What is a Liability Order?
A Liability Order is a Court Order issued by the Magistrates Court in the case of serious council tax or business rates arrears and where you have failed to agree a suitable repayment plan with the local Council.
The Magistrates Court is part of the Criminal Court
Once the Court has granted the Liability Order the Council will instruct bailiffs to attend your property to collect the money outstanding. If a Bailiff has attended your premises but your debt remains unpaid you may face a prison sentence.
When is a Liability Order issued?
Your local Council will have to go through a number of steps to try and help pay your debts.
In the first instance you will be issued with a reminder notice and then a final notice. Only then will you receive a Court Summons. Your local Council should be willing to discuss reasonable repayment options at each stage. However if you still refuse to pay or communicate with them they will have no other option but to apply for a Liability Order.
Appealing a Liability Order
If the Magistrates Court has issued a liability order against you which you believe has been issued in error then you can apply to the Court for it to be set aside.
It is possible to appeal a Liability Order by Judicial Review but this is expensive and the timescales are usually tight. If you think a Liability Order was made wrongly it is cheaper to apply to the Court to have it set aside.
If you wish to set aside a Liability Order, as a challenge to administrative and judicial decisions we will need to take prompt action on your behalf. Time starts running from the date of the Order or the date of notice or constructive notice of the Order.