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westbury
I have just recieved a summons for failure to provide driver information. The NIP was sent out on the 26/11/07 for alleged speeding on the 18/11/07.
My situation is that I new nothing about the NIP because my husband opened the letter and the reminder and now admits that through his own negligence forgot to pass these letters on to myself.
Is there a legal obligation that a third party has to pass on the NIP and will this excuse help me in court?
southpaw82
Why, exactly, did he not pass them on?
westbury
We both work shifts and pass like ships in the night, until weekend. He states he just forgot!!!!
southpaw82
I think a court might have some difficulty in believing that.
westbury
I know, but if he was to state in court that he forgot, would that count for nothing? and is there any legal requirment for him to pass the information on?
Durzel
QUOTE (westbury @ Thu, 24 Jul 2008 - 19:21) *
I know, but if he was to state in court that he forgot, would that count for nothing? and is there any legal requirment for him to pass the information on?

It wouldn't count for anything.

There is no legal requirement for him to pass on the information in a NIP, however it is most definitely illegal for him to open mail addressed to you (Postal Services Act 2000, Section 84) so I'd be wary about pursuing that line of defence.
westbury
Thanks for that advice. So does anyone have any advice as to what I should do now, seeing as the alleged offence happened eight months ago?
Can anyone shed light on the fact that the summons has to be produced within six months of the NIP, or am I just clutching at straws?
BaggieBoy
The information has to be laid with the court within 6 months of the offence being commited, however the failure to furnish offence occured much later then the original speeding offence (typically 28 days after the ffirst NIP request is served). Since they sent you a reminder, they would probably argue the failure to furnish offence occured 28 after that was served.

What is the date on the summons?
westbury
The date on the summons is the 10 july 2008. The actual alleged offence took place on the 18/11/07 and the first nip was sent on the26/11/07. The second NIP for the same offence was sent on the 16/01/2008. When would the six months period start from?
The statement of facts state that the defendant failed to provide information on the 14/02/08, (28 days after the second nip). With my reckoning the mentioned date of the offence is wrong. The date I have got is the 13/02/08, or I am now getting desperate?
southpaw82
QUOTE (Durzel @ Thu, 24 Jul 2008 - 19:33) *
There is no legal requirement for him to pass on the information in a NIP, however it is most definitely illegal for him to open mail addressed to you (Postal Services Act 2000, Section 84) so I'd be wary about pursuing that line of defence.


Rubbish! Read the law rather than the explanatory notes to the draft bill.

84(1) A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he—
(a) intentionally delays or opens a postal packet in the course of its transmission by post, or
(b) intentionally opens a mail-bag.

(3) A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.


It's no longer in the course of transmission by post - it's been delivered. I doubt he was acting to his wife's detriment and in any case has a reasonable excuse.

Westbury, the six month period starts from when the offence is committed, which is 28 days after the NIP is served (or issued on some readings).
westbury
Thanks for that. Do you think that my argument would have any grounds?
Regarding the six months, would this be 28 days after the first NIP or the reminder?
southpaw82
No, I think your argument would fail. I can't see a court believing that your husband forgot to pass on what is obviously an important document for so long. They might but I wouldn't bet on it.
picko
So his stating under oath would count for nothing? I think that by taking the stand the court will be faced with believing he is committing perjury or is telling the truth? Perhaps a solicitor would assist presenting this to the magistrates and (more importantly) the clerk
westbury
OK, thanks anyway. Regarding the six months would it be 28 days from the first nip or the second? as this now seems to be my only hope.
Would it be advisable not to persue this on my own and to get expert help
patdavies
QUOTE (Durzel @ Thu, 24 Jul 2008 - 19:33) *
QUOTE (westbury @ Thu, 24 Jul 2008 - 19:21) *
I know, but if he was to state in court that he forgot, would that count for nothing? and is there any legal requirment for him to pass the information on?

It wouldn't count for anything.

There is no legal requirement for him to pass on the information in a NIP, however it is most definitely illegal for him to open mail addressed to you (Postal Services Act 2000, Section 84) so I'd be wary about pursuing that line of defence.


Sorry, not so. Otherwise, every secretary who opened her boss's mail would be acting illegally rolleyes.gif

The link that you need is this, which is the Act rather than the narrative.

