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The Doctor
I am currently involved in a dispute with the DVLA, I am absolutely fed up with the way they treat the innocent motorist and will not listen to common sense and feel someone has to take a stand.

When one of my cars road fund licence came up for renewal I encountered a problem my insurance company got themselves in a mess and kept a) not issuing a certificate and b) not updating the computer register to show my car was insured, as a result I was obviously thwarted in my attempts to buy a road fund licence.

Calls every two to three days to my insurance company assured me each time that the problem would be resolved in 24 to 48 hours in the end it actually took them over 6 weeks!

As a result the DVLA are trying to fine me for not registering the car as SORN. I have pointed out to the DVLA that if I had had any idea the situation would take so long to resolve I would of course have taken the necessary steps but as I was frequently assured the problem was a day from being resolved I did what I believe any reasonable person would do and kept waiting for the correct document in order to get the road fund licence.

Surely the road fund licence and SORN laws are there to deal with people who intentionally do not tax their vehicles and intend to illegally use them on our roads as a result. Surely they are not there to penalise someone like myself, a 92 (yes ninety-two) year old doctor, who through no fault of his own was late in purchasing the road fund licence.

I am more than prepared to go to court and appeal against a decision if necessary, they have now put the case in the hands of a debt collector but surely there must be a method of appealing a decision like this and trying to get someone to take a common sense approach to this and hopefully other similar cases?
dave-o
Are they allowed to pass this to a debt collection agency without it having gone to court?
Pigfarmer
Yes. The DCA is just trying to collect the cash.

I had similar with a car that I had sent to the breakers whilst on a SORN and the moved house. No post, nothing until the DCA sent the threatening letter.

Has the OP contacted the insurance co to get them to put in writing that there was a problem with production of a certificate ?

Write to DCA saying debt is in dispute ?
The Doctor
QUOTE (Pigfarmer @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 12:50) *
Yes. The DCA is just trying to collect the cash.

I had similar with a car that I had sent to the breakers whilst on a SORN and the moved house. No post, nothing until the DCA sent the threatening letter.

Has the OP contacted the insurance co to get them to put in writing that there was a problem with production of a certificate ?

Write to DCA saying debt is in dispute ?


Hello,

I have contacted the insurance company, they agreed to provide evidence to help me with the DVLA but so far it is proving as easy as it was to get the insurance certificate out of them! In the meantime the DVLA have been provided with the name, direct dial number and reference numbers if they so wish to check my story themselves.

I have written to the DCA and explained the matter is in dispute and enclosed my correspondence with the DVLA, it hasn't stopped their harassing phone calls, text messages to my landline etc or their threats to come and tow my car away though.
dave-o
A couple of things here, maybe someone has answers:

1) The DCA has no right to take his car without some form of court order or warrant - correct?

2) In the situation, i think he has every right to request from BT (or whoever) that the DCA's phone number be barred from calling his line, because of harrassment. I dealt with a problem in which a certain fax number kept calling my landline. With a minimum of fuss, BT barred their phone number from contacting me.
The Doctor
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:17) *
A couple of things here, maybe someone has answers:

1) The DCA has no right to take his car without some form of court order or warrant - correct?

2) In the situation, i think he has every right to request from BT (or whoever) that the DCA's phone number be barred from calling his line, because of harrassment. I dealt with a problem in which a certain fax number kept calling my landline. With a minimum of fuss, BT barred their phone number from contacting me.


I am sure you are quite correct. To be honest I am not too worried about this as I am sure it is not something they will try, it is just indicative of the DVLA's ridiculous attitude to this problem that they have engaged the services of a company such as this rather than apply some common sense to this matter.

My main query is how does one go about bringing pressure on the DVLA to at least consider my position rather than sticking to black and white answers.
Glacier2
Is there no appeals procedure? Can you elect to go to court?
dave-o
TBH i don't see there's much more you can do except keep hassling your insurance people for proof, and then supply this.

Have you tried asking to speak to someone higher up in the food chain at the DVLA?
The Doctor
QUOTE (Glacier2 @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:28) *
Is there no appeals procedure? Can you elect to go to court?


