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Explaining the Summons, Court hearing and Liability Orders


The Council can apply to the Magistrates Court for a Liability Order to be granted. You'll receive a Summons informing you about this through the post .The Summons will tell you the date and time of the hearing and the full amount payable, including costs of £60.00 for the issue of the Summons. If full payment including costs is made before the hearing date the court will be informed and no further action will take place.  

Court Hearing

The Council will make an application in the Court for a Liability Order to be granted because you have not paid as required. If you feel your Liability for Council Tax is incorrect please contact the Council Tax team before the hearing date so that your account can be checked.

Please note that the Magistrates cannot take into account claims for Council Tax Benefit and or appeals to the Valuation Tribunal. The Magistrates will grant the Liability Order based on your Liability to pay Council Tax. You will incur a further £35.00 costs totalling £95.00 in full. If you still dispute your Liability,  you can put your case to the Magistrates. Otherwise, your attendance at Court is not required.


Liability Order

This gives the Council further powers to collect the Council Tax. It allows us to obtain information about your employment or benefit details 

Attachment of Earnings

The Council can demand to have money deducted from your salary in accordance with the Government guidelines. This is called an Attachment of Earnings

Deduction from Benefits

The Council can request that payments are made direct from some benefits to pay outstanding Council Tax subject to the Liability Order.

Charging Order

If you own your own property the Council can apply to the County Court To have a charge placed against your home.  The Charging Order works in the same way as a mortgage - it would have to be paid if you sell the property. The Council could apply to the court to order you to sell your property to satisfy the charge


The Council can apply to the County Court to have you made Bankrupt. This is a very serious step that would affect your ability to get credit and could lead to you losing your home and you would be liable for Solicitors costs and insolvency fees.

Being sent to prison

The law allows Councils to apply to the Magistrates Court to have a person sent to prison where there is 'Culpable neglect' or 'Wilful refusal to pay.