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About Spunkymonkey

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  1. In either case, you don't owe the money unless a Court says you do because DVLA have no power whatsoever to determine guilt in a criminal matter, nor to create a debt to the Crown or anyone else. Until (read, unless )a magistrate or CC judge find in their favour it is an alleged offence or an alleged debt, both dependent on whether or not you did what you had to (ie: sent the notice to them). They have no power whatsoever to decide (in a legal sense) whether or not you did - only to shout "we don't believe you, now pay up". A bit like the big guy at school who always wanted your* lunch mone
  2. Hi AHC, Was quite surprised to see this one pop up in my inbox after all this time! It's now over 3 years since they promised to "forward my case for prosecution" and I've never heard another word from them. In that time there have been at least a couple of court cases where judges have upheld the "if you posted it you've done what you need" argument. Unfortunately they've been in County Courts so haven't set precedent but they can still persuasive. Some more info here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2011/09/sorn.html Note that DVLA don't seem to have changed th
  3. Fixed penalty only (no points unless you're caught using it - same as now) but re-read the relevant part of the Act again. Carefully, and think "SORN fpn cos DVLA lost the form / Interpretation Act". Only, you don't need to think "Interpretation Act" because they've actually repeated the relevant part of that Act into the new legislation! Of course, sending cash through the post unregistered isn't normally recommended........ Pretty unenforceable IMHO. At least the first time you're caught - note that they only "may" offer an FPN in lieu of prosecution, so making a habit of having bu
  4. Ok, I've had a quicl look at the photos and the only things that really jumps out are that (1) the quality is appalling as supposed evidence (2) There is no time or date stamp (3) Given the above, the photo showing a clamp appears to have been taken at a different time to the others - note the strong "back" sloping shadow from the car in front when, in the first shoto, the shadows are (if anything) sloping forwards. Don't think it would be possible to tell for sure with such poor quality photos (presumably they have better versions for themselves???) but I would have th
  5. A cynical observer might, but a pragmatic one should also see that there may be factors beyond guilt or innocence to affect your decision in an imperfect system where the innocent are sometimes convicted and the guilty sometimes walk free.
  6. All very true, Buzby. Only, by the time a judge re-schedules, the OP is already committed to defending a court case and any risks that might carry because to get to that stage he has to reject the out-of-court offer they've made. To make that decision it can help him if he has some idea whether or not a defence might be successful and what sort of evidence might help if he decides to go to court. Regardless of whether they work by intent or incompetence (personally I favour the latter) they do seem to have policies in place that don't give much time to consider that initial question.
  7. Agreed, Buzby, if he decides to defend. The problem he seems to have at the moment is whether it's worth even considering that. I've highlighted a few reasons that it might be, from the info he's given, which (to me at least) would make it worthwhile contacting a solicitor. Defending yourself in a situation like this might make sense IF the outcome wasn't going to have major repercussions AND you already had an interest and some knowledge of what would be involved. Trying to do so from a standing start, and where the outcome could seriously screw you life up, would be foolish. So, if
  8. Are the photos you have in digital form, or can you scan them into your computer? A look at them if possible might give a better idea of how likely they are to be challengeable as evidence.
  9. First off, I wouldn't be so sure that a conviction for this would count as "moral turpitude" but that's something you'd have to confirm with whoever is dealing with your visa etc. Next, if this happened in April and they didn't contact you till November then you'd have a pretty good (read - almost certain with good representation) case for it being thrown out. For example, in cases of speeding you MUST be served a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days give or take a little leeway by the court). 6 months is, frankly, way too long to give you any reasonable chance of gathering evi
  10. Given your natural concern about a "conviction" the first thing you need to do is establish without a doubt what they're taking you to court for. If it's a criminal matter then there should have been mention of the word "PROSECUTION" in the paperwork - criminal cases are prosecuted, civil cases are not. They should also have told you exactly what they'll be taking you to court for. It's likely to be "Using an unlicenced vehicle" contrary to S29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994. Because this is an offence created by an Act of Parliament it is a criminal charge and would
  11. Not only do they not publish statistics, about 18 months ago I attempted to get information out of them using an FOI request concerning (a) how many cases they took to court each year and (b) how many of those were successful. They refused the request on the basis that providing the information would "prejudice the collection of taxes" (in the form of road tax) and, on appeal, the Information Commissioner accepted their refusal. The only sensible conclusion from that is that the answers to my questions were "some" and "a lot less than some". If they were routinely successful in the case
  12. Assuming from the start that you're absolutely sure that any photos they have are not of your car, the first thing to do is write, stating clearly that it can't be your car and request copies of the photographs. Do this in writing, and keep a copy of your letter in case they don't reply. The fact that they "seem confident" of the photos doesn't actually mean a thing - they're hardly likely to admit to you at this stage that "we've got some photos but we don't think they're very good" are they? As for a CCJ - don't worry about that at this stage. Even if it goes to court and the c
  13. Finally got a response to this. After two pages of explaining and justifying their position, they say: So seems like, as a "goodwill gesture", they agree with my analysis of the situation
  14. Ok, two letters have now been sent (recorded delivery) and I'm awaiting a response. In the spirit of sharing, this is what's been said. First, to the debt collectors, which should be a pretty cut & dried way to get them off step-daughter's back: The insurers have been sent a copy of that, for info, and the following basis for disputing the charges. Note that even the cancellation fee might be challengeable but she's willing to pay that as a goodwill gesture at the moment: I'll keep the forum up-to-date as soon as I get a response
  15. Surely, even if the policy allows the short-rate conversion, it amounts to an unfair term under the The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999? S.6 of the Regulations proivides that "...the unfairness of a contractual term shall be assessed, taking into account the nature of the goods or services for which the contract was concluded and by referring, at the time of conclusion of the contract, to all the circumstances attending the conclusion of the contract..." In this case, the service was insurance specifically applicable to a provisional licence holder, wher
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