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Slithy Tove
Hi from a newbie

Sorry, but this will be long, because I live permanently in Thailand.

I have a problem with an unknown MS90 and have been slapped with 6 points and a £600 fine at Gateshead Mags court. I have checked the new .GOV website and the details are –
Offence date 22 Oct 2014. MS90 – Failure to give information as to identity of driver … etc. Six points and £600 fine! I was in a hire car - see below.

I knew nothing about this until today when a ‘friend’ (B) whose other friend (G) should have been forwarding post to me (but obviously didn’t) suddenly emailed me with this, hence my panic. He told me he had a letter from G dated 27th MAY (6 WEEKS!) from the DVLA asking for confirmation of my address, and referring to a court hearing dated 20th May this year, in Gateshead. This mail forwarding has been a nightmare, with things not posted to me or scanned and emailed. More explanation below.

To start – I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne where my mum and younger brother still live. I come over to visit them and my adult children every few years. In Jan 1968 at almost 19, I moved to Wolverhampton where I married, had a family and stayed until 2004. In 2004, I came to Thailand. Before I left, I changed my licence and many other personal details to my brother’s address near Newcastle. So far, so good.

However, 3 or 4 years ago, my brother (in Newcastle) and I had a fall out. He seems to have some mental health issues and is very erratic and unreliable. Just after then, I came back for a month’s holiday with my then fiancée to visit my children in Wolves and my mum in Newcastle.

A friend (B) in Wolverhampton got me B&B with a friend of his (G) and suggested I change all my details from my brother to his friend’s G’s address so I could minimise contact with my brother. I did this, licence, bank, insurances etc. Further, my fiancée and I had in mind to possibly move back to the UK in the then near future, and G had said we could stay with her temporarily until we found a place to live. Hence, this was my UK base and address for all purposes at that time.

We returned to Thailand and visited the UK again in 2013, all fine. However, correspondence stopped being sent out to me, and the whole of B’s idea fell apart. Both he and G had fallen out and anyway, were utterly useless and unreliable. I have changed most of my personal details to my Thai address (I’ll never return to the UK apart from holidays) but I have never changed my driving licence – where to? I only come over every few years so what’s the point? I have used the same car hire company for many years and they are quite happy with the licence address, and know I live abroad.

Although, B and G had a fall-out and don’t speak, he rents her garage for storage, where she puts any letters for me. He is supposed to get them but rarely goes now, it seems. Waste of time.

Sorry for all this background detail, chaps, but it is relevant to what comes below.

Last July, I had an urgent family crisis and had to get over to the UK quickly, and alone. I was there between 10 July and 3 August so I could take in my mum’s 96th birthday. During that time, it would seem that I committed a traffic offence, probably caught on a camera.

However, I have little knowledge of changes to UK driving law after so long here, apart from what I have read here. Obviously I have never seen a copy of the s172 request, nor any evidence of the purported offence so I have no idea where it took place, or when. I was certainly in the Tyneside area about 22nd July and a few days before and after, but I have no idea where I was on any given day or time. My mum was then 96, almost house-bound, and I did take her shopping to various places, but certainly not to Gateshead. I don’t think I’ve been in Gateshead for 20 or more years. I really can’t remember at all where we went, on what day or at what time. Just shopping on the outskirts of Newcastle, I think – certainly not Gateshead.

It would seem from the .GOV website that the OFFENCE date was on 22 Oct 2014, so there must have been letters from the police or whoever to G’s address, probably more than one. Then there would have been an NIP from the police, and then a court summons letter and then another with the fine etc. However, the court case was heard on 20th May this year.

NOW, this is odd and begs the question – the OFFENCE date was 22 Oct 14, but I was not in the UK then and I can prove I was in Thailand on that date. Could it have been another driver of the same hire car in the same area in October, or have the court or car hire company messed up? Or is the offence date that of by when the s172 was not returned? Probably the latter, but I’m confused.

Now G has received this letter from the DVLA dated 27 May but only seen by B yesterday, 7 July! I am in a quandary as to what to do. I will call the court later today, (we’re 6 hours ahead) and explain the situation.

Reading a thread on this forum earlier, it mentions that I might have to make a Statutory Declaration, but would have to attend court as well. Is there any way I could get out of that, given the distance?

There are other issues – the car hire company must have been contacted to get my name and address, but I spoke to them on another matter recently and the manager didn’t mention anything. If I try to hire a car from them again, is this conviction likely to be a problem in hiring? Since the paper licence was discontinued, they have to call the DVLA to get a code, I understand. Should I call them and explain what’s happened? Someone there must have had a request from the police or whoever.

Further, what about my UK licence? I’m not resident any longer, (but now I am married, I might come to live in the UK in the near-ish future) so could it be taken away? I do have a pal who might be prepared to let me use his address but he may not want any potential hassle. If I can’t supply a UK address, what then?

Further, the court will no doubt be contacting this lady G at some stage, and wanting to enforce the fine. She has my Thai address and I suppose she could just provide them with that, but then there’s the knock-on effect of if I try to enter the country and there’s some flag on my passport and I get hassle on entry.

I don’t want to just ignore all this, but it’s very worrying from 6,000+ miles away and might impact further visits. I can send the court a copy of my last entry stamp into Thailand (last August) and my retirement visa plus a copy of my rental agreement here, and a letter from my landlord, who is a minor Thai royal and an Air Chief Marshall in the Thai air force.