One of the things I am trying to ascertain is whether or not there is an appeals procedure, it was Googleing 'Appealing the DVLA' that actually brought me to this forum!

I have made it clear in writing to both the DVLA and DCA by letter sent Recorded Delivery that I will if necessary go to court and defend the action.
The Doctor
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:30) *
TBH i don't see there's much more you can do except keep hassling your insurance people for proof, and then supply this.

Have you tried asking to speak to someone higher up in the food chain at the DVLA?


I would if there was an option on the DVLA switchboard that would seem to take you in the right direction to do this!
dave-o
QUOTE (The Doctor @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:35) *
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:30) *
TBH i don't see there's much more you can do except keep hassling your insurance people for proof, and then supply this.

Have you tried asking to speak to someone higher up in the food chain at the DVLA?


I would if there was an option on the DVLA switchboard that would seem to take you in the right direction to do this!



Can you maybe find some info online about who is higher in command at the DVLA and ask for them by name?

It does seem like a stupid waste of everybody's time, and the small fry at the DVLA probably won't be bothered to say anything other than "computer says no".
bama
IMV you only ever get 'the official line' from anyone at the DVLA.
this is a well known cash machine for them.

I have read that:-
"An official appeals procedure has not been established, however, DVLA will treat each case on merit and will view genuine cases with sympathy."

yeah right - they have jumped to the DCA.
whitewing
Assuming it is a DCA and not a bailiff, Why are DVLA passing to a DCA, who can't actually do anything, rather than getting a court warrant?
Is it because they know they havea weak case?

Teufel
no independent appeal is a clear breach of natural justice under the common law and the convention rights of art 6 of the ECHR securrd by the HRA 1998


zamzara
QUOTE (whitewing @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 21:36) *
Assuming it is a DCA and not a bailiff, Why are DVLA passing to a DCA, who can't actually do anything, rather than getting a court warrant?
Is it because they know they havea weak case?


This rather suggests to me that they have no way of enforcing these penalties. Has anyone faced real enforcement action? Does anyone know the relevant legislation that allows the DVLA to issue them?
Glacier2
Do the DVLA come out and clamp the offending vehicle?

Would this £80 penalty come into play when you attempted to get a VED? You get to the post office and they say there is a £80 outstanding and we can't give you a VED unless you pay this now?
Neil B
QUOTE (Glacier2 @ Sat, 21 Jun 2008 - 13:39) *
Do the DVLA come out and clamp the offending vehicle?


They are already routinely patrolling and yes they will clamp, tow and/or crush. They use those lovey people NCP as a contractor.

Get this from the the website >> "Your car does not have to be seen on the road for an offence to have been committed".

What? Frightening!

No mention of appeals procedure at all.

Just one suggestion to start with. Make a formal complaint if you can't make an appeal. Throw the ball back at them by complaing about their actions and attitude. At the very least it will put them on notice that you are not going to roll-over easily. As a public body they will have to investigate and respond.

Wish I could help more.

-
southpaw82
There absolutely has to be an avenue of appeal. This is a fine and therefore punitive in effect. Article 6 ECHR guarantees the right to a fair hearing, in public, before an independent tribunal. The UK government has already conceded so in Scarth v UK.
patdavies
QUOTE (dave-o @ Fri, 20 Jun 2008 - 13:30) *
TBH i don't see there's much more you can do except keep hassling your insurance people for proof, and then supply this.

Have you tried asking to speak to someone higher up in the food chain at the DVLA?



Proof from the insurance company is not going to be of any help whatsoever.

If there was no valid VED, then it should not have been used on the road and SORN declared.

Even if SORN only lasted a few days, it doesn't matter - SORN is automatically lifted by the act of obtaining VED.

I sympathise with the OP, but technically, the DVLA is right - this is the whole point of continuous VED or SORN - there should be no gap..
patdavies
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 21 Jun 2008 - 18:45) *
There absolutely has to be an avenue of appeal. This is a fine and therefore punitive in effect. Article 6 ECHR guarantees the right to a fair hearing, in public, before an independent tribunal. The UK government has already conceded so in Scarth v UK.



