Further Steps Notice.

A Further Steps Notice is a legal document prescribed under the Courts Act 2003 and is issued to the defendant by the Fines Officer when payment of a court fine has either not been made by the date ordered by the court or when a payment arrangement defaults.

Enforcement action (including issuing a distress warrant/warrant of control) cannot commence unless a Further Steps Notice has been issued. This notice will be sent to  address held on the court file. The Further Steps Notice will advise of 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 provide 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

Warrant for your arrest to return to court

Increase your fine by 50%

Clamping Order for the clamping, removal and sale of your vehicle

Registering the account in the Register of Judgements, Orders, and Fines (affecting your ability to obtain credit)

Take any further steps as allowed under the fine regulations.

Can I appeal a Further Steps Notice?

Yes. You have a right to appeal to the court against the Fines Officers’ decision to enforce the order but such an appeal must be done within the very strict time frame of 10 days from the date of the Further Steps Notice. It needs to be remembered though that an ‘appeal’ at this stage can only be an appeal about the further ‘steps’ that the Fines Officer is intending making and cannot be an appeal about the actual court fine itself.

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 should certainly do so if either of the following apply:

That you did not submit a statement of financial circumstances (Means Enquiry Form (MC100) to the court before the fine was issued.

That your  financial circumstances have changed since the fine was issued, and you can no longer afford to pay as ordered.

If any of the above apply, it is vitally important to ensure that contact is made with the Fines Officer within the strict time limit of (10 working days) from the date on the Further Steps Notice. Failure to do so, will normally mean that a distress warrant/warrant of control will be issued and passed to bailiffs to enforce.

What you must do if your address changes.

If your name or address changes it is your responsibility to notify the Fines Office immediately.

Note from Bailiff Advice.

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 popular Question page. Alternatively, you can contact us by phone. Details are on our Contact page.

A simple overview of the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 including details of  bailiff fees, notices that must be given by the bailiff and items that are ‘exempt’ from being taken into control can be read here.