This is a nightmare, and some urgent advice is required!

Thanks for your patience, chaps. Sorry for the length and the panic …

Edit - I managed to catch B 15 minutes ago (at 8.15, the UK is 6 hours behind) and he swears that letter I referred to from the DVLA is the first of any correspondence that has ever been received (or at least seen by him) on this subject. He swears he checks G's garage at least once a week and has never seen anything. So where has it gone? I suspect that G, who has financial problems, may have seen the court address and just binned it ...
Jlc
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 08:41) *
NOW, this is odd and begs the question – the OFFENCE date was 22 Oct 14, but I was not in the UK then and I can prove I was in Thailand on that date. Could it have been another driver of the same hire car in the same area in October, or have the court or car hire company messed up? Or is the offence date that of by when the s172 was not returned? Probably the latter, but I’m confused.

A s172 (name the driver) request has a time limit of 28 days to respond. If a response is not made then the offence occurs at that point. Given a hire car is involved then it can take many weeks before a request finds its way to you (or more precisely the address the hire company have given back to the authorities). Being out of the country doesn't assist.

QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 08:41) *
Now G has received this letter from the DVLA dated 27 May but only seen by B yesterday, 7 July! I am in a quandary as to what to do. I will call the court later today, (we’re 6 hours ahead) and explain the situation.

Reading a thread on this forum earlier, it mentions that I might have to make a Statutory Declaration, but would have to attend court as well. Is there any way I could get out of that, given the distance?

A Statutory Declaration will remove the conviction as you were clearly unaware of it - you realistically have 21 days to do this. I'm not 100% sure of this but you should be able to get the declaration witnessed in Thailand and sent to the court. (See here - particularly the Notarial section)

...then it becomes a little more complex. The court proceedings are usually recommenced and the normal advice is to perform a 'plea bargain' to drop the (more serious) s172 charge in exchange for pleading guilty to the underlying speeding offence. This requires court attendance - you may have to consider contacting a solicitor in the UK to sort this for you. Obviously you can't respond to a request you didn't receive but things aren't always that straightforward.

You do have the option to 'fight' the s172 alone but can be riskier.
Slithy Tove
Many thanks for the reply Jlc.

I have had a day on the phone to England, twice to the court and once to the police traffic unit. The court have basically said what you have said. They were very helpful and told me all about the case, all the details. Apparently a car I was purportedly in was flashed doing 41 in a 30 limit. The hire company gave the police the wrong address, the one I left in 2004 when I came to Thailand and everything has been going there, and presumably binned. However, the hire company definitely photocopied my photo and paper licences in 2013 and 2014, so I suspect some clerk has messed up - I have used them for 20-25 years and they must have slipped up and sent the first address they saw in the file.

However, in the meantime, the court did a trace on me via HMRC and goodness knows who else and discovered my Thai address 2 weeks ago. So they have that on file now, and I have emailed them a copy of my tax documents with my Thai address from 2011 to date, and also a copy of my UK paper licence.

The court asked me to email them with my details and request that the case was put on hold until the SD could be sorted. Done already. Yes, I may have to go to the Embassy to have the SD witnessed - £55 for 5 minutes. Just paid that for my Affirmation of Freedom to Marry in January ...

The police didn't seem too interested in re-starting the case if I got an SD so maybe it will be dropped. Maybe. The lady officer there just said to email them with al the details and a senior officer might use his discretion to bin the case due to th distance and the fact I am not under UK legal jurisdiction. However, if they do resurrect the case, the fine would be £100 + 3 points.

I'll write to them explaining what happened and if the court throws out the case, and the police have to start from scratch, I'll ask them to use their discretion and bin it, due to my non-residence. If they get difficult, I may as well just pay the £100 fine - the 3 points don't matter to me. If needs really must, I'll just get a Thai licence and I already have an International Driving Permit so they can then stick it. The driving licence place is right opposite the end of my street. The test is almost non-existent, and if a Thai can pass the way they drive here ...

So it looks as if things will be OK, but it was a hell of a shock at 8 am in the morning ...

I was wondering - could the DVLA cancel my licence as I am not a full-time UK resident? If so, as above, I'll just get a Thai licence and use an IDP when in the UK.

Jlc
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 13:56) *
However, if they do resurrect the case, the fine would be £100 + 3 points.

Ok, good stuff on the rest of your post... If the matter is heard at court (for which it would have to be if they pursued) then there's no guarantee the fine would be equivalent to a fixed penalty (3 points/£100 as you note). There is provision in the sentencing for this but is not guaranteed:

QUOTE
where a penalty notice was not offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties, 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

silverfox60017
Why go through all this when you said you can prove you were in Thailand at the date of the offence. Surely this proof would be the end of the matter, or am i misreading something?
Jlc
QUOTE (silverfox60017 @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 19:40) *
Why go through all this when you said you can prove you were in Thailand at the date of the offence. Surely this proof would be the end of the matter, or am i misreading something?

Read my post.
d123
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 08:41) *
I don’t think I’ve been in Gateshead for 20 or more years. I really can’t remember at all where we went, on what day or at what time. Just shopping on the outskirts of Newcastle, I think – certainly not Gateshead.