You can force it to a Magistrates' Court, but I am not sure how you go about it.
ftc001
They will make a claim in the County Court against you, see this on Medusa's site

DVLA

They will also attempt to portray the claim procedure as being a full and fair hearing but by this time, the penalty has already already been increased and their appeals procedure as Tuefel has stated, is not ECHR compliant.
Glacier2
If they go to the county court you will be able to submit a full defence which you should be able to bring all this into it.
borsicorn
Hold on a minute.

The OP has admitted failing to either tax or SORN the vehicle.

The Law requires him to do one or other. It seems very clear that he could have SORNed the vehicle. That is a statutory declaration that the vehicle was off the road.

He hasn't done this.

Why is he now complaining that the DVLA is upholding the Law?
The Doctor
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:06) *
Hold on a minute.

The OP has admitted failing to either tax or SORN the vehicle.

The Law requires him to do one or other. It seems very clear that he could have SORNed the vehicle. That is a statutory declaration that the vehicle was off the road.

He hasn't done this.

Why is he now complaining that the DVLA is upholding the Law?


Thank you everyone for your input.

The issue is the delay was outside my control. If I had intended to take the car off the road for say 2 months I would have declared it SORN.

My insurance company kept promising to sort the problem in 24 to 48 hours and I believed them.

I always thought that one presumption in law is that it takes the view of what a reasonable man would have done and I believe I acted as any reasonable man would have done under the circumstance.
ftc001
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:06) *
Hold on a minute.

The OP has admitted failing to either tax or SORN the vehicle.

The Law requires him to do one or other. It seems very clear that he could have SORNed the vehicle. That is a statutory declaration that the vehicle was off the road.

He hasn't done this.

Why is he now complaining that the DVLA is upholding the Law?


Ah right, I can see you've read the frigging thread properly then? angry.gif
davepoth
Whatever the rights or wrongs of this case, there is no doubt that the offence has occurred. It's always advisable to SORN a car even if it's only going to be unlicensed for a couple of days (it can be done online or over the phone)

Regardless of that, I think The Doctor's best angle would be to see if his insurance company feel guilty enough to pay for the fine in light of their error.
ftc001
QUOTE (davepoth @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:05) *
Whatever the rights or wrongs of this case, there is no doubt that the offence has occurred. It's always advisable to SORN a car even if it's only going to be unlicensed for a couple of days (it can be done online or over the phone)

Regardless of that, I think The Doctor's best angle would be to see if his insurance company feel guilty enough to pay for the fine in light of their error.


The £80 is a so called supplement upon committing an offence, The fact that the DVLA deem not sorning a vehicle an offence, then it is a Criminal detriment that is alledged until it is proven within a Magistrates Court, in other words the supplement cannot follow unless the primary Offence is proved. The County Court is not the correct forum and the DVLAs appeals procedure is neither Judicially appointed, neither is it ECHR compliant.

If Registered Keepers are expected to follow the letter of the law as implied, then perphaps the DVLA should start by following the law themselves.
davepoth
In all probability yes the system stinks. However is it really worth going all the way to a judicial review? If the OP can get the insurance company to pay for the fine then the problem has gone away, which is a fairly positive outcome when the OP has admitted not SORNing his vehicle.
ftc001
QUOTE (davepoth @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:25) *
In all probability yes the system stinks. However is it really worth going all the way to a judicial review? If the OP can get the insurance company to pay for the fine then the problem has gone away, which is a fairly positive outcome when the OP has admitted not SORNing his vehicle.


Go to a War Cemetary walk through the thousands of Graves then ask me again if it's worth fighting for injustice and a system that stinks!
dave-o
But his point is (and i'll use your analogy) if we could have just asked Hitler to leave Poland and apologise to them and he had agreed, this would have caused far less trouble in the long run.
ftc001
QUOTE (dave-o @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:41) *
But his point is (and i'll use your analogy) if we could have just asked Hitler to leave Poland and apologise to them and he had agreed, this would have caused far less trouble in the long run.



