Off Topic: any legal advice forums known?

  pc_sausage 22:42 15 Feb 2006

Thought this was the most appropriate place for non-PC threads.

Anyone know any online legal advice forums (free)?

Got an issue with the local council losing details of last year's council tax payment and need advice before I get carted away to do porridge.


  mole44 23:12 15 Feb 2006

if you drive a car there may be free legal advise with your car insurance.

  Newuser38 23:22 15 Feb 2006

click here could be the one. A CAB visit might give you the help you need.

  namtas 09:30 16 Feb 2006

Make an appointment at the CAB

  pc_sausage 11:04 16 Feb 2006

Thanks - wife spoke to CAB this morning.

Their view was that as we had lost receipt there was little we could do. However, they did give us the number of our local Councillor who we've left a message with.

Will wait and see if that comes up with anything.

  spuds 11:07 16 Feb 2006

Just put Legal Advice UK or something similar in google.

In a case like this with local councils, I would suggest the local CAB or Free law centre (listed on google)or a solicitor who offers a free first consultation, usually half an hour.

The main point: Did you keep any records of the payment's in question. I find that council's or at least council staff are notorious for denial of any responsibilities, unless cast-iron facts are presented to them.Even then,it can be an up-hill struggle.

  beynac 12:21 16 Feb 2006

Did you pay cash? If not, you presumably would be able to get proof of payment from your bank or credit card company.

  pc_sausage 13:08 16 Feb 2006

I'm acually posting on behalf of the wife.

She paid cash (£966), she has evidence of an account being closed on that day, with funds to cover the payment.

She does not have any receipt from the Council - she either lost it, or never got one (which would be daft, I know).

We've asked if they can check CCTV, but they only keep it for one month. We've asked them to chec similar payments paid into other accounts by error that day, but they have nothing.

Ultimately, if we can do nothing and if the council don't budge, we will have to pay. Not worth going to jail over. Although if it comes to paying again, I'd love to be able to pay 1ps, stick them in a big bag and wait whoile they count it up.

Also tempted to take my own video in the council offices if we have to pay again, if only to make a point and wind them up.

  spuds 18:24 16 Feb 2006

If cash was handed over at a council payment point, then a receipt would have been automatically given.If cash had been handed over to someone conducting an interview or general inquiry, then again council rules would have insisted that an official receipt was given, or instructions of a paying-in point would have been provided, or should have been.

Regarding your jest of paying by 1ps would technically be breaking the law, and the council have the rights to refuse such a payment. Whether they would, that's another thing. The same applies to taking video's on council property. Without official approval, they have the rights to call security or the police and have the video taker ejected from the building.

And don't even think about involving the Local Government Ombudsman. Your local councillor may have better ideas!.

  Forum Editor 18:28 16 Feb 2006

she would definitely have been given a receipt, as spuds has pointed out, and the authority should have a copy of it.

I find it hard to believe that a local authority cannot trace a cash payment almost £1000 - it must be somewhere on their system.

  pc_sausage 10:12 17 Feb 2006

We've now got details of another council contact who may know how to access older cctv footage (we may have been mis-informed on the 1 month archiving policy).

Asides from that we've yet to hear back from the councillor. We also have contact details for each boss' boss in the council, up to the head honcho - so we can try and plead the case there also.

Thanks for the advice all.

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