Daniel Kessler in Court of Appeal success: Burton v Ministry of Justice

June 21, 2024

The Court of Appeal handed down judgment today in Burton v Ministry of Justice [2024] EWCA (Civ) 681.

Mr Burton’s hire purchase vehicle was wrongly clamped to enforce a Magistrates’ Court fine. Mr Burton brought proceedings against the Ministry of Justice as the judgment creditor, relying on paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (“Schedule 12”) and the Ministry of Justice’s own ‘National Standards’ guidance. The MOJ argued that its guidance was wrong and that a creditor could never be liable for damages caused by an enforcement agent, more commonly known as a bailiff.

The Court of Appeal, reversing the judgments of both HHJ Richardson and DDJ Burman, confirmed that creditors are indeed liable for damages caused by their enforcement agents when they act in breach of Schedule 12 or act under a defective power. Accordingly, Mr Burton was entitled to damages for loss of use of his car while it was clamped. Daniel Kessler acted for the successful appellant, appearing pro bono at the hearing.

Read the judgment.

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