Furthermore, the offence is one of interfering with mail in the course of transmission, so you also need to look at the interpretation section S.125(my bold)

(
QUOTE
3) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a postal packet shall be taken to be in course of transmission by post from the time of its being delivered to any post office or post office letter box to the time of its being delivered to the addressee,

(b) the delivery of a postal packet of any description to a letter carrier or other person authorised to receive postal packets of that description for the post or to a person engaged in the business of a postal operator to be dealt with in the course of that business shall be a delivery to a post office, and

© the delivery of a postal packet—

(i) at the premises to which it is addressed
or redirected, unless they are a post office from which it is to be collected,

(ii) to any box or receptacle to which the occupier of those premises has agreed that postal packets addressed to persons at those premises may be delivered, or

(iii) to the addressee’s agent or to any other person considered to be authorised to receive the packet,

shall be a delivery to the addressee
.
jeffreyarcher
QUOTE (picko @ Thu, 24 Jul 2008 - 23:13) *
So his stating under oath would count for nothing? I think that by taking the stand the court will be faced with believing he is committing perjury or is telling the truth?

Put yourself in the bench's position, and remember, it's not just once, but twice.
Keds
The only way I think this line of defence would work, is if the the relationship between the two parties is such that one would be vindictivie towards the other. They both live in the same house, but are in the process of seperating, don't speak to each other, one partner was being vengeful.

You would have to prove this to be the case, not just turn up and say, me and him don't talk.

westbury
I am due in court on the 1st August 2008. Do you think this line of defence will work?
I was sent a NIP on the 26th Nov 2007 for a speeding offence on the 18/11/07, (well within the fourteen day period) I did not respond to this NIP. I was sent a further NIP on the 16th January 2008 for the same offence, again I did not respond.

On the 10th July 2008 I recieved a summons for failure to provide driver information. What I intend to querie is for which NIP the failure to provide driver information is for? If it is for the NIP I recieved on the 26th Nov 2007 then it was not raised within the six month time scale. If I am being summoned for the second (reminder) NIP, then surely this was sent after the fourteen day period.
Do you think this could work?
progbloke
One case, one thread, please
nemo
QUOTE (westbury @ Sat, 26 Jul 2008 - 12:16) *
What I intend to querie is for which NIP the failure to provide driver information is for? If it is for the NIP I recieved on the 26th Nov 2007 then it was not raised within the six month time scale.

There is a 6 month limitation of time within which proceedings must be commenced (by the laying of an information at the magistrates' court). The 'clock' starts ticking from the date of the alleged offence. Note the offence of failing to provide driver details occurs 28 days after service of the s.172 request upon the accused.

A response to your (first) s.172 request should have been returned by 24 December 2007. Accordingly, an information relating to an offence of failing to furnish should have been laid by 24 June 2007.

So, what is the date of information / complaint, as printed on your summons ?

QUOTE (westbury @ Sat, 26 Jul 2008 - 12:16) *
If I am being summoned for the second (reminder) NIP, then surely this was sent after the fourteen day period.

A NIP and a s.172 request, although often combined into the same document, are entirely separate legal documents.

For instance, the 14 day requirement for service of the initial documentation refers only to the NIP; there is no such restriction of time placed upon a s.172 request.

And bear in mind that a NIP is advisory only and does not require a response. As such, no offence is committed by not responding to one.
westbury
The summons was issued on the 10th July
nemo
QUOTE (westbury @ Sat, 26 Jul 2008 - 14:47) *
The summons was issued on the 10th July

The summons was served on 10 July 2008, but that is of no real concern at this point in time. You need to check when the information was laid - that's when proceedings were commenced.
westbury
The date of information as stated in the Offences section of the summons is the 09/07/2008.
If this is not the date the information was laid could you please give me a idea as to where I may find this info on the summons
southpaw82
What is the full text of the offence?

It will be something like "On or between [date] and [date] blah blah blah".

That should tell you which s. 172 notice you're being prosecuted for.
westbury
It states that on the 14/02/2008 blah blah blah. So I presume that I am being prosecuted for the second s 172, but if I am being prosecuted for this one, does the fourteen day rule apply for this one or do they have me "banged to rights"?
southpaw82
There is no 14 day rule in relation to s. 172 notices, only an intial notice of intended prosecution. Whilst they may (or may not) be on the same bit of paper they are separate legal documents.
westbury
I recently received a summons for failure to provide information. I admitted guilt, but stated that this was down to not recieving the NIP, as my husband had failed to pass this onto me. I have now recieved a letter informing me that the court will not accept my guilty plea and have reset the date. Do I need to produce my husband as a witness? (he is prepered to swear under oath, that through his own negligence I did not recieve the NIP). Also will the prosecution have to prove that my husband had not failed to pass on the information and therefore still prosecute me.
The Rookie
Its just likley that the wording of your letter 'admitting' guilt was too ambiguous for it to be accepted as a clear admission of guilt, in the interset of justice they are trying to clarify thois, so they want you in court to clarify if your pleading guilty with 'mitigation', or not guilty. I really can't see them accepting that your husband, who you are not in a 'confrontational' relationship with would withold 2 such crucial documents from you accidently, however you either need to tender an unambiguous guilty plea, or plead not guilty, take hubby as witness (clarify if the next date is just for pleading or time set for a trial) and see if you are believed. The only way I can see 'you' being believed is if your husband admits witholding them deliberately and not accidently, they may not like it, but its more believeable than an 'accidental, honest guv' approach.

