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TV Licence error court tomorrow help!!!


mitsy
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Don't know if this has happend in the past but here goes,

 

The girlfriend done the tv licence online on the 29/01/2010 we received a confirmation email.

 

Thank you for applying to pay for your TV Licence by Monthly Direct Debit.

The reference number for your application is DD**0079**13. Please note, this is not your TV Licence number.

Your TV Licence and payment plan will be posted to you within 10 working days.

If you receive any letters asking you to buy a TV Licence in the next few days, please ignore them.

Don’t forget, as soon as you have received your TV Licence you can visit our website at anytime to view your TV Licence online, update your details and see your payment plan - just go to www.tvlicensing.co.uk/yourlicence.

TV Licensing

 

 

Anyway 24/03/2010 we got a knock on the door from the tv visitng officer saying we did not have a licence:confused:

 

Invited him in and showed him the email... Thats strange this has happened to a few people i will give head office a ring and see what they say.

 

Few minutes later he said they had nothing on there system that we applied for a licence online, He then cautioned my girlfriend and noted the TV and what channels we had.

 

Before he left he said that it would most likely not go to court as there was a mix up... Got a letter 11/06/2010 saying that my girlfriend "not me"

got a court date for using a TV without a licence from the 24/02/2010 and the 25/03/2010

 

We can't get legal aid and a lawyer says just plead guilty:-x

 

 

The tv officer set up a new licence there and then in my girlfriends name, Then she gets a summons for not having one when we though we did in my name.

 

So do i go to court with my laptop and show the judge the email and fight or have i not got a leg to stand on.

 

We have phoned the TV prosecution department they said due to not prosecuting for a previous offence 3 years ago that they are going ahead.

 

Thanks steve

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Did they take a DD payment each month or not?

 

I set ours up last December and they were pretty nifty at taking the payment out of the account and then monthly thereafter. The first payment was about 15 days or so after I applied.

 

If you have proof of the DD's leaving your account take them as well.

 

You can also check online on their website for the payment schedule via DD etc as well.

 

I would possibly try and speak to someone from the TV licencing before you go into the actual court room and explain what has happened and see if they can help or cancel the court case etc

 

Apart from that, all out of ideas.

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Did they take a DD payment each month or not?

 

I set ours up last December and they were pretty nifty at taking the payment out of the account and then monthly thereafter. The first payment was about 15 days or so after I applied.

 

If you have proof of the DD's leaving your account take them as well.

 

You can also check online on their website for the payment schedule via DD etc as well.

 

I would possibly try and speak to someone from the TV licencing before you go into the actual court room and explain what has happened and see if they can help or cancel the court case etc

 

Apart from that, all out of ideas.

 

 

No they didn't take any DD but we didn't realise that until after we had the visit, We have 2 bank accounts 1 just for DD which there a quite a few and just have money transfered every month.

 

thanks steve

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They could argue that you should have checked your account to see and if no DD's came out why didn't you contact them.

 

However, the email you had sent, is more or less the same as the one I got when I set mine up, so it shows that you have taken steps to set it up.

 

Do you know if any failed at all?

 

Did they send you any notifications at all if they have failed?

 

I would definitely take the email and print out the headers as well, to prove that they did send it.

 

Thank you for applying to pay for your TV Licence by Monthly Direct Debit. This email is to confirm that your application has been successful and that you are licensed.

The TV Licence number is xxxxxxxxxxxx.

Your TV Licence and payment plan will be posted to you within 10 working days.

If you receive any letters asking you to buy a TV Licence in the next few days, please ignore them.

Don’t forget, you can visit our website at anytime to view your TV Licence online, update your details and see your payment plan - just go to www.tvlicensing.co.uk/yourlicence.

TV Licensing

 

Headers should look similar to this:

 

Return-Path:

Received: from mail140.messagelabs.com [85.158.137.83] by nameofserver with SMTP;

Wed, 9 Dec 2009 16:29:51 +0000

Received: (qmail 22725 invoked from network); 9 Dec 2009 16:29:59 -0000

Received: from mm01.capita.co.uk (HELO mm01.capita.co.uk) (194.205.13.209)

by server-5.tower-140.messagelabs.com with xxx-xxx-xxxxxx-xxx encrypted SMTP; 9 Dec 2009 16:29:59 -0000

Received: from smtp1.capita.co.uk by mm01.capita.co.uk

 

And just try pleading your case before court.

