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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder calbee86 Novitiate

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    Default Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    On a morning in March 2010 after no sleep and not feeling totally sober I boarded the bus and bought my ticket. Just as i was about to get off the bus I was stopped by an inspector who asked me to produce my ticket. I could not find my ticket so the inspector began asking for my details. due to my state of mind and the panic that immediately set in I gave my old address and a falso date of birth (along with my correct name and postcode).

    Today I received a letter (forwarded on from my old address) notifying me that the court has issued a warrant for my arrest becuase I have not paid the money I owe. As soon as i received this letter I called up the relevent Court Enforcement Officer, explained my situation and arranged to be in court the next day. I believe there may have been previous correspondence send to my old address notifying me about monies I owe, however, I was not aware of any such communications despite the current owners of my old house telling the transport department that I was no longer at that address.

    I am very worried about the results of this visit to court as I am aware that I could receive a criminal conviction, a fine and/or community service. However, I know I am not guilty on the grounds of fare evasion but, obviously, I gave out false information.

    What can I expect to happen tomorrow in court and what steps can I take to try and minimise the chances of not receiving a criminal conviction as a result of this?

    Any help, advice or responses relating to this would be hugely appreciated, especially from old hands (old codja) I've seen that have posted on similar threads.

    Cal


  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    You've almost certainly been found guilty of an offence already reagarding the initial fare evasion thing. I'm sure this hearing is probably to sort out the non-payment of fines, as opposed to the original case. It certainly appears as though the orginal case has been heard in your absence, and you apparently, according to the court, avoided paying a fine they issued you with. This is why a warrant was issued no doubt. Not sure what the procedure is now, and whether further penalties will be levvied? I'm sure if you told the court why you didn't receive any correspondence in the first place, they'll not be best pleased! Not sure whether further offence mof giving false details can be dealt with at this stage, or whether they'll only be interested in why you didn't pay the fine. Wriggler might be able to answer that one!


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder SRPO Informative SRPO Informative SRPO Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    If you knew nothing about thr original court hearing you can make a Statutory Declaration under oath in court, this will make void any fines/costs imposed & stop enforcement action being taken against you.
    The court will tell the prosecuting authority & they will re-start proceedings against you.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Quote Originally Posted by SRPO View Post
    If you knew nothing about thr original court hearing you can make a Statutory Declaration under oath in court, this will make void any fines/costs imposed & stop enforcement action being taken against you.
    The court will tell the prosecuting authority & they will re-start proceedings against you.
    Plaese forgive my ignorance, but would that be a viable option, given that the reason the OP didn't know about the original hearing was his own doing?


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder calbee86 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Some very useful comments, so thank you for those.
    I think Stigy is right though; the reason I didn't know about the original court date was because I provided false information in the first place.
    Assuming that i was found guilty in my absense of the fare evasion charge, am I right in thinking I have a criminal record and if so, how serious is this with regards to getting a job?
    What kind of conviction would the "unpaid fines" be (fraud, theft etc)?


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Quote Originally Posted by calbee86 View Post
    Some very useful comments, so thank you for those.
    I think Stigy is right though; the reason I didn't know about the original court date was because I provided false information in the first place.
    Assuming that i was found guilty in my absense of the fare evasion charge, am I right in thinking I have a criminal record and if so, how serious is this with regards to getting a job?
    What kind of conviction would the "unpaid fines" be (fraud, theft etc)?
    Haven't got a clue about unpaid fines I'm afraid, but assuming you were found guilty of a fare evasion offence, you'll have any outstanding fine (probably plus enhancements!) and a criminal conviction. I'm not sure if the buses have similar to the railways where there is a seperate act (5.3 RRA) which contains intention to avoid payment (fare evasion), or whether their Byelaws cover everything.

