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coffee pot
post Sun, 8 Apr 2018 - 11:44
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I passed a camera van on 10 Sept 2017. I received an NIP within a couple of days and replied to that with a letter of explanation clearly identifying myself as the driver. I heard nothing more until I received a letter dated 26 March 2018 with a summons for exceeding the speed limit and a contravention of S172 - not identifying the driver. Unfortunately I was away over Easter and only opened it on my return. They also enclosed a copy of my letter, so I know it was received. There are several questions arising from this, but the first one I would appreciate thoughts on are the period of time that has elapsed is it is over 6 months from the alleged offence to the letter being sent to me - and thus presumably before notifying a Court. Is this still valid?
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post Sun, 8 Apr 2018 - 11:44
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The Rookie
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 09:57
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 09:20) *
Surely whatever method is being used, the court must be informed of the proposed action within six months mustn't it?

The Criminal Procedure Rules 2015
QUOTE
(b)an authorised prosecutor must issue a written charge, not more than 6 months after the offence alleged.

It doesn't look like it. (my emphasis).

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 09:58


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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!

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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 10:40
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 05:24) *
Were talking charge certificates though not information being laid?

I refer you to section 30(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003:" any reference (however expressed) which is or includes a reference to an information within the meaning of section 1 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43) (or to the laying of such an information) is to be read as including a reference to a written charge (or to the issue of a written charge),"


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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.
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The Rookie
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 10:54
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Indeed and that confirms it as issue not laid?

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 10:56


--------------------
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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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 11:00
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 11:54) *
Indeed and that confirms it as issue not laid?

Yes, so as long as it was issued within six months, it's not out of time.


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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.
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NewJudge
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 11:12
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Thanks for the added info.

I'm sure DJ Abselon examined all the relevant legislation carefully when he reached his decision. That being the case it seems to me that, as the legislation stands, there is nothing to prevent a prosecutor "issuing" the documents required under a SJP but then doing nothing with them until he feels like it. It seems he need not serve those documents either on the accused or on the court. All he needs to do is to "issue" them (whatever that might mean). This puts a prosecutor using the SJP at a considerable advantage over those using the "traditional" method, where an information has to be laid with the court within six months.
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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 11:32
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QUOTE (NewJudge @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 12:12) *
Thanks for the added info.

I'm sure DJ Abselon examined all the relevant legislation carefully when he reached his decision. That being the case it seems to me that, as the legislation stands, there is nothing to prevent a prosecutor "issuing" the documents required under a SJP but then doing nothing with them until he feels like it. It seems he need not serve those documents either on the accused or on the court. All he needs to do is to "issue" them (whatever that might mean). This puts a prosecutor using the SJP at a considerable advantage over those using the "traditional" method, where an information has to be laid with the court within six months.

Up to a point. It has been held that if the prosecutor obtains a summons before he has decided whether he's actually going to prosecute or not, that is an abuse of process. So unlike in civil cases, where you can issue protective proceedings to stop time running out under the Limitation Act 1980, you can't get a summons in a criminal case just in case you decide to go ahead. Also if the delay is very significant that might itself amount to a good reason for the court to grant a stay, either because a fair trial is no longer possible, or because the delay caused by the prosecutor amounts to an abuse of process; however for that line of argument to work the delay would have to be years rather than months.


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NewJudge
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 13:43
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Thanks for that additional explanation, cp.

I wasn't thinking of the circumstances where a "protective" SJPN might be issued but rather where a definite decision to prosecute has been taken but the prosecutor has been somewhat negligent in getting matters moving. It seems to me that a coach and horses has been driven through the six-month rule because there is no deadline for prosecutors to make their intentions known to the court. Under the traditional route an information laid beyond six months (whenever it may have been "issued") renders the prosecution out of time. But it seems there is no equivalent barrier under the SJP. I know there is no point in prosecutors delaying a prosecution for any longer than is necessary but there seems no protection for the accused. He should be able to expect that if no action is laid with the court within six months then no action is possible.
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cp8759
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 14:16
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Well you could argue this at infinitum, on one hand you can say that the courts should give a purposive interpretation to the legislation, and read into the statue words to the effect that the court must be informed of the proceedings within six months, on the other hand knowledge of all laws is imputed on everyone, so you could argue that the accused is deemed to know about section 30(5)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the legislation should be strictly constructed based on the plain meaning of its words. What approach the wise and learned judges of the High Court will take is impossible to predict with certainty.

