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Please help re baillif

(8 Posts)
RegTheMonkey Wed 18-Sep-13 14:56:38

Back story - a couple of years ago my husband got a letter from a court in Manchester summoning him because he had been caught travelling on metrolink without a ticket. He has quite a common name, and they also had his date of birth. However, we live in a remote part of Scotland and he has never even been to Manchester. We thought, simple mistaken identity. He rang the clerk of court and they said they would drop it. About two months ago he got another letter from the court saying as they had not received payment of his fine they would take it further. He rang them, and wrote again, enclosing the copy of his original letter. They are not accepting that he is not the man who travelled on the metrolink without a ticket. He decided to do nothing, as we are under Scottish law and he thought they would be unable to pursue it. I also think -surely the burden of proof is with them - to prove he is the man, and not that he has to prove he is not? Anyway, today I just opened a letter from a firm of bailiffs - their letterhead says they are High Court Enforcement Officers and they want £205 to be paid to them in 7 days, or their bailiffs will come to the house to remove goods for sale by public auction. I am appalled and frightened. I work from home so I am always here. Can they really do this? He is going to ring the court again, but they have obviously passed it on. The nearest CAB office only operates every fortnight here and is a long journey away. I hope someone on here can help with some advice.

ItsDecisionTime Wed 18-Sep-13 16:09:48

Call the bailiffs directly and tell them they are chasing the wrong person and if they persist, you will take legal action against them. Write to the court (or follow up any telephone conversations with a written summary of your conversation). Make sure you get names of people you speak to. Your husband must have been instructed to attend a court hearing and chose not to? Look for a solicitor in your local area who offers a free consultation and take their advice.

RegTheMonkey Wed 18-Sep-13 16:19:27

He spoke to the clerk of court on the telephone who told him not to worry (this was the first time) that it was obviously a mistake and the case would be dropped. So we relaxed and thought that was the end of it. Now it's started up again 2 years later and now they are sending the bailiffs. I will ask him to speak to our solicitor.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 18-Sep-13 16:25:05

Your solicitors bill could easily top the fine amount within a couple of hours of their work so do be careful. You need to just keep phoning people until someone listens to you. Insist on them writing to you, you can email copies of your letters to the court, ask for it to be put in front of a judge.

RegTheMonkey Wed 18-Sep-13 16:29:10

The problem is we are in Scotland. The law is different here regarding bailiffs and seizures of goods. So I don't know if the English bailiffs will sell the debt on to a Scottish company. I really don't think they are going to travel all the way up here and try and find our remote cottage. Or maybe they will. I need to make husband see the seriousness of it. He treats is a bit lightly as if nothing will happen. But he won't be here when they come to the door.

ItsDecisionTime Wed 18-Sep-13 16:33:20

For your own sanity, you need to get it sorted out one way or the other. You don't want to be jumping out of your skin every time there's a knock on the door or the phone rings. A solicitor should offer a free consultancy lasting 30 - 60 minus and that should be enough time to advise you which direction to take.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 18-Sep-13 16:35:15

I wouldn't treat it lightly, they could easily instruct a local firm (although I'm not strong of the jurisdiction points, as you said, I would be surprised if it would help you). Just contact the court and keep on at them until someone listens.

RegTheMonkey Wed 18-Sep-13 16:56:43

Thanks all. My unease is growing. Husband takes so long to take action about things and thinks I worry too much about stuff. I will have a very serious chat with him tonight. The lawyer's office is just along the street from husband's place of work, so hopefully I can prod him in that direction asap.

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