HMCS Consults on Regulations -

Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCS) has begun the consultation exercise which should eventually lead to the regulation of enforcement agents. Following the passing of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 HMCS is now consulting with stakeholders, including the ESA, in order to take forward the process of creating regulations. The Association, in speaking to officials, has voiced concern over a number of issues including the up-front fee, the proposed three month time limit for taking control of goods, forced entry, the sale of goods following seizure and the use of the Security Industry Authority as a regulatory body. HMCS has indicated its willingness to listen to stakeholders' concerns and the Association is hopeful that, whatever the final outcome may be, it provides a system which is beneficial to creditors and debtors as well as enforcement agents.


HMCS - New Fee Structure

After what seems an age HMCS and the Ministry of Justice have begun work on introducing new regulations for enforcement agents following the passing of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. HMCS has sent out forms (known as Requests for Information (RFIs)) to bailiff firms requesting information on the work they do, how much it costs them and the charges made for carrying out such work. The purpose of the information gathered from the forms is to provide material to enable HMCS to formulate a fee structure for enforcement. Ideally, this will be a clear, simple to understand system which will remove many of the current anomalies in the present fee structure. HMCS will subsequently publish a formal consultation paper setting out its proposals and asking for comments. In addition to the form, the ESA and ACEA have jointly submitted a paper setting out comprehensive details of a fee structure which we believe will satisfy the main concerns of government. Rather than making a charge for each individual act, the paper puts forward a scheme for charging a fixed fee for groups of actions which should ensure a) that the bailiff is fairly remunerated and b) that debtors are absolutely clear as to what they will have to pay and the reasons they are paying it. The paper has been endorsed by the BPA.


Ministerial Statement - TCE Act 2007

Ministers have made an announcement following the review of Parts 3 & 4 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. In written statements presented to both Houses of Parliament Ministers said that they had decided not to implement Part 4 of the Act but have decided to implement Part 3 save for those provisions which would have extended bailiffs' powers of entry. Three specific measures will be initiated shortly including the creation of an on-line bailiff certification register and the inclusion of CRB checks as part of the application process for certification. The third measure; minimum training requirements and competences for bailiffs, awaits further details. Ministers state that the intention is to implement "full independent regulation" by 2012 but with a General Election due to take place in 2010 it remains to be seen whether or not such regulation ever takes place.


Certificated Bailiffs Online Register

The Certificated Bailiff Register, recently published on Her Majesty's Court Service (HMCS) website, contains a large number of errors and omissions, despite the full co-operation of our members in providing up to date information. We are very disappointed that such a public register is not completely accurate and reliable. The Enforcement Services Association has reluctantly come to the conclusion that no one, whether they be member of the public, professional or volunteer adviser or anyone working in the sector, should rely on the register to check whether or not a bailiff is certificated. Despite the inadequacy of the HMCS register we remain committed to assisting the Government in the provision of accurate and up to date information on the sector.


Media stories

ESA is very concerned that it has been quoted in two recent stories in the Daily Mail and Daily telegraph. We would confirm that no official quotes have been given to either publication, and that we do not recognise the statistics referred to in the articles. We are concerned that the two journalists concerned do not appear to have done their research thoroughly on an important subject


NOS Consultation response

We are pleased to confirm that, after a great deal of work from the sector representatives, the Enforcement Agents Suite of NOS is now available for Industry Wide Consultation on the Skills for Security website. You can access the consultation at the following address: http://www.skillsforsecurity.org.uk/index.php/help/35/40 We would urge all members to view and respond to the consultation direct. If you would prefer not to but would like to have a point made, then please let us know and we will respond on your behalf. The closing date for responses is the 7th January 2011. 0A


Merger with ACEA

On 26th January 2011 the members of both the Enforcement Services Association (ESA) and the Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies (ACEA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a merger into one association. The new association will be called the Civil Enforcement Association. However, until the administrative procedures have been completed for the new association, both ESA and ACEA will continue to run in parallel under a single management structure.


Bolton Parking Case

On 22nd June 2011 his Honour Judge Holman, sitting at Bolton County Court, nailed the twin myths that warrants of execution from the Traffic Enforcement Centre were invalid if they were not issued to an enforcement company in paper format by the relevant authority and/or that a copy of the warrant was not produced upon demand by the debtor. The cottage industry that has been building up upon these two spurious contentions has finally been shown to be giving false hope and ill-informed advice to those foolish enough to support it financially. It is, however, unfortunate that the defendant in this particular case is likely to pay a high financial penalty through poor advice from those seeking to profit from his misfortune and enhance their own business interests. 0A

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Rules

CONSTITUTION

1) The name of the Association to be the Enforcement Services Association and shall consist of the following categories of membership: Corporate Members, Private Members and Student Members. Unless indicated otherwise in these Rules, references to “Members” shall include Student Members. The Association shall also have Honorary Members and Retired Members. The Association shall reward certain people with a Fellowship.

