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80+ bus lane fines - did not receive any letters
danzzz
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 01:03
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Hello,

I'm in dire need of some advice here regarding 80+ bus lane fines that I have acquired over the past year, of which I had not received a single letter to my address.

I am a 22-year-old student studying in Manchester at the moment, using my father's VW Polo to commute. Since September 2017, I have stupidly been caught driving on bus lanes over 80 times.

Because the vehicle was registered to my father, I did not receive a single letter regarding my recurring mistakes. My father did not receive any letters either, because he had relocated to Pakistan and left the car in my hands. He failed to update the DVLA or any councils that he had made the move, and that his previous address was no longer occupied by him.

Over the past few months, my mother and I have had to pay around £3500 for around 20 of these fines that had gone to the late and debt collection stage. We did not receive any letters regarding any of this because my father's previous property is now being rented by tenants, with whom I have never had any contact. I have no idea who they are. The only reason I paid was because they threatened to arrest my father, if he were to return to the UK. I'm now beginning to question whether this claim has any legal standing at all.

As unfortunate as this situation was, I thought everything was in the clear after having paid £3500 and being forced to move out of Manchester and move back in with my mother due to these fines.

However, I inquired with Manchester City Council again to double check whether everything was sorted. They replied saying that there was an additional 60+ fines still on the system registered to this vehicle.

I have phoned them up and the fines have been put on hold for now. They are asking for the registered keeper to contact them (they think this is still my father), however I have changed the V5C registration over to my name. Besides, it was me who committed these offences in the first place. My father has not been in the UK for 3+ years.

I have given Manchester City Council all of my savings and have had to borrow £1500+ from my mother to pay off the initial fines. I cannot afford to have to pay off another 60+ fines, I simply have no money left and do not earn much as I am a student.


Thank you for any advice.

Dan

This post has been edited by danzzz: Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 01:07
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post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 01:03
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hcandersen
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 07:18
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Can we separate the moral from the legal.

In law, the only person liable for the penalties is the owner, presumed to be the registered keeper unless the contrary can be shown.

So, who owns the vehicle?

If not you, then you have no legal liability, neither does your mother.

According to you, your father owns the vehicle, it is registered in his name to an address where he does not live, the vehicle is not and for some time has not been kept at that address.

So, you and your father had been playing fast and loose with the law on registration of vehicles, but this is a different matter. You have now registered the vehicle in your name, but this has NO effect on what happened prior to this change.

And as regards your account, how were you contacted by debt collectors, you say you've never received any notices?

Stop paying until you've clarified matters, and stop driving in bus lanes.

This post has been edited by hcandersen: Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 07:20
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cp8759
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 11:02
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I hate to say this but you didn't need to pay them a penny, legally your father was liable and if he had left the UK, the council would have eventually written them off anyway. The fact that you were the person actually driving the vehicle is irrelevant, liability lies with the owner, who is presumed in law to be the registered keeper unless the contrary is shown.

This also means all the paperwork must have been in your father's name, which makes me wonder why you decided to pay in the first place.


--------------------
I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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Earl Purple
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 11:06
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What is the situation exactly if the registered keeper of a car driven in this country is living in a different country.

We've had cases before of this being a civil issue and the registered keeper being overseas. I'm not sure why OP decided he could drive in bus lanes so many times, but if the person to be chased for debt is the father in Pakistan then presumably everything should have been sent his way and let them send the bailiffs out there.

I think this general topic needs to be raised in Flame Pit, but now we have to handle this specific case.

Car is in OPs name now and he lives here so will be responsible for anything he does from that point on.
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Neil B
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 11:47
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How are MCC even talking to him?


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QUOTE (DancingDad @ Fri, 11 May 2018 - 12:30) *
Neil is good at working backwards.

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hcandersen
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 11:56
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then presumably everything should have been sent his way ....

It was presumably. All to the only address held by the state which was the one given by the father i.e. the property which is now occupied by tenants.

The reason agents discover a different address is normally because their livelihoods depend on it and they get off their butts to find out.
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Incandescent
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 15:07
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QUOTE (hcandersen @ Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 11:56) *
then presumably everything should have been sent his way ....

It was presumably. All to the only address held by the state which was the one given by the father i.e. the property which is now occupied by tenants.

The reason agents discover a different address is normally because their livelihoods depend on it and they get off their butts to find out.

With ANPR it's quite easy, especially with somebody like our OP who clearly drives regularly along certain Manchester streets. You just hang around at a suitable point, pick it up on ANPR and follow the car until you get to an address. Ask a few questions of the neighbours and Boom, you have found somebody who you hope is the owner.
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hcandersen
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 15:30
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Agreed. The OP would have left some tell-tale clues such as always driving in the same bus lane between 2 and 3 on Thursdays.

This wouldn't even be a half-pipe problem; leave the violin its case.
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