and, as we saw in numerous poll tax cases, it is vulnerable people such as Amanda Aldous who are most likely to be sent to prison. Despite having no income of her own and having caring responsibilities for her children, she was imprisoned for non-payment of a financial liability for which she was jointly and severally liable with her husband.
The serial errors of law on the part of the magistrates reveal the danger of perfunctory justice. As the courts have made clear on very many occasions imprisonment for non-payment of a civil debt should only be used as a last resort. A worrying feature of this case is the apparent lack of awareness of this fact on behalf of those who participated in the hearing that led to Mrs Aldous being sent to prison on 14 January 2011. This case also shows an increasing willingness of the higher courts to give effect to the article 8 rights of parents and children. Whilst caring responsibilities cannot mean that a person cannot be sent to prison, the court must balance the interests of any affected children against the need to send someone to prison. In doing so courts must take notice of the trauma of separation of mother and child.
Imprisonment for council tax default is unlawful because the law states that imprisonment is a last resort and other methods should be tried first: the courts can either order attachment of payment from benefit if the debtor is unemployed or from wages/salary if the debtor has a job, and from any savings account if the debtor has neither job nor benefit but has assets, so there is always an alternative. Unfortunately, some magistrates impose custody on council tax debtors as a punishment; but this is explicitly forbidden by law. Owing money is not a crime, and imposing any form of punishment is not permitted by law.
The Administration of Justice Act 1970 S.40 makes it a Criminal Offence for a creditor or a creditor’s agent (often a debt collection agency) to make demands (for money), which are aimed at causing ‘alarm, distress or humiliation, because of their frequency or publicity or manner’.
Equally, a creditor will be committing an offence if they falsely imply that non-payment of the debt will lead to criminal proceedings; or the creditor pretends to be someone they are not e.g. a court official or bailiff. It is also an offence to send a person a document which looks like it has been sent from a court.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997
If we feel subject to Debt Collection Harassment then this too could be classed as a criminal offence. Harassment can be verbal or in writing and would include making repeated calls to your workplace or in anti-social hours. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 makes it a Criminal Offence for any person to pursue a course of action “which they know, or ought to know, amounts to harassment of another person”.
What is a bailiff?
A bailiff is someone who works on behalf of the courts to collect a debt. There are four types of bailiff, who act differently according to the type of debt being collected:
Private: They can be self-employed, employed by a private firm or employed by another organisation. They will collect Council Tax arrears and unpaid parking fines for local authorities, and money owed to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), but might be employed by any creditor to collect the debt.
County Court bailiff: They are directly employed by the County Court to collect unpaid County Court Judgments (CCJs) and must follow guidelines laid down by the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
Sheriff / High Court Enforcement Officers: They are contracted by the High Court and work in geographical county areas. They work out of the local Sheriff’s Office under the control of an Under-Sheriff who is usually responsible for that area. If a creditor has a County Court Judgment (CCJ) of more than £600 (including court costs) they can transfer the judgment to the High Court for enforcement – unless it is a debt regulated by the Consumer Credit Act, as these can only be enforced through the County Court.
Magistrates Court bailiff: They work for the Magistrates Court and are responsible to the clerk of the court. They mainly deal with money owed in criminal offences.
The above are all ‘certificated bailiffs’, which means they are granted a certificate following application to a County Court. To be granted a certificate they must satisfy the court that they are:
A ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a certificate and possesses sufficient knowledge of the law of distress,
And they must lodge in court a bond or deposit for £10,000, or have an insurance indemnity for this amount. A new security must be provided if the old security runs out or is reduced.
A debt collector is NOT a bailiff
Some collection agencies may threaten to send someone to your home if you refuse to pay them the amounts they request. As a representative of a Debt Collection Agency, they have no powers at all.
When are bailiffs used?
Bailiffs can be instructed to seize goods from your home if you fail to pay your creditors, and the debt has been passed to the courts to enforce – for example, if a County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been granted. They can also be used to repossess your home or to enforce certain arrest warrants.
Before any action is taken, bailiffs receive instruction by a warrant which specifies how much is owed.
They can seize goods for:
Council Tax arrears
Child support arrears
County or High Court debts
VAT and tax debts
Do bailiffs have the right for the power of entry?
In general, we do not have to let bailiffs into hour home or place of business, and they cannot enter your home between 9pm and 6am. They cannot use force to gain entry into a property on their first visit – they can only use “peaceable means”.
This means they can enter through a:
However, they cannot get into your home via:
Climbing over a wall or fence
Climbing a locked gate or barrier
Taking up floorboards
What happens when bailiffs gain ‘peaceful entry’?
Once the bailiff is inside our house after entering peaceably, they will firstly search your home. They will not take items on their first visit, but will make a list of what they intend to take and sell (this is called seizing).