2) There shall be an Executive Council, elected by and from the Members of the Association, which shall manage the affairs of the Association.

3) The Association shall have one each of the following officers:

President, Vice-President, Treasurer

The Executive Council shall appoint an Executive Director who shall also be Secretary to the Executive Council.

The Association shall also appoint at least one independent Auditor.

4) The offices of the Association shall be at such address as shall from time to time be decided by the Executive Council.

5) Only at an Annual General Meeting or General Meeting of the Association may the Members, by a majority of three-quarters of the votes cast, add to, alter, or rescind any of these Rules or the Association’s Code of Practice.

OBJECTS OF THE ASSOCIATION

6) The objects for which the Association is established are:

a. to provide a central organisation for certificated bailiffs and civil enforcement agents;

b. to seek to encourage and maintain the highest professional standards amongst its Members;

c. to generally do such things as from time to time may be necessary to elevate the status and advance the interests of its members;

d. to encourage the study and promote the interests of the profession of certificated bailiffs and civil enforcement agents by examination and in other ways;

e. to maintain and promote an examination procedure based upon a general knowledge of the laws of distress and to issue an examination certificate to any person who has successfully passed the Association’s examination;

f. to watch over, promote and protect the interests of its members and to morally and financially assist them, so far as the funds of the Association will allow, defending actions on points of law but subject to the rules relating to litigation.

ADMISSION OF MEMBERS

7) All applicants for membership of the Association (with the exception of Honorary Members and Retired Members) and Qualifying Persons must complete the appropriate application form as prescribed by the Executive Council and send it by post to the Executive Director. The completed form must be accompanied by any documents as required in the form together with the application fee and the examination fee (if applicable). Applicants for Corporate Membership must also have the requisite number of Qualifying Persons (see Rule 14) before Corporate Membership may be granted.

8) With the exception of applications for Student Membership, upon receipt of a correctly completed application form and accompanying documents and fees, the Executive Director will take up the references (which in the case of corporate applicants, must be client references) and, in conjunction with the Examination Secretary, arrange for the applicant to sit the Association’s examination.

9) The Executive Council shall, in its absolute discretion, approve or refuse membership to an applicant and its decision shall be final.

10) Upon successful completion of all stages of the membership procedure as set out in Rules 8 and 9 above, the applicant shall be invoiced for the subscription. On payment of the said subscription, the applicant shall be admitted as a Member or Qualifying Person (as appropriate) of the Association.

11) Upon receipt of a correctly completed application form and the accompanying fee, an applicant for Student Membership shall be entered on the register of Student Members. The Executive Council may, in its absolute discretion, refuse to register an applicant and its decision shall be final.

12) Every Member and Qualifying Person shall conform to the Rules and Code of Practice of the Association and his or her signature to the application form shall be held to be his or her undertaking to do so. Certificates of Membership shall always remain the property of the President and Executive Director of the Association. Certificates previously issued to Members of the Certificated Bailiffs Association shall be regarded as indicating membership of the Enforcement Services Association.

13) Any Member wishing to resign must do so in writing to the Executive Director. Should a member resign or be expelled from the Association the Certificate of Membership must be returned and the letters MESA, FESA or CMESA removed from after his or her name and/or that of the company. If this is not done, it may be notified in such publication as the Executive Council shall decide, that the person and/or company has ceased to be a Member of the Association.

CORPORATE MEMBERS

14) Corporate Members must, by the 1st February each year, have the requisite number of Qualifying Persons in accordance with the following scale:

No. of Staff Minimum Number of

(to include all directors, partners, proprietors, Qualifying Persons

employees and self-employed personnel)

1 - 9 1

10 – 19 2

20 – 29 3

30 – 39 4

40 – 49 5

50 – 59 6

60 – 69 7

70 – 79 8

80 – 89 9

90+ 10

15) A person applying to become a Qualifying Person must complete the Association’s application form, provide two professional references and pass the Association’s written examination with a mark of not less than 75%. A Qualifying Person in the employ of a fully paid up Corporate Member of the Association may be referred to as a ‘Qualified Person’ colloquially, in literature and elsewhere.

16) A Qualifying Person is not required to hold a Bailiff’s Certificate.

17) A Qualifying Person may be a Private Member of the Association in the employ of the Corporate Member who has applied to the Executive Council and been granted permission to change his or her status to that of a Qualifying Person. Such a Qualifying Person may use the designation MESA (or FESA if he or she is a Fellow) for as long as he or she is a Qualifying Person.

18) A Qualifying Person, upon leaving the employ of a Corporate Member, shall not be treated as a Member of the Association unless he or she was previously a Private Member who transferred his or her title to that of Qualifying Person.

