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Local Government Finance Act 1988

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Part IIE+W Charges: Sole Liability

PreliminaryE+W

2This Part of this Schedule applies as regards the recovery of any sum falling within paragraph 1(1)(a) above.

Liability ordersE+W

3(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that—

(a)the authority concerned may apply to a magistrates’ court for an order (a liability order) against the person by whom the sum is payable;

(b)the magistrates’ court shall make the order if it is satisfied that the sum has become payable by the person concerned and has not been paid.

(2)The regulations may include provision that the order shall be made in respect of an amount equal to the aggregate of—

(a)the sum payable, and

(b)a sum (of an amount determined in accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of the costs incurred in obtaining the order.

[F1(2A)The regulations may include provision that, where the sum payable is paid after the order has been applied for but before it is made, the magistrates’ court shall nonetheless make the order in respect of a sum (of an amount determined in accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of the costs incurred in applying for it.]

(3)The regulations may include—

(a)provision prescribing steps to be taken before an application may be made;

(b)provision that no application may be made after a prescribed period has expired;

(c)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed for the initiation of an application (which may include provision as to form);

(d)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed in dealing with an application;

(e)provision prescribing the form and contents of an order.

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Amendments (Textual)

InformationE+W

4(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) he shall, during such time as the amount in respect of which the order was made remains wholly or partly unpaid, be under a duty to supply relevant information to the charging authority concerned.

(2)Relevant information is such information as fulfils the following conditions—

(a)it is in the debtor’s possession or control,

(b)the charging authority requests him to supply it, and

(c)it falls within a prescribed description of information and relates to the debtor’s employment (if any) or income (whether or not from employment) [F2or is relevant to whether another person is jointly and severally liable with the debtor for the whole or any part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made].

(3)The regulations may include provision that the information is to be supplied in a prescribed form and within a prescribed period of the request being made.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Attachment of earningsE+W

5(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) and the debtor is an individual—

(a)the authority concerned may make an order (an attachment of earnings order) to secure the payment of any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made,

(b)such an order shall be expressed to be directed to a person who has the debtor in his employment, and shall operate as an instruction to such a person to make deductions from the debtor’s earnings and to pay the amounts deducted to the authority,

(c)the authority may serve a copy of the order on a person who appears to the authority to have the debtor in his employment, and

(d)a person who has the debtor in his employment shall comply with the order if a copy of it is served on him.

(2)The regulations may include—

(a)provision allowing an attachment of earnings order to be varied;

(b)provision requiring a person who has the debtor in his employment to comply with the order as varied if a copy of the order as varied is served on him;

(c)provision requiring an order to be in a prescribed form;

(d)provision requiring an order to specify the sum to which the order relates, the rate at which the debtor’s earnings are to be applied to meet the sum, and such other particulars as may be prescribed;

(e)rules about the rate which may be so specified;

(f)provision allowing the person who deducts and pays amounts under the order to deduct from the debtor’s earnings prescribed sums towards his administrative costs;

(g)provision requiring the person who deducts and pays amounts under the order to notify the debtor, in a prescribed manner and at any prescribed time, of the total amount of sums (including sums towards administrative costs) deducted up to the time of the notification;

(h)provision requiring any person on whom a copy of the order is served to notify the authority in a prescribed manner and within a prescribed period if he does not have the debtor in his employment or the debtor subsequently ceases to be in his employment;

(i)provision that, where the whole amount to which the order relates has been paid, the authority shall give notice of that fact to any person who appears to it to have the debtor in his employment and who has been served with a copy of the order;

(j)provision allowing or requiring an order to be discharged.

(3)The regulations may include provision that while an attachment of earnings order is in force—

(a)the debtor shall from time to time notify the authority concerned, in a prescribed manner and within a prescribed period, of each occasion when he leaves any employment or becomes employed or re-employed, and shall include in such a notification a statement of his earnings and expected earnings from the employment concerned and of such other matters as may be prescribed;

(b)any person who becomes the debtor’s employer and knows that the order is in force and by what authority it was made shall notify the authority concerned, in a prescribed manner and within a prescribed period, that he is the debtor’s employer, and shall include in such a notification a statement of the debtor’s earnings and expected earnings from the employment concerned and of such other matters as may be prescribed.

(4)The regulations may include provision with respect to the priority to be accorded as between—

(a)two or more orders made under the regulations;

(b)orders made under the regulations and orders made under the M1Attachment of Earnings Act 1971.

