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Summons and Liability Order
What should I do if I receive a summons or Notice of Liability Order
If payment is not received
Following the issue of a reminder or final notice, you will receive a summons if you fail to make the payments required. The summons is issued on behalf of the magistrates' court. You will then need to pay the whole balance of your account, including the costs incurred in issuing summons, before the court hearing date.
If you are unable to pay
If you are unable to pay the summons in full you need to contact the council as soon as possible as we may be able to agree a special arrangement to pay the amount owed over a period of time. For us to consider this option you will need to complete a Financial Statement (PDF, 56KB) and return it to the council with an offer of how much you can pay each month.
- Haringey will contact you to let you know if your offer has been accepted and, if so, confirm when your instalments are due
- If your offer is refused, we will contact you with an alternative arrangement or advise you what to do next
- If you do not pay the full balance on the summons including the court costs before the hearing date a liability order (see details below) will be applied for at court
- If a liability order is granted at court, additional costs will be added to your account. The council will also be able to consider further recovery action in order to collect any outstanding council tax
Please note you do not need to attend the hearing. If you wish to dispute the amount payable or discuss how you can pay you should contact the council before the date of the hearing.
Please note that if you do decide to attend court, there are only eight valid defences against the council obtaining a liability order at the hearing:
- the property is not listed with the Valuation Office Agency for the period council tax is being charged
- the tax had not been properly set
- the bill and subsequent recovery notices were not issued correctly
- the amount demanded has been paid
- more than six years have passed since the day the bill was issued
- the billing authority was in breach of the duty to serve notices 'as soon as practicable' in the relevant year
- the amount outstanding is for a penalty which is being appealed
- bankruptcy or winding up proceedings have been initiated
If you meet one of the above defences
Please contact us to discuss your account as we may be able to resolve the matter before the court hearing. If you are sending us an email, please use the subject heading 'Liability order hearing date (date you have been summoned to court)'.
If you do not meet these defences
- You should not attend court
- If you do attend court, you will be asked which defence you are using and must satisfy the magistrates that the defence applies in your case. If you cannot identify a defence, the court will issue a liability order against you without further discussion
- If a liability order is obtained at court and you have not agreed a payment plan, a letter will be sent to you to confirm. The notice of liability order also advises of the recovery action that may be taken to recover outstanding council tax from you
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