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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm.
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Hello I was wondering if you could advise me on the following: My

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I was wondering if you could advise me on the following:

My son of 20 was arrested and bailed for carrying class C drugs some time ago. He was bailed to attend a court hearing which he missed. He was working at the time and travelling the country with a exhibition. .

Apparently a warrant was issued and he was arrested in Reading and taken to Brighton where he was fined £200, which he did not pay as he lost his job as a result.

I moved home during this period, but was not aware that he had used my old address for correspondence (Brighton), of which, due to moving I received nothing.

I received a phone call from bailiffs a few weeks ago stating that they will attend my new property if I do not pay the fine and costs. I paid them £150 which is all I had (I too am unemployed due to mental health issues), but I have just received another call to pay £350 today or the bailiffs will attend to collect goods to the value of the outstanding amount plus an extra £200 will be applied, totalling £550. I do not have any money, my son does not have any money and I'm worried what will happen.
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

Has the bailiff given you a copy of the court warrant and a complete breakdown of their charges?

Does your son receive benefits?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, thanks for your response.


No, the bailiff hasn't given me or my son a copy of the court warrant and/or a complete breakdown of their charges. Apart from the phone calls, I have not received any correspondence although they are not aware of my (and sons) current address


I understand his mother (different address) received a letter from the bailiffs stating that they would be attending her house to collect goods to the value of, but I have not seen this.


The reason they are contacting me is that my son does not have a mobile phone. He is on job-seekers allowance


Firstly this fine is not your responsibility. Your son is liable.

Secondly the bailiffs have no right to enter your property and remove your goods. This would be illegal and give rise to a claim for compensation.

The bailiffs have no right to call you and threaten action against you. This is not your fine and you are not the person whom they should be contacting.

I suggest you contact the bailiff company and ask for a copy of the warrant and a breakdown of their charges. You should also tell them you are a vulnerable person in receipt of benefits.

I'm assuming your son has nothing of value at your house. If so the bailiffs should be informed of that fact.

If they attend your property you do not have to let them in unless the court has specifically issued a warrant of entry which is highly unlikely.

If they come to your door do not open it. Ask them to put a copy of the warrant through the door. You can tell the bailiff of your personal circumstances.

In addition to speaking to the bailiff company, your son should contact the court and ask for a "means enquiry". He will have to attend and explain why he has not paid and cannot pay. The court has power to withdraw the bailiff warrant and accept payments from him.

So to summarise:

1. Contact the bailiff company to explain you are not liable and your vulnerabilities.

2. Ask for all the paperwork to be posted to you.

3. Contact the court and ask for a 'means enquiry'.

Of course, if the bailiff does not know the address then you might decide not to tell them but, of course, you will then have to wait and see if they knock on your door before getting the papers.

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