The MetroCentre? If so, it's in Gateshead and the A1 Western Bypass in both directions around it have been infested with camera vans for years.
bama
QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 19:46) *
QUOTE (silverfox60017 @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 19:40) *
Why go through all this when you said you can prove you were in Thailand at the date of the offence. Surely this proof would be the end of the matter, or am i misreading something?

Read my post.


what was the date of the alleged speeding offence ?
The Rookie
The OP has a cast iron defence, the hire company saw his licence and then gave the wrong address to the Police, it was clearly not reasonable practicable for him to reply, as such hopefully we will see a break out of common sense and it quietly dropped.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (d123 @ Thu, 9 Jul 2015 - 03:51) *
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 08:41) *
I don’t think I’ve been in Gateshead for 20 or more years. I really can’t remember at all where we went, on what day or at what time. Just shopping on the outskirts of Newcastle, I think – certainly not Gateshead.


The MetroCentre? If so, it's in Gateshead and the A1 Western Bypass in both directions around it have been infested with camera vans for years.


No, hate the place. Been once years ago, never again. Have to drive past it to get to my mum's though and that's a pig at the best of times. Can't speed there anyway, too congested.

My mum likes Aldi at Westerhope, Lidl in Benwell and an occasional trip to Kingston Park. She's 97 and anxious in large crowds now, in case she gets jostled.

You are confusing the fact that the court hearing was in Gateshead (which is the regional centre dealing with all traffic offences), and that the alleged offence may have been committed there - it wasn't. I have learnt that it was in Gosforth High St, somewhere else littered with cameras. And I said 'certainly not Gateshead'. wink.gif
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 9 Jul 2015 - 04:58) *
The OP has a cast iron defence, the hire company saw his licence and then gave the wrong address to the Police, it was clearly not reasonable practicable for him to reply, as such hopefully we will see a break out of common sense and it quietly dropped.



I'm hoping so. I have sent a detailed explanation to the court and asked how I can make a Statutory Declaration - no reply so far, 2 days.

The helpful girl there did say that my email would be put before a Legal Officer who, I assume, would make a recommendation to the court. I did wonder if the court, of its own motion, would see that there was a cast-iron defence and revoke the verdict, points and fine and just send it back to the police, telling them to do a proper job next time.

Obviously, the initial error was with the hire company and I've spoken to them about it. The manager and I have known each other for years and I've used the company for at least 20 years on and off, both before I came to Thailand and I always use them when I visit as they do a good deal.

He looked up my entire hire history on their computer system as we spoke and agreed that they'd made a mistake. The last 3 hires over 4 years they have photocopied both my card and paper licence with the current address on, but a clerk must have just see the original pre-2004 address when replying to the police and so that's all the police went on.

I see a considerable systemic and procedural failure by the police, however. They seem to have a very blinkered, tram-line approach to getting drivers details. Surely after no replies to their request for driver details, THEY could have done a search at the DVLA in case the driver had moved, instead of leaving it to the court to do later. It would be a matter of minutes to them to get the DVLA to do a search - they had my name from the hire company after all, but they just passed the details on straight to the court and let them to the work later - lazy and unthinking.

Further, although it might cost a few bob, they could have simply asked West Midlands police to visit the address when they were passing, when out on normal patrol so they could verify if the driver was still living there, but that might take a bit of thinking, and that would never do ...

Frankly, I blame the police for not doing a thorough enough job in the first place, even though they were accidentally given duff info originally. After all, they ARE the police and surely one of their main tasks is to be actually able to trace a person ...? Well, you'd think so anyway.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (bama @ Thu, 9 Jul 2015 - 03:59) *
QUOTE (Jlc @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 19:46) *
QUOTE (silverfox60017 @ Wed, 8 Jul 2015 - 19:40) *
Why go through all this when you said you can prove you were in Thailand at the date of the offence. Surely this proof would be the end of the matter, or am i misreading something?

Read my post.


what was the date of the alleged speeding offence ?


At 9.59 am on 20th July 2014, the court tell me, and Northumberland police confirm.

QUOTE (silverfox60017 @ Thu, 9 Jul 2015 - 01:40) *
Why go through all this when you said you can prove you were in Thailand at the date of the offence. Surely this proof would be the end of the matter, or am i misreading something?


I didn't say I 'could prove' I was in Thailand at the time of the alleged offence. I said I LIVE in Thailand.

I was in the UK at the time of the alleged offence.

The problem is that the police asked the car hire people who was driving the car and they erroneously supplied my previous address where I lived in the UK BEFORE I moved to Thailand. That's what's caused all the problems and ended up with me getting an MS90. Plus the Plod not bothering to check with the DVLA when they'd received no response from their letter asking to name the driver. Instead, they just blundered on down the tramlines and after the MS90 was issued, the court had the sense to contact the DVLA to get the correct details.

They then did a trace through various Government agencies and discovered my Thai address. If they contact the Passport office, or Border agency, they'll find proof that I have lived in Thailand since 1 November 2004, and only return for short visits every couple of years. I'll even photocopy every damn page in my last 3 passports and let them sort out the entry and exit stamps for them to work out where I've been over the last almost 11 years!
Jlc
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 02:28) *
I have sent a detailed explanation to the court and asked how I can make a Statutory Declaration - no reply so far, 2 days.

