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irishmark
Hi all,
I got home from work today to find a bailiff letter demanding £1271 from 'Marston tracings and investigations unit' for non payment of some fine.
The letter states they have a warrant of control for my possessions if it isn't paid within 14 days.
It doesn't say what the original offence is but from what I've read here it seems likely it might have been a speeding ticket at one point.
So, otherwise I have no indication what I've done, I had only recently updated my v5 to my current address which is no doubt how they have traced me.
It's been a while since I updated my v5 and I move house often, so I've never seen any of the original documents, court orders or whatever. I haven't seen anything and no nothing about them.

I've only got one question - do I have any defence at all or do I just have to suck it up and find the money for these bailiffs?
Is it simply my fault for not updating my v5 before now, or can I get the whole thing reconsidered?

thanks loads for any help, I'm panicking, this is not a trivial amount of money obviously!

Mark
Rinajayne
Who does the fine come from?

I'm in the middle of something very similar (my fine is £1871) so will say what many others will - get to your local magistrates court and do a statutory declaration. This will void any previous convictions made in your absence (which will be what has happened here) and stop the hefty fine for now.

Others will give better advice but do not give them anything until you know the full details of the case. I recommend finding this out asap as I realised I'd been disqualified only after contacting HMCTS.
irishmark
It says the client is "HMCTS London SE & C", that's the only indication. No doubt I can get more info if I call them on Monday but there is nothing on this letter
Rinajayne
Yep, almost identical to mine. I panicked, phoned and set up a payment plan before actually checking the details. I don't recommend that. There's nothing you can do right now, but first thing Monday, phone either the London and SE magistrates court or your own local court, get your case numbers and arrange to go down there at your earliest opportunity to do your statutory declaration.
southpaw82
So presumably you committed an offence in London at some point.
BaggieBoy
Checking your driving licence record at the DVLA is a possible starting point. https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence
StuartBu
QUOTE (Rinajayne @ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 - 19:52) *
Yep, almost identical to mine. I panicked, phoned and set up a payment plan before actually checking the details. I don't recommend that. There's nothing you can do right now, but first thing Monday, phone either the London and SE magistrates court or your own local court, get your case numbers and arrange to go down there at your earliest opportunity to do your statutory declaration.

Although much of the advice on here re these sort of situations is to do a Stat Dec at a solicitors.
irishmark
QUOTE (BaggieBoy @ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 - 20:07) *
Checking your driving licence record at the DVLA is a possible starting point. https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence


Very good tip, thanks..
So, there it states I have a £660 fine for 'Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc' and 6 points from June 2015
But after hearing from Rinajayne I'm relieved I'm not disqualified (no offence Rinajayne and you have my thanks for your help and my sympathies for your situation!)

So where does that leave me? I'm happy to confess to whatever original offence I committed. Particularly if it reduces the bailiff bill and gets them off my back..
StuartBu
QUOTE (irishmark @ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 - 20:22) *
QUOTE (BaggieBoy @ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 - 20:07) *
Checking your driving licence record at the DVLA is a possible starting point. https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence


Very good tip, thanks..
So, there it states I have a £660 fine for 'Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc' and 6 points from June 2015
But after hearing from Rinajayne I'm relieved I'm not disqualified (no offence Rinajayne and you have my thanks for your help and my sympathies for your situation!)

So where does that leave me? I'm happy to confess to whatever original offence I committed. Particularly if it reduces the bailiff bill and gets them off my back..

Reason he was disqualified was because he had amassed 12 points.
Gan
Make the Statutory Declaration to get the bailiffs off your back
If you can't get an immediate court appointment, you can do it at any solicitor for a nominal charge

Can't see where the extra Marstons charge comes from unless they're claiming for a couple of visits to the wrong address

It will be prosecuted again and you don't really have a defence if you failed to keep your V5 up-to-date or at least provide some address where you could be contacted

What you can do though is plead Not Guilty and do a deal with the prosecutor on the morning of the hearing
Offer to plead Guilty to speeding if they drop the S172

Even if it's not on the original charge, the prosecutor and court will usually bend the rules and substitute a charge in the interest of justice
andy_foster
QUOTE (irishmark @ Fri, 22 Apr 2016 - 21:22) *
So where does that leave me? I'm happy to confess to whatever original offence I committed. Particularly if it reduces the bailiff bill and gets them off my back..


A statutory declaration (under s. 14 Magistrates' Courts Act 1980) requires the court to quash the conviction and sentence. Depending on how the court processes it, that either puts you back at the stage when the summons was issued, or puts the ball back into the prosecution's court to decide whether to proceed with the charge(s).

If the summons was for speeding as well as the s. 172, you will almost certainly be able to do a deal with the prosecution to drop the s. 172 if you plead guilty to the speeding. You might be able to defence both charges - the speeding has no legs unless you plead guilty or otherwise admit to being the driver, but the s. 172 would be far more difficult if the reason you did not receive the notice was that you did not update the details on your V5C.

