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    Bailiffs encourage complaints to their own company or their trade association. You will waste your time. They play lip service getting you into an endless volley of letter-writing until you give up your complaint. There is an official channel to complain about a bailiff, but limited to questioning the bailiff’s fitness to hold a certificate. Unless you can show the bailiff is unfit to hold a certificate, for example, he has undeclared convictions, sex offences, commits fraud or lacks proficient knowledge of enforcement regulations. Instead, make a claim and recover your damages. You hit the bailiff where it hurts most – in the pocket.

    Make a complaint about a bailiff – Form EAC2

    Everyone has a statutory right to complain about a certificated bailiffs fitness to hold a certificate.

    There is no fee, it only takes a few minutes and you don’t even have to go to Court!

    The law:

    Regulation 9 of the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014,

    Paragraph 84.20 of the Schedule of the Civil Procedure (Amendment No.2) Rules 2014 (procedure to make a complaint).

    You can complain about any person including High Court Enforcement Officers whose name appears in the HMCTS Public Register of Certificated Bailiffs.

    If the bailiff does not have a certificate then he commits an offence under paragraph 63(6) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Follow this article.

    Grounds for a complaint include;

    Violence

    Threats of violence

    Assault

    Harassment, including harassment by sending nuisance text messages

    Causing injury

    Damage to goods or property

    Sex offences

    Malicious behaviour, e.g. threatening to call ‘social services’ or a ‘locksmith’

    Conversion of controlled goods or vehicle to his own private use

    If your complaint is about appropriating money or charging improper fees, then have a detailed assessment hearing.

    Tip!

    If you are bringing a money claim for the return of money or goods, then this complaint should be postponed until after your civil claim has concluded. During that claim hearing, you can ask the judge to make a finding of fact against the bailiff proving he breached a regulations or statutory provision and, you can use the judge’s finding of fact to support your EAC2 complaint. A judge hearing an EAC2 complaint cannot go behind a finding of fact.

    Bailiffs can have their certificates cancelled and order to pay you compensation from his bailiff bond.

    Every Certificated bailiff must have a bond or deposit lodged with the court to the value of £10,000.

    If the bailiff has committed a criminal offence, such as fraud, violence or failed to show evidence of a warrant, then consider making a criminal complaint.

    Keep your complaint honest and truthful. Better still, make a sworn statement and the court will treat it with a lot more respect.

    Procedure

    1. Identify which court issued the bailiff his certificate using the Ministry of Justice public register of certificated bailiffs

    2. Prepare a sworn statement based on this template as a starting point. Say what happened and what regulation the bailiff has breached. Say it briefly and factually and be totally honest. If you want to attend the complaint hearing to add more weight, the court will write with the date and location of the hearing. Get this sworn in before a solicitor or a commissioner of oaths (fee usually £5) and send this to the court you filed your original complaint.

    ALWAYS SUPPORT YOUR COMPLAINT WITH A SWORN STATEMENT OF TRUTH

    3. Copy the grounds of your complaint to a Form EAC2

    4. File the Form EAC2 and supporting sworn statement at the court that issued the bailiff’s certificate.

    5. The bailiff will reply to your complaint. It will usually a long wordy chronology of the history of the debt. Read it carefully and mark out, where the bailiff disputes your complaint.

    6. Ask any witnesses to make a sworn statement re-asserting your complaint address everything the bailiff disputes your grounds and assertions.

    7. The bailiff is required to attend court whether or not you choose to attend.

    Always draft your complaint in plain English and attend the complaint hearing, you get to tell the judge what happened.

    Here are some tips for attending a complaint hearing.

    Using digital evidence

    Always mention on the Form EAC2 that you wish to present digital evidence, such as a telephone call recording or a video, and bring it with you on a device. The court usher will pass the device up to the judge to view it.

    Possible outcomes can be:

    i) The bailiff’s certificate is cancelled

    ii) Compensation is awarded

    iii) Court adjourns for 30 minutes for the parties to agree a redress outside court**

    iv) Your complaint is dismissed

    v) The judge orders bailiff & council’s defence statements to be made over to the complainant

    vi) The court orders the bailiff to undergo retraining

    vii) The court accepts a voluntary undertaking from the bailiff to cease & deist the behaviour complained about

    viii) Your complaint is dismissed, the Judge orders “for the avoidance of doubt” the complainant make a civil claim against the bailiff or the authority. This means the judge agrees there is grounds for complaint but not serious enough to cancel a bailiff’s certificate

    ** If the judge adjourns and tells you and the bailiff to leave the court and agree a conclusion to your complaint, then agree to take a sum between £750 and £10,000 off the bailiff in return for discontinuing your complaint. The judge will make a consent order or an “unless order”. The sum agreed is depending on the extent and quantity of your complaint, and the amount of time you spent researching and preparing your complaint.

    If the bailiff is represented by a solicitor or a barrister and you receive correspondence that is marked “WITHOUT PREJUDICE” then DO NOT be tempted to respond to it. Post it on the bailiffs forums with your personal details removed and send a message to “Amy” who can arrange a private members area for you to keep your complaint out of prying eyes.

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