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    • its not a letter from PRA  its a large brown windowed A4 envelope from northants bulk county court - a court claim pack. you DO NOT ignore  you DO NOT contact the fleecers or their dogs. his next time..never ignore a Letter of claim never run from debt never move without informing ALL your debt owners in writing   ... you are lucky this was not filed to an old address and 1st you'd know is bailiffs at your door   please complete this:      
    • Thanks for your reply. Should I email them stating that the penalty is unlawful?
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    • the charge is a unlawful penalty 
    • I am going to email him this evening, he has no idea what he is talking about so I am going to bullet point everything that has happened so far, and everything that has not happened. He seems to be taking the word of Barclays over me, and believing what they say, and what they are saying is wrong. They do not even know what they are talking about from what he has spoken about today.     That is what he said. He said, Barclays told him that even after resolving the debit amount of around £738, my account is still in areas and that's why they haven't made any refund, and possibly (I am unsure) why the Cifas was registered. As I said, there is 100% absolutely no arrears, other than the charge back amount, which they said they are responsible for. If they cleared the charge back amount, which they promised to do, the account would have been in credit by the £150 compensation they said they had paid into the account (They didn't do this, I did a SAR with the bank and have all of the bank statements here) and the money in the account that belonged to me which was between £40 - £70.   I can't even get my head around what he and they are saying, and I am usually on the ball, but I cannot understand what is going on at the minute.   The adjudicator advised against me asking an Ombudsman to look at it as he said the bank might now refuse to accept responsibility for the charge back mistake, even though they had already accepted it was their error. But, he said this and I'm not confident at all that he even knows whats going on.
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hopey7

court date for speeding and FtF - Can I transfer case to local court

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Hi all

 

I have a court date for speeding and FtF. Court is 140 miles from my home. I have written to the Clerk of the court for transfer to my local court. I haven’t heard back yet after 10 days. Just want to find out if such request can be granted.

 

Also, I have been asked to go and work abroad for 3 weeks. I finish the posting 3 days after my original court date. Can I ask for adjournment or do I have to reject my job posting?

 

Every input greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks all.

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Yes you can ask for the matter to be transferred and they should readily agree provided you intend pleading guilty. Though with the usual two offences charged I imagine you'll be wanting to do a "deal" (to get the FtF dropped if you plead guilty to speeding).

 

you can ask for an adjournment but provide some evidence of your work posting along with your request.

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Great stuff. Yes, I will be looking to do a deal, that’s why I was a bit concerned.

Thanks Man in the middle. 

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I was prosecuted for speeding and FtF.

I was hoping to go to court and try to get the FtF dropped by pleading guilty to the speeding.

I was sent away on a short contract which was due to finish a few days after court date.

My request for adjournment and also for transfer to my local court were rejected.

 

Now I didn't even get any letters of rejection, I only found out a few days to court date when I phoned the court.

By this time I was away on this contract.

 

It was not possible for me to leave work to attend court so I had to send a plea via email to the court administrator that dealt with my query.

I attached an income/expenditure statement.

I pleaded guilty to the speeding but asked for the FtF charge to be reconsidered.

 

When I arrived back home, days after the court date, not knowing what to expect, the court letter was waiting.

The speeding charge was dropped but I got 6 points for the FtF plus £660 fine, £66 victim surcharge and £300 cost.

 

I have read that the fine is supposed to be a percentage of weekly earning but this fine exceeds my weekly income. 

Can I appeal this fine on the basis that it is excessive?

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When you asked for an adjournment, did you explain you would be out of the country on work?  If you gave a good reason for asking, I'm surprised they refused(?).

 

Unfortunately, if you were charged with speeding and FtF, you probably ought to have pled not guilty to both and then, on the day in court, approached the prosecutor and offered to plead guilty to the speeding IF they dropped the FtF.  Of course, if you weren't there you could not do that.  If you pled guilty to the speeding, I'm a bit surprised they dropped it and didn't give you points for that as well - so in that sense you've been lucky.  (I'm assuming they must have prosecuted you in time for the speeding?)

 

Don't know about the level of fine I'm afraid.  Did you supply the court with income details?

 

Somebody else may know if there's anything else you can do (eg about the refused adjournment?).

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I wasn’t actually out of the country but having accepted to do the contract down by the south coast, it was difficult to get a replacement.

