Judge told me to sue the Child Support Agency

September 5, 2011

It reads like a novel, so hear is a breakdown. The CSA lost 4 years of my claim, they removed one of my sons and put someone else’s son on my claim, they then phoned me to ask if my ex-husband was father to both my sons, the CSA then failed to issue papers to my ex, they failed to send payments to me and returned them to my ex, they have ignored information i have sent, yes i can prove this, the papers i sent where to do with my ex owning a public house, his wife told the CSA she owned it, but on his Bankruptcy papers he says he owns it and has had debts written off to the inland revenue for 10’s of thousands of pounds, the CSA said the court records did not prove my ex owned the public house even though he clearly states he does, they then failed to supply the Parliamentary Ombudsman with my full case files resulting in 18 months of stress for me and my family, resulting in another tribunal, which I knew I was going to loose because the CSA had mucked again. I was right on Wednesday of this week I lost my 12 year battle with the CSA, my ex husband and his wife got away with committing fraud with the help of the CSA.

The up shot is the Tribunal Judge told me to sue the CSA, he told the rep from the CSA that they had made constant errors on my case even to the point of having the Ombudsman involved where they made yet more mistakes, and he told my ex husband that he probably didn’t like some of the things I had said in the room (just about his avoidance in paying and there lies), but that was unfortunate for him.I thought thank you very much you’ve just given him a verbal slap.

I need to find out how to bring a claim against the CSA, and I would love to sue my ex and his wife for Fraud, but I just don’t know how, you look on-line and you never hear of someone suing and winning a claim against the CSA, even though the Judge did say it happens and the claims run into tens of thousands of pounds, and he asked the CSA rep to verify that, which she did.

So there we are trust me this is a very brief set of accounts to what has happened.

If there is anyone who can advise me on suing either the CSA or my EX please, I would be very grateful.



12 Responses to “Judge told me to sue the Child Support Agency”

  1. Amanda on April 11th, 2012 10:57 pm

    I am very much in the same position of you Amanda except i had my cases closed in error by the CSA and then they had to go clerical 9 years ago because they apparently cannot just reopen them and ive not received a single payment since, I would also like to find a way to get the CSA to actually help not hinder the parents with care, if tht means sueing them then so be it. As it stands the whole company is a joke.

  2. Zally on November 8th, 2012 12:53 pm

    This is for all us mums and dads who have been duped by the CSA.

    My story stems back 14 years where I have been battling with the Agency to simply ‘get it right’.

    It is apparent that perhaps you need little to no intelligence to work for the Agency. In fact the most valued level of expertise is incompetence!

    Losing the will to live when dealing with the Agency is an understatement. Un-returned phone calls, unanswered letters, un-collected maintenance, the list just goes on.

    Before the Agency became involved (1997) my ex was paying me £246 per month (cash) for our 4 children. In 1998 when the Agency completed their assessment, they deemed that my ex’s affordable liability should be £12.99 per week for all four children.

    After a long, arduous and extremely stressful battle via phone and letters, I eventually won a hearing in 2003 when i took my case to a Departure hearing. My concerns were upheld by the tribunal and maintenance increased and backdated to 2000. The Agency were ordered to re-calculate their assessments using the Departure ruling and apologise!

    I continued in chasing the Agency as weeks, months, years!! went by. By 2005 I was advised that a Liability Order had been obtained for £20,000 arrears.

    With little to no money being received from my ex, my Utter frustration led me to apply to ICE. It took almost 2 years for an investigation to be completed as it transpired that the Agency had lost contents of my case and used the excuse that my case was a clerical one and therefore took more time to sort.

    In 2007 ICE ordered/recommended that the Agency provide me with a full break-down of what money was owed by my Ex.

    A drawn out calculation was eventually made and a finally I received notification that the arrears amounted to a mere £7,000.

    When I contacted the Agency and asked them why the amount was so low when in 2005 a liability for £20K was made, they were rude and dismissive. A quick recalculation was made and arrears miraculously increased to £16K. Again I contacted the Agency to tell them the calculation was wrong, i was abruptly told “whats your problem, £16K is a lot of money”.

    It transpired that they did not know what they were doing. The Departure had not been applied and the £20 Liability order had been “lost”.

    I had to send supporting documentation for both liability order and departure ruling to the agency more than once as they just kept ‘mislaying’ relevant documentation. I was now the only source of kept documentation!!!!!!

    To cut a very epic story shorter, I have just received my third ICE investigative report upholding all of my complaint.