19) A Qualifying Person who was not previously a Private Member of the Association and who wants to apply for Private Membership must complete the Private Membership application form and complete all the procedures necessary for such an application. In such a case the Executive Council may, in its absolute discretion, dispense with the requirement for the applicant to pass the Association’s examination.

20) An applicant for Corporate Membership must submit an auditor’s certificate verifying:

a. the number of staff (to include all directors, partners, proprietors, employees and self-employed personnel) of the applicant and any associated enforcement activities; and

b. that the balance held in the applicant’s client account(s) at the date of the auditor’s certificate was equal to or greater than the sum total of all the money owing or due to all the applicant’s clients by the applicant at that time.

21) A Corporate Member must submit each year following the finalisation of its annual accounts, or at any time at the request of the Treasurer or Executive Director, an auditor’s certificate verifying:

a. the number of staff (to include all directors, partners, proprietors, employees and self-employed personnel) of the Member and any associated enforcement activities; and

b. that the balance held in the Member’s client account(s) at the date of the auditor’s certificate was equal to or greater than the sum total of all the money owing or due to all the Member’s clients by the Member at that time.

22) A Corporate Member must submit with the annual subscription, or at any other time at the request of the Treasurer or Executive Director, a list of its Qualifying Persons and written confirmation that those persons continue to be employed, contracted or engaged in some other way, by the Member.

23) A Corporate Member will receive a Certificate of Membership and is entitled to affix to its name the letters MESA or CMESA. It is also entitled to:

a. use the Association’s logo on its stationery;

b. receive the Association ID wallet for each of its Qualifying Persons; and

c. receive the minutes of all General Meetings held from the date of its admission;

d. on payment of a non-refundable fee determined by the Executive Council, receive a Bailiff’s Bond for each individual bailiff in its employ which will continue in force whilst that individual remains in the employ of the Corporate Member and provided always that the Corporate Member’s annual subscription is up to date and subject to the provisions contained in Rules 122 to 138 of the Association’s Rules.

24) A Corporate Member is entitled, through its Qualifying Persons, to attend all General Meetings and seminars and is entitled to a block vote at General Meetings subject to:

a. the Executive Director being informed prior to the commencement of the Meeting of the name of the Qualifying Person authorised by the Corporate Member to vote at the Meeting on its behalf; and

b. the block vote not being greater than the minimum number of Qualifying Persons required for the Corporate Member.

PRIVATE MEMBERS
25) A person shall be eligible for consideration to be admitted as a Private Member if he or she demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Executive Council that he or she holds a Bailiff’s Certificate, provides two professional references and passes the Association’s written examination with a mark of at least 75%.

26) A Private Member must submit with the annual subscription, or at any other time at the request of the Treasurer or the Executive Director, a copy of his or her current Bailiff’s Certificate as issued under the Distress for Rent Rules 1988 (as amended).

27) A Private Member is entitled to:

a. affix to his or her name the letters MESA (or FESA if he or she is a fellow) but is not entitled to use the Association’s logo on his or her stationery;

b. receive the Association’s ID wallet;

c. vote at General Meetings,

d. receive minutes of all General Meetings held from the date of his or her admission;

e. on payment of a non-refundable fee determined by the Executive Council, receive a Bailiff’s Bond issued in the name of the Private Member which will continue in force provided always that the Private Member’s annual subscription is up to date and subject to the provisions contained in Rules 122 to 138 of the Association’s Rules.

28) A Private Member of the Association who is employed by a Corporate Member, may apply to the Executive Council in writing and using the prescribed form, to transfer his or her status to that of a Qualifying Person.

29) In doing so, the Private Member shall, for the period he or she remains a qualifying Person, lose his or her Private Membership entitlements, but will retain the right to revert to a Private Member should he or she so elect and, subject to the Executive Director being informed in writing, the right to affix after his or her name the letters MESA (or FESA if he or she is a Fellow).

STUDENT MEMBERS

30) A person shall be eligible to be registered as a Student Member of the Association on submission of a completed application form and payment of the annual subscription.

31) A Student Member is entitled to receive the Association’s newsletter and a copy of the Association’s yearbook.

32) A Student Member is entitled to attend all General Meetings and seminars and to receive the minutes of such meetings. However, he or she shall have no voice in the management of the Association and no voting rights.

33) A Student Member is not entitled to refer to him or herself as a Member of the Association, or to affix any letters after his or her name. A Student Member is not entitled to use the Association’s logo.

34) A student Member is not entitled to apply for a bailiff bond under the Association’s Bailiff Bond Scheme.

HONORARY AND RETIRED MEMBERS
35) An Honorary Member may be admitted for a specific period, or for life, at the absolute discretion of the Executive Council. There are no criteria for admission to Honorary Membership. An Honorary Member is entitled to attend all General Meetings and seminars. However, he or she shall have no voice in the management of the Association and no voting rights. An Honorary Member is not entitled to use the Association’s logo.