The helpful girl there did say that my email would be put before a Legal Officer who, I assume, would make a recommendation to the court. I did wonder if the court, of its own motion, would see that there was a cast-iron defence and revoke the verdict, points and fine and just send it back to the police, telling them to do a proper job next time.
It's not up to the court to 'consider' whether you can make a SD. As long as you are within the period to do so and you were unaware of the conviction then the SD is just presented to the court - which is why you can get a witnessed statement (by a notary etc.) sent to the court to unwind the conviction.


QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 02:28) *
Frankly, I blame the police for not doing a thorough enough job in the first place, even though they were accidentally given duff info originally. After all, they ARE the police and surely one of their main tasks is to be actually able to trace a person ...? Well, you'd think so anyway.
The probably have slightly higher priorities than to chase a minor offence. Ok, things go 'wrong' but this is standard protocol stuff.

However, you do appear to have a good defence under s172(7)(b):
QUOTE
the person on whom the notice is served shall not be guilty of an offence under this section if he shows either that he gave the information as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of that period or that it has not been reasonably practicable for him to give it.
Slithy Tove
Thanks for the info.

I have been in touch with the court 10 minutes ago and my email was sent to a Legal Officer. They have decided to make 'further enquires' and will also contact the police concerned. I have been told to just wait until I get an email back with an answer. Hopefully, they'll revoke the conviction and it will all go away ...

I was going to ask how I went about making a Stat Dec, but the lady in the court told me that you have to physically attend and swear before a JP. It can be at any court in the UK and the papers would be sent to Gateshead court.

That is what they are trying to sort out now, the legal side of things.

It seems that I must make a personal appearance at any magistrate's court in the UK and be examined by a JP, who will then send the decision to the Gateshead court. They are working on a way to see how this can be done now.

I was reading something one the Consumer Action Group site and a chap posted this below -

Here's a brief description of the court procedure - which is a full blown court procedure complete with oath, self representation and questioning.

I was called into court half an hour before my case. I watched 2 defendants enter and leave the dock before me. They have solicitors/lawyers talking for them and are placed in the glass dock.

The court room is a normal day to day magistrates court room with a justice of the peace up on her desk at the end of the room and several advisers and secretaries just below her. There is a scattering of solicitors and next-in-line people at the back.

When doing a statutory declaration you have to speak for yourself.

When called to stand I was led to the witness stand opposite the dock to make the oath then to explain myself to the court. This description of events and questioning took about 20 minutes including my signing of the stat dec and then reading it back out loud to the court.

That's it. Very straight forward and easy. I suggest thinking through what you want to say and say it to yourself a few times beforehand then you don't have to think so much on the spot.

I wrote it all out on two sheets of A4 just in case I had a court room melt down!

Send a copy registered post to the original court and keep a copy for yourself in case the bailiffs are so stupid they ignore the courts decision. Then you can show it to them and video their expression for posterity!

Jlc
You simply need to swear that you were unaware of the conviction to a commissioner of the oaths and put it in writing and signed. You will need to ensure that persion is authorised to witness the declaration under English Law. (Certain embassy staff should be)

Good luck in getting the fee back.
Slithy Tove
Ah, your post must have arrived as I was editing mine above.

I was told that I must make a personal appearance, preferably at Gateshead but any court would do. I did tell the court staff that if it expedited matters, then I would plead guilty to the speeding charge and take my chances on the fine. maybe then they'd find a way to revoke the MS90, as they'd see I wasn't trying to wriggle out of everything.

No, I won't be pushing for the fee back! Although, strictly speaking I can. Depends how much they fine me ...

The daft this is, that if this happened in Thailand, (although they only have a few cameras) I would be stopped by a Thai cop and a fiver would make the whole thing go away! wink.gif

Edit - I have just come across this, but it doesn't seem to fit my case - https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/northampt...ry-declarations
Jlc
Ok, it seems to be moving. But strictly you don't have to attend court to perform a SD. (The courts should know better)
The Rookie
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 10:50) *
I have just come across this, but it doesn't seem to fit my case

In what way?
Slithy Tove
Read it.

It only says

'Filing statutory declarations & witness statements

If you wish to apply against the registration with the Court

There are different forms to complete depending on the date and type of contravention:

For a non-parking contravention (e.g. Bus lane) a Statutory Declaration (PE3) should be completed.
For a parking contravention, a Witness Statement (TE9) should be completed.
For a vehicle emission contravention, a Statutory Declaration (PE3 (vehicle emission)) should be completed:

Nothing to do with speeding or MS90s that I can see there.

The Rookie
That's because its for Northampton TEC, they don't do criminal convictions, so that advise doesn't apply to your case.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (Jlc @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 16:58) *
Ok, it seems to be moving. But strictly you don't have to attend court to perform a SD. (The courts should know better)


I hear what you say and I hope that's the case. I am going to phone the Embassy on Monday and ask if I write an affidavit whether they can hear my oath and do whatever they have to do, notarise it, whatever, to make it acceptable to the court.

I have emailed the court scanned copies of my January wedding official documents in Thai and an English translation, and a few photos of us in the registrar's office with the registrar in one of the pictures. I have also sent copies of my wife's change of surname to mine (it doesn't happen automatically on marriage here and many women retain their maiden name) again both in Thai and an English translation. I know this doesn't prove I've lived in Thailand for over 10 years, but it does prove my address is in the place I told them it was, because we were married in the local registry office and the name of the town is in the translation.