    From the Tribunal Hearing in 2003 to November 2012 the Agency has failed to i) calculate the correct maintenance amount due each week, ii) pursue any element of regular payment for current liability or arrears, mainly because they hadn’t worked out what it should be, iii)secured the correct amount of arrears (now some £42K) by a liability against my Ex.

    In total I have received some £1K in consolditation payments from the Agency – to say sorry along the way for not doing its job!!

    Whilst finally the 3rd ICE investigation has forced the Agency to get to the most accurate figure it has achieved in its 14 years of working on my case it is a bitter-sweet pill to swollow. The injustice that I have endured, being percieved as the ‘one in the wrong’ for so many years by arguing and disputing the ridiculous calculations leave little room for any celebration to this monumental victory. In reality there is little to no likelihood of getting such sums from my Ex as I believe he is now stating he is unfit to work and there is little to no equity left in his property to pursue an order for sale.

    So what exactly has been the point of my stress. It beggers belief that the Agency remains to an extent untouchable.

    I have pursued matters through my MP for many years, I have taken the matter to the Ombudsman who simply referred the matter back to ICE. For my recent efforts to be rewarded with a £300 consolidation payment for the Agency’s failure to ‘simply do its job’ and yet another letter of apology is just absolutely mind bogglingly ‘fucked up’ when outstanding maintenance because they couldnt get it right sits at some £42K!

    I dont know where the law currently stands insofar as taking a Government Agency such as the CSA to Court. My past research found a test case where the Agency were taken to court for the hardship it had caused a parent by failing to do its job – the outcome of which stated that the Agency owed no duty of care to the parent and therefore recompence was not pursuable.

    Maybe if several parents got together to pursue the matter jointly it would have a greater press coverage or impact on the human rights of individuals being grossly compromised by this delightful Agency!

    Amanda, you have my sympathy. I have learnt to pursue this as a hobby rather than a necessity. My children are grown up now and I can pat myself on the back for doing a damn good job. I am sure you can too.x
    Kind regards

  3. Sally on November 9th, 2012 8:56 am

    Hi Zally, I completely sympathise with both you and the author of the post but can I just turn this situation around a little bit….

    You and your ex had an amicable agreement for payment before the CSA got involved? When the did get involved they gave you both incorrect information (about the amounts due), he followed what they advised but because of the incompetence of the CSA, has a potential bill of thousands of pounds 🙁

    You, instead of continuing as you were with the £246 were forced to go along with what the CSA told you because you were getting absolutely nowhere with the CSA.

    My point is that both you and the NRP are victims of the CSA and it’s just not fair.

  4. j on November 9th, 2012 12:10 pm

    I can relate to this a bit. In my case the csa failed to follow their own procedures, ignored the facts, then used the procedures to say I’m out of time to appeal. I’ve even had magistrates tell me to take my case to judicial review. The thing is the CSA is a part of the DWP, the ICE is a part of the DWP, even the appeals tribunal is (as far as I know) a part of the DWP. Courts are not allowed to hear cases and give judgement on them but are there to ‘rubber stamp’ the decisions of the CSA. The lower grade CSA staff are ‘just doing a job’ so dont care as long as they get paid and have a job while the higher up staff are arrogant as they have the protection of the rules the CSA operates under. The money collected destroys lives, people give up their jobs and the economy suffers, meanwhile the money then gets delayed, goes ‘missing’ or just gets passed to the government. Its a disgusting organisation designed to create jobs for low grade civil servants in areas of high unemployment and collect stealth tax for a morally corrupt government isnt it?

  5. Jenny Makepeace on November 12th, 2012 9:07 pm

    I sympathise with you all.
    My ex husband has been proven a liar in one court hearing covering a 2 month period where they found he had produced false payslips.. The judge refused to look at the other four years as apparently the CSA had wrongly advised me that I needn’t submit separate appleals for every tine my ex decided to reduce his self employed income. They told me it would all be dealt with under one hearing. I have now been refused any appeal as I did not appeal every calculation at the time as per the advice I was given. So my ex is now on holiday number 5 this year and enjoys his Audi convertible and meals out etc, etc….I get £34 per month as apparently he does all this on £6,700 per year!!!
    No wonder this country is in the mess it’s in if neither the Inland Revenue or CSA can see what he’s up to. Meanwhile I have lost my home and we now have to live with my parents. Thank God I have them.My M.P has written to them on my behalf 6 times and not even this has carried any weight!
    I want to sue the CSA but don’t know where to start as I don’t have the money to pay for a law suit. Maybe the newspapers will help?