36) An Honorary Member who was previously a Private Member or Qualifying Person may continue to use the designation MESA (or FESA if he or she is a Fellow). He or she is entitled to continue to receive all minutes of General Meetings.

37) A person shall be eligible for admission as a Retired Member if he or she was previously a Private Member of good standing but who is unable to continue in that capacity because of retirement. A Retired Member is entitled to attend all General Meetings and seminars and to receive the minutes of such Meetings. However, he or she shall have no voice in the management of the Association and no voting rights. A Retired Member is not entitled to use the Association’s logo. A Retired Member may continue to use the designation FESA if he or she is a Fellow of the Association. If a retired member resumes employment, he or she must inform the Executive Director in writing and will then be reinstated to the previous membership level, on payment of the appropriate fee.

FELLOWSHIPS
38) Fellowships may be conferred on Private Members or Qualifying Persons who have been continuously involved within the Association for a minimum of 10 years, or who have held office continuously for a minimum of 3 years, and during that time have, in the opinion of the Executive Council, made a significant contribution towards furthering the objects of the Association. The Executive Council shall have absolute discretion in conferring a Fellowship.

39) A Fellow is entitled to affix after his or her name the letters FESA but is not entitled to use the Association’s logo on his or her stationery.

SUBSCRIPTIONS
40) The annual subscriptions, together with all the other Association fees, shall be determined by the Executive Council. Annual subscriptions shall be renewed on the 1st February each year.

41) Any Member whose subscription shall be twenty-eight days in arrears after the first day of February in any year shall be liable to be ruled out of order if he or she speaks, and shall be debarred from voting at a meeting of the Executive Council or at a General Meeting.

42) Any Member whose subscription is unpaid on 30th April in the year it becomes due shall forthwith, and without notice, be expelled from membership and have his/her/their bailiff bonds cancelled. At the sole discretion of the Executive Council, membership and bailiff bonds may be re-instated, subject to payment of membership fees and a late payment penalty representing 25% of the full subscription.

PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT

43) When the office of Vice-President becomes vacant, nominations for that office shall be sent to the Executive Director at least fourteen days before the General Meeting when the election is to be held. No person shall be eligible for election to the post of Vice-President until they have served on the Executive Council for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.

44) All persons accepting nominations for the office of Vice-President must be willing to subsequently serve as President.

45) When the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President shall succeed to the office without election. If there is no Vice-President, a President may be elected from among the Past Presidents.

46) A President shall serve in that office for no more than two years in succession. All Presidents, on relinquishing that office, shall become ex-officio members of the Executive Council and shall remain as such for as long as they are Members of the Association or Qualifying Persons for a Corporate Member.

47) The President or Vice-President may be removed from office for misconduct, negligence, incapacity, or actions deemed detrimental to the standing of the Association by a two-thirds majority vote at a General Meeting.

TREASURER
48) The Treasurer need not be a Member of the Association or Qualifying Person of a Corporate Member. The Treasurer shall be elected annually by the Association at the Annual General Meeting. Nominations for the office of Treasurer should be sent to the Executive Director at least fourteen days before the General Meeting when the election is to be held.

49) The Treasurer shall attend all General Meetings and Executive Council Meetings and when required, any other meetings, and shall do all other work appertaining to the post. Unless he or she is, or represents, or is employed by a fully paid up Member of the Association, he or she shall not speak at meetings, except with the consent of the Chairman, nor be entitled to vote.

50) The Treasurer shall keep books of account and be responsible for paying accounts sanctioned by the Executive Council and reporting to each meeting of the Executive Council the amount of bank balances and investments.

51) The Treasurer may be removed from office for misconduct, negligence, incapacity or actions deemed detrimental to the standing of the Association by a two-thirds majority vote at a General Meeting. The General Meeting may direct that the accounts of the Association be re-audited.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/SECRETARY TO THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
52) The Executive Council shall appoint an Executive Director for the Association to be remunerated at such level as may from time to time be determined by the Executive Council. The Executive Director shall hold office at the pleasure of the Executive Council on such terms as may be agreed between the parties as set out by contract. Termination of that contract shall be by way of 3 months notice in writing either way. The Executive Director may be dismissed for misconduct, negligence, incapacity or actions deemed detrimental to the standing of the Association, by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Council at a meeting.

53) The Executive Director, under the control of the Executive Council, shall carry out all such duties and responsibilities as may from time to time be considered by the Executive Council as being in the interests of the Association and its Members. Such duties and responsibilities shall be set out in a job specification, which shall form part of the contract.

54) The Executive Director shall be Secretary to the Executive Council of the Association. He or she shall attend all General Meetings and Executive Council Meetings and when required, any other meetings, and shall do all other work appertaining to that office. Unless he or she is, or represents, or is employed by a fully paid up Member of the Association, he or she shall not speak at meetings, except with the consent of the Chairman, nor be entitled to vote.