Further, I have sent them a copy of my passport visa page showing them I am here on a retirement visa (which shows permanency) and it also shows the date of last entry into Thailand (4th Aug 2014) and no exits since then.

Finally two letters from my landlord supporting my wife's previous visa applications in 2011 and 2013 which confirm the address here that I have already given them. I hope this will help sway them and do the trick!
southpaw82
A statutory declaration can be made before any commissioner for oaths, as already said. Regardless of what the lady at the court (who isn't a lawyer) may think, that is the law - s. 18 Statutory Declarations Act 1835.
Jlc
Indeed, don't let it 'time out' by waiting for the court.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 17:17) *
That's because its for Northampton TEC, they don't do criminal convictions, so that advise doesn't apply to your case.


Yup, I'd gathered that, so read my post again
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 17:54) *
A statutory declaration can be made before any commissioner for oaths, as already said. Regardless of what the lady at the court (who isn't a lawyer) may think, that is the law - s. 18 Statutory Declarations Act 1835.


Many thanks, I'm sure that will help. Let me check it out first and I'll report back.

Edit - 18 Voluntary declaration in the form in the schedule may be taken.

. . . It shall and may be lawful for any justice of the peace, notary public, or other officer now by law authorized to administer an oath, to take and receive the declaration of any person voluntarily making the same before him in the form in the schedule to this Act annexed; . . .

Thank you for that - let's hope the UK Embassy have someone who can do that next week. Still have to find and read the schedule though.


QUOTE
Indeed, don't let it 'time out' by waiting for the court.


I shall do my utmost.

I'm going to send them an email with the name and phone number of the manager of the car hire company, who I am sure will bear me out. We spoke yesterday and he saw it as no problem.

The weekend is upon us, and this will be done over then for them to read first thing Monday and spoil their week.

I think I am also going to do (although they said don't do it, but I don't trust any bugger in the UK legal system), is to scan and email EVERY page in my 3 passports, which will prove beyond doubt that I have been permanently resident in Thailand since 2004, apart from a number of visits to Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, and every couple of years, the UK. Let them sort all the stamps and dates out to make a chronology.

My guess is that they'll throw their hands in the air and just let it go. It's WAY too complex unless you know Thai immigration law, and they won't have a clue about that.

I had almost eight years in the family court over my 4th child and one thing I learnt - inundate the other side with paperwork and watch them sweat.
Jlc
Just for clarity - the 'timeout' is completely within your hands. If the SD is properly witnessed and sent to the court then the conviction is quashed - no discussion.
southpaw82
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 14:13) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 17:54) *
A statutory declaration can be made before any commissioner for oaths, as already said. Regardless of what the lady at the court (who isn't a lawyer) may think, that is the law - s. 18 Statutory Declarations Act 1835.


Many thanks, I'm sure that will help. Let me check it out first and I'll report back.

Edit - 18 Voluntary declaration in the form in the schedule may be taken.

. . . It shall and may be lawful for any justice of the peace, notary public, or other officer now by law authorized to administer an oath, to take and receive the declaration of any person voluntarily making the same before him in the form in the schedule to this Act annexed; . . .

Thank you for that - let's hope the UK Embassy have someone who can do that next week. Still have to find and read the schedule though.


They have people who can do it, if they're available. Section 6(1) of the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889

QUOTE
Every British ambassador, envoy, minister, charge d’affaires, and secretary of embassy or legation exercising his functions in any foreign country, and every British consul-general, consul, vice-consul, acting consul, pro-consul, and consular agent acting consul-general, acting vice-consul, and acting consular agent exercising his functions in any foreign place may, in that country or place, administer any oath and take any affidavit, and also do any notarial act which any notary public can do within the United Kingdom; and every oath, affidavit, and notarial act administered, sworn, or done by or before any such person shall be as effectual as if duly administered, sworn, or done by or before any lawful authority in any part of the United Kingdom.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 10 Jul 2015 - 23:13) *
They have people who can do it, if they're available. Section 6(1) of the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889


Many thanks for that.

Section 3 as well -

Taking of oaths out of England.

(1)Any oath or affidavit required for the purpose of any court or matter in England, or for the purpose of the registration of any instrument in any part of the United Kingdom, may be taken or made in any place out of England before any person having authority to administer an oath in that place.

(2)In the case of a person having such authority otherwise than by the law of a foreign country, judicial and official notice shall be taken of his seal or signature affixed, impressed, or subscribed to or on any such oath or affidavit.
Slithy Tove
Many thanks for the information - sorry for the delay in thanks people. I've been busy trying to sort this thing out.

Still no word from the court, despite 3 emails. I was told rather testily by a clerk last Friday that the case was 'with legal' who were making 'further enquiries'. I asked with whom and was told the police - probably ticking them off for not checking for any change of address with the DVLA before just bunging the case at the court and costing them a fortune in trace fees. I was just told to wait and they would 'get back' to me - but when? At least their delay means I have another cast iron reason for being late with the Stat Dec.

Some good news. The court are wrong and you were right about me having to go there to make a Stat Dec. I have enquired at the British Embassy here and I can do it there. Then I can send it in and that should suffice.

Anyone have any comment on my wording below? I want it as simple as possible.

