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Sam Le Croc

Rail Penalty Fare Appealing TO Magistrates Court

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My daughter has an annual season ticket , one day she left her ticket at home in error

On arriving at destination she reported at the barrier that she had either lost her ticket or left at home

She was asked to pay for a ticket and a penalty fare , she declined the penalty fare

the next day she presented herself at the station with her season ticket and the station refunded the fare that she paid the previous day

She was then sent a letter regarding penalty fare which she was invited to appeal , she sent all the required documentation first class. Her appeal was returned back to her denying that they had received it on time ( which they would have) the reason they gave for the delay is that the one first class post stamps was not sufficient ,one ( of the 2 applied which was OTT in any event ) had fallen off in transit and they returned her appeal to her opened ( evidencing receipt) claiming that it had not been received on time. If it was not received on time it was only due to the fact that there was a procedural delay between the appeals people and Royal Mail whilst they argued who was going to pay for the missing second stamp. She argued that was unfair , they rejected out of hand and now she has a magistrates summons . It concerns us that it is not in the appeals peoples ( funded by railways ) best interests to receive appeals on time as they would much prefer to collect the penalty and that if they can find an excuse to frustrate the appeal they will. Will the magistrates court listen to this sympathetically or not ?

Edited by Sam Le Croc
typos

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My daughter has an annual season ticket , one day she left her ticket at home in error

On arriving at destination she reported at the barrier that she had either lost her ticket or left at home

She was asked to pay for a ticket and a penalty fare , she declined the penalty fare

the next day she presented herself at the station with her season ticket and the station refunded the fare that she paid the previous day

She was then sent a letter regarding penalty fare which she was invited to appeal , she sent all the required documentation first class. Her appeal was returned back to her denying that they had received it on time ( which they would have) the reason they gave for the delay is that the one first class post stamps was not sufficient ,one ( of the 2 applied which was OTT in any event ) had fallen off in transit and they returned her appeal to her opened ( evidencing receipt) claiming that it had not been received on time. If it was not received on time it was only due to the fact that there was a procedural delay between the appeals people and Royal Mail whilst they argued who was going to pay for the missing second stamp. She argued that was unfair , they rejected out of hand and now she has a magistrates summons . It concerns us that it is not in the appeals peoples ( funded by railways ) best interests to receive appeals on time as they would much prefer to collect the penalty and that if they can find an excuse to frustrate the appeal they will. Will the magistrates court listen to this sympathetically or not ?

 

Have you appealed to the Magistrates' or have they issued a summons?. It may seem to be semantics, but it isn't.

 

Which TOC, and has she had (& how many?) similar FPN's / warnings for not carrying her season ticket?

(some TOC's will only allow 2 such "nil fare" FPN's per season ticket per year)

 

If the TOC has issued a summons, what Act or bye law have they issued it under? (Such as Byelaw 18, or S5.3 of the RRA 1889).

If it is "failed to show a valid ticket" or similar : you might be better going down the route of persuading them to discontinue proceedings, rather than "intent to avoid fare" where your defence is "no intent to avoid fare evidenced by 'she had a season ticket'"

 

You may want to amend the title of the post as "Rail Penalty Fare : Succesful Appeal TO Magistrates" makes it look like you've already been to court and won : so, some possible respondents might "skip over" the thread.

Edited by BazzaS

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"South Eastern

Just received summons yesterday

No previous

Bylaw 18 Railways Bylaw 2005

thanks for tip on the heading"

 

Have you appealed to the Magistrates' or have they issued a summons?. It may seem to be semantics, but it isn't.

 

Which TOC, and has she had (& how many?) similar FPN's / warnings for not carrying her season ticket?

(some TOC's will only allow 2 such "nil fare" FPN's per season ticket per year)

 

If the TOC has issued a summons, what Act or bye law have they issued it under? (Such as Byelaw 18, or S5.3 of the RRA 1889).

