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19

 

House of Commons

 
 

Tuesday 20th March 2007

 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill [Lords]


 

[Third and Fourth Sittings]


 

Clause 57 Agreed to.

 


 

Simon Hughes

 

Jenny Willott

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Negatived on division  158

 

Schedule  12,  page  206,  line  16,  after ‘means’, insert—

 

‘(a)    

’.

 

Simon Hughes

 

Jenny Willott

 

Not called  159

 

Schedule  12,  page  206,  line  17,  at end insert—

 

‘(b)    

such tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment as are necessary

 

to the debtor for use personally by him in his employment, business or

 

vocation;

 

(c)    

such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions as

 

a necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of the debtor and his

 

family;

 

(d)    

money where an enforcement agent has reasonable cause to believe that

 

this would be necessary for the immediate domestic needs of the debtor

 

and his family;

 

(e)    

domestic pets;’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

20

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  161

 

Schedule  12,  page  206,  line  17,  at end insert—

 

‘(b)    

goods that fall within paragraph 4A(1);’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Withdrawn  85

 

Schedule  12,  page  206,  line  31,  at end insert—

 

‘Code of conduct

 

3A  (1)  

The Secretary of State shall issue a code of conduct to ensure that the poor,

 

vulnerable and socially excluded are protected from disproportionate

 

enforcement.

 

      (2)  

Enforcement agents, courts, creditors and others with responsibility for an

 

enforcement action shall comply with the code of conduct.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  86

 

Schedule  12,  page  207,  line  3,  at end insert—

 

‘4A(1)  

The following fall into the definition of exempt goods so as to preclude seizure

 

of—

 

(a)    

any goods which are fixtures or fittings attached to the premises

 

including goods which are plumbed in or connected to water, fuel or

 

power supplies,

 

(b)    

domestic animals and animals kept as pets,

 

(c)    

guard dogs,

 

(d)    

any dog on which a blind person relies,

 

(e)    

any animal which is kept for commercial gain, save as allowed

 

through common law and where provision for the welfare of the

 

animal has been arranged in advance,

 

(f)    

in the case of domestic dwellings no sum of money of £500 in cash or

 

below,

 

(g)    

in the case of domestic dwellings no sum of money which would leave

 

the debtor with less than £500.

 

      (2)  

In the case of domestic dwellings no sum of money above £500 is to be

 

removed without the civil enforcement officer recording the purpose for which

 

the money is to be used.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

21

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Not called  87

 

Schedule  12,  page  207,  line  42,  at end insert—

 

‘Rights and remedies information

 

6A  (1)  

Her Majesty’s Court Service shall prepare an information sheet to inform

 

debtors of the rights and remedies available to them with respect to an

 

enforcement power.

 

      (2)  

Regulations must make provision for the information to be included in an

 

information sheet to include—

 

(a)    

powers of entry and re-entry;

 

(b)    

limits and controls on the power to use reasonable force;

 

(c)    

exempt goods;

 

(d)    

ways of taking control of goods;

 

(e)    

permitted costs and charges;

 

(f)    

rights to redress;

 

(g)    

how to complain;

 

(h)    

how to ask for time to pay;

 

(i)    

where to go for advice and assistance.

 

      (3)  

Regulations must make provision for the form, ordering and prominence of

 

information.

 

      (4)  

The Lord Chancellor shall consult such persons and bodies he considers

 

appropriate on the content of regulations under this paragraph.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not moved  88

 

Schedule  12,  page  208,  line  5,  at end insert ‘which should not be more than one

 

working day’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Not called  89

 

Schedule  12,  page  208,  line  9,  at end insert—

 

  ‘(2A)  

A notice given under this paragraph shall include an information sheet

 

prepared under paragraph 6A.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

22

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Withdrawn  90

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  16,  at end insert ‘by serving a notice on the debtor or a

 

person in control of the premises and additionally, if the enforcement agent deems it

 

necessary, by physically securing the goods’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Not called  91

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  19,  at end insert ‘, if this will not cause undue hardship

 

to the debtor or his family or significantly impair his ability to continue in his business,

 

employment or vocation’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  92

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  20,  at end insert ‘or with a person in control of the

 

premises where the goods are found’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Not called  93

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  29,  at end insert ‘or other competent person’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Not called  94

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  34,  at end insert—

 

    ‘(5)  

In this paragraph a “competent person” is any person either residing at the

 

relevant premises or working at the relevant premises where these are premises

 

where the debtor carries out trade or business at the time when control is taken,

 

who—

 

(a)    

is 18 years of age or over; and

 

(b)    

fully understands the consequences of the procedure being carried

 

out.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

23

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Negatived on division  95

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  34,  at end insert—

 

‘Premises occupied by a single woman or persons under 16

 

13A      

Where a dwelling is known or believed to be occupied by a single woman or a

 

child under 16, no visit with the intention of seizing goods shall be permitted

 

unless the enforcement officer is female or is accompanied by a female

 

enforcement officer.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not selected  96

 

Schedule  12,  page  209,  line  37,  at end insert—

 

  ‘(1A)  

This Act expressly preserves all common law rights restricting entry by force

 

to a private dwelling by a civil enforcement agent.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Withdrawn  97

 

Schedule  12,  page  210,  line  7,  at end insert—

 

‘(7)    

Entry without a warrant by an enforcement agent to premises containing domestic

 

or living accommodation is restricted to the normal methods and places of entry

 

used by visitors to the premises.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Simon Hughes

 

Negatived on division  98

 

Schedule  12,  page  210,  line  28,  leave out paragraphs 17 to 22 and insert—

 

‘Application for power to use reasonable force

 

16A(2)  

This paragraph applies if an enforcement agent has the power to enter the

 

premises under paragraph 14 or 16 or under a warrant under paragraph 15.