However the key issue for me is this: As I understand it, the written charge & requisition / SJPN is transmitted to the court immediately when it is issued, or in any event on the day it is issued, and the prosecutor can access the court's diary for this purpose. If this wasn't the case, how would the prosecutor know that on such and such a day there's time in the court diary? how could the court avoid over-bookings for the day if the information wasn't sent to the court immediately? You could end up with a whole bunch of public prosecutors overbooking for the same hearing, plus one or more private prosecutions also obtaining summonses for the same hearing (as the clerk who issues summonses wouldn't at that point know that public prosecutors have issued a bunch of requisitions for the same hearing), the magistrates' courts would be even more chaotic than they already are.

If I am correct (I'm waiting to get definitive confirmation), the whole issue is entirely academic as the written charge is always sent to the court immediately, probably before it is even printed off.


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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.
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NewJudge
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 15:45
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Thanks again, cp, in particular for this (of which I was not aware):

QUOTE
As I understand it, the written charge & requisition / SJPN is transmitted to the court immediately when it is issued, or in any event on the day it is issued,...

If I am correct (I'm waiting to get definitive confirmation), the whole issue is entirely academic as the written charge is always sent to the court immediately, probably before it is even printed off.


I was unaware of the mechanics involved and had visions of prosecutors with quill pens writing their SJPNs out before carefully blotting them, only then to drop them down the back of their desk to be discovered by the cleaner a few months later (or something like that) biggrin.gif

If the process works as you describe then the issue date is all that matters.

This post has been edited by NewJudge: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 15:46
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mrmk
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 16:39
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I was to think it has to be issued to both the court and the defendant within 6 months otherwise they could slap it on the defendant literally a week before the hearing, giving them only a week to find £1k+ for legal representation or to go in unprepared whereas they would've had months to prepare - unfair isn't it?
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peterguk
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 16:49
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QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:39) *
otherwise they could slap it on the defendant literally a week before the hearing


Would never happen.


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mrmk
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:19
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:49) *
QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:39) *
otherwise they could slap it on the defendant literally a week before the hearing


Would never happen.


It's happening with me, received a postal requisition on the 6th of April with the court date set at 16th of April
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666
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:47
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QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 18:19) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:49) *
QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:39) *
otherwise they could slap it on the defendant literally a week before the hearing


Would never happen.


It's happening with me, received a postal requisition on the 6th of April with the court date set at 16th of April

But ten days is not a week, literally or otherwise wink.gif
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mrmk
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:49
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QUOTE (666 @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 18:47) *
QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 18:19) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:49) *
QUOTE (mrmk @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 17:39) *
otherwise they could slap it on the defendant literally a week before the hearing


Would never happen.


It's happening with me, received a postal requisition on the 6th of April with the court date set at 16th of April

But ten days is not a week, literally or otherwise wink.gif


I can detect the humour but even then, only 6 working days to work matters out is simply unfair don't you agree?
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The Rookie
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 18:05
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But it’s only for pleading, you’ve had a fair while to decide what way you’ll plead, a trial comes later and you’ll have plenty of time. Not that it’s at all relevant to this thread.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 20:09


--------------------
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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mrmk
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 18:17
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Regarding this thread, I was pointed here to learn whether issue legally means to the court only or to the defendant too
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coffee pot
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 19:20
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I have now reviewed the paperwork. It states a printing date of 26/3/18, but a charge date (is that the same as issue date?) of 1/3/18. As I say, this sat at home for 2 weeks because I was away. I have contacted a solicitor today who is a friend to ask about a specialist in motoring law, but I haven't had a reply yet. They appear to have sat on it for 3 weeks before sending it to me. I now have 4 working days to sort a response out.
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andy_foster
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 19:39
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QUOTE (coffee pot @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 20:20) *
I have now reviewed the paperwork. It states a printing date of 26/3/18,


Does it really?


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Andy

Millenial (noun): a person who is offended at being told "Suck it up, buttercup"
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coffee pot
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 19:44
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QUOTE (andy_foster @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 20:39) *
QUOTE (coffee pot @ Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 20:20) *
I have now reviewed the paperwork. It states a printing date of 26/3/18,


Does it really?

Sorry, posting date.
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notmeatloaf
post Mon, 9 Apr 2018 - 20:30
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Maybe you could scan the document and put it up with personal details removed.

It would be very difficult for a document to print a posting date as by definition it is already in an envelope when that is known.
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