55) The Executive Director, under the control of the Executive Council, shall conduct all correspondence of the Association and Executive Council, keep copies of the same and approved minutes of all General Meetings and Executive Council Meetings and a record of all business connected with the Association.

56) He or she shall keep a Register of Members and, when so required, produce it at General or Executive Council Meetings. He or she shall ensure that all applications for membership are on the Association’s prescribed forms.

57) The Executive Director shall not retain any subscriptions or other money sent to or received by him or her on account of the Association, but shall forthwith forward such money to the Treasurer or pay the same into the authorised banking account of the Association.

NOTICE OF MEETINGS
58) The Executive Director shall give a minimum of twenty-one days notice of the Annual General Meeting, to be held each year at a time and place that shall be at the discretion of the Executive Council. The non-receipt of such a notice by any Members shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

59) The Executive Director shall give a minimum of twenty-one days notice of General Meetings and a minimum of ten days notice of Executive Council Meetings.

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS

60) One or more independent Auditors shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to serve for one year, but they shall be eligible for re-election. No Member of the Association, nor the Executive Director or the Treasurer, irrespective of whether they are Members or not, shall be eligible for election as Auditor.

61) The Auditor(s) shall check all bills of account, examine all receipts of payments with the books and report thereon, or as to any irregularities, to the Executive Council.

62) The Auditor(s) shall have a right of access at all times to the books, accounts and vouchers of the Association. They shall be entitled to such information and explanation from the Executive Council and Officers of the Association as may be necessary for the performance of their duties.

63) The Auditor(s) shall sign a certificate at the foot of the balance sheet stating whether or not all requirements contained in these Rules have been complied with. They shall make a report to Members on the accounts examined and on every balance sheet laid before the Annual General Meeting during their tenure of office.

64) In every such report they shall state whether, in their opinions, the balance sheet referred to in their report is properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and correct view of the state of the Association’s affairs as shown by the books of the Association: such report shall be read at the Annual General Meeting.

65) An Auditor may be removed from office for misconduct, negligence, incapacity or actions deemed detrimental to the standing of the Association, by a two-thirds majority vote at a General Meeting. The General Meeting may direct that the accounts of the Association be re-audited and elect another Auditor or Auditors.

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
66) The Members of the Executive Council shall be the President, Past Presidents, Vice-President, and Treasurer and not more than eight Councillors elected from the Private Members and Qualifying Persons at either the Annual General Meeting or a General Meeting. The Executive Director attends all meetings of the Executive Council in that capacity and also as Secretary to the Council. However, he or she is not a Member of the Executive Council.

67) A Councillor who is a Qualifying Person for a Corporate Member shall not be entitled to a block vote but shall be entitled to a single vote as any other Councillor at an Executive Council Meeting. Further, no more than two Members from any one organisation may vote at the Executive Council on any motion or proposal, notwithstanding the number of members from that organisation on the Executive Council.

68) Nominations for election to the Executive Council must be sent in writing to the Executive Director to arrive at least fourteen days prior to the Annual General Meeting or General Meeting when the election is to be held.

69) Every Member of the Executive Council shall vacate his or her office on ceasing to be qualified as provided by these Rules. Any Councillor may be removed from office for misconduct, negligence, incapacity, or actions deemed detrimental to the standing of the Association by a two-thirds majority vote at a General Meeting. Any officer of the Association or Member of the Executive Council desiring to resign shall give three months notice in writing to the Executive Council.

70) The Executive Council shall be dissolved every two years subject to and upon the election of a new Executive Council.

71) The Chairman of the Executive Council shall be the President; the Vice-Chairman shall be the Vice-President. In the absence of both the President and Vice-President, a Chairman shall be elected from those present.

72) Any Member of the Executive Council shall, on no more than two occasions each year, and on written notice to the Executive Director, be entitled to appoint any Member of the Association (excluding Student Members), or in the case of a Corporate Member, any Qualifying Person, to attend Executive Council Meetings on his or her behalf. Ex-officio Members are not entitled to make such appointments. The Appointee shall be entitled to speak at the Executive Council Meeting and vote on behalf of the Member.

73) Meetings of the Executive Council shall be held at such times and at such places as the Members or the Chairman shall determine. Four Members of the Executive Council shall form a quorum. An Executive Council meeting may adjourn at pleasure and for such time and to such place as the members present shall determine.

74) Every question to be determined at the meetings shall be decided by the majority of the voters present (subject to the provisions of Rule 67) and in case of equality, the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his or her vote as a Member.

75) Matters for consideration and determination by the Executive Council may not be decided through the medium of the post, telephone, electronic mail or any means other than a properly constituted meeting of the Executive Council.

76) The Executive Council shall, subject to the control of the Association exercised at a General Meeting, conduct and manage all the business and affairs of the Association, exercise all powers, authorities and discretions of the Association, obtain all such concessions, grants and legislative acts and authorisations from any Government or Authority.