They tried that with Hitler, it was called appeasement and it failed, the only way to deal with him was to take him by the throat, but I acknowledge that there was a price to pay. With regards to the OP, he too, has tried to reason with these people and they are willing to take him down for it.
borsicorn
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:43) *
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:06) *
Hold on a minute.

The OP has admitted failing to either tax or SORN the vehicle.

The Law requires him to do one or other. It seems very clear that he could have SORNed the vehicle. That is a statutory declaration that the vehicle was off the road.

He hasn't done this.

Why is he now complaining that the DVLA is upholding the Law?


Ah right, I can see you've read the frigging thread properly then? angry.gif


Do please tell me if I have missed something. The OP's admission seems very clear to me. What have I failed to spot, please?
southpaw82
Blimey, this is getting very belligerent.
dave-o
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:02) *
What have I failed to spot, please?



The fact that his insurance company held him up.
Yes, perhaps he should have SORNed it anyway, but i think a lot of people would assume, like he did, that common sense would prevail.

The issue is that they are not allowing him any avenue of appeal.
ftc001
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:02) *
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:43) *
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 12:06) *
Hold on a minute.

The OP has admitted failing to either tax or SORN the vehicle.

The Law requires him to do one or other. It seems very clear that he could have SORNed the vehicle. That is a statutory declaration that the vehicle was off the road.

He hasn't done this.

Why is he now complaining that the DVLA is upholding the Law?


Ah right, I can see you've read the frigging thread properly then? angry.gif


Do please tell me if I have missed something. The OP's admission seems very clear to me. What have I failed to spot, please?


Because it is clear from the OPs 'admission' that he intended to license the vehicle and not file SORN, he was prevented from licensing the vehicle because of his insurance Company. The fact that he has informed the DVLA is a declaration in its own right.
ftc001
QUOTE (dave-o @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:21) *
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:02) *
What have I failed to spot, please?



The fact that his insurance company held him up.
Yes, perhaps he should have SORNed it anyway, but i think a lot of people would assume, like he did, that common sense would prevail.

The issue is that they are not allowing him any avenue of appeal.



Exactly and I think this is much of the problem, in fact a very nice lady from DVLA stated they were as frustrated as many members of the public, they have become a point of enforcement as opposed to siply being a point of registration.
borsicorn
Like the vast majority of motoring offences (speeding, failing to conform to traffic signals etc) the tax or SORN system is an absolute offence.

The OP either complied or didn't.

Any appeal would be on the basis of guilty with mitigation.

Since there is no provision for appeal the logic seems clear.
ftc001
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:17) *
Blimey, this is getting very belligerent.



Oh I don't know, disagreements might get heated sometimes but we all know to play nice for the most part. Fredd will only kick our Butts otherwise.
ftc001
QUOTE (borsicorn @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 14:27) *
Like the vast majority of motoring offences (speeding, failing to conform to traffic signals etc) the tax or SORN system is an absolute offence.

The OP either complied or didn't.

Any appeal would be on the basis of guilty with mitigation.

Since there is no provision for appeal the logic seems clear.


Which therefore makes it incompatible with ECHR
borsicorn
Agreed.

So we're back to whether the OP wants to risk several thousand pounds on a Judicial Review.
borsicorn
Quote:When SORN is needed

Make a SORN:
  • if your vehicle is being kept off the road due to repair, MOT failure or is not being used
  • if you’re not renewing your tax disc and keeping the vehicle off road
  • if you’re applying for a refund and keeping the vehicle of road
  • every 12 months if you continue to keep your vehicle off the road
  • in advance if your vehicle is to be kept off the road in the Great Britain when you’re abroad
Quote:When SORN is not needed

SORN isn’t needed if:
  • you sell the vehicle
  • you scrap the vehicle or pass it to a scrap dealer
  • your insurance company write the vehicle off
  • you take the vehicle abroad permanently
  • you apply for a refund and don’t keep the vehicle
  • your vehicle was last taxed before 31 January 1998
If the vehicle is not taxed, then you must declare SORN. Regardless of the reason it's not taxed, it must have one or the other.

