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Anyone Gone To Court For Non Payment Of Fees?


garrison
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We are taking a mother to court for non payment of notice period (4 weeks). Long story short - we were the 4th setting the child had attended and mum withdrew him from every one due to 'inadequate care.' This mum never stopped complaining to us from the day her son set foot through the door (and did the same at the other settings)

We made the decision to pursue her for non payment (as per our policy) and she is now counter claiming using sub standard care as her excuse for not paying.

We have plenty of evidence that this was not the case and so feel confident in going to court .

Has anyone on here done the same and can tell me what we may experience during the hearing?

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I seem to recall that this was discussed a couple of years back, and someone HAD. I hope whoever it was is still on the Forum and they are able to come to your help!

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We are currently going through the small claims court for non payment. It is a pain, but we're hopeful that we'll get a result eventually. The court letters etc have all been ignored by the family, but we now have a period of so many days to wait before we can take the next step. It's stressful, but we need these fees to be paid.

 

We're considering asking for payments to be made in advance from next term onwards for all parents as this would certainly help us to ensure fees were paid! We would of course use our discretion for parets who struggle to pay us (monthly/weekly etc), but we are relying heavily on fees being paid.

 

Hope that helps a little Rachael,

Spiral :-)

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We were owed £217 by one family and £100 odd by another. Good on you for going to court, we never have because none of us have got the time to pursue it.

It did make us look at our policies though, we state now that fee's are paid in advance, the child's place will be suspended if fee's arent paid within two weeks of invoice and fee's will be payable during the suspension time unless we have been given 4 weeks notice of leaving.

I know it all so clearly because I've just written a letter to give this morning to a mother who has started to avoid the staff!

 

The thread Cait referred to was maybe the one I started asking pretty much the same thing and I now someone had done it so I looked at the Direct Gov site, it looked pretty straight forward but I think I read there is still no guarentee you will get your money if teh ruling goes in your favour.

Loads of luck with it :1b :1b

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/ManagingDebt/Makingacourtclaimformoney/DG_195118

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but we went to court, got the judgement in our favour and then the parent declared themselves unable to pay and then that was that. I did try a debt collection agency who were registered as being ok (i.e not dodgy, in the middle of the night, hairy scary men) and all that happened was they pursued the parent and the parent threatened to kill me - we had to get a solicitors letter to warn them off the premises and the police involved. Really wasn't worth it! On the other hand, we did start proceedings against another parent and they coughed up after the first court letter. It does feel horrible and it the parents do make you feel as though you're been unreasonable!!! but they should pay for what they've had - afterall Tesco wouldn't let you get away with it!

 

Good luck!

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It isnt about the money anymore - its about the damage she is doing to our reputation. This parent was constantly making unreasonable demands and unfounded allegations about us and we have to take a stand. We really dont care if she never pays us the money even though we desperatley need it, we just want to see justice done and her be proven to be the nutcase she is (not a professional term I know but it is quite mild compared to what she actually is!)

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Since adding the last post we have had a visit from the local authority's EYFS consultant as a complaint against us. It was more than apparent that the complainee was this mother!!! The consultant looked round and found everything to be more than acceptable (as expected) - this mother is totally potty, she will be bringing super nanny round next!

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Be careful not to get into a 'tit for tat' episode. If she's making unfounded allegations send her a solicitors letter asking her to stop or to back the allegations with hard proof.

Put a questionnaire out to your parents asking generally if they are happy with everything and if they have any comments or compliments, if any comments come back negative put a big poster in your window addressing any concerns so everyone can see how you work and a huge thank you for all the compliments.

Dont let one person affect your life, fight back in a very non-confrontational, positive way. And dont write anything you wouldnt be willing to let a parent read! ;)

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Since adding the last post we have had a visit from the local authority's EYFS consultant as a complaint against us. It was more than apparent that the complainee was this mother!!! The consultant looked round and found everything to be more than acceptable (as expected) - this mother is totally potty, she will be bringing super nanny round next!

