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Paid fixed penalty notice late- got a refunded cheque


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Hi

 

I got a fixed penalty notice of £300 in August, had to be paid within 21 days.

I emailed the North Yorkshire police this

 

'I received a fixed penalty fine on Sunday 25th of August for no car insurance of £300.

 

My partner has being made redundant and we are struggling with getting the money together for the fine

as we had to pay £150 to get the car removed and stay in a overnight hotel due to the compound being closed.

 

I am writing to ask if the fine can be paid on the last working day of this month (being 30tj of August, which will be 5 days late) '

 

the 30th came and

 

I went to pay on the automated phone line,

it asked for a 'notice number' but I couldn't see it.

 

I emailed the police again at lunch with no reply.

 

After I left work I tried ringing the payment line but wouldn't give me option to speak to someone.

 

The next day at work I asked a colleague and they showed me that the notice number

consisted of adding a few of the numbers together.

 

There was no notes on the fine itself to state that.

 

I paid the fine that day , making it on day 27 (6 days late).

 

On the 4th of October I received an email stating

 

'the offer of the fixed penalty has been withdrawn and the matter referred for a court summons,

because you have failed to comply with both conditions of the fixed penalty.

 

We have written to you on 1st October 2013 advising you of this.

 

When you receive a summons,

if you choose to plead guilty by letter to the offences,

there is a section in the correspondence where you may list any mitigating circumstances.'

 

Today I got a cheque of the refund, but have had no letter re court date ?

 

Anyone help?

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Summons could take anything up to 6 months.

 

If the FPN was for driving without insurance then with a guilty plea you can expect a fine in the region of your weekly income (after tax), plus another £100 or so in costs and victim surcharge. If you're on low income, this can actually add up to less than £300. If it's likely to be more, you can tell the magistrates that you would have paid the fixed penalty had you been able to raise the funds in time, and ask them to consider the advice on Page 189 of their guidelines, which says

 

where a penalty notice was not offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence

itself, such as administrative difdifficulties, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the

amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be

disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances.

 

Whatever fine you get, you'll usually be allowed to pay by instalments if you ask to do so.

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But won't they know that we did pay the fine, albeit a day late due to not knowing what the notice number consisted of, and that the money was returned to us, via cheque a month later ?

I'm shocked there taking me to court for a day late! Seems a waste of time ! And just a money making scheme

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Keep Copies Of Your Emails To Show Why Payment Was Late. Generally Courts Are Only Hard On You If You Are There Because You Failed To Pay Fpn With No Reason Or They Feel You're Out To Waste Time.

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Also another question, the day we got stopped we was on he way to a wedding in Durham . So the court would be in Durham yet we live in hull. Can it be done in hull ? We work full time & have kids . Or does it not make a difference ? Thanks

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So it'll be original fine of £300 +my weekly wage +)100 victims ? I thought it just doubled ?

No, just weekly wage+£100 costs/surcharge, unless you can persuade the magistrates to impose the £300 instead. It's never been the case that they've doubled for late payment - possibly you're getting confused with parking tickets there.

 

The fixed penalty was essentially an offer of avoiding the court process, and the court penalty, in return for payment of £300 within 21 days. Refusing to accept the payment after 22 days was perhaps punctilious, but quite legal. If the object was to make money they just wouldn't have offered you the fixed penalty in the first place (they have no obligation to do so) and would have summonsed you straight to court.

 

It will be a court local to the offence rather than one local to where you live - the witnesses (ie police) have to go there too. IIRC it's sometimes possible to get the hearing moved if you're pleading guilty, but you have to turn up in person to request this which makes it a pointless exercise. You'll be able to plead guilty by post if you don't want to attend, and the court will write to you and inform you of the result. However your mitigation (and therefore your chance of persuading the bench to impose the lower penalty) would sound more sincere coming from you in person than it would in a letter which is read out in monotone by a bored legal advisor.

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Same thing?

If the automated system accepted payment, the automated system considered it as within time.

What could be more automated than setting up a date/time bar limit on accepting payment?

 

So my question in post 13 above remains.

 

Anyone?

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