For more information click the link........

When to make a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) : Directgov - Motoring
ftc001

QUOTE
"if you’re not renewing your tax disc and keeping the vehicle off road"


he was renewing it, it's just that circumstances outside of his control prevented him from doing so.

Is it not a sad reflection on how bad things have become, when the machinery of State is able override common sense, then come crashing down with full force against a 90 year old who simply wants to comply with the law, but because of various circumstance, was unable to do so.
borsicorn
Agreed.

I'd have something to say if the Law was discriminately applied, based on age, sex, race, disability or whatever.

It's all gone nuts, really. The DVLA are a registration agency, not glorified tax collectors.

They make millions out of SORN and selling peoples addresses to PPC scum and suchlike.
ftc001
That is how I see it, not to mention the thousands of vehicles they have seized from people due to mistakes by Insurance Companies and the inaccuracies of their database.
The Doctor
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:32) *
QUOTE (davepoth @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:25) *
In all probability yes the system stinks. However is it really worth going all the way to a judicial review? If the OP can get the insurance company to pay for the fine then the problem has gone away, which is a fairly positive outcome when the OP has admitted not SORNing his vehicle.


Go to a War Cemetary walk through the thousands of Graves then ask me again if it's worth fighting for injustice and a system that stinks!


And for those who have read my original post carefully, maybe this is why I am willing to fight this! I am 92, I fought (well I am a doctor but for example I helped operate a field hospital behind enemy lines in Europe) to help keep this country free. This is why I abhor this sort of behaviour by our authorities now as it reminds me the sort of totalitarianism we fought so hard against.
ftc001
QUOTE (The Doctor @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 16:35) *
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:32) *
QUOTE (davepoth @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:25) *
In all probability yes the system stinks. However is it really worth going all the way to a judicial review? If the OP can get the insurance company to pay for the fine then the problem has gone away, which is a fairly positive outcome when the OP has admitted not SORNing his vehicle.


Go to a War Cemetary walk through the thousands of Graves then ask me again if it's worth fighting for injustice and a system that stinks!


And for those who have read my original post carefully, maybe this is why I am willing to fight this! I am 92, I fought (well I am a doctor but for example I helped operate a field hospital behind enemy lines in Europe) to help keep this country free. This is why I abhor this sort of behaviour by our authorities now as it reminds me the sort of totalitarianism we fought so hard against.


I and I have no doubt, others, will help you however we can.
The Doctor
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 18:20) *
QUOTE (The Doctor @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 16:35) *
QUOTE (ftc001 @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:32) *
QUOTE (davepoth @ Mon, 23 Jun 2008 - 13:25) *
In all probability yes the system stinks. However is it really worth going all the way to a judicial review? If the OP can get the insurance company to pay for the fine then the problem has gone away, which is a fairly positive outcome when the OP has admitted not SORNing his vehicle.


Go to a War Cemetary walk through the thousands of Graves then ask me again if it's worth fighting for injustice and a system that stinks!


And for those who have read my original post carefully, maybe this is why I am willing to fight this! I am 92, I fought (well I am a doctor but for example I helped operate a field hospital behind enemy lines in Europe) to help keep this country free. This is why I abhor this sort of behaviour by our authorities now as it reminds me the sort of totalitarianism we fought so hard against.


I and I have no doubt, others, will help you however we can.


Thank You
The Doctor
Just to keep this up to date as of this morning the DVLA appear to have withdrawn the matter from the DCA.
Glacier2
Have they cancelled the penalty or are going to move on to the County Court stage?
The Doctor
QUOTE (Glacier2 @ Tue, 24 Jun 2008 - 10:12) *
Have they cancelled the penalty or are going to move on to the County Court stage?


As yet I don't actually know. I got a letter from the DCA this morning so I called them to once again point out to them that I was appealing fine etc.,.. and they told me that since the letter had been sent the DVLA had withdrawn the case from them (the DCA). I have been trying to find out from the DVLA what the decision is and will update the thread as soon as I know.
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