 

......don't worry i have back up ......my friends sister is Nanny Stella 911 :ph34r: :ph34r: :ph34r:

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Hi Rachael,

 

just to update, we've asked about persuing the courts/using debt collectors and have been advised by both that it could be more expensive for us to continue any further and we probably won't get anything back from the parent (all they have to do is explain to the bailiff that the items in their home belong to their children/are on HP etc, and they can't touch a thing)!!

 

As for parents throwing accusations around, I've had my share too and it's very uncomfortable.

I have worked in mental heath and sometimes wonder where the services are and why we don't monitor a little more. Every parent has the right to expect a high level of care for their children, but not to the detriment of their child - children are too often party to conversations and moods which affect them and create sadness. One of my friends has a paranoid brother who thinks that most people are after his money - so when he goes shopping he thinks the shopkeeper has overcharged and frquently complains. It's ok for the local community as they know him, but when he's been on a bus elsewhere, it causes big problems!

 

Personally I've found that the local mums/dads/grandparents and childminders within the community manage to sum up people pretty quickly and your ratings shouldn't really be affected. This mum will earn herself a nickname.

 

Please don't take it personally, every school has a parent like this and as she's left your setting as well as other settings, there is little else she can do to complain. Look after yourself and try to relax. You are doing all the right things and are acting very professionally.

 

Glass of wine, chocolate and a hug with a loved one always helps. Keep us informed, Spiral x :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hiya

 

We are in the process of taking a family to small claims court, but are using a local solicitor and stated clearly in all letters to the family that any charges incurred will be added to their debt. Unfortunately the court judged in our favour but we are having to send bailiffs in as they have still refused to pay. It is not very nice as we are in a village so i see the family regularly. We are also about to do the same to another family. :-( horrible job but we are non profit making so we need the money.

 

Goodluck

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Have used small claims now on about 10 occasions over the years - waste of time and money generally for all the reasons people above have said - what we have finally managed to get back just about covers the original costs and the amount of time it takes is horrendous . We now use a local solicitor who we pay £25 per debt to run the process of the 'threatening letters' for us, and they will chase the debts and monitor repayment arrangements ( they keep 10% of any money regained) and this has been far more effective.

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I have taken parents through the small claims court 5 times and got money back on three occasions, but think I was luckly. Have tried two different debt collection agencies and sure they sent out the letters but when that wasn't successful wanted more money to take them to court - I could have done what they had...

 

I have listened to that many sob stories and let parents get away with it that my ears burn with parents laughing at me..... but now I am starting to be very strict and last week suspended two parents from bringing their children in as they were building up debt. One is pregnant and the other parent has just moved house, but at the end of the day both know they had fees to pay and I just can't carry on supporting these parents, it's too expensive.

 

If you can't face the courts or think it's not worth it, there is a way for 'you the tax payer' to get some justice. I am now starting to report these parents to the Inland Revenue. In years gone by they probably wouldn't have been investigated, but these days with the IR being so hot on false claims we may stand a chance of these parents getting found out for not only cheating us out of our fees but the tax payer as well.

 

If anybody does find a good way of ensuring fees are paid whilst trying to be supportive to parents, please let me know.

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Possibly because they are claiming child-care tax credits and not using the money to pay for their child-care, which has been claimed using the setting's details

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Oh ok, You woul dknow that wouldn't you as presumably you would have to give certain details/sign something.

 

or would you- just thinking no one has ever asked me to do any of the above, so maybe not????????????

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well we went to mediation today and reached an agreement of 1 weeks notice payment and a letter from the mother aceepting we did provide good care to her son.

We are very happy as this was never about the money - (the satisfaction of her writing this lettter is worth so much more than any amount of money)

We are still worried about this mother and the effect she is having on her child and I have spoken to the lady who is soon to be his teacher - I only hope she is stopped from such behaviour in the future and given the psychological help she needs

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