  6. shaun lee on December 12th, 2012 11:19 pm

    i a father of 2 pay for my children and i believe every parent should do the same, i also believe the csa needs a kick up the backside as they spend all there time and money fleecing the parent without custody who is easy traceable and a taxpayer.in 7 years i have paid over 40.000 pounds to my children and life has been a nightmare to survive.none of my outgoings come into it.so to all the parents with care its not about getting as much as possible its aabout being fair.some of us dads out there are getting hammered in maintenance payments.ive asked my xs to be reasonable and they have said they will take me for every penny they can and they have. my point is its not always the parent with care that suffers

  7. shaun lee on December 12th, 2012 11:28 pm

    i would also like to add i had full custody of my daughter for 4 and a half years and never recieved 1p from her mum whem my daughter went back to live her mum she got 250 pounds a month hows that right i applied for csa when i had custody csa lost claim.

  8. babs on January 19th, 2013 1:46 am

    I am in similar position to the above. Battling the CSA incompetents since 1993 – my case was one of the very first guinea pig cases and my children suffered terribly because of this so called “agency”. Their errors were insurmountable, my relationship with my ex became non existent because of them, and my children are now grown up and some £28,000 is still owing in unclaimed child maintenance. My ex still states he made payments to the agency which i never received. A tribunal ordered him to pay £11,000 direct to me which he did, however the judge told me togain a liability orderfor the remainder and a csa representative apparently went to court (I was not even informed of the date!), and obtained one. However the agency then told me that as the arrears were over 6 years old that they have “written them off”! even though they admitted that it took them over 6 years to gain a liability order and so it was their fault, but apparently the law states that the debt cannot be enforced as it is over 6 years old. Surely child provision is not a normal debt.. Can this be correct? My children now have huge student loans and I would like to know if I can purseue this liability order for them. My wealthy ex rubbed his hands with glee, married again and hasnt seen our children for years. Can anyone advise at all ! ?

  9. Pam on September 3rd, 2013 3:22 pm

    Hi All,

    I thought my case was bad, but it seems there are a catalogue of errors by the CSA. I have just received my final report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman and yes they upheld my complaint, agreed that there had been maladministration by the CSA but decided that ICE had carried out their investigation properly and where unable to over turn their findings even though there were errors in their report too, the PO also found the CSA had failed me but still felt the £100 consolatory payment was sufficient.

    So what’s the next step now, I don’t know what to do. I’m not giving up though as that’s what they will expect. Any ideas from anyone would be welcome. I would be happy to join a group to take it further and am already thinking about the media.

    Please get in touch if you want help further.

    Pam x

  10. CSA warrior on October 11th, 2013 1:33 pm

    to all of you who replied. the case that is being refered to is the case of Rowley 2007. The court of appeal held that in this instance the CSA do not owe a duty of care as there is a statutory scheme. they were in fact wrong. there is no statutory scheme for compensation. Those of you who have used ICE or the ombudsman will no that the CSA payments are discretionary. If you are bold enough Rowley can be overturned on the principle of per incurium. that is to say that the court made an error. this will mean going to the court of appeal. to babs I would suggest that you write to the CSA and tell them that the CSA have been exempted from the statute of limitations act. I know this because I argued that very point as they for whatever reason took over 6 years to contact me. who ever is bold enough will make legal history and break the CSAs position that they can do what they want because no matter what they do they cant be sued. good luck.

  11. Karen on June 14th, 2015 10:41 am

    I have also (and still am) battling with the CSA for 16 years. Always getting it wrong. The arrears owed to me were £46k, the CSA had no explanation when put the arrears down to £21k. After years of chasing it took them 5 years to do a liability order and charge on my ex s house (both of these not worth the paper they written on) as not used. 5 years later he decided to produce information that made the arrears £6900 and now this week I have been told £4700.. I have battled constantly with CSA and feel they have a BIG case of administration. This case has caused me years of stress and frustration. Has anyone joined forces or gone ahead and tried to sue???? Surely we can all do something. ?????

  12. Laura on August 2nd, 2016 9:31 pm

    I am like you all, struggling to come to terms with the agency keeping on neglecting my case, maladministering my case, I’ve Been through ICE twice previously, received consolatory payments more times than I have received maintenance payments, three liability orders totally £15 thousand, just found out again agency neglected/maladministering my case for the last five years accruing another £13,900 debt. Just been offered £50 which I feel is a slap in the face amongst it all.

    I agree with someone earlier who said about a load of us getting a case against them collectively like a class action suit. I have completely lost all faith in the agency and the complaints system, I am fuming to have three liability orders that I cannot action because they are in the agencies name and I cannot have them transferred into my name. Disgusting what they think they can get away with…..

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