 

I initially pled not guilty, hoping to attend court and try to get the FtF dropped.

But when it became obvious that I couldn’t attend court and the case would proceed in my absence, I decided to change my plea and hope the prosecutor might be kind too. 

 

I was lucky with the points though cos it was entirely out of my hands and I could easily have got 9pts.

 

Just a bit miffed about the level of fine as I supplied income/expenditure details. 

 

Thanks Manxman in exile. 

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Yeah - lucky not to get nine points then.

 

I presume the fine would be in accordance with your declared income(?).  Don't know enough about the fines structure to comment further.  Somebody else might know if you can question it.

 

I will answer properly tomorrow as I have limited access at present.

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It seems there are a number of issues here. The first is that the matter was heard in your absence even though you informed the court that you would not be able to attend the hearing. It is most unusual for a court not to allow an adjournment for a minor motoring matter when the defendant has asked for one and has a good reason for asking.

 

Unfortunately, pleading guilty to speeding was the worst thing you could have done. They have no evidence that you were driving (that comes from you providing your details). When I asked you earlier whether you intended to ask for the usual “deal” (to drop the FtF charge in exchange for pleading guilty to speeding) I assumed you knew that you must maintain Not Guilty pleas to both matters until the deal was agreed. What I don’t understand is why you have not been convicted of speeding in view of that plea (and, as mentioned, how you didn’t land up with nine points).

 

The fine and costs seem to have been based on the default weekly income of £440 per week (the fine is 1.5 times weekly income). So, unless the income you stated was coincidentally £440 pw, it seems the statement of income you provided has not been used.

 

This is a mess, some of it down to you and some, it seems possibly down to the court. An appeal to the Crown Court is not advisable. You have not mentioned why you failed to provide the driver’s details but without you being there to offer a defence (and it’s a difficult charge to defend anyway) you were probably properly convicted of that. You were also lucky not to have been convicted of speeding. If you appeal against conviction to the Crown Court it will almost certainly fail and you may end up with a speeding conviction plus the Crown Court costs (which may be around £1k) into the bargain.

 

I believe your avenue of approach should be to the Clerk to the Justices of the area where the court is (details are available online from HMRC website). You should asked for the matter to be reopened under Section 142 of the Magistrates’ Court act. Paragraph 1 of that section says this:

 

  Power of magistrates’ court to re-open cases to rectify mistakes etc.

(1)    A magistrates’ court may vary or rescind a sentence or other order imposed or made by it when dealing with an offender if it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to do so; and it is hereby declared that this power extends to replacing a sentence or order which for any reason appears to be invalid by another which the court has power to impose or make.

 

You should make your request on the grounds that you were refused the adjournment you requested, were not informed of that refusal, and therefore had no opportunity to attend your hearing. I would attach a copy of your original request. You were therefore not able to properly state your case. You can also state that you were not fined in accordance with your means (though be a bit careful with that if your income is significantly above £440 pw).

 

The issue really is that, faced with being unable to attend the hearing and learning only a short time beforehand that your adjournment had not been granted you were panicked into action that you had not properly considered (i.e. pleading guilty to speeding). I would not, however, put it like that (because that is what you intend to do anyway if you get a fresh hearing and are able to do a “deal”). The deal with the prosecution is conducted routinely every day and will be well known to the Clerk to the Justices, the prosecutor and the Magistrates. But you need to secure a fresh hearing, have the original conviction set aside, and start anew. A request under S142 is the only way to achieve that so I hope you succeed. You may want to seek legal advice to help you with the above. Alas to get representation in court will almost certainly cost you more than you might save but bear in mind you now have an endorsement code MS90 on your licence. Insurers absolutely hate that (because they wonder what you might have done that you didn't want to accept you were driving) and it will increase your premiums for up to five years (might be worth getting a couple of dummy quotes to see the effect).

 

I don't think I can help much further but if so le me know.

 

Edited by Man in the middle
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Obviously I panicked and  decided to put up some kind of representation and hope for the best rather than NOT showing up and NOTHING for the court to rely on leaving me at risk of 9pts. 

 

This appears to be the case cos the income statement is a little over £440.

 

Could it be that because I didn't provide details of the driver they chose to ignore my plea on speeding.

 

When I saw the 6pts, I almost fainted cos I was obviously expecting to get another 3pts for speeding which I pleaded guilty to.

