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Enforcement agents for Failure to Identify Driver, Change in registered keeper address
Viddy
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 17:36
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Hi all,

Thank you in advance for any advice - I greatly appreciate it!

I have received a letter from the enforcement agents with a fine of £1,121 regarding a Failure to Identify Driver. This is the first letter I have received regarding anything to do with proceedings against me, hence I was completely shocked.

Upon calling the enforcement agents:
- They have been sending all correspondence to my previous address (moved out of that address on the 25th September 2016). I went to my old address and was informed that a bailiff did ask for me, but they didn't have any letters for me so I couldn't obtain the original NIP etc. I applied to update the address on my registered keeper logbook by mid-October 2016 and received it by the 3rd week of October 2016. I can only presume that the address they obtained from DVLA was within this interim period. Does this make me liable?

- They are unable to tell me what the offence specifically was, or on what date. I asked for further details and they have informed me that my case is on hold for 21 days until they are able to obtain more information from the court. However, they are repeatedly saying they don't get involved in disputes and hence get limited information on the offence in question. I have been informed to call back regularly regarding any further information.

- They are able to tell me that the sentencing date was 28th March 2017 and in Lavender Hill Magistrates Court.

I am aware that I have to submit a statutory declaration but I am unsure if I should simply get a lawyer from now on to deal with this. The fees for the lawyer are similar to the fine imposed (£800 + VAT), hence the uncertainty. However, any conviction in the Magistrates Court is a criminal conviction and as a medical student myself, this could be very problematic for my future career as a doctor so on balance, I'm not sure if it's worth just paying a lawyer.

This is my draft declaration, anything in brackets are facts I am unsure of as the enforcement agents are able to get me limited information.

I, Miss _________ of: ____________

DO SOLEMNLY AND SINCERELY DECLARE THAT:

I had no prior knowledge of any correspondence from Lavender Hill Magistrates Court following an offence on (enter date - have not been told this) for (enter offence: have not been told this). From information provided to me today by the Enforcement Agents I am informed that a hearing for this matter was held in my absence on the 28th March 2017 where I was fined £1,121 with costs of (enter amount - unsure?) and (unsure if any points were taken from my license as the agents are unable to tell me this) The reference number for this case is: _________

AND THAT: 

Notification of this fine first came to my attention on 18th September 2017 when a letter was delivered in the post. This letter stated that Marston Group Ltd was in possession of a court order (Warrant of Control) that allowed Enforcement Agents to visit me within 14 days.

Upon enquiring with Marston Group Ltd over the telephone, I was informed that all previous correspondence had been sent to a previous address that I moved out of in 25th September 2016.

I am a medical student studying at university and am unable to afford to pay the fine. I genuinely do not remember receiving documentation concerning this fine aside from the letter mentioned above. 

I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

___________________

Do let me know if there's anything else I should add/change to this declaration, and if I'd like a solicitor to witness this - do I simply make an appointment with a solicitor and pay £5, I'm unsure of the process involved.

Viddy smile.gif

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post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 17:36
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iwt
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 18:10
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Shouldn't need a solicitor.
Give Lavender Hill a bell and they can arrange an appointment to get your statutory declaration witnessed there.
If they're organised, they should be able to tell you what the underlying offence was.
https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/...gistrates-court
They may ask how you plead to the original charges, always go not guilty to both.
Unless they offer to drop the failure to furnish in exchange for a guilty plea to whatever the underlying offence was.
But if they don't offer, go not guilty to both on the basis you wish to discuss a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Do not plead guilty to one offence without the offer!
Historically, this sort of plea-bargain normally gets agreed with the prosecutor on the morning before the hearing outside the courtroom. But it seems to be almost common practice and doesn't seem to matter if it's done inside the courtroom now...

Finally, when you go guilty for the underlying offence, you can ask (but probably won't get) for the fixed-penalty equivalent because you didn't get the paperwork. But don't ask, don't get...
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Viddy
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 19:02
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Thank you iwt. That all makes sense. Just one point - I've read online that one shouldn't go to the court and do the statutory declaration:

"DO NOT repeat, DO NOT take it in person to the magistrates court.

Court staff will make you book an appointment to make your statutory declaration. This is a ruse to get you into court so they can re-convict you a kangaroo proceeding to reinstate the fine and continue with the enforcement where it left off.

This policy has NOT been approved by Parliament. Court Service do it to protect the commercial interests of the bailiff company.

You must send it to the magistrates court by RECORDED DELIVERY."

