Below are some of the questions you may wish to ask upon receipt of a summons, and the answers which may be of some help to you.
Why have I been summoned?
Because according to the Council's records you have failed to pay the amount due, as shown on previous notices. If the amount of the Non-Domestic Rates as shown on the summons is paid in full prior to the date of the hearing, subject to cheque clearance, then further costs are not payable and your attendance at Court is not required as all proceedings will be stopped.
I agree I owe the money, but I cannot afford to pay the amount of the charge in full prior to the date of the Court Hearing.
It is not necessary for you to attend the Court Hearing unless you dispute liability. However, unless payment in full is received by the date of the hearing then the council will apply for a Liability Order.
What Court costs have I incurred?
Issue of this summons has already incurred costs of £63.00.
Additional Liability Order Costs of £40.00, will be added if the Non-Domestic Rates arrears plus the Summons Costs are not paid before the Court Hearing.If you are unable to arrange for immediate payment of your Non-Domestic Rates prior to the Hearing then you should contact the Local Taxation Recovery section as a matter of urgency in order to discuss payment arrangements.
I dispute I owe the money what should I do?
Contact the Local Taxation Recovery section as a matter of urgency, and before the date of the Court Hearing.
I forgot to pay, why did I not receive a reminder notice?
Before commencing legal proceedings for recovery the Council always sends an account and a statutory reminder notice. Failure to receive such notices does not in any way invalidate the summons.
What is a Liability Order?
A Liability Order is an all-purpose order which the Council may obtain by application to the Magistrates' Court. Once it has obtained such an order the Council may without further recourse to the Court, instruct bailiffs to take and sell goods belonging to a debtor, the proceeds of which may be offset against the outstanding Non-Domestic Rates and costs, or consider a Petition to the County Court under the Insolvency Act 1986.
Will my name be on a Credit List where Credit Worthiness Enquiries might be made?
If you have any query regarding the enclosed summons document, or wish to make payment, you should contact the council's Local Taxation section as soon as possible, and prior to attending the Magistrates' Court as this could save you considerable time, inconvenience and additional costs on the date of the Court Hearing.
Last updated: 20 January 2011