What should we expect at a Tribunal

October 16, 2012

We’ve been given the right to appeal a CSA maintenance assessment from 2008 by Tribunal.

Basically CSA had an assessment dated 30th October 2008 for the period 2004-June 2007 for £97.84pw.  After getting copy file we noticed alot of errors and appealed.  CSA had to send copy correspondence and assessments from 2003, together with addresses held for my partner and he had to provide addresses and proof of this.  Tribunal then ruled as CSA records did not match that the appeal can proceed so we are waiting on a date.

What should we expect at a  Tribunal?  Are they quite formal?  Should we get solicitors involed?


  • John says:

    I went to appeal in 2009, having been stitched up with £6,400 of ‘alleged’ arrears, regarding CSA failure to take child premium into account. A load of poo, basically. I represented my self and put my case to the adjudicator (ex was also in room for your info). After 45 minutes and evidence by video link from CSA staff (in other words next door to tribunal), the adjudicator informed me that he had no jurisdiction regarding arrears, allegedly owed to the Secretary of state, and he dismissed my appeal.

    If I was to go again, I think that I would have sought the advice of an expert CSA solicitor. NB. I attempted to have my case heard again in the upper tier, but the conspiracy between the CSA and the adjudicator, denied me my rights! Good luck!

  • Carol says:

    Thanks for your reply John. I have been told the Tribunal do not take into account maladaministration or arrears, so often wonder what teh point is as that is most of the complaints against the Agency.

    We are hoping to argue that an assessment in place higher than his income (sometimes on benefits when CSA kept an assessment in place) would breach Human Rights. Also hoping we can have the file re-assessed to correctly assess the maintenance due. Feel like we have won round 1 of the battle but on the other hand from what I have read here it could be false hope!

  • John says:

    Hi Carol,

    I wouldn’t give up hope, in your case as there appears to be an anomaly, between the level of his income, and that of the CSA assessment. it appears to be disproportionate. An assessment by the CSA should leave him with at least 60% of his income, as they are only allowed in law to take a max of 40%.

    With regard to Human rights, I doubt that a tribunal, would have the jurisdiction to rule on that, and you may have to prove a breach of your human rights, via a court. However, it may give the adjudicator something to think about. Remember, if you fail at this tribunal, you may have redress at an upper tier tribunal, where Judges would rule regarding this tribunal’s decision. Therefore, if your appeal fails here, ask there and then for it to be put to the upper tier tribunal. It has to be on a point of law. Your point may be that the CSA has exceeded it’s powers by taking more than 40% of his income.

    Good luck!

  • karen bedford says:

    Tribunals are taking longer and longer nowadays, and then it can be ‘out of time’ so keep chasing them up. Good luck.

  • Carol says:

    Here is the wording from the Decision Notice “The Respondent (CSA) produced a chronological list of addresses for the Appelant for the period 2003-2011. They have also produced documents sent to the Appellant at addresses not corresponding to the information claimed to be held at the time of posting e.g. the appellant at … dated … when the records produced show his address as … On the balance of probabilities the Appellant did not receive the decision under appeal till he recovered a copy of his file from the respondent in 2012. Date of recovery is not known. If the time between recovery of file and 20.6.12 exceeds the time limit for Appeal the Tribunal waives the irregularity because the Respondent has suffered no material prejudice and it is in the interests of justice for the appeal to proceed.

    If he has not been correctly notified should there even be arrears?

  • John says:

    Good point! II is the CSA who have failed to serve the decision on him, and it may be that they are ‘out of time’ for pursuing any money. They have then turned around and said that it is in the ‘interest of justice’ that the appeal proceed. I don’t believe that this is the case. They are ‘smoke screening you and the adjudicator’. It is what counts ‘in law’ that the decision has to be based upon, and NOT the interest of justice!

    If they have not followed their own rules and are out of time, that is their problem. This must be brought up at your appeal!

    You should ask for the CSA case against him to be abandoned, on the grounds of the CSA not following their own protocol in law, and that it would be unfair, unjust and would cause you severe financial hardship!

  • Edd says:

    Sorry to say but my experience of the tribunal service is not very good. The Tribunal service accepted my appeal to get the CSA to take into account housing costs in my assessment ( and arrears). I sent all documents supporting my case to prove I had a mortgage to the CSA and the Tribunal service. The Tribunal service just before the hearing notified me that they cannot find the papers I sent them and requested copies. I spoke to my mortgage supplier who sent me copies. However, the tribunal hearing went ahead and my case was dismissed “ on the grounds I failed to provide supporting evidence”

    After a long fight, and employing the services of a lawyer at phenomenal cost, the Tribunal service have admitted that that I did supply initially paperwork with my application have dismissed the order and set a new date.

  • Liza says:

    What is a tribunal ‘out of time’ ? Thanks

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