Further Steps Notice
A Further Steps Notice is a legal document prescribed under the Courts Act 2003. It is issued by the HMCTS Fines Officer when there has been a default in paying a court fine. A Further Steps Notice will also be issued by the HMCTS Historic Debt Team.
Enforcement action (including issuing a warrant of control) cannot commence unless a Further Steps Notice has been issued. This notice will be sent to the address held on the court file. The Further Steps Notice will advise the amount that is outstanding and provide details of one or more steps that will be taken by the Fines Officer if the amount stated on the Further Steps Notice is not paid in full within the strict time frame outlined (10 working days from the date given on the Notice).
What Further Steps can the Fines Officer take?
The Courts Act 2003 provides that the Fines Officer can take one or more of the following further steps:
Make an Attachment of Earnings Order (for deductions from your salary)
Make an application for deductions from your benefits.
Issue a warrant of control (for the purpose of taking control of your goods). This will incur additional costs of up to £310
Issue a warrant for your arrest to return to court
Increase your fine by 50%
Issue a Clamping Order for the clamping, removal and sale of your vehicle
Register your court fine in the Register of Judgements, Orders, and Fines (affecting your ability to obtain credit)
Take any further steps as allowed under the fines regulations.
Can I appeal a Further Steps Notice?
Yes, you have a right to appeal against the Fines Officers’ decision to enforce the order. An appeal must be made within 10 business days from the date of the Further Steps Notice. You may only appeal about one of the ‘steps’ that the Fines Officer is intending making (such as issuing a warrant of control etc).
If you have difficulty paying your court fine.
If you cannot pay the amount stated on the Further Steps Notice, you must contact the Fines Officer immediately and almost certainly if either of the following apply:
That you had not completed a statement of financial circumstances (Means Enquiry Form (MC100) before the fine was issued.
You have financial difficulties and can no longer afford to pay as ordered.
If any of the above apply, you must contact the Fines Officer within 10 working days from the date on the Further Steps Notice. Failure to do so, will normally mean that a warrant of control will be issued and passed to bailiffs to enforce.
What you must do if your address changes.
If you have a payment arrangement with the court or have payments deducted from your benefits and you move address, it is your responsibility to notify the Fines Office immediately.
Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online
If you have a query about a Further Steps Notice or any other matter regarding enforcement of a Magistrate Court fine by a bailiff (including getting a payment proposal agreed), you can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.
Lastly, our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.