A court summons

A court summons

If you don't pay your council tax or don't keep to an agreement to pay, we can issue you with a court summons.

We will ask the magistrates' court for a Liability Order. This is a demand for you to pay the full amount you owe, plus £65 costs.

You have the right to attend the court and offer evidence why you aren't liable for the debt.

If you decide not to attend court, contact us anyway. We will try to come to a reasonable arrangement with you for payment:

Or speak to your local Citizens Advice if you prefer.

If you go to the court hearing, the magistrates will ask if you have a valid defence which will stop a liability order being granted. Valid defences are:

  • we have not followed the rules when we asked for payment, for example if we didn't keep to the correct time periods when we sent bills or reminders
  • you have paid what you owe
  • you are not the person named on the summons.

If you don't have a valid defence the court will grant a liability order.


The costs of £55 that are shown on your summons have already been added to you account. A further £10 charged will be added to your account when your cases is heard at court unless the whole amount owed (including the £55 costs) is paid before the court date, in which case all further recovery action will be stopped.

You can make a payment over the telephone by calling (0300 7900 215 - option 1), online at Pay Your Bills Online, via online banking, by visiting one of our offices or at the Post Office.

Please note that cheques will not be accepted unless they are received at least 7 days before the hearing.  Please also allow for extra days if you are paying via the bank or Post Office as it can take up to 7 days for us to receive these payments.

Further information about Ways to pay your Council Tax can be found here.


I have received a summons what should I do?