Council Tax Recovery

Committal

Only after an Enforcement officer has returned a liability order can committal proceedings be taken.

A committal application is issued by the Council, either by hand or by Royal Mail recorded delivery, requiring the debtor to appear at court for a 'means enquiry'. If matters cannot be dealt with prior to entering court, the debtor will be required to be present at the court. The debtor will be asked to explain to the magistrate why the debt has not been paid. The court will request that the debtor completes a means enquiry form.

The magistrate must decide whether the Council Taxpayer has wilfully refused or neglected to pay the tax.

Magistrate's options:

  • Committal for a period of up to 3 months
  • Suspended sentence on payment of periodic amounts
  • Remittance of the debt
  • Adjournment of the case
  • Dismissal of the case

If the debtor does not adhere to the committal application and does not attend court, the Council's Court Officer will request that a warrant with bail be issued in the debtor's absence. If granted the warrant will be passed to the Enforcement Agents to enforce and a new hearing arranged.

If the debtor fails to attend court on the second request a warrant without bail will be requested. This means that if granted the Enforcement officer will take the debtor into custody where he/she will remain until a new court hearing is set.