1. I am the defendant named above.
2. I now know that the hearing in this case began on or about 22 October 2014.
3. I found out about the case on 8 July 2015 because:
a) I received an email on that date from a friend in Wolverhampton who had seen a letter from the DVLA to my UK address, and his email advised me of the letter.
b) I made enquires of the DVLA website and was shocked to find that I had been convicted of an MS90 offence – Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc. This was at Gateshead District Magistrates Court on 22 October 2014. (Case number -----------)
c) I have never received any correspondence from either Gateshead Magistrates Court or Northumbria Police Fixed Penalties Unit regarding this offence at any time.
d) I am in Thailand at the moment and communication is difficult. However, due to the stipulation that I make this declaration with 21 days of discovery of the conviction, I am anxious to resolve this issue quickly.
e) Since making telephone and email enquiries both of Gateshead Magistrates court and Northumbria Fixed penalties Unit, I was told that all correspondence was sent to my old Wolverhampton address which I moved from in 2004.
f) The address supplied was done so incorrectly due to a clerk at the car hire company referring to records relating to pre-2004.
g) No-one at the police or court checked my correct licence details to ensure I had not moved house before issuing the MS90 conviction

I'd be interested in your comments, but I think it says all it needs to say.

I intend to wait until this Thursday to see if the court get back to me and see what they have to say. If it's still not resolved, then I shall book an appointment with the Embassy and do the Stat Dec next week. It will be late, but there is provision for than in the document and anyway, I can email it to the court first, saying it's following in the post.

Thanks gents, that was all very helpful.
Mattd
I don't see why you persist in blaming the police for following the correct protocol when it was the hire car company at fault in conjunction with your own convoluted mail forwarding arrangements.
The Rookie
Licence details are irrelevant if you think about it, until they know who was driving there is no licence to worry about.

Stick to the relevant facts, not the impassioned rants, you didn't know about the court case and have just been made aware of it and a brief reason, that it was sent to an address you no longer lived at.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (Mattd @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 13:56) *
I don't see why you persist in blaming the police for following the correct protocol when it was the hire car company at fault in conjunction with your own convoluted mail forwarding arrangements.



I agree that it was the hire company who supplied the wrong address, but one would hope that having had no response from the address they sent the notices to, the police unit might at least have had the nous to check again with the DVLA to see if I'd moved, or should they just blindly 'follow protocol' and not think for themselves? After all, they'd already contacted the DVLA to get the owner of the vehicle.

It's not too much of an intellectual stretch to do it again to check the address was correct once they'd had no replies. If they had bothered to check for the latest address, my 'convoluted mail forwarding arrangements' would have worked in that I would at least have had an email about the NIP, even if it wasn't posted to me ... Then I could have dealt with it last year instead of having an almost year old saga to deal with.

I was an senior office systems designer, senior systems analyst and a senior business analyst and an IT project manager. I also taught business analysis at my local Uni part time. I know about developing office systems, and this is plainly a very bad one. Someone was plainly wearing blinkers when they designed it and built in no procedures to do further checks. I think they just assume people are trying to dodge the fine and points and don't think any further.

QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 14:40) *
Licence details are irrelevant if you think about it, until they know who was driving there is no licence to worry about.

Stick to the relevant facts, not the impassioned rants, you didn't know about the court case and have just been made aware of it and a brief reason, that it was sent to an address you no longer lived at.



So remove item (g) then? That's OK. Will do, it's just that I'm a bit p!ssed off with the whole thing at the mo'. But thanks for bringing down to earth - that's what I was hoping for.

Not quite sure about your reference to the licence, though. Can you explain?

The reason I referred to looking at the licence on the DVLA website was because I was told the DVLA had written to me in my pal's email and he advised me to check their website, which I did and is how I found out about the conviction. That led to me calling the court etc etc. The rest you know.
The Rookie
Given the number of none replies they get each year, they aren't going to go chasing and that is entirely logical and sensible to me I'm afraid.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 15:10) *
Given the number of none replies they get each year, they aren't going to go chasing and that is entirely logical and sensible to me I'm afraid.



Yes, to be fair, they have had massive cuts recently. I tend to forget that, not living there. I'm sure the DVLA charge for each query. It's just that working in the business world, and also being self-employed for 20 + years, I do get a bit frustrated with having to deal with unwieldy and unyielding bureaucracies.

However, I have taken your advice and removed item g) from my SD. Thank you.

As to the moment, I was told to wait to hear from the court, so I shall leave things until about Thursday then chase them, and if necessary, make the Stat Dec at the Embassy, but there are no appointments available this week and early next.

Makes another good reason for filing out of time a) the court telling me to wait to hear from them, and b) long wait for appointment times to make the SD.
Mattd
The fact your an IT manager and all your experience is totally irrelevant I'm afraid. The police didn't design the system they work within the legislation the govt has passed. The police can access a huge (beyond what you would believe) amount of intelligence to locate people....but it is neither practical or proportionate for them to go chasing people given the workload and level of offences these enquiries relate to.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (Mattd @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 19:41) *
The fact your an IT manager and all your experience is totally irrelevant I'm afraid. The police didn't design the system they work within the legislation the govt has passed. The police can access a huge (beyond what you would believe) amount of intelligence to locate people....but it is neither practical or proportionate for them to go chasing people given the workload and level of offences these enquiries relate to.



Well, it's relevant to the fact that whoever designed their system wasn't very good. Of course it isn't relevant to the case, except that if the system had been designed well, and a clerk had used her noddle, this would never have happened.

