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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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder boo304 Novitiate

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    Default Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this on, but here goes...

    I was issued with a fixed penalty notice by the Council for littering a few months ago which I (stupidly!) didn't pay on time as I was very short of money, and I have now received a summons for the Magistrates Court.

    I'm not worried about this in itself as I will pay the fine, but I have been told I will have a criminal conviction, similar to if you go to court about motoring fines etc (I think). I have to have a CRB check for my job, and have also applied to do a social work course which will require a CRB check. I don't want this conviction to affect my job or anything... can anyone advise if there is a way I can persuade the Council to agree to let me pay the fine without going to court and getting the conviction?

    I have spoken to the Council and they said that basically they are making an example of people who don't pay. I suppose that's fair enough and it's definitely my own fault, but I didn't realise this could end up in a criminal conviction.

    Sorry about the gigantic post but if anyone has any advice I would be really really grateful...

    Thank you

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Hi boo304

    I went to the magistrates court last week with my son who had defaulted on a fine. He was paying it then got a job but had to work a month in hand so missed some payments. When he got paid he made up on the missed payments. He then came out of work and it has took a month for the Jobseekers allowance to come through.

    He appeared last week and was told they were clamping down on fine dodgers. He explained his reasons but the magistrate said it doesn't matter and that they were going to send him to prison unless he could come up with the whole amount.

    We had a quick word with the duty solicitor who said we had to pay all the money or he would go to jail. If he went to jail he would have a record but if we paid it now he would not and he would not have to declare anything in a job application.

    I paid in full for him by cheque but was told by the magistrate that if the cheque bounced I would be in serious trouble. Gulp.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder electron99 Informative electron99 Informative

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by wino View Post
    Hi boo304

    I went to the magistrates court last week with my son who had defaulted on a fine. He was paying it then got a job but had to work a month in hand so missed some payments. When he got paid he made up on the missed payments. He then came out of work and it has took a month for the Jobseekers allowance to come through.

    He appeared last week and was told they were clamping down on fine dodgers. He explained his reasons but the magistrate said it doesn't matter and that they were going to send him to prison unless he could come up with the whole amount.

    We had a quick word with the duty solicitor who said we had to pay all the money or he would go to jail. If he went to jail he would have a record but if we paid it now he would not and he would not have to declare anything in a job application.

    I paid in full for him by cheque but was told by the magistrate that if the cheque bounced I would be in serious trouble. Gulp.
    I find this appalling.We seem to be moving ever closer to debtor prisons last seen two hundred years ago.What next - deportation to Australia. Meanwhile I read that magistrates are told not to send shoplifters to jail because there is not enough room for them.It seems that if you are a pensioner unable to pay Council Tax, or a young lad struggling on minimum wages, there will always be a prison cell available.
    In another thread on this forum, a care worker had a client fire a gun at her, and the police do nothing - obviously he wasn't a motorist.
    Just what kind of society has this country become.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    I don't understand the world neither. If I do bounce the cheque I'm all up for being deported to Australia though.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder boomerangguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    My son had the misfortune of receiving a Fixed Penalty Fine for a Public Order Offence. He only earns 50 pounds per week and could not afford to pay. There were also circumstances which made a reasonable to defend this action so he submitted a defence. He had no legal representation as legal aid is not granted.

    The CPS in their wisdom decided to make an example of him and go to trial. My son had never even received a caution before and the incident happened on his birthday. Anyway the police managed to gain a conviction against him and he was fined 125 pounds and given 495 pounds costs.

    Well basically he cant pay this he does not earn enough to pay the fine. So I guess he is going to Prison as I cannot afford to pay the fine for him. I am so angry. I have no convictions either but I think I will be driven to crime by my hatred of the establishment!

    Let them send us all to prison then

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Hi boomerang guy and welcome to CAGicon
    You can get in touch with your local magistrates courts and ask for an appointment with the fines officer. If you speak to them early enough they can sort out a payment plan or even change the fine to 'community service' or whatever they are calling it now 'un-paid work'
    My son left it too late for these options. Good luck


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder boomerangguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Thank you for that information.

    I will speak to my son and the fine`s officer and see what can be sorted out.

    Thank you


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder boomerangguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Update on my son they wont accept community service
    say he as to pay or risk jail got another hearing soon !


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Have you considered appealing against the conviction?


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Alipeeps Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    ...

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  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder boomerangguy Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    We could not get any Legal Aid last time for the first hearing so I doubt on appeal any legal aid would be granted. The cost of defending the case far outweighed the fine.

    They threatened him he is going to jail! even though he offered to do community work. I have lost all faith in legal system

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  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder heartopp Novitiate

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    Default Re: Summons for Magistrates Court - non payment of fixed penalty - please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alipeeps View Post
    removed at request of OP
    To be honest, they should still carry on with the "conviction"

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