Information Regarding the Summons

Summons Payment Proposal e-form [e-form opens in a new window]

Why have I received a summons?

A Council Tax bill was sent asking you to pay instalments on set dates or pay an amount by a specific date.  Reminders were sent before the summons advising you to make payment.  As you have not paid as requested we have issued the summons.

How can I stop this process?

You can only stop the proceedings by paying the balance due (including costs) in full.  We must receive cleared payment before the date of the court hearing.

There are a number of ways to pay your Council Tax- 

What if I cannot pay in full?

You should pay as much as possible to help reduce the balance due before the Court date. After the Court date the Council will write to you to notify you of the outcome of the hearing. At this time the Council will allow you to make a payment arrangement to clear your balance. A payment plan will be sent to you in the post. You can also make a payment proposal by completing our Summons Payment Proposal e-form [e-form opens in a new window]

Please note that a Liability Order will still be granted at the Magistrates Court hearing.

What happens next?

We will ask the Magistrates Court to grant a Liability Order.  This Order gives legal powers to collect the debt in different ways, these include

  • Money being deducted from certain benefits
  • The debt being passed to an Enforcement Agent to collect

However, once the Liability Order has been granted, we will write to you and offer the opportunity of a payment arrangement. If you cannot make the payments as we ask, you need to complete a payment proposal form for us to consider your offer to repay the debt.

Should I go to Court?

No, you do not need to go to Court

You do have a right to attend Court if you feel you are not legally responsible for paying the Council Tax.  However the only legal reasons why a Liability Order will not be granted are

  • The Council has not followed the procedures set down in law in relation to your Council Tax
  • The amount has been paid in full 

If you think that your charge is incorrect you should contact the Council straight away so we can look into your enquiry

Please note the Magistrates cannot make a payment arrangement with you or resolve any disputes regarding your liability or council tax support decisions.

What if I have recently paid?

If you have made the payments in accordance with your bill, please call us on 01325 405555 to discuss the situation further.

These notes have been prepared by Darlington Borough Council with the approval of the Court. They are not a detailed statement of the law but are intended to help you understand the proceedings being taken against you