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Council tax arrears

Court Liability Order

Liability Order Hearing

At the Liability Order Hearing, an authorised nominated officer from the Council will seek, on oath, to prove to the Magistrates that: -

  • The Council Tax has been correctly set
  • Notice of the tax has been published
  • Remind letters/final notices have been issued
  • Complaint was made at the Magistrates' Court
  • Summonses were issued after the laying of that complaint
  • Amounts are outstanding (including costs) at the Court date

Once proved (on oath), the Liability Orders will be made by the Magistrates

Frequently asked questions

Why has this summons been issued?

  • The summons has been served on you because you have failed to pay your Council Tax in accordance with the instalment dates detailed on your Council Tax bill. This is despite at least one reminder notice being sent to you to request you to bring your payments up to date and make future payments on time.

Why have identical summonses been sent to other people who reside with me (if applicable)?

  • You are jointly and severally liable to pay the Council Tax outstanding with the other person(s) who have received a summons. However, please note that only one set of costs are required to be paid when the balance is paid in full to the Council.

Do I have to pay the costs even if I pay before the date of the Court Hearing?

  • Yes. The costs charged have been incurred in issuing this summons to you.

How can I stop action being taken at the Court Hearing?

  • There are two ways you can stop a Liability Order (i.e. a court order) being made against you.
    • (i) You must pay the amount outstanding on the summons including costs in full, prior to the hearing. This is because you have now lost the right to pay by instalments. Or
    • (ii) If you have a valid defence against the issue of an order, you must attend court to state your case. 

What does a Liability Order allow the Council to do if an agreement cannot be reached?

Last updated Wednesday, 12th April 2017

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