77) The Executive Council may enter into such contracts and do all such other things as may be necessary for carrying on the business of the Association, except such of them as under these Rules are expressly directed to be exercised by a General Meeting of the Association. Further, and without in any way prejudicing or limiting the extent of such general power, the Executive Council shall bring before a General Meeting any matters which it considers material to the Association.

78) Further to Rule 77, regulations made by a General Meeting are not retrospective and shall not invalidate any prior act of the Executive Council which would have been valid if such regulations had not been made.

79) In case of the absence of the Executive Director or Treasurer, or his or her inability to act, the Executive Council may appoint any person to act in his or her stead and such person may temporarily exercise all the duties of the Executive Director or Treasurer, as appropriate. For the purpose of these Rules, that person so appointed shall be deemed to be the Executive Director or Treasurer, as appropriate, during the term of his or her appointment.

POST HOLDERS AND BUSINESS COMMITTEES
80) The Executive Council may appoint post holders and business committees as they think necessary to serve only for the time and purpose for which they are appointed. They may also co-opt any person to such posts or committees if they consider it to be in the best interests of the Association. The co-opted person shall only be permitted to serve in the post or on the committee and will not be entitled to vote at any Executive Council Meetings which he or she attends.

81) Any business committee appointed shall have its own chairman who will report the actions of the committee to the Executive Council and, where considered appropriate by the Executive Council, will report such actions to a General Meeting. A post holder shall report his or her actions to the Executive Council and, where considered appropriate by the Executive Council, to a General Meeting. The post holder or committee chairman, if unable to attend any meeting, shall provide the Executive Director with a written report prior to such General Meeting. Nothing contained in this Rule or in Rule 80 above, shall relate to the terms and conditions of appointment of the Executive Director which are dealt with separately under Rules 52 to 57.

GENERAL MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION

82) The Members of the Association shall hold their meetings in such places as the Executive Council may from time to time determine and in accordance with the provisions set out below.

83) The Association shall hold its Annual General Meeting each year for the purpose of transacting the business of the Association. This shall include:

a. the election of officers;

b. receiving the accounts for the past year, with the Auditors’ certificate and report;

c. receiving a report from the Executive Council of the past year’s transactions and accounts;

d. discussion of questions incidental to the Association.

84) The time, date and place of the Annual General Meeting shall be determined by the Executive Council.

85) The Chairman of the Annual General Meeting and all General Meetings shall be the President; the Vice Chairman shall be the Vice-President. In the absence of both the President and Vice-President, a Chairman shall be elected from among the Past Presidents present.

86) The Secretary to the Annual General Meeting and to all General Meetings shall be the Executive Director. In the absence of the Executive Director, a Secretary shall be appointed from among the members present.

87) Minutes of all proceedings shall be kept by the Executive Director. Every entry in the minute book of the proceedings of the meeting, purporting to be entered and signed according to the Rules shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to be a correct record of the proceedings of the Association. In every case, the burden of proof of error shall be wholly on the person making any objection to the entry.

88) The first business at every General Meeting after the chair is taken, shall be the reading of the minutes of the then last General Meeting and they shall, on being found or made correct, be signed by the Chairman of the meeting at which they are read.

89) Any Member wishing to bring before a General Meeting any motion not relating to financial transactions or accounts, shall give written notice of such motion to the Executive Director at least fourteen days before the meeting. Such motion shall receive priority for discussion.

90) A General Meeting may be called by the signed requisition of not less than ten Members of the Association being delivered, together with a notice of the matter or matters to be discussed, to the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall call such a meeting, giving not less than twenty-one days notice thereof.

91) The Executive Council may, by a majority of the voters present at the Executive Council meeting at which the decision is taken (and subject to the provisions of Rule 67), decide that a General Meeting of the Association should be called. The Executive Director shall call such a meeting, giving not less than twenty-one days notice thereof.

92) The Chairman of the meeting may, with the consent of the meeting, adjourn the meeting from time to time and from place to place as the meeting may determine, but no business shall be transacted at the adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting at which the adjournment took place.

93) No notice of any adjourned meeting need be given unless it is so directed in the resolution of the adjournment.

94) At every General Meeting all questions, save for the election of Officers and Councillors to the Executive Council, shall be determined in the first instance by a show of hands and, where a Qualifying Person votes on behalf of a Corporate Member, he or she shall do so with a card indicating the number of votes to which he or she is entitled. The Executive Director shall issue such cards prior to the start of the meeting. Voting for Officers and Councillors to the Executive Council shall be by way of secret ballot to be carried out on ballot papers issued by the Executive Director not less than seven days before the General Meeting at which the vote is due to take place.

95) Any fully paid up member of the Association shall have the right to appoint a proxy in the form of another fully paid up member or the Executive Director, to vote on his or her behalf at General Meetings.