Yes, I think they are probably having a good old poke around about me, hence the request to wait until I hear from them ...
Jlc
Many of us may agree but we can only tell it as it is...

Actually, some of the 'processes', although at first sight, seem quite dumb they actually work within the framework of the law. Many suggest that NIP's should be sent recorded to ensure delivery but if you think about it that gives a very easy way out for those who would want to avoid it...
Slithy Tove
Yes, but I could counter with the well-worn phrase 'The law is an ass' ... biggrin.gif

No, fair play, you guys have helped me a lot in this so I am very grateful.

As to registered post, an old friend was a solicitor (sadly died 17 years ago the day before his 44th birthday) told me not to send things registered post, as the recipient could refuse them because they'd know the sender and the postman has to take the letter back to the sorting office. He said to always get a Certificate of Posting and use normal post because although the law says that a letter is deemed to be delivered 2 days after posting, you have the evidence of posting and the recipient has no idea who the correspondence is from.

This worked very well for me in an acrimonious and prolonged contact and residence case over my 4th child (different other to the first three) many years ago. Mother told the court that I'd ever been sending the fortnightly letters I was allowed, so it was great to see the look on her face when my barrister handed about 25 Certificates of Posting to the judge ... That wiped the smirk from her face.
Jlc
Yes, (free) proof of posting is often recommended on here. Indeed, registered post doesn't work with PO boxes...

When NIP/s172's are sent out they essentially have an evidential trail to show proof of posting and the presumption of delivery is on the receipient to rebut. (Obviously the wrong address assists a lot... wink.gif )
The Rookie
Don't tell a court you think the law is an ass, it doesn't usually end well!
southpaw82
Try this:

I [name] of [address]

Do solemnly and sincerely declare that on [date] I was convicted of an offence of [offence] at [location] Magistrates' Court. I was unaware of these proceedings until [date] and apply to have them set aside under s. 14 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.

I [name] do solemnly and sincerely declare that I make this declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

Declared at [location]

On [date]

Signed

Before me

Commissioner for Oaths
Mattd
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 14:01) *
QUOTE (Mattd @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 19:41) *
The fact your an IT manager and all your experience is totally irrelevant I'm afraid. The police didn't design the system they work within the legislation the govt has passed. The police can access a huge (beyond what you would believe) amount of intelligence to locate people....but it is neither practical or proportionate for them to go chasing people given the workload and level of offences these enquiries relate to.



Well, it's relevant to the fact that whoever designed their system wasn't very good. Of course it isn't relevant to the case, except that if the system had been designed well, and a clerk had used her noddle, this would never have happened.

Yes, I think they are probably having a good old poke around about me, hence the request to wait until I hear from them ...


The clerk doesn't have to use her, or his, noodle. They just have to comply with the law. Which they have done. There is no onus on them to go checking around when someone doesn't comply with a legal request....that would set a precedent that it's ok to ignore lawful requests and just wait for the police to find you through one of their many means.

This is all fairly simply, just do as everyone has already directed and drop the idea that it's all the fault of "the man".

Slithy Tove
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 22:04) *
Don't tell a court you think the law is an ass, it doesn't usually end well!


I hadn't intended to - but it's OK to say that here as a bit of sarcasm, I'd have thought ... biggrin.gif
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (Mattd @ Wed, 15 Jul 2015 - 00:32) *
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 14:01) *
QUOTE (Mattd @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 19:41) *
The fact your an IT manager and all your experience is totally irrelevant I'm afraid. The police didn't design the system they work within the legislation the govt has passed. The police can access a huge (beyond what you would believe) amount of intelligence to locate people....but it is neither practical or proportionate for them to go chasing people given the workload and level of offences these enquiries relate to.



Well, it's relevant to the fact that whoever designed their system wasn't very good. Of course it isn't relevant to the case, except that if the system had been designed well, and a clerk had used her noddle, this would never have happened.

Yes, I think they are probably having a good old poke around about me, hence the request to wait until I hear from them ...


The clerk doesn't have to use her, or his, noodle. They just have to comply with the law. Which they have done. There is no onus on them to go checking around when someone doesn't comply with a legal request....that would set a precedent that it's ok to ignore lawful requests and just wait for the police to find you through one of their many means.

This is all fairly simply, just do as everyone has already directed and drop the idea that it's all the fault of "the man".


I have, as posted before. My draft has been amended. In fact, Southpaw82 has come up with the best yet, for which many thanks.

I'll call the court tomorrow and see what progress has been made and if nothing I'll make an appointment with the Embassy to swear the Stat Dec and send it to the court.

Not sure if I mentioned this before but Thailand Post has an excellent system EMS which will send a letter to the UK in 2 days. It's expensive (for here) at the equivalent of £20, but it will be well spent if it gets things sorted out.

BTW, my UK contact finally photographed the letter from the DVLA and emailed it. It's just a standard letter from them saying they have been notified by the court of an offence and not to return my licence but details will be recorded. There's also a form to notify a change of address.

I physically can't phone the 0300 number from here, just doesn't work, and the email system does not have any headings to fit my case, so I'll just write to them by snail mail, apologise for the delay, tell them I was in Thailand in January to get married (true) and will be returning soon, once we have sorted out my wife's visa for the UK and my UK address hasn't changed.

However, as it is plainly just a bog-standard letter warning me of the offence and points, I wonder if I even need to reply ... What does anyone think? Why rock the boat? It looks like they don't even expect a reply. I'll try to scan and attach it here, but not sure how to do attachments on here yet.



QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 14:40) *
Licence details are irrelevant if you think about it, until they know who was driving there is no licence to worry about.

Stick to the relevant facts, not the impassioned rants, you didn't know about the court case and have just been made aware of it and a brief reason, that it was sent to an address you no longer lived at.



How does a poster do a 'like' on this board? You are quite right, I've got myself in a tizz about this and over-reacted - it isn't easy dealing with things from 6,000 miles away.

+1 Rookie

QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 14 Jul 2015 - 22:56) *
Try this:

I [name] of [address]

Do solemnly and sincerely declare that on [date] I was convicted of an offence of [offence] at [location] Magistrates' Court. I was unaware of these proceedings until [date] and apply to have them set aside under s. 14 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.

I [name] do solemnly and sincerely declare that I make this declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.

Declared at [location]

On [date]

Signed

Before me

Commissioner for Oaths



Many thanks, Southpaw 82. That's the most succinct thing I have seen so far. I may need to flesh out a few details but a major re-edit of my draft is coming up now.

Don't know how to do a like on here, but + 1 to you and many thanks to all for keeping me grounded. I'm feeling less anxious about the whole thing now. biggrin.gif

southpaw82
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Wed, 15 Jul 2015 - 04:55) *
Many thanks, Southpaw 82. That's the most succinct thing I have seen so far. I may need to flesh out a few details but a major re-edit of my draft is coming up now.

If you were anywhere near me I'd take the declaration for you but since you're not... off to the embassy with you.
Slithy Tove
SUCCESS! Posters here were right all along and I have now had the court email me as follows - note that they will accept a scanned copy of the SD but I will still post it to them by normal mail.

My appointment at the Embassy isn't until 22nd July (my mum's 97th birthday too), but because they'll allow a scanned copy, I'll be within the time limit of 21 days which expires on 29 July.

I'll re-write the draft and put it up here if anyone would care to comment. I assume it will be better to use my UK address, so as not to confuse things, or should I use both Thai and UK addresses? I suspect the UK address would be better so the police can at least send the NIP to the proper place this time!

I may have had a moan about the police procedures, but I can't fault the help I've had from the court now they know I can do an SD abroad. Really nice gesture, the lady suggesting we can just email to save the costs of phoning. Most places don't often reply to emails - such as my damn bank!

Many thanks, yet again, to all. Email from court follows -


Good Afternoon

As per our telephone conversation. I can confirm that you can make a Statutory declaration the embassy at your convenience as you have stated that the hire company provided the wrong information to the police when they completed the Police Information Notice, therefore you were unaware of the proceedings brought before Gateshead Magistrates on 20th May 2015 (offence date 22.10.14 DVLA offence code MS90). Could I please ask that that you send a copy of completed statutory declaration via scanned means so we can action accordingly within our department. This will ensure that penalty points and financial impositions are removed as soon as possible if the Statutory Declaration is made.

If I can be of any further assistance in this matter feel free to contact me via email as I am aware of the high costs you will be incurring whilst calling from Thailand.

Regards

Lxxxxx Mxxxxxx
Administration Officer
southpaw82
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Thu, 16 Jul 2015 - 02:26) *
SUCCESS! Posters here were right all along

And in other shocking news, rain is wet and gravity is real.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 16 Jul 2015 - 18:20) *
QUOTE (Slithy Tove @ Thu, 16 Jul 2015 - 02:26) *
SUCCESS! Posters here were right all along

And in other shocking news, rain is wet and gravity is real.


biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif Not so sure about the gravity when I've had a few beers - I can sometimes feel distinctly floaty ...


Well done Southpaw, that's all I can say. The relief has been overwhelming to get this off my back at last. Until the police issue another NIP - or will it be the court who issues a fixed penalty or whatever for the camera flash?
southpaw82
If anything it will be a summons. It won't go back to NIP or FPN stage.
Slithy Tove
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 16 Jul 2015 - 20:04) *
If anything it will be a summons. It won't go back to NIP or FPN stage.


Oh, yes, I thought that might be the case. They know I am in Thailand, and I'm not spending £2,000+ to defend a likely £100 fine. Not unless they are prepared to pay travel and accommodation expenses for me to attend court - I'll pay for my wife ...

In which case, I have a friend's husband who is a solicitor in North Yorkshire who might go to court for me, or I shall just write a statement explaining the situation and hope for the best.

I gather that now it's out of the FPN stage, the fine and points could be higher. Is that correct?

I don't wish to tread on any legal or magisterial toes, but I have had considerable experience, both represented and as an LIP (where I did quite well, thank you), from County court level to the High Court to the Court of Appeal in the family courts quite some years ago, and I do know that there can be quite an element of revenge if the court thinks they have been, shall we say, 'bested' by a non-lawyer ... My experience has always been that the higher the court, the more gentlemanly the conduct of the judge. DON'T take that personally! I've never appeared before Mags before, but I have observed the workings of a Mags court.

Which brings forth another question - if I am fined more than if I had originally would have done when I received the request to name the driver and the FPN, is there an avenue of appeal from the Mags, or can I elect to have the case heard in the District Court, with all the potential problems that may entail?

I'm taking it from the tenor of your replies that you are either a Mag, a solicitor, or both ... ??
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