 

I drive for a living and currently have 3pts on my license.

But I turned over the pages of the court letter and there was no mention of the speeding charge.

So even though I feel happy with the outcome (it could have been worse due to all the mess), I can now see that I didn't get a fair shot.

 

Great stuff Man in the middle, worth waiting for.

 

i will try the section 142 route.

 

BTW what is the time limit to put in the appeal?

It has been 14 days since the judgment.

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Unlike an appeal to the Crown Court (where the time limit is 21 days) there is no time limit on S142 applications (as far as I can recall). However, you need to act asap because the longer you leave it the less likely the court is to accede to your request to reopen.

 

It occurs to me from what you have said that if the court seemingly ignored your statement of income the likely explanation is they received neither that nor your guilty plea to speeding.

 

There is no reason for the speeding matter to be dropped if you pleaded guilty, but it could not be proved without your guilty plea.

 

There is a strong likelihood that neither were received and this could add a bit of weight to your request to have the matter reopened.

 

If you do manage to get your matter reopened, whatever you do, do not plead guilty to either offence until you have explored the possibility of the deal.

 

If your offer of the deal is declined you should maintain your NG plea to speeding (it cannot be proved without you providing your details in the form of a Section 172 response).

 

You haven't mentioned why you failed to respond but if you have no valid defence and the prosecution insists on continuing it you may be forced into a guilty plea.

 

At least you'll get a third off the fine (though not the points) and the costs will be limited to £85.

 

Seems very strange to me they didn't allow an adjournment(?).

 

Looks as if s.142 is your only likelihood of getting the six points reduced to three (and stopping insurance premiums rocketing because of the FtF conviction).

 

I wonder if there's any potential downside to going down the s.142 route, or just be grateful you didn't end up with nine points.  Perhaps Man in the middle can advise?

Edited by Man in the middle

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I thought this might be the case also.

 

I sent my plea and means statement over a weekend.

I then called the court on the Monday, the day before my case, to ask if it they received the documents.

I was assured that they received it and attached to my file ready for the court.

I made a record of names of people I spoke to.

 

I will seek some legal advice beforehand which is why I asked about time limit.

 

From previous discussion, I don't have any valid defence.

 

But my reason was that I didn't receive the original NIP.

A reminder arrived 7 days to the deadline.

 

I emailed to ask for more time because I was certain that I was on a 40MPH road and wanted to visit the location again.

But I now realise that providing driver details has nothing to do with all that.

 

I didn't get further time and the deadline expired.

Weeks later, the summons arrived.

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Good Luck.

 

Also, I don't understand how they dropped the speeding charge if you pled guilty to it.  Either they felt sorry for you or your case has attracted a lot of weird stuff!

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Cheers..😀

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There's nothing to lose (provided no guilty plea to speeding is entered).

The very worst that can happen is a conviction for FtF (which the OP already has) and there is the opportunity to (at best) do the deal and have the FtF dropped) or at least to see a discount and reduced costs applied for a guilty plea for the FtF.

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***************UPDATE***************

Thanks to all you legends, I got a positive response to my request to have my case re-opened.

 

My letter basically pointed out that both my request for transfer and adjournment were refused but I was not notified, I only found out when I telephoned the court. I also said that it appeared to me that the documents that I sent to the court, i.e my PLEA and means statement, were not presented to the magistrate as I was not fined according to my income.

 

The letter I received in response says that my case has been re-listed for hearing in September AT MY LOCAL COURT. The magistrate will then consider re-opening the case and rescinding the conviction/order made against me.

 

I think this is a great result, so I thought I'd share with you all.

 

Cheers.

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Great news and just about the best you could have hoped for.

 

If you can, try to seek out the prosecutor before the court sits and ask whether the "deal" might be on offer. If you can't do that, make your offer in court when asked how you plead. It would be unusual for it to be refused but, to reiterate, do not plead guilty to either offence until that has been explored. If the deal is declined do not plead guilty to speeding! Simply maintain NG pleas to both. Your trial will not take place at that hearing and you can decide whether you have a viable defence to the FtP charge in the meantime.

 

I don't recall you mentioning the alleged speed/limit but if you feel very cheeky and the speed is low enough you could ask the court to consider sentencing you at the Fixed Penalty level. They have guidance which says this:

 

Where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, 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.

