Steel Linings Ltd and Another v Bibby & Company (A Firm)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date26 March 1993
Date26 March 1993
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Justice Balcombe, Lord Justice Simon Brown and Mr Justice Peter Gibson

Steel Linings Ltd and Another
Bibby & Co (a Firm)

Rating - collection and enforcement - relief for excessive distress

Relief for excessive distress

A person against whom excessive distress for unpaid non-domestic rates was levied was not barred by the relevant regulations from seeking a county court injunction to prevent the bailiffs from selling the goods distrained. But to succeed, such a person would need to establish a powerful prima facie case for saying that the distress had in some way been unlawful.

The Court of Appeal so held dismissing an appeal by the first defendants, Bibby & Co, a firm of certificated bailiffs, against an interlocutory injunction granted against them by Judge Brandt at Colchester and Clacton County Court on February 19, 1993 to restrain them from selling, and ordered, subject to a number of undertakings and conditions, to make available to the first plaintiff goods which they had seized from the first plaintiff while levying distress for unpaid national non-domestic rates.

Regulation 14 of the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations (SI 1989 No 2260) provides: "(7) A distress shall not be deemed unlawful on account of any defect or want of form in the liability order, and no person making a distress shall be deemed a trespasser on that account; and no person making a distress shall be deemed a trespasser from the beginning on account of any subsequent irregularity in making the distress, but a person sustaining special damage by reason of the subsequent irregularity may recover full satisfaction for the special damage (and no more) by proceedings in trespass or otherwise."

Regulation 15 provides: "(1) A person aggrieved by the levy of, or an attempt to levy, a distress, may appeal to a magistrates' court…"

Mr Simon Livesey for the appellants; Mr Nicholas Valios, QC and Mr Robin Howard for the respondents.

LORD JUSTICE SIMON BROWN, giving the judgment of the court, said the first plaintiffs were manufacturers of raised steel floors at Clacton. Tendring Borough Council had obtained a liability order for £9,869 in unpaid non-domestic rates against them. The council had levied distress, a means of recovery expressly provided for in the 1989 Regulations.

The distraint process had given rise to a great deal of hostility between the parties. Six bailiffs had been involved over a period of 12...

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4 cases
  • South East Enterprises (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hean Nerng Holdings Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 15 Marzo 2013
    ...Pte Ltd v Hean Nerng Holdings Pte Ltd [2012] 3 SLR 864 (refd) Sparrow v Cornell (1900) 2 WALR 78 (folld) Steel Linings Ltd v Bibby & Co [1993] RA 27 (folld) Watson v Murray & Co [1955] 2 QB 1 (folld) Williams v Williams & Nathan [1937] 2 All ER 559 (folld) Wilson v South Kesteven District C......
  • South East Enterprises (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hean Nerng Holdings Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 31 Mayo 2012
    ...was unsatisfactory and inconclusive at best. In any event, it was well-established following Steel Linings Ltd & Mark Harvey v Bibby & Co [1993] RA 27 that the execution creditor was not required to consider what value the execution debtor could have obtained on top of what would realistica......
  • Wilson v South Kesteven District Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Julio 2000
    ...taxed, if necessary obtaining meantime a county court injunction to restrain sale �see Steel Linings Limited and Harvey v Bibby & Co. [1993] RA 27. During seizure, however, the determination of the accrued charges will almost inevitably be difficult. They are likely to be accruing minute b......
  • Crown Office List and Another v Hampstead Magistrates' Court and Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 12 Julio 1995
    ...[1986] 1 QB 716, and, second, damages for excess levying of distress, reference being made to Steel Linings Ltd and Harvey v. Bibby & Co. [1993] RA 27. I should also mention that I have been shown, without objection, correspondence headed "Without prejudice save as to costs". In a letter of......

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