Author Topic: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?  (Read 9904 times)

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Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #15 on: 19 May, 2014, 03:55:57 PM »
Thank you In the Clouds, I knew I'd seen this somewhere!

Unfortunatley, I have to be a bit careful what I say as I have been threatened with banning by the Mods for pointing this fact out - according to them, it's "trolling" and "argumentative"!

Incidentally, the Met has now changed it's guidelines regarding this type of Operation.

Offline Darcus

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #16 on: 20 May, 2014, 03:11:29 AM »
Personally, I don't see how that judgement is sound. If your job/career/business is digging holes, then a JCB digger is a tool of your trade, not just a vehicle. It is the object around which the whole of his trade is based, including renting it out as a service; man with a digger. If he is no longer able to earn his living when the JCB is taken away, then it is evident that it is vital to his work.

Just because the law is deliberately ambiguous in order to keep lawyers earning a living doesn't justify a ruling that effectively allows bailiffs to deprive somebody of their living, which is exactly the opposite of what the exemption clause was designed for. How is his case any different from a taxi driver or courier being deprived of their vehicle?

Also this interpretation of exempt goods penalises people who try to optimise their income, using the tools of their trade, by hiring them out when they are not using them? I'm also wondering about the relevance of the word 'business' as in 'for use personally by him in his employment, business or vocation'. So that would be any business that only had one worker, given that Michael Ogden QC states “The idea behind the legislation in my view is and always has been to protect the tools of the trade of the individual worker”.

It certainly doesn't make much sense if the wording of the law and the misinterpretation of it results in the 'individual worker' losing their livelihood, income and tools of their trade purely because they allowed someone else to use them. What exactly is the legislation protecting the 'individual worker' from?
« Last Edit: 20 May, 2014, 03:53:29 AM by Darcus »
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Offline In the Clouds

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #17 on: 20 May, 2014, 08:24:59 AM »
Your above post is excellent and I agree wholeheartedly that in reality there is very little protection for 'tools of the trade'. The 'Toseland' judgment is from 1993 and I should be able to get a copy posted up later on today.

On 6th April the government introduced new legislation which overhauls the bailiff industry. The changes are too numerous to mention here at present but one very worrying clause is that surrounding 'exempt' goods and sadly, the CURRENT position is that if the JCB were to be seized today then almost certainly it will not be considered 'exempt' . The reason being that from 6th April the government have imposed a VALUE on goods that can be considered exempt. The following is from the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1894/part/1/crossheading/exempt-goods/made


Exempt goods

4.  (1)  Subject to paragraph (2) and to regulation 5, the following goods of the debtor are exempt goods—

(a)   items or equipment (for example, tools, books, telephones, computer equipment and vehicles) which are necessary for use personally by the debtor in the debtor’s employment, business, trade, profession, study or education, except that in any case the aggregate value of the items or equipment to which this exemption is applied shall not exceed £1,350
;

What this means is that from 6th April all companies and self employed individuals with arrears of council tax, non domestic rates or unpaid parking tickets are  at serious risk of having their vehicles sold to pay the debt and those who could be protected are the ones who own a vehicle with a very low value (below £1,350).

Local authorities should be thinking very carefully indeed how they provide for this important subject in their contracts. The LA's are perfectly entitled to impose a condition in their contract for a much higher figure and more checks to be imposed etc. After all, it is all well and good to get the immediate debt paid by selling a £10,000 removal lorry (for example) but if that means that the business will have to cease trading this will mean that the debtor will very likely have to apply for benefits and will default on his financial payments for council tax. I really do wonder whether the 'powers that be' in Petty France have really considered the implications of imposing a financial limit on 'exempt' items.

Offline In the Clouds

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #18 on: 20 May, 2014, 09:11:49 AM »
Thank you In the Clouds, I knew I'd seen this somewhere!

Unfortunatley, I have to be a bit careful what I say as I have been threatened with banning by the Mods for pointing this fact out - according to them, it's "trolling" and "argumentative"!

Incidentally, the Met has now changed it's guidelines regarding this type of Operation.

Thank you DD

There is a further problem with these 'roadside operations' and this is because under the new regulations that took effect on 6th April an enforcement agent (new name for bailiff) is not permitted to actually REMOVE a vehicle straight away and instead, if seized on a 'highway' the vehicle must remain clamped and  left in situ for a minimum of 2 HOURS to allow the debtor to make arrangements for payment.

The reality of this is that these 'roadside ops' could turn busy streets into giant car parks. The police need to carefully read and most importantly.....understand the new regulations.

Any chances of providing a link to where the new 'guidelines' can be viewed?
« Last Edit: 20 May, 2014, 09:13:23 AM by In the Clouds »

Offline DastardlyDick

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #19 on: 20 May, 2014, 01:46:27 PM »
Thank you In the Clouds, I knew I'd seen this somewhere!

Unfortunatley, I have to be a bit careful what I say as I have been threatened with banning by the Mods for pointing this fact out - according to them, it's "trolling" and "argumentative"!

Incidentally, the Met has now changed it's guidelines regarding this type of Operation.

Thank you DD

There is a further problem with these 'roadside operations' and this is because under the new regulations that took effect on 6th April an enforcement agent (new name for bailiff) is not permitted to actually REMOVE a vehicle straight away and instead, if seized on a 'highway' the vehicle must remain clamped and  left in situ for a minimum of 2 HOURS to allow the debtor to make arrangements for payment.

The reality of this is that these 'roadside ops' could turn busy streets into giant car parks. The police need to carefully read and most importantly.....understand the new regulations.

Any chances of providing a link to where the new 'guidelines' can be viewed?


The Police wouldn't be too bothered about leaving a vehicle for two hours on the road, as the 'stop sites' are usually chosen so that they can do just that - it's a frequent occurance that these operations uncover people driving without insurance and/or not in accordance with their licence (as well as some very serious offences, and being 'wanted missing') at which point their vehicle is seized by the Police and taken to their car pound. Needless to say, this does not go down at all well with the Bailiffs! If the Bailiffs seize a vehicle, then the onus is on them to comply with the relevant legislation.

I can't provide a link to the new guidlines, as the copy I saw had "restricted" printed on it. I guess it'll have to be a FoI request.
« Last Edit: 20 May, 2014, 03:29:18 PM by DastardlyDick »

Offline Darcus

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #20 on: 20 May, 2014, 02:03:06 PM »
If you could post up the Sheriff of Bedford & Toseland Building Supplies
Ltd v Bishop 1993  case it would be helpful. The only reference I can find to it is from a Jacobs Bailiff document

http://www.jacobsbailiffs.co.uk/files/dat_news_file-27.pdf

I can't find any reference to it on the Bailii site http://www.bailii.org/,  so it is not case law.

It is interesting to see how Jacobs Bailiffs apply it though,

''It has been held (Sheriff of Bedford & Toseland Building Supplies
Ltd v Bishop 1993) that if a tool was occasionally used by another
person then it is not protected. (Therefore if anyone else ever
drives the debtor’s vehicle then it is not exempt)''.
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Offline In the Clouds

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Re: BAILIFF AND POLICE ROADSIDE OPERATIONS - ARE THEY LEGAL?
« Reply #21 on: 20 May, 2014, 10:31:45 PM »


Having problems with uploading the Toseland v Bishop  judgment so have sent a copy to one of the site team.