Any thoughts on this?
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Jlc
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 19:22
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QUOTE (Viddy @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:02) *
Any thoughts on this?

Yes, it's rubbish.

There may be a possibility of an immediate 'plea bargain'* (if you want to accept the underlying charge if you were driving) or you simply plead not guilty and they adjourn for a trial.

* assuming both offences are on the table.

QUOTE (Viddy @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:02) *
I've read online...

Go on, where?

This post has been edited by Jlc: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 19:17


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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cp8759
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 19:38
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QUOTE (Viddy @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:02) *
Any thoughts on this?


Yes, the style of language is somewhat similar to that of the Freemen on The Land lunatics. Whatever the source of that information is, ignore everything it says. In actual fact, the Magistrates Courts' act reasonably and impartially in the vast majority of cases.
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Viddy
post Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:15
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:22) *
QUOTE (Viddy @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:02) *
Any thoughts on this?

Yes, it's rubbish.

There may be a possibility of an immediate 'plea bargain'* (if you want to accept the underlying charge if you were driving) or you simply plead not guilty and they adjourn for a trial.

* assuming both offences are on the table.

QUOTE (Viddy @ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 - 20:02) *
I've read online...

Go on, where?


Alright - thanks all, I shall make an appointment for my statutory declaration.

I read it here when I was just googling S172's and statutory declarations:

http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/Court...ss-Bailiffs.htm
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Viddy
post Thu, 28 Sep 2017 - 16:52
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Hi everyone,

My appointment for a Stat Dec is on the 11th October 2017 (this is actually 23 days after I found out about the conviction but I have called the court and they have reassured me that I simply have to explain myself to the magistrates - essentially that I called a few days after I found out and this was the earliest date the court could accommodate me)

My original offence is for 44 on a 30mph zone - caught on 28th September 2016

The speeding charge has been dropped, so it's not a dual charge. One solicitor I spoke to also mentioned that dual charging is unlikely in the London courts, and especially since its past the 6 month deadline it is likely they won't be able to plea bargain with me to plead guilty to speeding in order to drop the S172. This is kind of what I was hoping for.. having read successful cases on this forum of this happening..

Speaking to a few solicitors, I have been told I should take paperwork to the Stat Dec with me to defend my case, as they (unsure if this is prosecutor or someone else) will ask me questions that could incriminate me/make for an easier conviction. I'm just slightly unsure what sort of paperwork this involves: Current rental agreement showing move in date, V5C, Letter from current tenants of previous flat saying they forwarded me all the mail they received.. Anything else? What should I say if they just keep asking me why I didn't update my V5C (because I hold my hands up about that.. totally my mistake)


Speaking to the solicitors has got me a bit confused.. I'm unsure whether I should call up/write to the CPS and see if I can plead guilty to speeding prior to Stat Dec?

I'm also unsure of what my chances are of defending myself under the S. 172(7)(b) provides that it is a defence if you can prove that it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information within the 28 days and either that it was provided as soon as was reasonably practicable afterwards, or that it was not reasonably practicable to provide it at all. Should I respond saying that I was the driver, and if so who do I address this to?

Apologies for the barrage of questions - my head is a bit all over the place at the moment.
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Viddy
post Thu, 28 Sep 2017 - 18:18
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Another question - should I reply to the police identifying myself as the driver of the vehicle speeding - so that I essentially provide the details? If so, which specific branch do I address this to - my offence was in Putney..

As the speeding charge has been dropped, I don't know whether this is appropriate?
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Jlc
post Thu, 28 Sep 2017 - 18:29
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It's too late to name the driver now.

The speeding charge will have been 'dropped' due to lack of evidence (as to the driver) but that doesn't mean it can't be resurrected. (Presuming it was originally dual charged before the 6 months deadline)


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 06:00
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The speeding charge can only be 'dropped' if it was there in the first place, so unless dropped in this case means never picked up in the first place, the plea bargain is still an option and the preferred route in most cases.


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

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
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Jlc
post Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 15:20
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Indeed - although dual-charging is not always done, sometimes the s172 charge is the only one.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Viddy
post Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 16:00
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I was given a number to contact the CPS when I called up the court. Should I call them up prior to my Stat Dec appointment on the 11th Oct, and explain my case/say I'd be happy to plead guilty to speeding? Or can I only make representations to them after my Stat Dec.

