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Arrest Warrant for debt I have paid please help?


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Hi

 

Any help with this dire set of circumstances will be gratefully received. I apolgise for the post's length, but I think a good general picture might be helpful in what I think is quite a unique case.

 

In 2004 (about October) I closed my business as a foam supplier. The reasons for this are not relevant to this problem.

 

Because I was unable to pay the remaining rent on the business property, the Landlord (with help from her solicitor) confiscated my LDV Van. The van was paid up and had no outstanding HP. The Landlord's solicitor then sent me a letter a week or so later stating that my vehicle had been disposed of. I informed the DVLA in writing about what had happened, and because I had no real idea of where the vehicle was, or how it had been disposed, I could not fill out an SORN form (Statutory Off-Road Notice). I also told them that the vehicles forms including the Log Book were still inside the van. The DVLA didn't reply in kind or send me any reminders for retax or SORN and so I assumed it had all been sorted.

 

Some months later, at 0230 in the morning my family and me were sound asleep in bed, when we were awoken by loud knocking at the door. I answered, and was aghast to see two police officers standing at my door. The police officers said they had to speak to me regarding a vehicle that had been involved in an offence in Wrexham. I live in Staffordshire and Wrexham is about 100+ miles away in Wales. They would not disclose what the offence was, but they did say it involved my van.

 

I told them the details about the van being taken by my Landlord etc. They were less than understanding and polite, and said that the van was still registered to me and so I was liable for any offences the van driver had committed. To say I was gob smacked is an understatement. A few weeks on and the Magistrates Court in Wrexham informed me that I had a court date coming up to discuss the case and I was not required to attend. However, they did send an accompanying form in which I had to plead guilty for the offence or not and return it forthwith. An additional enclosed form also detailed the alledged crime: speeding at 42 mph in a 30mph zone. To me this was going from laughable to completely ridiculous. Why did two coppers ned to get me up in the middle of the night for a speeding ticket? I still don't know to this day.

 

A week or so after the hearing, I received another letter. This one was the verdict and punishment for an offence I didn't commit: £350.00 plus court costs = £450.00+ total. Reason: Found guilty of not furnishing police with information. Again, I still have no idea what this actually means, and I've had no answers regarding this to multiple enquiries.

 

Anyway, weeks passed and a bailiff or enforcer attended my address demanding payment. To speed things up at this point I'll spare you the details of this, but needless to say his aggressive manner resulted in me borrowing money to pay the whole £400.00 in full, within about two hours of his visit. The money was paid directly into the magistrates NatWest bank account. He receipted me and went on his way.

 

I really thought this whole nightmare was over, but no it was far from being over...

 

It must have been possibly 12 months or more later when I received a letter from my local Magistrates Office in Stafford. Stafford Magistrates informed me in the letter that they had the van case transferred to them from the Wrexham Magistrates, and they were now pursuing the payment of £400.00 as served to me in the original hearing. I was absolutely dumbfounded by this and phoned their offices immediately. I told them the fine had been paid in full and supplied them with the details of my receipt, as given to me by the debt collector. They said they'd check the details and get in touch with me within days if there was still a problem.

 

I didn't hear anything again for about another twelve months. This time it was by phone. I told the guy that this fine had been paid years ago and I thought it was sorted. He sad it hadn't and they were pursuing me again for payment. As in the last instance I gave him the details of the receipt of payment and also sent them a photocopy of the receipt. As in the last case, he said he'd be in touch and if I hadn't heard anything from them within ten days I was to assume the balance was cleared. Needless to say, I told him I was getting distressed by it all and was becoming angry and fed up.

 

All the above happened from 2004 to - I think - 2007. I was sure this horrible experience was now a closed book...Alas no.

 

Yesterday, 4th February 2010, I was greeted at my doorstep by a large bloke dressed in black with a clip-board and telephone. He said he was an Enforcement Officer who was at my address to collect this outstanding and totally unpaid fine of £400.00 for a fine incurred on a LDV vehicle in 2006/7. He informed me of my rights and his right to arrest me. He even showed me the Arrest Warrant. I told him how angry and totally fed up with this debacle and I had made payment in full years ago and had been harrassed every year or so ever since! He was slightly sympathetic to me but said the matter had now come to a head. I won't reply here what I said in reply. However, since I was disputing the matter he said he could not collect and advised me to visit my Magistrates Finance Department to sort it out ASAP.

