Complaining about a bailiff to CIVEA

CIVEA is the trade association that represents the interests of enforcement agencies  operating in England and Wales and the approx 2,000 enforcement agents that they employ. They have their own complaints procedure. If you are looking at complaining about a bailiff to CIVEA, this page should assist you.

How to complain about a bailiff to CIVEA

First of all, you need to be aware that CIVEA will only consider complaints if you have first raised your complaint directly with the relevant enforcement company who instructed the individual bailiff and given them at least 28 days to respond to the complaint.

If you are unsatisfied with the response from the enforcement company, you can then refer your complaint to CIVEA to investigate.

Is there a time limit in which to complain to CIVEA?

Yes there is. You would need to have raised your complaint with the  enforcement agency or company no more than six months from the date of the incident. Your complaint to CIVEA must be made within six months of receiving the enforcement agents final response. The six month limit has been imposed because the Data Protection Act 1998 requires enforcement companies to destroy most of the information held on cases six months after they are ‘finalised’ – for example; once full payment has been made or the warrant returned to the creditor.

Why complain to CIVEA when I could submit an EAC2 complaint to the court?

An EAC2 complaint is a complaint to the court against an individual enforcement agent and; if the complaint were to succeed, the enforcement agent stands to lose his or her employment. It is for this reason that EAC2 proceedings are vigorously defended almost always, by solicitors representing the enforcement agent. Legislation provides that if the EAC2 complaint is rejected then in certain cases, the court may impose  a costs order in favour of the enforcement agent !!!

CIVEA funds their own independent complaints procedure.  Unlike a formal EAC2 complaint, you will not run the risk of a cost order being imposed against you.

Can I make a complaint to CIVEA about a High Court Enforcement Officer?

No you cannot. There is another professional  association which represents High Court Enforcement Officers called the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA).  Their website is where you can find a full list of their own members and details of their complaints procedure.

If I make a complaint to CIVEA, will enforcement of the warrant be suspended?

Sadly not. CIVEA do not have any legal authority to suspend enforcement action once a warrant has been issued.

Is there a specific complaint form?

Yes there is. A copy of the CIVEA complaint form and more information about the process of making a complaint can be found here.  A recent addition to the CIVEA website has been this FAQs page.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

If  you are considering making a formal complaint to CIVEA regarding the conduct of  a bailiff company (or bailiff) and wish to discuss whether or not this is the correct procedure, please feel free to contact us in confidence. You can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.