Once in our house they have the right of access to all rooms, and can use force to gain access into other parts of the property.
They can call again at a later date and enter your house without your permission, forcefully if necessary, to remove and impound your goods.
However, they can only seize and impound goods to cover the debt and their fees, nothing more. When seizing goods they must leave the premises safe.
Can a bailiff force entry?
The answer to this depends on the type of debt they are collecting, and whether they have visited before. If they are collecting an unpaid CCJ and this is their first visit, they cannot force entry. There are however certain situations where bailiffs can force entry, including:
Collecting unpaid fines: As a last resort they can force entry, whether they have been in your home before or not, if they have a Magistrates Court warrant.
They have gained peaceful entry before: If they have been in your property before by means of ‘peaceable entry’, they can force entry when they next visit if you do not allow them in.
County Court bailiffs entering a commercial property: They can only do this if there is no living accommodation attached. They need permission from the court to force entry into any commercial property.
Collecting income tax or VAT: They must also have permission from the court – for example a tax collector with a warrant from a Magistrates court. And they can only do this if they failed in a previous attempt at ‘peaceable entry’.
Following goods: Where entry was gained from a different property and made a levy, and they are now following the goods.
If a bailiff is coming to your house?
A bailiff can call at your house:
At any reasonable time to seize goods,
But they must give you at least 7 days’ notice of their first visit.
If we think a bailiff is going to call or may soon call at our house, be aware that we do not have to let them unless they have previously gained entry. However, if we leave any doors or windows open, they have the right to enter through them, so long as they use ‘peaceable’ means.
In practice, when a bailiff calls, they are more likely to try to open your door, rather than knock on it. Walking into our house unannounced may not be polite, but it is entry by ‘peaceable means’.
This is the reason why we should close and lock all our doors and windows if we think we may be due a visit! Once they have gained entry, they may also force entry to any other parts of the premises.
Keeping the bailiffs out
In order to keep the bailiffs out, especially on their first visit:
Don’t open your door to them. Use the door chain if you have one.
Don’t leave windows or doors open on the ground floor.
Inform family members who live in the same home about the visit to ensure they don’t let them in, otherwise this would count as ‘peaceable entry’.
If one has locked the door and then decides in a moment of madness to open it to talk to the bailiff, one still does not have to let them in (if they have not previously entered).
They may make an effort to enter, but if you stand your ground they are not permitted to force their way past you (although they are permitted to do so as a last resort if collecting unpaid criminal fines, Income Tax or VAT).
What will happen if I am not home?
If we are not home then a bailiff will attempt to gain ‘peaceable entry’ if a family member is in – and they may force entry if collecting unpaid fines of a criminal nature, VAT or if they have been before.
If it is their first visit and they are unable to force entry, they may look through your windows to make a list of goods they intend to seize and will leave a letter to say they have attempted a visit.
What rights do I have?
We cannot be sent to prison for not co-operating with a bailiff. We do not have to let them into our home.
A bailiff must not threaten us illegally, force entry to our home (unless this is within their right because of the type of debt or if this is their second visit) or use offensive language.
Other Council Tax enforcement options:
For non-payment of council tax and council tax arrears there are other options available to the authorities such as: Charging Orders on your home or Bankruptcy proceedings if the debt is above £5,000 and we own our home.
Council Tax and Prison
We can be sent to prison for up to 3 months if the court decides we don’t have a good reason to not pay the Council Tax and or we refuse to do so.
Most people ask if they can go to jail for not paying council tax. There have been cases in the UK where people have been jailed for not paying their council tax however, this is extremely rare.
If we don’t make payments for arrears, then the local authority can ask for us to be committed to prison. In order to be sent to prison the magistrate must be convinced that we have either ‘willfully refused’ to pay the tax or we have been ‘culpably neglectful’ which means we have had the means to pay but have simply neglected to pay.
We will receive a Summons to appear before the magistrates to explain why we should not be committed to prison. Regular payments, even small ones, are a valid defence against imprisonment and the magistrates have the power to write off some or all of the debt. If we do not appear or write in with a conditional acceptance which I will come to a Warrant for our arrest will be issued. If we follow the correct steps this will never happen.
I would strongly suggest that for anyone that wishes to quit paying these crooks that they should set up a Standing Order for something like £3.00 per month until the matter has been remedied, this way one cannot ever go to jail as one has been honouring the alleged contract and making payments. It must be done by standing order, not DD or cash.
Finally as a Bruceee Bonus, once the mafia back down, and they will, all monies that we have paid must be refunded. The quickest way to do this in my experience is to use the Direct Debit Guarantee and claim what is known as a Direct Debit Indemnity Claw-back, one can claim up to 6 years worth of Council Tax back; which could mean a new car, conservatory or around the world trip, very nice