Taking your own action

This information is intended only as a guide and Salford City Council accept no responsibility for any legal proceedings initiated under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

It is strongly advised that you seek independent legal advice before commencing legal proceedings.

It is possible for you to take action yourself independently through a magistrates' court under Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Manchester City Magistrates' Court will act on a complaint made by any person on the ground that he/she is aggrieved by the existence of a statutory nuisance.

In addition, this course of action is open to you in the event that Salford City Council is not able to take action on your behalf.

Taking your own private action is straightforward. It need not be expensive and you do not require a solicitor. However it is strongly recommended that you contact a solicitor before taking any legal action.

In order to be successful you will need to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' to the magistrates that the problem you are complaining of, amounts to a nuisance. It is recommended that you complete diary sheets (available to download at the bottom of this page), giving the time and date of the event and identifying how the noise is affecting you.

These record sheets will be important evidence in the case and any independent witnesses you can call to give evidence will prove very useful and will add weight to your claim.

What should I do first?

In the first instance, you should initially write to the person concerned informing them that you believe they are causing a nuisance and giving them at least three days notice of your intention to apply to the court for proceedings to be taken.

In your letter, you must specify the nature of your complaint, eg nuisance from the continuous barking of dogs or nuisance caused by playing loud music. You should keep copies of all correspondence sent or received regarding your complaint.

If the problem continues you should contact the justices' clerk at the magistrates' court and explain that you wish to make a complaint under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The address is:

Manchester City Magistrates' Court
Crown Square
Manchester
M60 1PR

Telephone: 0161 830 4200

What happens if it goes to court?

A date will be set for the hearing and the person concerned will be summoned to attend court. You will be required to explain your side of the problem and should produce evidence about the disturbance you are experiencing.

You will have to give evidence and your witnesses will also be cross-examined. The person against whom the action is being taken will be able to cross-examine you and your witnesses and may produce contradictory evidence to yours.

If your case is proven, the court will make an order requiring the nuisance to be abated, and/or prohibit recurrence of the nuisance. The court also has the power at the time the nuisance order is made to impose a fine on the defendant. If this order is ignored, further court action can be taken so you will need to continue to keep records of the nuisance in case it proves necessary to return to court.

If you fail to prove your case you may be required to pay some of the defendant's expenses in coming to court. It is also possible to take action for nuisance under common law. However, it would be advisable to contact a solicitor to discuss the best course of action for your complaint.

For advice about our procedures and the legislation we use please see our frequently asked questions page

Downloadable documents

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