If the summon was for s. 172 only, it would be more difficult to do a deal to plead guilty to a charge which would not be lawful to instigate after the 6 months have expired, but such things have happened. Alternatively, you would have the opportunity to plead guilty to the s. 172 (assuming that you do not have a viable defence), get a 1/3 discount off the fine and perhaps most importantly, avoid having the fine passed to the bailiffs to add their fees to.
irishmark
Thanks for all the help guys you have been a lifeline.
So, I've a few questions left; if I get the stat dec do the bailiffs still have a right to charge me the extra they have added onto the debt? Presumably for visits to my old house. Or would it cancel the lot?

Also, reading around would I be right in thinking my quickest way of getting a stat dec is going to see a solicitor tomorrow? Or should I turn up at the court?

The bailiffs letter says I have 14 days till they come round and I would prefer to prevent that if possible.

Finally; what rights of entry do the bailiffs have? I live in a shared flat, there's a buzzer for the main door downstairs, then a locked door to the flat and a locked door to my room.
They won't know which room is mind unless one of my flatmates tell them.
Can they drill the locks? force entry? They could probably get access to the main block door just by waiting for someone to leave but gaining access to our flat and my room would probably require forcing entry.

thanks again
Mark

The Rookie
They can't force an entry, they can only come in if you allow them to, although once they have a foot in the door it's almost impossible to get rid of them.
peterguk
Suggest you ensure you car is either garaged, or parked securely away from your house.
southpaw82
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 15:48) *
They can't force an entry, they can only come in if you allow them to

Are you sure about that?
StuartBu
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 15:28) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - 15:48) *
They can't force an entry, they can only come in if you allow them to

Are you sure about that?


Is there anything here that helps?
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-...into-your-home/

TO OP...Dunno if this site has been suggested http://bailiffadviceonline.co.uk/
irishmark
Today I called Lavendar Hill court who gave me the original case ID for the stat dec and then I phoned my nearest court. They've got me booked in for a stat dec and retrial on Wednesday
bama
and retrial ? ?
the same day ? ?

you haven't even seen the papers from the original case.
irishmark
The woman at Lavendar Hill Court, which was the place which handled the 'Failure to supply documents' said she couldn't tell me what the original case was for.
She said "The police don't tell us", a lie do you think?
southpaw82
Ignorance, more likely.
Logician
“Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”

Also if the police have not charged the original offence as well as failure to supply, then it may not appear on the papers available to the court.
bama
either way it is impossible to make an informed plea without
1) seeing the case against you - the entire case not just the charge9s)
2) having time to seek advice - you are not a lawyer.
suggest take a CM1 form with you and use it wisely i.e get prosecution to fill in it.
It is the prescribed form.
called cm001 in this link
http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure...inal/forms-2015
southpaw82
QUOTE (bama @ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 - 22:46) *
either way it is impossible to make an informed plea without
1) seeing the case against you - the entire case not just the charge9s)
2) having time to seek advice - you are not a lawyer.
suggest take a CM1 form with you and use it wisely i.e get prosecution to fill in it.
It is the prescribed form.
called cm001 in this link
http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure...inal/forms-2015

Whatever your views on whether it's right or wrong an accused can make a plea before seeing "the entire case", since there's no requirement to disclose any evidence before a not guilty plea has been entered.

Form CM1 is for use after plea to allow the court to give effective directions for case management. It won't be completed and to hand other than for a not guilty plea. That's assuming there's a prosecutor there to give the required information.
bama
believe me it can and does get used before plea.
southpaw82
QUOTE (bama @ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 - 08:06) *
believe me it can and does get used before plea.

Of course it can be, and should be if the prosecutor anticipates a not guilty plea. However, you should not advise an OP that they can expect the form to be completed before plea and if that was not your intention you need to make it clear.
irishmark
So to update the thread in case its useful to anyone.
Went to Magistrates today and eventually (5 hours later) got the stat dec.
The "retrial" that was booked wasn't in fact today but is in June.

An interesting point:
Before my stat dec I phoned Lavendar Hill court to ask them to put the Bailiffs on hold, they refused and said, no, get a stat dec.
At the same time I emailed two addresses asking the same thing. ("Enquiries" and "Fine queries")
The Enquiries email came back first and refused to tell me anything, just said you have to phone us.
Today a reply from the Fine queries address came back and they have said they have put the bailiffs on hold for 21 days and provided information about the original case.

Not sure there is much to glean from this apart from keep trying, sometimes you get lucky and it seems to depend on the person what you might get back.
For me it didn't matter as the stat dec had gone thru by the time the email arrived anyway.


Oh and it turns out the original offence was a red light I missed..
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