96) At any General Meeting (unless a poll on any resolution be demanded under these Rules) the declaration by the Chairman that a resolution is carried, or carried by a particular majority, or lost, or not carried by a particular majority, shall be conclusive. An entry to that effect in the minutes of the meeting shall be sufficient evidence of the fact so declared, without proof of the number or proportion of the votes given for or against such resolution.

97) A poll on any resolution may be demanded by three of the Members present before the dissolution or adjournment of the meeting. On a poll being demanded, the Chairman shall forthwith reduce the resolution or amendments on which the poll is to be taken into writing, and voting papers containing such resolutions or amendments shall be issued by the Executive Council within seven days after the meeting. The voting papers shall be returned so as to be received by the Executive Council within fourteen days after the meeting and the result of the poll shall be deemed the resolution of the meeting at which the poll was demanded.

98) In case of equality of votes, either on a show of hands or on a poll, the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his or her own vote as a Member.

99) The Annual General Meeting of the Association may receive and either wholly or partially reject or adopt and confirm the accounts, balance sheets and reports of the Executive Council and Auditor respectively.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
100) The Executive Council may enquire into any complaint or allegation, emanating from a member of the general public, a Member of the Association or at the instigation of the Executive Council itself, that a Member has acted illegally or in some other way that has or may have brought the bailiff profession or the Association into disrepute. In the following Rules the term ‘complaint’ includes any allegation or accusation, howsoever made. Nothing in these Rules shall limit or restrict a Member’s right to seek redress by judicial means.

101) All complaints must be in writing unless instigated by the Executive Council and addressed to the Executive Director, who shall have conduct of any investigation. Any request for information made by the Executive Director to a Member shall be responded to within fourteen days of the request. If a member fails to respond within that period the Executive Council may deal with the complaint on the basis of the information available.

102) The Executive Director may refuse to investigate or continue to investigate any complaint which, in his or her opinion, is unfounded and/or is frivolous and/or vexatious. Where a complaint is made by a Member against another Member, the Executive Director may also refuse to investigate or continue to investigate if, in his or her opinion, it appears to have been made in order to gain financial or other business or personal advantage. The judgment of the Executive Director shall be final and the Association will indemnify him or her against any legal challenge which may be made against his or her decision.

103) To assist in his or her enquiries, the Executive Director may call upon one or more members of the Executive Council to give their view on the complaint or a point of law. Such views shall not constrain the Executive Director in reaching his or her decision. Where a member of the Executive Council has provided such assistance to the Executive Director, he or she shall play no part in any subsequent consideration of the complaint by the Executive Council.

104) All complaints which appear to the Executive Director to have merit, or which in his or her opinion deserve the Executive Council’s attention, shall be reported to the Executive Council. If the Member complained of is an Officer or Member of the Executive Council he or she shall withdraw completely from the Executive Council during its consideration of the complaint.

105) The procedure to be adopted for a disciplinary hearing shall be at the discretion of the Executive Council. In determining the procedure to be followed, the Executive Council shall have regard to the principles of natural justice but shall not be required to adhere to the strict rules of evidence.

106) The penalties which may be imposed for a proven complaint against a Member are one or more of the following: reprimand, financial penalty not exceeding £1,000 (part or all of which may be suspended on terms imposed by the Executive Council), undertakings, cancellation of any bonds issued to or on behalf of that Member, conditional discharge, suspension of membership, expulsion from the Association. Any Member who refuses to pay a financial penalty or fails to provide the undertaking imposed may be expelled from the Association, at the discretion of the Executive Council.

107) Any financial penalty imposed is a contractual liability on the part of the member and can be recovered by the Executive Council as a civil debt.

108) Following the decision of the Executive Council on a complaint, the Executive Director shall, on written application by the member complained of, refer the complaint to a panel of three independent assessors. The exception to this is that a Member of the Association who has complained about another Member may not request the complaint to be so referred, although the Member complained of may ask.

109) Independent assessors shall be drawn from a panel appointed by the Executive Council for a period of three years, which may be renewed. Assessors shall not be practising bailiffs or members of the Association.

110) When referring a complaint to independent assessors, the Executive Director shall provide the assessors with copies of the documents on which the Executive Council’s decision was based together with a copy of that decision.

111) The party requesting the referral may ask that the independent assessors consider the complaint on the basis of either written or oral submissions. The independent assessors shall consider a complaint, either by studying documentation or at a meeting where oral submissions are made. Where the assessors are asked to consider a complaint by written submissions they may, if so required, call upon the complainant and/or the Member to attend to make oral submissions. In that event the party not called may also attend and make oral submissions.

112) The assessors shall determine whether or not the complaint against the member should be upheld, either wholly or in part, or dismissed. They should give the reasons for their decision. Where the complaint is proven, either wholly or in part, the assessors shall recommend the penalty, if any, to be imposed, as provided for within these Rules. The decision of the assessors shall be in writing, irrespective of whether they also communicate their decision to the parties at a hearing, and sent to the Executive Director who will then inform the parties of the decision.