If it is "failed to show a valid ticket" or similar : you might be better going down the route of persuading them to discontinue proceedings, rather than "intent to avoid fare" where your defence is "no intent to avoid fare evidenced by 'she had a season ticket'"

 

You may want to amend the title of the post as "Rail Penalty Fare : Succesful Appeal TO Magistrates" makes it look like you've already been to court and won : so, some possible respondents might "skip over" the thread.

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"South Eastern

Just received summons yesterday

No previous

Bylaw 18 Railways Bylaw 2005

thanks for tip on the heading"

 

18.1 or 18.2?

 

18.1? "Has with him a valid ticket" (and if so was this in an area designated [or not designated?] as a "compulsory ticket area"]

 

18.2 "shall hand over his ticket for inspection"

 

The problem is that these are strict liability offences, which makes them hard to defend unless the summons is flawed (such as an 18.1 trying to be used in a "compulsory ticket area", as 18.1 says "In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall .....")

 

If it an 18.2, what if the Magistrate asks "did she hand over the ticket for inspection when requested"?

If the answer is "no", then "she had a season ticket, the appeal refusal was procedurally flawed" becomes mitigation, rather than a defence.

 

In this case, trying to get them not to proceed may be a better option, to avoid the issue of strict liability.

The Magistrate may well agree with you that it isn't the most fair prosecution, but will be bound by law ; was a request to inspect a ticket made, and was the ticket shown?

 

If your appeals for a common-sense approach have failed, consider how you might get them to review it.

Has anyone any thoughts on the best way : write to your MP? : Secretary of State for Transport? : Press / The Evening Standard (Following on from http://www.standard.co.uk/news/10-ways-to-avoid-penalty-fares-on-trains-6762684.html. )

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I've moved your thread to the transport forum and left you a temporary redirect from the Welcome one.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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And I've changed the title of the thread, as the change you made only affects that particular post.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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"Hi , interesting that it does not specify either just says 18

 

Looking at the witness statement it appears flawed... it is dated 23rd July ( journey made 25th May) signed by prosecutions officer , it is factually incorrect as it states ....At the time of making this report ( ie 23rd July) the fare which was actually due at the time of travel has NOT been paid and I therefore contend that the intention of Mrs M was to travel on the railway without having previously paid the fare and with intent to avoid payment thereof ..

 

This is not true notwithstanding her having owned an annual season ticket , she bought a ticket when she presented herself to the barrier with out a ticket and the next day she presented her season ticket and was given a refund for the ticket she voluntarily paid for the day before ???

 

Thanks for this help by the way its much appreciated "

 

18.1 or 18.2?

 

18.1? "Has with him a valid ticket" (and if so was this in an area designated [or not designated?] as a "compulsory ticket area"]

 

18.2 "shall hand over his ticket for inspection"

 

The problem is that these are strict liability offences, which makes them hard to defend unless the summons is flawed (such as an 18.1 trying to be used in a "compulsory ticket area", as 18.1 says "In any area not designated as a compulsory ticket area, no person shall .....")

 

If it an 18.2, what if the Magistrate asks "did she hand over the ticket for inspection when requested"?

If the answer is "no", then "she had a season ticket, the appeal refusal was procedurally flawed" becomes mitigation, rather than a defence.

 

In this case, trying to get them not to proceed may be a better option, to avoid the issue of strict liability.

The Magistrate may well agree with you that it isn't the most fair prosecution, but will be bound by law ; was a request to inspect a ticket made, and was the ticket shown?

 

If your appeals for a common-sense approach have failed, consider how you might get them to review it.

Has anyone any thoughts on the best way : write to your MP? : Secretary of State for Transport? : Press / The Evening Standard

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Regardless of if she owns a season ticket or not she had still travelled without a valid ticket and was still in a area that requires you to have a ticket. Therefore liable for penalty fare/prosecution.

