Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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BAILIFFS - The Law and Your Rights

Written by John Kruse, one of the leading experts on Bailiff Law, this consumer friendly guide is essential reading for anyone who comes into contact with a bailiff.

The book is easy to understand and clearly explains the rights a bailiff has, and also what they cannot do when collecting debts and repossessing goods etc.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder krysus Novitiate krysus's Avatar

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    Default SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    I registered my car SORN on 31/7/2007, my understanding being SORN, as it says, is "Off Road", and had my car parked on the pavement outside my house all that time.

    Last week i came home to find a red & yellow big sticker posted under my wiper "UNTAXED VEHICLE" with a paper slip describing penalties for breach of SORN, driving whilst untaxed, etc. stating that my vehicle had been reported to DVLA for them to take further action.

    I now understand that although it's off the road, the pavement is still technically part of the public highway

    Anyway, there was nothing with a time, date, person, etc. or any other relevant details, as you would expect, for example, with a parking ticketicon.

    I've now sold the car, and hence it is no longer outside my house.

    Obviously, the DVLA have a record of the car being declared SORN. If they decide to fine me, what proof can they have that it was parked on the pavement?

    Alternatively, should i take the pro-active approach, and contact the DVLA claiming a mis-understanding of the SORN rules and attempt to come to a compromise? Obviously the maximum 1000 fine seems a bit steep under the circumstances!!

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder danny_kiernan Novitiate danny_kiernan's Avatar

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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Hi Krysus
    Quote Originally Posted by krysus View Post
    Last week i came home to find a red & yellow big sticker posted under my wiper "UNTAXED VEHICLE" with a paper slip describing penalties for breach of SORN, driving whilst untaxed, etc. stating that my vehicle had been reported to DVLA for them to take further action.
    This is normally placed on a vehicle by community police officers, or council Traffic Wardens as part of their abandoned vehicle policy.

    If it is by the police/community officers - the sticker will say 'POLICE AWARE' and is merely a warning.

    For traffic wardens/council officials - not knowing which council it is, I couldn't say for definite, but one of the following usually happens:

    1) They place the notice on the vehicle as a warning, usually there is a time limit on it, for the vehicle to be removed to an alternate place - off-road.

    2) They place the sticker and notice on the vehicle, photograph it and send to the DVLA


    The only way you will know, is if you get a fine from the DVLA.

    If you don't get a fine letter through the post, all well and good - but if you do get a fine through the post, please feel free to adapt and use my templateicon Letter http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...orn-fines.html within your reply to the fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by krysus View Post
    Alternatively, should i take the pro-active approach, and contact the DVLA claiming a mis-understanding of the SORN rules and attempt to come to a compromise? Obviously the maximum 1000 fine seems a bit steep under the circumstances!!
    Noooo - wait for them to contact you, if they ever do, then you can plead ignorance of the rules at the time (as you have clearly stated here, that you didn't understand the SORN rules) - don't land yourself in trouble, by contacting them and as they politely nod their heads and take your details, all the while writing out a fine for you.

    I don't think you should be at risk of any fines from the DVLA - but if you do get one, myself or someone else here on the forum will be able to help

    Dani

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Quote Originally Posted by danny_kiernan View Post
    Noooo - wait for them to contact you, if they ever do, then you can plead ignorance of the rules - don't land yourself in trouble, by contacting them and as they politely nod their heads and take your details, all the while writing out a fine for you.
    For someone who is supposedly in the "legal profession" don't you think it is bad advice to tell someone to plead ignorance of the law when you know that ignorance of the law is no defence?

    The bottom line is that in this case, the OP unfortunately misunderstood the law regarding SORN and left his car parked on the public highway, instead of taking it off the road completely.

    The only thing I would agree with is to wait for DVLA to contact him rather than contacting them first, but it appears he has been caught "bang to rights" on this.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Quote Originally Posted by danny_kiernan View Post
    Noooo - wait for them to contact you, if they ever do, then you can plead ignorance of the rules - don't land yourself in trouble, by contacting them and as they politely nod their heads and take your details, all the while writing out a fine for you.
    Not sure about DVLA but in a criminal courts this is no defence.