 

      (3)  

If the creditor applies to the court, it may issue a warrant authorising an

 

enforcement agent to use, if necessary, reasonable force to enter the premises

 

for the purpose of taking control of goods.

 

      (4)  

The court may issue a warrant under sub-paragraph (2) only if it is satisfied that

 

there are exceptional circumstances.


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

24

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

      (5)  

In considering whether to issue a warrant under sub-paragraph (2), the court

 

shall have regard to the matters set out in sub-paragraph (5).

 

      (6)  

Those matters are—

 

(a)    

the nature of the debt;

 

(b)    

whether the debtor resides at the premises specified in the application;

 

(c)    

whether the debtor carries on a trade or business at those premises;

 

(d)    

the personal and financial circumstances of the debtor and their

 

family;

 

(e)    

whether the likely costs arising from execution of the enforcement

 

power (including, but not limited to, those costs arising from use of

 

reasonable force) are proportional to the debt;

 

(f)    

whether the creditor has, so far as it is reasonable, attempted to enforce

 

payment of the debt by other means.

 

      (7)  

For the purposes of this paragraph, exceptional circumstances are—

 

(a)    

that the debtor has been given reasonable opportunity to repay by

 

affordable instalments but has deliberately or wilfully chosen not to do

 

so;

 

(b)    

that the debtor is not a vulnerable person;

 

(c)    

that there is a reasonable prospect that the sum recovered from the sale

 

of the debtor’s goods would be at least equal to an amount prescribed

 

by order of the Lord Chancellor.

 

      (8)  

Regulations shall prescribe the circumstances in which debtors are to be

 

defined as vulnerable persons for the purposes of this paragraph.

 

      (9)  

The Lord Chancellor shall consult such persons or bodies as he considers

 

appropriate on the content of the regulations made under sub-paragraph (7).

 

    (10)  

The court may not issue a warrant under sub-paragraph (2) until regulations

 

under sub-paragraph (7) have come into force.

 

    (11)  

The court may suspend the operation of a warrant under sub-paragraph (2) on

 

such terms as it sees fit on its own volition or on the application of the debtor

 

at any time before goods taken under control have been sold.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  99

 

Schedule  12,  page  210,  line  28,  leave out paragraphs 17 to 22 and insert—

 

‘Preservation of common law rights restricting entry by force

 

16A      

This Act expressly preserves all common law rights restricting entry by force

 

to a private dwelling by a civil enforcement agent.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  100

 

Schedule  12,  page  211,  line  30,  leave out paragraph 24 and insert—

 

‘24(1)  

Nothing in this Act shall permit the entry by force to a dwelling house by a civil

 

enforcement agent where—


 
 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 20th March 2007        

25

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill[ [], continued

 
 

(a)    

the door is locked or secured against entry;

 

(b)    

a householder has indicated to a civil enforcement officer or

 

enforcement agent that such entry is refused; or

 

(c)    

where a dwelling is occupied or appears to be occupied by a person or

 

persons under 16 or by a person lacking the mental capacity to

 

understand the consequences of entry.

 

      (2)  

Nothing in this Act shall allow a civil enforcement officer pursuing a fine

 

recoverable as a civil debt to—

 

(a)    

search a person without their consent;

 

(b)    

search a person of the opposite sex;

 

(c)    

remove items of clothing or jewellery or other wearing apparel;

 

(d)    

remove a person from a dwelling who has sole care of children

 

resident in that dwelling whether the children are physically present at

 

that time or not.

 

      (3)  

Nothing under this Act permits a civil enforcement officer or agent enforcing

 

any other civil order or judgment of the court to—

 

(a)    

use force against an occupier or person present in the dwelling save in

 

as is permitted at common law or under section 3 of the Criminal Law

 

Act 1967 (c. 58);

 

(b)    

conduct a search of a person in a dwelling;

 

(c)    

remove any item of clothing, jewellery or wearing apparel or other

 

object from a person.’.

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  101

 

Schedule  12,  page  212,  line  6,  leave out sub-paragraph (2).

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  102

 

Schedule  12,  page  212,  line  8,  leave out sub-paragraph (4).

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

James Brokenshire

 

Mr Richard Benyon

 

Mr Brooks Newmark

 

Not called  103

 

Schedule  12,  page  212,  line  9,  leave out sub-paragraph (5).


 
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