 

A lot of TOCs have a process in place to refund a day ticket bought when a season ticket was left at home and this sounds like it has been done on this occasion but the ticket should be bought prior to travelling hence arriving at the barriers and then being spoken to regarding penalty fare/reporting for fare evading

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"point taken , but she is not a fare dodger and is only in this predicament because one of two first class stamps came dislodged from her timely appeal ( incidentally she over stamped it because RM claim was for 9 pence ) the fact remains that the court statement from the 'prosecutions officer' is fundamentally inaccurate, surely that discredits the submission ???? or are you suggesting that it does not matter what they enter on their witness statement ? "

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The predicament has come about because she did not have her season ticket and did not purchase one despite there being a policy in place to receive a refund for the day ticket that she would have had to buy.

 

There wouldn't of been the issue with stamps, courts, letters or anything else if the ticket was with the passenger or a valid ticket had been bought.

 

As much as you can talk about the inaccurate statement, stamps falling off, a season ticket existing etc when it comes down to the crunch . . . Passenger did not have a valid ticket for the journey they completed therefore they are liable for penalty fare/prosecution etc

 

There may be an irregularity in the statement but the long and short of it is that the passenger did not have a ticket for travel.

 

Pretty sure OC and Firstclassx will pop in and give you there points and they are much more experienced in this field than I am but I think they will agree with what I have said

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Unfortunately, you don't make much sense.

 

You say she refused a Penalty Fare, then you say she appealed a Penalty Fare, which was rejected. It sounds as though she agreed to buy a ticket, but not a Penalty Fare, so she was cautioned instead. If that is the case, what do you mean by "Penalty Fare"?

 

It is nobody's fault, but your daughters unfortunately. It was her mistake, she was forgetful. If they offered a Penalty Fare and she refused it then she has made things a lot worse. Should a rail company just take her word that she holds a season ticket, and let her through?

 

If she accepted a Penalty Fare, you would usually just need to provide a copy of the season ticket within 21 days, and the appeal would be allowed. This can only happen once a year though. If she initially refused a Penalty Fare or left the appeal to the last minute, then she cannot take advantage of this.

 

It's not unfair at all. 1) She wasn't able to show a ticket on demand. 2) She also travelled without a valid ticket. 3) You say she declined a Penalty Fare. 4) The train company doesn't control the post, presumably she didn't send it recorded delivery.

 

I suspect she will be hit with the entire Byelaw 18, (18.1 AND 18.2), as she did, indeed, breach both of these.

 

Likely to be convicted. You could try & offer mitigation, but I'm not sure she can. In any event, she would still be convicted of at least 1 offence, probably 2.

 

The court may sentence sympathetically, (although I don't see why they would), but in any event, they must convict her, as she is guilty. They can't give a not guilty verdict just because they are sympathetic. If she pleads guilty, you will be able to secure a reduction in the fine. For one offence, (but there may be two), probably about £300 fine, £100 costs, £30 surcharge, assuming a guilty plea. If plead not guilty, probably about £500, £100 costs, £50 surcharge.

 

She will probably be one of about 30-50 people being prosecuted on that day, the court is usually block booked for a few days a week/month to deal with these cases. The Magistrate's probably won't be too interested in the case and will just want simple facts.

 

You could offer an out of court settlement to the train company, but you're looking at LEAST around the £150-£300 mark now a summons has been issued. They don't have to accept it either.

 

With regards to incorrect date(s) on any statement(s) - mistakes like this can be corrected during a hearing. Omissions or mistakes can often be corrected at the very last minute, or even during a trial, in some circumstances. It's like a "slip rule".

Edited by firstclassx

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Yes, although I agree there might be good reason to flag up the fact that the fare had been previously paid, this is mitigation, not a defence and intent isn't disputed.

 

The fact is that your daughter is very likely to be found guilty of the strict liability offence by the simple expedient of her failure to show a rail ticket on demand (Byelaw 18.2) by rail staff. It appears that this is all that she has been charged with.

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