Council tax court summons/liability order advice

Court summons

A Court Summons, including additional Court costs of £76.50, will be issued if the amount shown on the reminder, second reminder or final notice is not paid in full as requested.

The summons will include a proposed payment arrangement that has been set up on your behalf. Information on how to pay is included on the back of the summons notice.

If you are struggling to pay the payment arrangement that has already been set up, you should contact us straight away.

At the Court hearing, which is conducted remotely by telephone, we will ask the Magistrates’ Court for a Liability Order. This is an order for you to pay the full amount that you owe, plus Court costs of £76.50

If you wish to discuss the summons you should contact the Council by 12 noon the day before the hearing.

Attendance at court hearings

All liability order hearings are now carried out remotely by telephone. You should not attend the court hearing in person, unless this has been pre-arranged with the council and the court. Guidance on joining the court hearing is included in the letter which accompanies the summons.

You do not need to attend the remote court hearing if you have accepted the proposed payment arrangement, agreed an alternative arrangement or have paid the balance in full including costs.

If you wish to dispute the Summons because you believe you have a valid defence against it, you should contact us immediately using our Council Tax general enquiry online form.

Disputing a summons

If you disagree with the summons that has been issued, you must contact us clearly detailing your reasons, but please be aware that disputing the summons because you have paid late or are awaiting the decision of an appeal against liability or banding is not grounds for a summons to be cancelled.

If you wish to discuss a summons you should contact the Council by 12 noon the day before the hearing.

Liability order

A liability order will be granted by the Magistrates if they are satisfied that the amount remains unpaid. A liability order allows the council to take the following recovery action to recover outstanding Council Tax:

  • use enforcement agents (previously known as Bailiffs)
  • order money to be deducted from your wages
  • order money to be deducted from your benefits
  • apply for a charging order to be made against your property
  • start bankruptcy proceedings against you

Some of these recovery actions may increase the amount you owe by adding costs, to avoid any additional costs you should make arrangements with us to pay as soon as possible.

Please do not ignore a summons or a liability order as this will lead to further action being taken against you and further costs being added to the amount you owe.