 

I'm going to the Mag. on Monday, 8th February, to hopefully put thi whole thing to rest. I don't hold much hope out now though, because the Enforcement Officer informed me that they only have details of my case from 2006, around a year following the payment I made in full.

 

This originally happened six years ago, and I've moved address since then. I have no idea where the receipt is for the payment I made and never received any other correspondence from the courts about it either. I'm in an absolute dilemma: I've been chrged with offences I haven't even committed - yet grudgingly paid for it - and now they are still outt get me by saying I never did!

 

I'm definately not paying this a second time round and I'm not telling my nearest and dearest either, or they'll probably pay it again for me and that's not fair and isn't going to happen. Even if I let them pay it, I know they'll think I spent the fine money on something else, so I lose the trust of my family when I'm totally innocent. It looks like if I stick to my principles I'm going to be doing a stretch inside.

 

Is there anything I can do? Ths all smells of corruption, scape-goating and a devil-may-care attitude and total incompetence by court administrators or whatever they are.

 

Please help me? This is becoming distressing to my wife and kids.

 

Thank you in anticipation of any (I mean any) advice you folks can give.

 

Craig

 

 

 

 

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The above reads like something out a fictional tale! How awful for you though. There's many things you can do - many avenues you can go down, but to be honest, I would seriously suggest not even bothering with any info you can accumulate from the internet, and go straight to a solicitor. I can say this though, bailiffs do NOT have power of arrest. Neither can they instruct the Police to arrest you. The guy was merely trying to bully you into paying. If you are on a low income, you will get legal aid, and a solicitor will represent you. He'll just collate the facts and present. If what you say is indeed the case, then you shouldn't have paid the fine in the first place. If you haven't already done so, I would report the van stolen so as to avoid any further hassle. Simply state the facts.

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The above reads like something out a fictional tale! How awful for you though. There's many things you can do - many avenues you can go down, but to be honest, I would seriously suggest not even bothering with any info you can accumulate from the internet, and go straight to a solicitor. I can say this though, bailiffs do NOT have power of arrest. Neither can they instruct the Police to arrest you. The guy was merely trying to bully you into paying. If you are on a low income, you will get legal aid, and a solicitor will represent you. He'll just collate the facts and present. If what you say is indeed the case, then you shouldn't have paid the fine in the first place. If you haven't already done so, I would report the van stolen so as to avoid any further hassle. Simply state the facts.

 

 

If it was someone direct from the mag court for a mag court fine then they do have the powers of arrest and I think are called warrant officers... been arrested and bailed by them previously !!! twice !

 

They are normally quite nice once you explain whats going on and not like the bull dog bailiff we normally hear/see about.

 

With regards to this matter, I would personally push to go in front of a magistrate to discuss why its not been paid.... one min :)

 

Then show the receipt that it was in fact PAID years ago, THEN file for harassment and compensation

 

 

Agree about reporting the van stolen, should of been registered by someone else and dvla should of contacted you when they applied for the log book. If you do not want to report it stolen, write to dvla and inform them you are no longer the registered keeper and they are to update their records to "no known keeper" so when van goes near ANPR cameras it will be flagged and stopped.

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Thanks 2ltr16valve and drpellypo,

 

Firstly, yes it was a Warrant Enforcement Officer, and he did show me the arrest warrant. However, he was indeed too a much nicer bloke than the average baliff.

 

I agree with you both, and I will call DVLA to report van stolen and I'm also no longer the registered keeper.

 

After a lot of trawling around our house, my has thankfully found the original receipt. It was made to a cash payable account of the magistrates at The Halifax bank. The date of the payment was early November 2005. Only problem now is they only have records of the fine being issued in 2006, so it seems their own slapshod administrators might still have presented me with another problem.

 

I'm glad I've got the receipt though, becaus it'll still make my case a lot easier.

 

Thanks again to you both, your advice has been gratefully received.

 

I'll update later in the coming week.

 

Cheers ;)

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