 

It's arguable that you contributed to the difficulties (by failing to respond to the request for driver's details) but don't ask and you won't get. The worst they can do is say "No" and sentence you in accordance with the guidelines.

 

Hope it goes well.

Edited by Man in the middle

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great work everyone..

 

dx

 


..

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Thanks Man in the middle.

Btw alleged speed was 39 on a 30 zone.

I thought I was on a 40mph road.

Found out later on google that the speed limit had been changed only a few months before. 

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Definitely Fixed Penalty territory (up to 49mph in a 30 limit).

In fact, had you been able to respond to the request for driver's details you would have almost certainly been offered a Speed Awareness Course (provided you have not done one for an offence that occured in the three years prior to this one and that it was not in Scotland).

 

They are normally offered up to 42mph.

 

Unfortunately the court cannot deal with the matter by way of a course. 

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I did a course two years ago but I will try the fixed penalty. Like you said, if you don't ask, you don't get. 

 

Thanks MITM                         

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***************UPDATE***************

 

Hi everyone,

 

I went to court today where the magistrates agreed to set aside the previous judgement and reopen the case.

 

Now, I don't know if this is good news or bad, but they decided to cancel the charge of speeding and only reopen the charge of FtF. I was asked how I intended to PLEAD on the charge and I said I will be pleading NOT GUILTY, before a hearing date was set for 6 week's time. But without the speeding charge, it appears that I have lost my 'bargaining chip'.

 

What do you guys think?

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Without being there it's difficult to say why they did what they did.

 

It could be that the speeding charge was discontinued beforehand anyway (you were never convicted of it). All is not entirely lost.

 

You can still ask for the deal when you go to court for your next hearing. 

 

Defendants often arrive at court facing only the FtF charge. It just takes a little bit of effort from a kindly prosecutor (who fancies a quick speeding conviction instead of a trial for FtF!) to see it through.

 

Be nice and polite - "please, thank you, that's very kind", etc.

I know of one driver who failed to secure the deal.

When making his request he was, shall we say, less than polite to the prosecutor "demanding his rights to a fair trial" and all that.

He got his fair trial (for FtF) and was convicted.

 

In case that fails, what exactly were the circumstances that led you to fail to provide the driver's details?

 

I know you said you only got a reminder 7 days before the deadline and that you delayed responding in order to check out the limit.

 

Did you respond too late or not at all?

You need to decide whether you are going to defend the charge if your request for the deal fails.

 

The downside of doing so is that it is a notoriously difficult charge to successfully defend (if it was easy everybody would simply pitch up and say "Didn't get the notice, guv").

 

As well as that the cost of failure will be high.

You will lose your discount on your fine (so you will pay 1.5 week's income instead of 1 week's).

But the crippler is the prosecution costs.

 

The standard rate for a trial is £620 (as opposed to £85 for a guilty plea).

You may be asked for a little less than that but you should be prepared for that at worst.

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Man in the middle, thank you for that response.

 

Looking back, of course I had no good reason for not responding to the reminder.

I thought though that I might get more time to respond after I emailed to say that I didn't receive the initial NIP.

 

I am a chauffeur and I was doing a contract away from home at the time (which was why I got this charge 95 miles from home).

 

I returned home after the time on the reminder (7 days I think), had lapsed but I thought the NIP would be re-issued.

But instead of a re-issue of NIP, I received a summons.

 

By the way, my wife checks my mails when I am working away from home otherwise I wouldn't even have known about the reminder until after the time had elapsed.

 

On 27/09/2019 at 15:57, Man in the middle said:

Without being there it's difficult to say why they did what they did.

 

It could be that the speeding charge was discontinued beforehand anyway (you were never convicted of it). All is not entirely lost.

 

They were actually having the discussion in court and I was tempted to get involved and ask for the whole case to be re-opened but I thought it might be impolite.

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The hearing for my re-opened case is on 11 Nov.

I am abroad and was due back on 31 Oct.

 

Due to a change in circumstances, I had to postpone my return to 14 Nov, three days too late for my court date.

 

I have contacted the court via email (with copies of my return ticket showing the old date and the rebooked date) to explain and ask for a short adjournment. But they said No, that I knew the date of hearing before I travelled so they wouldn’t adjourn.

 

Shall I just send a plea of ‘guilty’ now with my statement of means to at least benefit from the discount on my fine?

Do I have any options?

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