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 Magistrates court fine. Further Steps Notices are also 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 (to take control of your goods). This will incur additional bailiff fees 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)
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. It is important to stress that any appeal may only be in respect of the actual ‘step’ that the Fines Officer is intending making (such as issuing a warrant of control etc).
I don’t know what the Further Steps Notice relates to.
This is one of the most common enquiries that we receive via our online Enquiry Form as unfortunately, most of these notices have very limited information regarding the actual offence which is not at all helpful. As we have so much experience of these notices, we can usually provide helpful guidance.
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 you had been unaware of the court fine, not completed a statement of financial circumstances (Means Enquiry Form (MC100) before the fine was issued, or cannot afford to pay as ordered. Failure to contact the Fines Officer within 10 working days will normally mean that a warrant of control will be issued and passed to an enforcement company without any further notice.
A court fine is being deducted from your benefits and you move address.
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, you 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.