    A burglar cant contend he didnt know breaking & entering was illegal.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Noooo - wait for them to contact you, if they ever do, then you can plead ignorance of the rules - don't land yourself in trouble, by contacting them and as they politely nod their heads and take your details, all the while writing out a fine for you.
    Very difficult to plead ignorance when on the link below it clearly states that a vehicle must be parked on private property, and the OP will have completed this form to obtain a SORN.

    http://www.dvlni.gov.uk/vehicles/vehicle_forms/V15.pdf

    Please do not make post of this nature, CAGicon does not condone posts that advise the op to act illegally etc.






    I am not a legal expert my advice is given without prejudice and is purely my opinion only. If you are in doubt please seek professional advice.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Firstly, are you sure that the car is parked on the public highway?

    1) For the purposes of VED and SORN, the definition of a public highway is "a road maintained at public expense"; this is very different from the definition for the Road Traffic Act.

    2) Normally, the pavement and verges are regarded as part of the highway. If you contact the highway authority for the road in question (usually the County Council), they can tell the extent of the public highway.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder danny_kiernan Novitiate danny_kiernan's Avatar

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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Quote Originally Posted by livelylad View Post
    Very difficult to plead ignorance when on the link below it clearly states that a vehicle must be parked on private property, and the OP will have completed this form to obtain a SORN.

    http://www.dvlni.gov.uk/vehicles/vehicle_forms/V15.pdf

    Please do not make post of this nature, CAGicon does not condone posts that advise the op to act illegally etc.
    All I meant, is that he should explain that - at the time he did not understand the rules, perhaps I should have said plead his ignorance at the time.

    Plus, if the car is parked on the pavement, it is quite hard to establish exactly who owns the pavement.

    It may be the council, or a private company (if he lives on a private estate). I had a problem with ascertaining who owned the pavement next to the road about 18 months ago - when there was a blockage in the sewer pipe outside my property. I rang up Severn Trent, who put my address details in, then was advised, that they could not fix the problem as the council were responsible for maintaining the water/sewage system within this estate as they own all the land. I rang the council and after an argument or two they came out and fixed the problem.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Quote Originally Posted by danny_kiernan View Post
    Plus, if the car is parked on the pavement, it is quite hard to establish exactly who owns the pavement.
    Ownership is irrelevant.

    What matters is who is responsible for the maintenance of the highway and what is its extent - does it include the pavement?


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder krysus Novitiate krysus's Avatar

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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    Quote Originally Posted by livelylad View Post
    Very difficult to plead ignorance when on the link below it clearly states that a vehicle must be parked on private property, and the OP will have completed this form to obtain a SORN.

    http://www.dvlni.gov.uk/vehicles/vehicle_forms/V15.pdf

    Please do not make post of this nature, CAGicon does not condone posts that advise the op to act illegally etc.
    Well, i filled registered my SORN via the DVLA website and at no point does it explicitly state "it [the vehicle] will be kept on private property".

    Anyway, long and short was a 69 quid fine, couldn't be bothered dragging it out, so paid it.

    Funny though... 69 is the amount i'd pay for 6 months VED, so are fines linked? I.e. if i had a 'bigger' car, would the fine have been higher??


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder andrwwoodw Novitiate

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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    i have had an untaxed vehicle sticker posted on my car in my driveway, I wouldn't mind bt I made a sorn on 2nd oct 2008 after it failed mot, finally passed on 15th oct and sticker appears on 17th, should i worry, or will hey come and get my car, i have immediately purchased my tax, but can they come onto my private property to do this?


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder krysus Novitiate krysus's Avatar

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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    It the car is on private property, i.e. your drive, and correctly SORN'd, then they can't fine you for having no tax, nor take it away.

    I do believe it would be trespass too, maybe someone else could confirm that though.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: SORN - "Untaxed Vehicle"

    As Krysus says, if the car has een sorned properly they they can't do much at all if it is on private property. I would contact them and explain the situation. They look to have made a mistake here.



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