Simon
patdavies
Out of interest, if the husband did withhold them wilfully, is there anything that he can be done for?

As for the OP, you are guilty (possibly with mitigation). You cannot be Not Guilty as all that is required for service of the NIP/S.172 is that it be sent to your last known address by pre-paid postage.
cjard
One thing i'm curious about.. Nemo touched on it before..

Original NIP arrived 26 Nov 2007. Presume posting on the 24th Nov.. but remember it's near christmas and the postal service is recovering from a strike, could have been longer..
Answer had to be back before 26th Dec (latest, assuming instant delivery by the RM)
Reminder issued ~30th Dec 2007.. and all the reminders ive seen, give a further 7 days but under the law as it stands, this is an unofficial nicety, not a formal extension to the legal requirement to nominate within 28 days of the original request
As such, as nemo pointed out, an info would have to be laid before the 26th Jun
The OP has indicated that the summons lay date was 9th JULY


I'd call the court and double check the date of laying. I would also type the EXACT text that appears on the summons of what you did. It will say something like "Namely that Mary X did, on the 26th Dec 2007, fail to give info leading to the conviction of a driver as per S172 of the blah blah"

AIUI you have NOT been issued 2 S172 requests, only one request and one reminder. The SCP cannot just arbitrarily make up a date that you became guilty of an offence so tha tit fits within the 6 months timescale allowed for petty offences.


To aid us further, please scan the court summons (all relevant pages, probably the first 3 and then any evidential pages the SCP may have sent at most, dont include the means statement, and directions how to get there) and both the original S172 AND the "reminder", and post them up here.

Note: remove all personal details, including any unique reference numbers such as case number, reg number etc. Dates should stay, because we need them
The Rookie
QUOTE (patdavies @ Fri, 15 Aug 2008 - 08:43) *
Out of interest, if the husband did withhold them wilfully, is there anything that he can be done for?

As for the OP, you are guilty (possibly with mitigation). You cannot be Not Guilty as all that is required for service of the NIP/S.172 is that it be sent to your last known address by pre-paid postage.


Interesting point, if someone else deliberatly prevents the service of the S172 request (essentially acting as an agent provocateur), how can the recipient be guilty of not responding, she may be guilty under the letter of the law (arguably not if she replies now which would be as soon as possible?) but the ECHR would surely rule that as a contravention of human rights, if nothing else!

Simon
westbury
Dear Cjard
The exact text is as follows: On the 14/02/2008 at The City of Manchester, having been required by or on behalf of the Chief Officer of Greater Manchester, failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle, etc.
Does this mean they are proceeding with the date from the second NIP.

Sorry for being so vauge. I phoned the court and he did not seem to know what I was talking about, regarding the date of laying. He is sure it was the 14/02/2008, but i can not see how. Is there any other way I can get that information.

I am currently unable to scan the requested documents
The Rookie
Clearly they couldn't have laid info on the date of the alleged offence, as you had until midnight that day to respond....if they can't give a date info was laid, then the court has no jurisdiction!

Simon
westbury
Could someone please clarify this situation? On my summons it states that the offence was on the 14/02/08 which is 28 days after the second NIP was sent out. My question is, why am I being prosecuted for failing to provide information on the second NIP and not on the first one, as this was when the actual offence took place.

Also a friend has recieved a written witness statment sent by the CPS stating that her offence took place on the 07/07/2008, when it was actually on the 07/07/2007. Would this just be put down as a mistake if mentioned in court?
The Rookie
Irrelevant really, had you replied to the first one it would be a defence to this anyway, HOWEVER it may be so they keep the commencemnet of proceedings within the 6 months, in which case it is arguably an abuse of process, the commencement should be within 6 months of the failure to respond to the first request.

If its in the written witness statement only, it can be easily explained and will be ignored, unless the error is also on the summons itself, when arguably it may be an issue, she would need to start a seperate thread (one case one thread!) giving a lot more details to see if any use can be made of the error.

Simon
westbury
I have just spoken to a lady at the Central Ticket Office and she states that because i am being prosecuted for failure to furnish information, it is regarding the second NIP/S172 and therefore they are within the six months timeline. Is this true?
PhoebeS
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sun, 27 Jul 2008 - 14:39) *
There is no 14 day rule in relation to s. 172 notices, only an intial notice of intended prosecution. Whilst they may (or may not) be on the same bit of paper they are separate legal documents.