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They could argue that you should have checked your account to see and if no DD's came out why didn't you contact them.

 

However, the email you had sent, is more or less the same as the one I got when I set mine up, so it shows that you have taken steps to set it up.

 

Do you know if any failed at all?

 

Did they send you any notifications at all if they have failed?

 

I would definitely take the email and print out the headers as well, to prove that they did send it.

 

 

 

Headers should look similar to this:

 

Return-Path:

Received: from mail140.messagelabs.com [85.158.137.83] by nameofserver with SMTP;

Wed, 9 Dec 2009 16:29:51 +0000

Received: (qmail 22725 invoked from network); 9 Dec 2009 16:29:59 -0000

Received: from mm01.capita.co.uk (HELO mm01.capita.co.uk) (194.205.13.209)

by server-5.tower-140.messagelabs.com with xxx-xxx-xxxxxx-xxx encrypted SMTP; 9 Dec 2009 16:29:59 -0000

Received: from smtp1.capita.co.uk by mm01.capita.co.uk

 

And just try pleading your case before court.

 

No DD failed and i received no notifications.

 

With me working nights and she works days we are just like passing ships and we just assumed it was sorted out, Will make sure next time.

 

How do i find the headers?

 

regards steve

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I use Outlook, you need to open the email, and then choose view at the top and then click on options and you would see them.

 

It all depends on what email client you use though. Which one is it?

 

 

I just use Hotmail

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Well just got back from court and its been adjouned until september for a trial, We pleaded not guilty...

 

The TVL prosecutor had a word with us before we went in.. Told us we have very good mitigating circumstances and thats as much as he could tell us, He then phoned he's boss at TVL to try to get them to drop it but they told him to go ahead with the case.

 

We have also called the visiting officer to the trial as a witness as he said at our home that the was a computer error and we were not the only ones who have had this problem.

 

Now we need to find a solicitor who will take the case on... The judge did say as the original application was in my name should they not be prosecuting me aswell... If that is the case should this not be thrown out of court as they have the wrong person???

 

 

steve

Edited by mitsy
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  • 2 weeks later...

It seams to me that this is a stupid claim as the tv licencing authority are totally at fault.

As your girlfriend did your licence and you got the conformation email It should be the start of the licence from that date. (or starting from when your next licence is due). The only way that could be cancelled by them is if there was not enough funds in the account when the first direct debit should be taken and then they should send a letter to state this . If they did not take the direct debit from you and the correct details were supplied they are at fault and why should you be penalised for there mistake.

 

If we look at this from there point of view.

You only havent had a licence from the property 24/02/2010 and the 25/03/2010 which is basically 1 month

which in real terms comes to the value of £13.

So they are going to fine you upto £1000 + court costs for the default sum of £13. Which is ludicrous. and should have got thrown out of court.

If they play the yes but you didnt have the licence so it is our rite to take legal precedings against you.You can come back with when your agent called we were told we did not have a licence and rectified it even though we were under the impression we had the licence (give email copy as proof).

Also state that the fine is £1000+costs for in effect £13 and as this isnt my fault are the licencing people willing to pay £1000+costs for their mistake.

Your solicitor should be able to word that better but if it was me in that position i would be looking for some sort of claim against them

 

Hope this helps

Paul

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She needs to please guilty as she does not have a licence, and has never been in receipt of a licence number. However, when asked for any comments, she needs to show the email (a print out will do, no need for the laptop), and this should be used as evidence of your arranging a payment plan. The fact they took no money does;nt help you, as the viewer remains responsible to pay the fee, irrespective of a DD being in existance. By stating that as far as she was concerned he had a licence, the jusge will then decide what action to take. As TVL will also be seen to be in error, the judge could find in your favour. Better yet, it may not come to this as the TVL solicitor will speak with you prior to the case calling in court. You don't have to show him your evidence, but if it looks as though they can be blamed for an error, they may seek a continuance or abandon the action completely. Hopefully, you DO have a licence now?

