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The so-called "DVCV Act 2004" only provides for entry using "reasonable force" provided all of
the following is true:
You have not paid the sum the court said you must pay (but not the fees - different rules)
You are inside the property
You are deliberately trying to avoid the bailiff
You have been served the statutory warning the bailiff intends for force entry
The bailiff has made an application to court to break into a property under Paragraph 15(1) of
Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Currently there are no
prescribed court procedures for a bailiff to have an audience at a magistrates court to make the
Bailiffs having a right to enter premises do not automatically have a right to levy distress - that
requires separate court authority - a distress warrant, or a "warrant of control".
If the fine is paid the law says the distress warrant ceases to have effect. Part 52.8(5) of the
Criminal Procedure Rules 2013
This means any threat to enter premises without having authority to levy goods is vexatious and
may amount to fraud by abuse of position, an offence under section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006 and
can be reported to Action Fraud.
Paragraph 15(1) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 requires
bailiff to apply to a court for a warrant to enter and search for goods. but there is currently no
court procedure for making that application and to which type of court the application is made
has been specified in regulations.
Enforcement agents must act in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998, paragraph 28 of
the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014 and his legislation is not compatible with
Article 8 of Schedule 1of the Human Rights Act 1998. Only a court (but not HM Court Service)
can make an order to break entry. Court service staff and mangers do not have that authority.
A distress warrant on its own is not a warrant to break entry, it only warrants the taking of goods

to pay the fine - this process is called "distress".

It is becoming common for bailiffs collecting unpaid court fines to mislead people by saying they
"can obtain the court's permission to make forced entry" or to leave a calling card saying he will
return with a "locksmith".
If you have an Android phone then download a free Automatic Call Recorder app from Google
Play and set it to record all calls. If you catch a bailiff saying he will "drill the locks" then you can
email the recording to Action Fraud direct from your phone and report an offence of fraud by
false representation quoting the above regulations. This conduct is also contrary to Paragraph 20
of the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards 2014
A Bailiff using the word "locksmith" in this fashion is designed to cause alarm or distress to imply
the bailiff will break into homes while he does not have authority to do so. It is criminal offence
under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
A bailiff can only break entry ONLY if
1. If he has a levy on goods inside the property AND
2. You signed valid regulation 15 controlled goods agreement AND
3. You are DELIBERATELY trying to avoid the bailiff. This is NOT because a bailiff THINKS you
are trying to avoid him. You have to be inside the property behind a locked door and the bailiff is
outside and you are refusing him access to goods listed on the Controlled Goods Agreement.
ONLY then can the bailiff break entry.
The Magistrates Courts Act 1980 does not have a provision to enable a bailiff to make an
application to a court to extend his power of entry to include breaking and entering to execute a
distress warrant issued under Section 76 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980 or have a locksmith
do it for him.
Schedule 4(5) of the Magistrates Courts' Act 1980 says "An authorised officer may use
reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of a power conferred on him by this Schedule."
Many bailiffs use the expression "DVCV Act" on their documents, but this only means the
Domestic Violence Crimes & Victims Act 2004 and under section 27 it only provides an immunity
from criminal liability if a bailiff executing a distress warrant causes you an injury or commits
another offence. It does not protect the bailiff from a liability brought against him in a civil
proceeding such as a claim for under personal injury.
Bailiffs and staff members at HMCTS may well be confused with the power provided in a warrant
that has been issued by a district judge sitting in a magistrates court with a search warrant issued
under Section 8 of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which provides a power to break into
a suspect's property for the purpose of crime prevention and detection.
A distress warrant (warrant of control) is nothing to do with police search warrants as they are
provided by two completely different areas of law.
You can bring a formal complaint to ask the Ministry of Justice to either cease and desist making
such statements or to provide the court regulation they rely on that supports their advice on
entitlement to break into homes or have a locksmith do it for him.

Courtesy of Jon Shackleton