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Court Costs
morrisman
post Thu, 22 Aug 2019 - 16:25
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Was doing that voyeuristic thing of reading the local papers court reports, normal diet drunk and disorderly etc; fined £150 and £85 costs. Then came upon this

parked a vehicle in a disabled bay when not eligible to do so. Fined £120. Ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and costs of £619.20.

How could you racj]k up this level of costs for a parking offence?
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post Thu, 22 Aug 2019 - 16:25
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KH_
post Thu, 22 Aug 2019 - 16:27
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Went not guilty?
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cp8759
post Thu, 22 Aug 2019 - 16:28
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Local authority prosecution I imagine. For some bizarre reason councils seem to be incapable of binding prosecutions without racking up absurd costs, I remember once I saw a prosecution for a breach of a PSPO, the guy plead guilty and I think the fine was the standard £220. Then the council guy asks for costs of £1,500. The magistrates rightly said this was out of all proportion and only allowed £100 costs.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 - 16:28


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DancingDad
post Fri, 23 Aug 2019 - 20:48
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I've asked myself similar questions when looking at figures for costs awards at Traffic Penalty Tribunals... both London and TPT show similar imbalance.
Motorist gets a costs award and it works out at a few hours (£19/h) plus minor incidentals.
Councils get significantly more, I can only assume professional fees plus loads more hours "preparing" paperwork.
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TryOut
post Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 08:53
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Unless the agencies prosecuting have found a magic formula that allows them to function at no cost why should anyone but the guilty party pay?
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The Rookie
post Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 10:37
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No one has said they shouldn't pay, they were querying the amount which is far from being the same thing.

There is also the principle stated clearly in Dove ( R v Northallerton Magistrates' Court, ex parte Dove (1999)) that "The costs and fine should be kept in step " (The 'in step" wording coming also from to R v Whalley 1972 and R v Nottingham Magistrates' Court, ex parte Fohmann (1987)). and that "When one comes to the question of costs, again the award of costs should not be used as a means of punishing the defendant for having elected to go to trial." noting that it also says in counterpoint "on the other hand, it is perfectly right to say of a man who has elected to go for trial that if the case is one in which the costs of the prosecution should fall on the defendant".


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cp8759
post Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 16:22
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QUOTE (TryOut @ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 09:53) *
Unless the agencies prosecuting have found a magic formula that allows them to function at no cost why should anyone but the guilty party pay?

Well as I said, a local council was looking for £1,500 for a guilty plea, which the CPS charge at £85.

I can understand a council isn't a dedicated prosecuting agency, and it cannot benefit from the expertise and economies off scale of the CPS, so I can well see how it might work out a bit more expensive; if they asked for £150 or £200 I wouldn't think much of it. But to ask for £1,500 for a guilty plea makes me think something's not quite right.


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No, I am not a lawyer.
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southpaw82
post Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 16:30
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IIRC, the basis of assessment is different depending on the identity of the prosecutor.


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cp8759
post Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 23:47
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 17:30) *
IIRC, the basis of assessment is different depending on the identity of the prosecutor.

I'm curious, why would that be?


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southpaw82
post Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 10:33
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QUOTE (cp8759 @ Sun, 25 Aug 2019 - 00:47) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 24 Aug 2019 - 17:30) *
IIRC, the basis of assessment is different depending on the identity of the prosecutor.

I'm curious, why would that be?

No idea. I’d imagine the answer (if my recollection is correct) will be in the POA1985 and regulations.


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NewJudge
post Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 17:23
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A big difference, I think is that the CPS ask for "a contribution towards prosecution costs" as do Railway companies (albeit a higher amount). Other prosecuting authorities (e.g. Local Authorities prosecuting Environmental Health matters) ask for their full costs. The RSPCA seem to incur particularly high costs and usually ask for the lot.

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southpaw82
post Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 17:25
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 18:23) *
The RSPCA seem to incur particularly high costs and usually ask for the lot.

And quite often get appealed.


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The Rookie
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 02:05
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 17:25) *
QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 - 18:23) *
The RSPCA seem to incur particularly high costs and usually ask for the lot.

And quite often get appealed.

Successfully or unsuccessfully?


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southpaw82
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 08:35
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Both.


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The Rookie
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 10:37
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Fair enough.....

I guess the issue there is that most people with an RSPCA prosecuted offence may not want to have any more publicity around it by appealing it!


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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southpaw82
post Tue, 27 Aug 2019 - 12:31
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I think people are motivated to appeal because of the large costs the RSPCA often ask for and get.


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