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She needs to please guilty as she does not have a licence, and has never been in receipt of a licence number. However, when asked for any comments, she needs to show the email (a print out will do, no need for the laptop), and this should be used as evidence of your arranging a payment plan. The fact they took no money does;nt help you, as the viewer remains responsible to pay the fee, irrespective of a DD being in existance. By stating that as far as she was concerned he had a licence, the jusge will then decide what action to take. As TVL will also be seen to be in error, the judge could find in your favour. Better yet, it may not come to this as the TVL solicitor will speak with you prior to the case calling in court. You don't have to show him your evidence, but if it looks as though they can be blamed for an error, they may seek a continuance or abandon the action completely. Hopefully, you DO have a licence now?

 

Firstly If she pleads guilty she would be admitting she had knowledge that she did not have a licence.

Secondly the The reference number for your application is DD**0079**13.This shows "intent to pay" which was issued 1 month before the new licence was ment to expire.

Thirdly when The tvl inforcement officer arrived stating there was no licence a new licence was purchased at that time,rectifing the mistake.

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Unfortunately, this is a slam dunk for TVL. An intention to pay is not good enough. The same holds true of Road Tax (VED) and Council Taxes. These are Criminal Proceedings, and the decision will be based of the facts before the court. Was there a licence at the accused's address? Yes/no?

 

She cannot say yes, as TVL will lead evidence to say she did not, and she cannot provide evidence that she had one. She may be able to suggest to the judge that the inspector said they were having problems, but unless he's in court as a witness, she will not be permitted to state this as it is heresay.

 

This will be explained to her by the judge. Rather than get bogged down in a cull de sac, she needs to admit to the facts in evidence, she had no licence, BUT she provided the tools for TVL to take the funds from her bank (for ANY amount, and at AnY time they wanted) but whether by incompetence or accident they did not do so, therefore she asks the court to review the TVL confirmation letter that hare details had been received and would be processed. At no time did they advise there was a problem in taking the money, so she feels their action in this matter is both unreasonable and unfair.

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Buzby is entirely correct. She needs to plead guilty as she did NOT have a TV licence at the time. She cannot plead "Not guilty" as hse is my her own admission guilty although not her fault. After that she brings up the mitigating evidence at which point the case may be dismissed and costs passed onto the licence company.

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I will bow to your judgement on this.

Just adding 1 point which is in my opinion and may or may not be relevent.

 

If you plead guilty to a criminal offence

Then doesent a whole new can of worms open up in the future such as having a criminal conviction and all that entails ?

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It could, but this happens very rarely. It is seen as draconian, and reserved for serial offenders, as TVL evasion is very much at the innocuous end of the scale. You may actually find your mitigation is ewnough for the case to be abandoned by the CPS before it calls in court. If they see the DDM email, they may decide that TVL has been incompetent and refuse to proceed.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the Advice.. And everybody who took the time to reply,

 

We were both at court this morning and the Usher came round handing forms out to plead guilty, When he got to use we said no we are pleading not guilty....

 

The look on he's face said it all, LOL. He then returned into the court room where he spoke to the TVL prosecutor, "could see them talking through the door window" A few seconds later she shouted the wife's name out., Took us to one side in the waiting room and said she only got the case yesterday and after looking through it she didn't think they handled it very well and they wanted to drop it.

 

Looks like they were hanging on to the last minute to see if we would plead guilty, The TV enforcement officer who we summoned as a witness didn't even turn up.

 

Dick BBC Turpin 0-1 The Average Joe

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Oh dear!

 

So the courts do not see that TVL screwed up because you let them walk away from their mistake?

 

Settling prior to court is loved by them, as abandoning the pursuit is not recorded as a 'loss'. Similarly, you miss the opportunity get the judge to hear of your endeavours to show that you did everything possible to point out their error and they simply abused process to continue the bullying.

 

Glad it's over and you got the result, but you certainly did not get justice, and TVL will carry on as before, learning nothing and safe from damning statistics.

Edited by buzby
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There wasn't any criminal action, alledged, but no criminal action, so it's not an after thought.

 

Unfortunately, you cannot (easily) raise a civil action for redress for an earlier criminal action. The OP may also have waived this right by agreeing to the 'settlement'. That ship has sailled, but it should always be remembered the time for any pursuit as part of the primary activity, not an afterthought.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Well done...lucky she didnt follow advice given :)

 

Andy

 

Advice was sound, and if in front of the magistrate after pleading not guilty it could have gone pear shaped. She WAS guilty of watching without a licence, what was in question was whos fault that was, and had the OP/GF taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.

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