Complaining to the Court
about a Certificated Bailiff.
If you have a complaint about a Certificated
Bailiff, there is a very simple procedure that you can
use which is dealt with very quickly, but more importantly is
Statutory Regulations introduced in 1988 provide for complaints
about the conduct of Certificated Bailiff’s to be made to
the County Court (where the bailiff obtained his certificate)
using a very simple court form entitled:
FORM 4 COMPLAINT.
We will provide a brief description
of this complaints procedure here, but in the
Bailiffs’ Complaints section of our Downloads area we have provided the full details of this, to include the
relevant Statutory Ruling, how to obtain the forms, which court
to address your complaint, and a simple guide on how the Form
should be completed.
Once the Court receives your complaint, they will send a report
to the bailiff, and normally the company that employs the bailiff
as well. They have just 14 days to respond. If the judge is satisfied
with the response, no further action is taken. If the bailiff
fails to deliver the reply, or, if upon reading the reply, the
Judge is unsatisfied with the response, the bailiff will be summoned
to court to show good cause why his Certificate should not be cancelled. You may attend the hearing
and make a statement if you wish. We would certainly advise that you do this. .
The grounds for making a complaint to the
The court will hear any complaint
that you may have, but the following are the most common:
• The fees charged are excessive and are not in keeping
• The bailiff's behaviour has been aggressive,
rude or threatening. A bailiff
has no right to force his/her
way into your premises in order to gain entry to enforce the collection
of Council Tax arrears, unpaid Parking Charge Notices, etc
• The bailiff has levied illegally.
This means that the bailiff has levied on goods which cannot be
seized; (ie: goods that are not yours)
• The bailiff has levied irregularly.
This means that the correct goods have been seized, but the events
following the seizure are not correct e.g. the bailiff sells your
goods after you have paid the debt.
• The bailiff has levied excessively.
This means that the value of the goods seized from you is more
than the amount of the debt.
What the judge can do.
After the hearing, the judge may take the following action:-
• Order compensation to be paid to you. This means that
the judge can award you a sum of money from the “Bailiff
Bond”. (see note below)
• Cancel the bailiff's certificate. This normally means
the loss of his employment, as he will no longer be entitled to
levy distress for rent, road traffic debts, council tax or non-domestic
• Dismiss your complaint.
Note: In order to be Certificated,
all bailiffs must obtain a £10,000 Bailiff Bond, this is
typically provided by an insurance company, or by either ACEA or ESA.
We have a Help Line available on: 0906 802 0273
Please ensure that before telephoning us you read the Contact Us page.