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ADVICE NEEDED! Bus Fine saga....


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Hi,

 

I am new to this forum and have been reading through some previous threads so hoping you can offer me some advice..

 

I recently (Saturday 7th Aug) received a distress warrant from Philips recovery agents..When I opened it I was obviously shocked as I had no idea what it was for or about..

 

I called Philips to enquire about it and the only information they could provide me with was that it dated back to an unpaid Magistrates Fine instructed by HMCS NW London dating back to November 2008.

 

I called the HMCS on Monday (09th August) as I was still puzzled by this and as I previously mentioned had not received any prior communication about the matter until now. I spoke with a very helpful Area Enforcement Officer and he explained to me that it was for a bus fine dating back to May 08 that was unpaid and then went to court on November 2008. I asked him why I had only received the Distress Warrant now and nothing previous. He explained that all previous communication had been sent to an address (in which I no longer live, nor have lived in for over 2 years) they had now since traced me and thus sent the Distress Warrant to my current address.

 

He put the Distress Warrant on hold temporarily to allow me to sort it out.

 

I am now trying to determine what my next course of action should be. I have been advised to go to court to make a Statutory Declaration..stating that I was unaware of the court summons dating back to Nov 2008. Is this advisable? What will making the stat dec do for me?

 

I really want to get this sorted out but I am also concerned that an original £20 bus fine is now a £200 matter of which I knew nothing about up until Saturday!!

 

(I do remember the offence, the inspector told me that the fine "may or may not be issued" so I thought nothing more of it) Whats more - I provided the correct identity details/address but I happened to move from that address shortly after..

 

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

 

Many thanks!

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If you honestly did not know of the summons or proceedings then you must make a stat dec at your local mags court, that was cause the conviction to be set aside.

A word of warning tho...if it can be shown that you did know about the original proceedings you commit perjury which is VERY serious.

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To make a statutory declaration, you will need to go to a Magistrates Court. The staff there will guide you about a time and date for you to go into Court.

 

You will need to either take an oath or affirm, and the Magistrates will ask questions. You tell them 'I didn't get the summons' and they will ask you things like 'where did you live on the day that the summons was sent to you?' After the case was first in Court, you will have been sent various notices and letters, the Magistrates are likley to ask if you had your post redirected when you moved, and so on.

 

The notice has a printed warning about perjury, which you will need to understand.

 

If your declaration is accepted, the results of the original hearing will be set aside, and the prosecuting authority will be told.

 

They will then ask for the case to be listed again for a fresh hearing, and the Court process will start again.

 

The results of a new hearing are very often similar to those of the first, although if you plead guilty, and show that you are of limited income, the fines and so on will be reduced.

 

The case doesn't simply 'go away' because a defendant says 'I didn't get the summons.'

Edited by Wriggler7
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