    How relevent it will be to employment very much depends on what you're wanting to do work wise. If attempting to joing MI5/6, you'll probably be rejected at the first hurdle, lol. I'll be open here and say that I was convicted of what I would describe as a fairly mediocre motoring offence some years ago now, and because the conviction was 4.5 as opposed to 5 years old when going for my current job, the police rejected my initial vetting application. I was accepted after some grovelling etc. Bear in mind my vetting is beyond that of an Enhanced CRB check though (although not quite MI5), and is done 'in-house' by a Police force.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder calbee86 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Well considering I'm going for a job as a Navy Officer i think I might have to do a fair bit of grovelling too.
    Thanks again for all your advice.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Quote Originally Posted by Stigy View Post
    Plaese forgive my ignorance, but would that be a viable option, given that the reason the OP didn't know about the original hearing was his own doing?
    Whether by ignorance or design, it is a safeguard built into the justice system.
    All he has to say is that he didnt know about the proceedings until a letter was forwarded to him stating a warrant had been issued.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative Stigy Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    Quote Originally Posted by calbee86 View Post
    Well considering I'm going for a job as a Navy Officer i think I might have to do a fair bit of grovelling too.
    Thanks again for all your advice.
    In that case your vetting will be on a par with mine I'd imagine, having said that I've seen all sorts getting in to the Army/Navy, lol. Play it by ear, and just be honest on any application forms, because if you don't tell an employer something that they later find out themselves, if you have the job by such time you can expect not to have it much longer, or if you're in the application stage, it's even easier just to reject the application!

    Quote Originally Posted by SRPO
    Whether by ignorance or design, it is a safeguard built into the justice system.
    All he has to say is that he didnt know about the proceedings until a letter was forwarded to him stating a warrant had been issued.
    Thanks for the heads up


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Wriggler7 Informative Wriggler7 Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    I see 'no difficulty' in getting a Court to allow you to make a statutory declaration. At the time that you make your declaration, it is pretty unlikely that the Tfl prosecutor would be in Court, and less likely that he would have the case papers for this offence.

    The 'delaration' is simple. 'I did not know about the Court case until 20(?) December, that being a date after the case was heard. The Court will probably ask if you can explain why you think you didn't get the summons, the answer i 'it ain't my address on it'. I have heard much thinner declarations being made, some of them as pathetic as the old 'my dog ate my homework' stories we all used to tell at school.

    Moving on from that, the Prosecution will be informed of yout Stat. Dec. and will serve the papers on you again. It gives you the opportunity to enter a plea. Without seeing all the evidence, I cannot state 'you will be found guilty' or 'don't worry, you will get away with it', but it seems likely that you should plead guilty, the false address would seem to 'close' the matter. (I think.)


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Wriggler7 Informative Wriggler7 Informative

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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    As to whether a conviction will stop you being a Naval Officer, I do not know. Best you pop along to the Navy recruitment office and ask. The Armed Forces do expect a very high degree of propriety in 'officer' materiel, and they have many more applicants than positions.

    On it's own, a minor embarrassment over a bus ticket would not normally stop a career, but during the recruitment processes, all 'flaws' in the character of the applicant are looked at and taken 'on board'. It certainly will not help you to impress 'the Lordships'. It may be that a silvery tongued counsel might manage to convince a Court that an absolute discharge would be appropriate, given (one assumes) your previous untarnished name, and the circumstances of the offence. The argument would have to be based on the disproportionate effect of a conviction on your intended career.

    I saw such an argument used by a young man who was part way through the process to become an RAF officer, he already was on a University placement, and was attached to a University Air Squadron. His case was much worse than yours in as much as he had altered a travel warrant to fraudulently obtain a train ticket. The Court (in my view wrongly) dismissedicon the case. I felt that the Court had taken a 'much wider' view of things, and felt that, as the young man was the first person all day to have either a job or prospect of a job, and first to wear a tie and speak 'properly', they did not want to condemn him to a life of explaining why he failed to 'get in' to the RAF. I agreed with the 'justice' of what they did, but not the 'legal position'. Must be said, he did have a 'good solicitor'. And he was 'lucky'. Different Bench, different day, it could have been a very different result.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Arrest Warrant issued for Unpaid Fines for Fare Evasion

    I cannot see any difficulty with making a Stutory Declaration either, but it would be a very good idea to plead guilty to any new Summons if I were you.

    The evidence of you having failed to show a valid ticket and giving a false address in an attempt to avoid a liability would be pretty damming so far as I can see.

    A guilty plea at the earliest opportunity once you were made aware of the case and a lesser fine as a result would be the very least you should expect.



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