(5)The regulations may include provision that a person may appeal to a magistrates’ court if he is aggrieved by the making or the terms of an attachment of earnings order, or there is a dispute whether payments constitute earnings or as to any other prescribed matter relating to the order.

(6)The regulations may include—

(a)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed for initiating an appeal;

(b)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed in dealing with an appeal;

(c)provision as to the powers of the court (which may include provision as to the quashing of an attachment of earnings order or the variation of the terms of such an order).

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Marginal Citations

Deductions from income supportE+W

6(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) and the debtor is entitled to income support within the meaning of the M2Social Security Act 1986—

(a)the authority concerned may apply to the Secretary of State asking him to deduct sums from any amounts payable to the debtor by way of income support, in order to secure the payment of any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

(b)the Secretary of State may deduct such sums and pay them to the authority towards satisfaction of any such outstanding sum.

(2)The regulations may include—

(a)provision allowing or requiring adjudication as regards an application, and provision as to [F3appeals to appeal tribunals constituted under Chapter I of Part I of the Social Security Act 1998 and decisions under section 9 or 10 of that Act];

(b)a scheme containing provision as to the circumstances and manner in which and times at which sums are to be deducted and paid, provision about the calculation of such sums (which may include provision to secure that amounts payable to the debtor by way of income support do not fall below prescribed figures), and provision as to the circumstances in which the Secretary of State is to cease making deductions;

(c)provision requiring the Secretary of State to notify the debtor, in a prescribed manner and at any prescribed time, of the total amount of sums deducted up to the time of the notification;

(d)provision that, where the whole amount to which the application relates has been paid, the authority shall give notice of that fact to the Secretary of State.

[F4(3)This paragraph applies to a jobseeker’s allowance as it applies to income support.]

[F5(4)This paragraph applies to state pension credit as it applies to income support.]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F3Words in Sch. 4 para. 6(2)(a) substituted (18.10.1999) by Social Security Act 1998 c. 14, ss. 86(1), Sch. 7 para. 17; S.I. 1999/2860, art. 2(c) Sch. 1 (subject to transitional provisions in Schs. 16-18)

F4Sch. 4 para. 6(3) inserted (11.6.1996) by Jobseekers Act 1995 c. 18, s. 41(4), Sch. 2 para. 18; S.I. 1996/1509, art. 2, Sch.

F5Sch. 4 para. 6 amended (2.7.2002 for specified purposes, 6.10.2003 in so far as not already in force) by State Pension Credit Act 2002 (c. 16), s. 22(3), Sch. 2 para. 29; S.I. 2002/1691, art. 2(l); S.I. 2003/1766, art. 2(a)

Marginal Citations

DistressE+W

7(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) the authority concerned may levy the appropriate amount by distress and sale of the debtor’s goods.

(2)The appropriate amount is the aggregate of—

(a)an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

(b)a sum (of an amount determined in accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of the charges connected with the distress.

(3)The regulations may include provision that—

(a)a distress may be made anywhere in England and Wales;

(b)a distress shall not be deemed unlawful on account of any defect or want of form in the liability order and no person making a distress shall be deemed a trespasser on that account;

(c)no person making a distress shall be deemed a trespasser from the beginning on account of any subsequent irregularity in making the distress, but a person sustaining special damage by reason of the irregularity may recover full satisfaction for the special damage (and no more) by proceedings in trespass or otherwise.

(4)The regulations may include provision that a person may appeal to a magistrates’ court if he is aggrieved by the levy of, or an attempt to levy, a distress.

(5)The regulations may include—

(a)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed for initiating an appeal;

(b)provision prescribing the procedure to be followed in dealing with an appeal;

(c)provision as to the powers of the court (which may include provision as to the discharge of goods distrained or the payment of compensation in respect of goods distrained and sold).

Commitment to prisonE+W

8(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that—

(a)where an authority has sought to levy an amount by distress under any provision included under paragraph 7 above, the debtor is an individual, and it appears to the authority that no (or insufficient) goods of the debtor can be found on which to levy the amount, the authority may apply to a magistrates’ court for the issue of a warrant committing the debtor to prison;

(b)on such application being made the court shall (in the debtor’s presence) inquire as to his means and inquire whether the failure to pay which led to the liability order being made was due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect;

(c)if (and only if) the court is of opinion that his failure was due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect it may if it thinks fit issue a warrant of commitment against the debtor, or fix a term of imprisonment and postpone the issue of the warrant until such time and on such conditions (if any) as the court thinks just;

(d)the warrant shall be made in respect of the relevant amount (within the meaning given by sub-paragraph (2) below);

(e)the warrant shall state that amount;

(f)the order in the warrant shall be that the debtor be imprisoned for a time specified in the warrant (which shall not exceed 3 months), unless the amount stated in the warrant is sooner paid;

(g)the period of imprisonment shall be reduced by a prescribed amount in respect of part payment in prescribed circumstances;

(h)a warrant may be directed to the authority concerned and to such other persons (if any) as the court issuing it thinks fit;

(i)a warrant may be executed anywhere in England and Wales by any person to whom it is directed.