113) The Executive Council shall ratify the independent assessors’ judgment of the complaint.

BOOKS & PAPERS
114) All records, documents and books shall be the absolute property of the Association, and shall be kept for a period of not less than three years, after which time they may be destroyed by resolution of the Executive Council.

115) Any record, book or paper shall be, at any reasonable time, open to inspection of the Executive Council and at any meeting if fourteen days previous notice in writing be given to the officer concerned.

FINANCE
116) The funds of the Association shall be applied for such purposes as shall be approved by the Executive Council, with a view to the promotion of the objectives of the Association or any of them, but the liability of any Member shall not exceed his or her entrance fee and subscription except as provided for under Rules 106 & 113 (that is, a penalty under the disciplinary procedure).

117) All money received shall be paid to an authorised banking account in the name of ‘The Enforcement Services Association’. Payment of £1.00 and upwards shall be made by cheque.

118) All cheques shall be signed by any two of the signatories authorised by the Executive Council.

LITIGATION
119) No member shall instruct the Association’s solicitor or any other solicitor in the name of the Association or otherwise pledge the credit of the Association without having received the written authority of the Executive Council to do so.

120) No member shall receive financial assistance for litigation unless it is agreed by a majority of three-fourths of the members present at an Executive Council meeting. Under no circumstances shall an action arising from the ignorance or negligence of a member be entertained. In the case of a legal emergency, a member having satisfied the President or the Executive Director that a legal emergency exists, the Executive Director shall forthwith call a special meeting of the Executive Council to enable them to decide whether legal assistance shall be given.

121) In providing financial assistance for litigation as specified, the Executive Council shall have the right to arrange such terms for indemnification and reimbursement, as they may deem necessary.

ISSUE OF BONDS

122) Bailiffs bonds will only be issued to fully paid up members of the Association; under no circumstances will a bond be issued if the member’s subscription is in arrears. Bailiff bonds will not be issued to Student Members.

123) All applications for bonds must be made on the form prescribed by the Executive Council; under no circumstances will a bond be issued until the Executive Director is in possession of the signed form.

124) Corporate members will be entitled to apply for the issue of a bond for all bailiffs in their employ.

125) A one-off, non-refundable fee as determined by the Executive Council must be paid to the Association before the issue of the bond. Subject to the provisions of these Rules, the payment of the fee will entitle the member to one current bond issued by the Association. Additional bonds may be issued to corporate members on payment of a further fee for each bond. No further fee will be payable if the corporate member returns a bond for cancellation and requests that a replacement be issued in another person’s name.

126) A bond issued to a bailiff in the employ of a corporate member will only remain in force whilst that bailiff remains in its employ. In the event of the bailiff leaving its employ, the corporate member must notify the Association and must inform the County Court that the bond will be cancelled.

127) The Executive Council reserves the right to refuse the issue of a bond and its decision will be final.

128) The Association will act as surety only.

129) In the event of a complaint being lodged against a bailiff to whom a certificate has been granted under these Rules, the member who applied for the bond must within seven days of the complaint being lodged at the County Court provide full details of the complaint to the Association in writing.

130) In the event of a claim being made against the bond and the bailiff being unable to pay the claim then the Association will settle the claim direct with the County Court in which the claim was made.

131) The Association reserves the right to pursue the bailiff for any sums paid in settlement of the claim and, if not paid, reserves the right to demand payment from the corporate member if the bond was issued to one of its employees.

132) If the bailiff is a private member and he or she fails to reimburse the Association for any sums paid in settlement of a claim, then his or her bond will be cancelled forthwith. The private member will also be expunged from the Association.

133) If the bailiff is an employee of a corporate member and either he, she or the corporate member fails to reimburse the Association for any sums paid in settlement of a claim then ALL bonds issued to the employees of the corporate member will be cancelled forthwith. The corporate member will also be expunged from the Association.

134) If a private member fails to pay the annual subscription by the due date or is expunged from membership of the Association for any reason, then his or her bond will be cancelled forthwith.

135) If a corporate member fails to pay the annual subscription by the due date or is expunged from membership of the Association for any reason, then all bonds in issue to its employees will be cancelled forthwith.

136) In the event of a bond being cancelled for any of the circumstances described above then the Executive Director of the Association will write to the Manager of the County Court where the bailiffs certificate was granted informing him or her that the bond has been cancelled and that the Association no longer acts as surety.

137) The fees paid for the issue of the bonds will be kept in a Deposit Account.

138) In the event of a claim being made and being settled by the Association, if the amount paid cannot be recovered from the bailiff, or, if applicable, the corporate member, then the amount paid will be transferred from general funds to the ESA Deposit Account.