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andy_foster
post Fri, 29 Sep 2017 - 19:22
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If you can get someone to discuss the matter with you over the phone and agree to the 'plea bargain' (technically it's not a plea bargain), then that's great. We are not aware of anyone who has succeeded in doing so, however the 'stock advice' seems to be that it can't be done, so perhaps the lack of reported success is due to nobody trying?


--------------------
Andy

Millenial (noun): a person who is offended at being told "Suck it up, buttercup"
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Dwain
post Sun, 1 Oct 2017 - 16:13
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 - 19:29) *
It's too late to name the driver now.

The speeding charge will have been 'dropped' due to lack of evidence (as to the driver) but that doesn't mean it can't be resurrected. (Presuming it was originally dual charged before the 6 months deadline)


Is there not a requirement to respond to a 172 notice as soon as you become aware of it? As the OP has just become aware of this requirement would it not be prudent to respond to it. Then at least they can state honestly that they responded with 28 days of being notified of the 172 notice?

Dwain
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The Rookie
post Sun, 1 Oct 2017 - 19:44
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You are correct, but how will that actually help the OP? If he were defending the S172 it's pretty unlikely they wou,d convict him if they believed the original wasn't recieved but convict anyway because he now hadn't replied. If he does the plea bargain it's irrelevant.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Sun, 1 Oct 2017 - 19:44


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

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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Viddy
post Mon, 9 Oct 2017 - 14:55
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Hello all - my stat dec is tomorrow, and I called up the court a while back when I realised my stat dec was actually 23 days after I'd received the letter (18th September 2017), but she said as long as you can explain yourself to the magistrates that you contacted the court much earlier and this was the earliest appointment available and that apparently in a lot of cases she'd seen the timings had been well over 21 days so it should be fine.. as she essentially couldn't rearrange it any earlier.

This is a statement I have written to provide an explanation if anyone has time to skim over it, that would be awesome:

On 18th September 2017, I received a letter at my current address from the enforcement agents Collectica ltd informing me that their ‘tracing and investigations unit’ had traced my address and informed me of a fine of £1,121 that I was required to pay within 14 days.

I had no knowledge of what this was regarding. After making enquiries by calling the enforcement agents I was informed that on 28th March 2017 I was sentenced and convicted in court in my absence due to a ‘failure to identify driver’ offence. Having never been involved in dealings with the court before, I had no knowledge of what course of action to take. I asked the enforcement agents to provide further details of the offence and they put my case on hold until they could obtain further details such as when the offence occurred and which court had sentenced me. They asked me to call back in a week.

Upon calling on the Friday, 22nd September 2017 I was informed that it was _______ Magistrates Court, but they were unable to provide any further details regarding the original offence. My online research led me to the process of statutory declarations, and I duly called the court on Monday 25th September 2017 to book an appointment, and the earliest date I was given to make my statutory declaration was the 11th October 2017.

I also called up the court again after realising that the 11th October would be 23 days after the letter I received, but the court clerk on the phone reassured me in saying that if I had called up the court as soon as was practically possible after being made aware of the proceedings to make arrangements for a statutory declaration, this should not be a hindering factor in my statutory declaration being accepted by the Magistrates Court.
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The Rookie
post Tue, 10 Oct 2017 - 03:15
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She was correct, a stat dec can be made at any time but MUST be accepted if made within 21 days, as you have a perfectly valid reason for being just outside that then it is 99.99% certain it won't be an issue.

I wouldn't have that statement at all, it won't be needed to be honest.


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

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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Rallyman72
post Tue, 10 Oct 2017 - 12:32
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http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/ is registered to a Jason Bailey. He is said to be somewhat 'out of touch' with the correct court processes. This might explain a little more; http://www.quatloos.com/Q-Forum/viewtopic....it=Jason+Bailey

WARNING - that link contains a large number of moderator edits as it turned into a bit of a flame war but there is still enough there to show that this guy is assessed by many as pretty clueless.

This post has been edited by Rallyman72: Tue, 10 Oct 2017 - 12:33


--------------------
The accident was caused by cockpit thrombosis - a dangerous clot between seatback and steering wheel ...

1. Read this first
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Parking tickets - council - 0, Rallyman - 1
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Viddy
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 17:48
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Hello All,
At my stat dec today - I managed to get the failure to furnish dropped in exchange for a £185 fine and 4 points on my license.

Thank you to everyone that helped me, as without you all I would have had no idea of the first thing to do when I received the initial letter!
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Jlc
post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 18:05
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Result - don't believe everything you read on the Internet... wink.gif


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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