(2)The relevant amount is the aggregate of—

(a)an amount equal to the appropriate amount within the meaning of paragraph 7 above or (as the case may be) to so much of it as remains outstanding, and

(b)a sum (of an amount determined in accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of the costs of commitment.

(3)The regulations may include—

(a)provision that a single warrant shall not be issued, under any provision included under this paragraph, against more than one person;

(b)provision as to the form of a warrant;

(c)provision allowing remission of payment where no warrant is issued or term of imprisonment fixed;

(d)provision allowing an application to be renewed where no warrant is issued or term of imprisonment fixed;

(e)provision that a statement in writing to the effect that wages of any amount have been paid to the debtor during any period, purporting to be signed by or on behalf of his employer, shall be evidence of the facts there stated;

(f)provision that, for the purpose of enabling inquiry to be made as to the debtor’s conduct and means, a justice of the peace may issue a summons to him to appear before a magistrates’ court and (if he does not obey the summons) may issue a warrant for his arrest;

(g)provision that, for the purpose of enabling such inquiry, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant for the debtor’s arrest without issuing a summons;

(h)provision as to the execution of a warrant for arrest (which may include provision allowing it to be executed anywhere in England and Wales).

BankruptcyE+W

9(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) and the debtor is an individual, the amount due shall be deemed to be a debt for the purposes of section 267 of the M3Insolvency Act 1986 (grounds of creditor’s petition).

(2)The amount due is an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made.

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Marginal Citations

Winding upE+W

10(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor) and the debtor is a company, the amount due shall be deemed to be a debt for the purposes of section 122(1)(f) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (winding up of companies by the court) [F6or, as the case may be, section 221(5)(b) of that Act (winding up of unregistered companies)].

(2)The amount due is an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

Charging ordersE+W

11(1)Regulations under this Schedule may provide that where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order against a person (the debtor), the charge concerned is a collective community charge, and prescribed conditions are fulfilled—

(a)the authority concerned may apply to a court for an order (a charging order) imposing, on any interest held by the debtor beneficially in the designated dwelling concerned, a charge for securing the due amount, and

(b)a charge imposed by a charging order shall have the like effect and shall be enforceable in the same courts and in the same manner as an equitable charge created by the debtor by writing under his hand.

(2)The due amount is the aggregate of—

(a)an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

(b)a sum (of an amount determined in accordance with prescribed rules) in respect of costs connected with the charging order.

(3)The regulations may include provision—

(a)as to the court to which an application may be made (which may be the High Court or a county court);

(b)as to the factors to be considered by the court in deciding whether to make a charging order;

(c)requiring an order to specify the dwelling and interest concerned, and such other matters as may be prescribed;

(d)requiring an order to be in a prescribed form;

(e)allowing an order to be made absolutely or subject to conditions;

(f)as to the discharge or variation of an order.

Relationship between remediesE+W

12As regards a case where a magistrates’ court has made a liability order, regulations under this Schedule may include provision that—

(a)attachment of earnings may be resorted to more than once;

(b)deductions from income support may be resorted to more than once;

(c)distress may be resorted to more than once;

(d)attachment of earnings, deductions from income support and distress (or any two of them) may be resorted to in any order or alternately (or both);

(e)steps by way of attachment, deduction, distress, commitment, bankruptcy, winding up or charging may not be taken while steps by way of another of those methods are being taken;

(f)where a warrant of commitment is issued against (or a term of imprisonment is fixed in the case of) the person concerned no steps, or no further steps, by way of attachment, deduction, distress, bankruptcy or charging may be taken.

Magistrates and justicesE+W

13Regulations under this Schedule may include—

(a)provision for determining what justices and magistrates’ courts are to have jurisdiction in cases provided for by the regulations;

(b)provision as to the composition of magistrates’ courts in cases provided for by the regulations.

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