Returning this discussion to the detail of the Sunday Times piece featured by Dr North, the key point is the blatant illegality of bailiffs in England and Wales on a scale that dwarfs the Great Train Robbery. Make no mistake the actions of private bailiffs in our once great nation is a scandal that should shame those in the public sector that sanction it.
Firstly, I establish some facts. Equita describe themselves as ‘Certificated Bailiffs' – they are not. Incorporated businesses cannot be certificated bailiffs. Neither in the case of Equita are its directors certificated bailiffs. The company contract in self-employed certificated bailiffs, against one of whom I currently have an official complaint outstanding in Middlesbrough County Court, as a part of my ongoing 'bullying bailiffs campaign’. This is typical of their standards. The individual concerned, John Darren Wragg was forced to resign as a police officer in Devember of 2005 following two convictions in the same court that he renewed his bailiff certification last year.
Secondly, in the case that is featured by the Sunday Times, concerning my resistance to the gross and crass over charging, the reaction of Equita Limited in December to my lodging “an application for assessment of the (bailiffs) costs ” with a district judge in November was to send me a letter warning that if I did not pay their inflated costs by a date imposed by them before the hearing, my domestic goods would "be removed any time of day or night”; that being illegal on two counts. No bailiff had levied on my goods since their visit was “phantom”’, additionally bailiffs are not allowed to visit at night without special permission of the court.
My response to this intimidation and not untypical horrible example of gross corporate bullying by Equita last winter was to obtain, in person, an urgent interim injunction (before a Crown Court QC Judge) barring any of Equita's self empoyed bailiffs from visiting my residence in County Durham, until after the court hearing. In the event Equita's directors surrendered on the assessment of costs case (for the petty issue of over staying my pre-paid parking permit) were assessed and rejected by the District Judge.
Equita’s costs were dismissed and I was granted costs. I paid Equita only £55 (I am still awaiting a receipt from Equita) which is considerably less than the £361 demanded by Equita’s bullying bailiff on a letter delivered with a handwritten note of their 'charges' three months previously. I also complained about Equita’s actions to Durham County Council (a futile action I now realise), a further complaint about my complaint to Durham CC about my complaint regarding Equita is currently before the Local Government Ombudsman.
The thieving actions of these bailiffs, whose morals and attitudes are best (politely) described as akin to latter-day Dick Turpins, continue to rip-off the public. These bullying criminals are licensed by the courts, contracted by the local authorities and their gross criminal actions (Section 1 of the theft Act) are ignored by the police. These truly horrible theves will continue to rob and intimidate the public not only because they are officially sanctioned, but also importantly because the detail of their systemised criminality is unreported in the media.
My response when 'attacked' last August was to resist the attempted theft and to use the court system against the bullying bailiffs – I won. No thanks to the police or the media. Most people roll over and pay up and as long as they continue to do so nothing will change. If ever there was a case for mass civil disobedience the actions of the corporately organised (private) bailiffs is as good a cause as any. The certificated bailiff industry is dominated by bullying thieves as Mr Boast confirms; he should know - he was for many years one of them!
I can be contaced on:firstname.lastname@example.org