So if the NIP is time-expired (i.e. dated more than 14 days after the event) does that make any subsequent or accompanying S172 and other relevant documents obsolete too?

What I mean is if the NIP is time-expired are you within your rights to just ignore everything else?
southpaw82
QUOTE (PhoebeS @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 10:38) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sun, 27 Jul 2008 - 14:39) *
There is no 14 day rule in relation to s. 172 notices, only an intial notice of intended prosecution. Whilst they may (or may not) be on the same bit of paper they are separate legal documents.


So if the NIP is time-expired (i.e. dated more than 14 days after the event) does that make any subsequent or accompanying S172 and other relevant documents obsolete too?

What I mean is if the NIP is time-expired are you within your rights to just ignore everything else?


No. You must still respond to the s. 172 notice.
PhoebeS
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 10:42) *
QUOTE (PhoebeS @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 10:38) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sun, 27 Jul 2008 - 14:39) *
There is no 14 day rule in relation to s. 172 notices, only an intial notice of intended prosecution. Whilst they may (or may not) be on the same bit of paper they are separate legal documents.


So if the NIP is time-expired (i.e. dated more than 14 days after the event) does that make any subsequent or accompanying S172 and other relevant documents obsolete too?

What I mean is if the NIP is time-expired are you within your rights to just ignore everything else?


No. You must still respond to the s. 172 notice.



But will the driver still be eligible to prosecution seeing as the police didn't start the wheels in motion (no pun intended smile.gif ) on time.
southpaw82
No. If the NIP is not properly served then that is a bar to the offence for which it was served.
cjard
QUOTE (westbury @ Fri, 15 Aug 2008 - 15:58) *
Dear Cjard
The exact text is as follows: On the 14/02/2008 at The City of Manchester, having been required by or on behalf of the Chief Officer of Greater Manchester, failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle, etc.
Does this mean they are proceeding with the date from the second NIP.

Sorry for being so vauge. I phoned the court and he did not seem to know what I was talking about, regarding the date of laying. He is sure it was the 14/02/2008, but i can not see how. Is there any other way I can get that information.

I am currently unable to scan the requested documents


In normal process here is what happens:

You get flashed for speeding on day X
An NIP turns up on day Y which must be within 14 days of X. This is a "hey, we're gonna prosecute" warning that they HAVE to give to SOMEBODY otherwise their case will be thrown out
They also ask, on the same bit of paper "Who was driving?" which is the most important Question
You don't respond to The Question
On day Y + 28 you become guilty of Not Answering The Question
On day Y + 30, some forces will send you a reminder, just incase you didnt get the original letter or ignored it. They usually state you can respond within some small number of days (like, 7) and you won't go to court. Technically youre still guilty of Not Answering The Question (unless you have a good reason not to have done so).
On day Z, the police will contact the court and say "On day Y+28 this person committed the offence of Not Answering The Question, please send them a summons" - this process of contacting the court to tell them you have been naughty is called "laying the information."
--> When you call a court, ask the peon: "My case number is 12345. Please tell me on what date this infomation was laid at court?" - if the peon doesnt understand the question, ask to be transferred to another peon.
Day Z must be within 6 months of Y+28, not Y+30, not Y+37, and not as in what seems to be your case, a completely arbitrary date several months after you failed to answer the Question


As mentioned before, my big problem with your case as you state here is that:
You keep referring to "the second NIP" - technically you should be referring to the Question, and there is no second Question, only the first Question, and sometimes a reminder.. unless you have committed two offences, in which case there will be two Questions, one for each offence. The police cannot ask you to name who was driving, and when you don't answer, ask you again in such a way that it renews their time limit. They ask once, and 28 days after the first time you fail to answer the question youre guilty of an offence (unless you have an excuse the court will accept). They then have 6 months to do you for that.

If all this is way over your head, let's boil it down a little:


How many speeding offences have you committed?
How many times have you been sent an ORIGINAL NIP/S172 request?
How many times have you been sent a REMINDER S172 request?
How many times have you been sent a summons?
What are the dates of arrivals all of the above?
On the summons, find all the dates you can and the relevant text near them and post them.
westbury
I am being prosecuted for one speeding offence. I was sent the original NIP on the 26th Nov 2007. I was then sent a copy of the original NIP on the 16th Jan 2007, (this did not state that it was a reminder and was just a reproduction of the original with different dates). I was sent the summons on the 10 July 2008 and the date of information as stated in the Offences section of the summons is the 09/07/2008.
I am really struggling to get verification of the date the information was laid and as I mentioned before the lady at the Central Ticket Office states that because i am being prosecuted for failure to furnish information, it is regarding the second (duplicate) NIP/S172 and therefore they are within the six months timeline.
Unfortunatly I no longer have the summons with me as this was sent back and foolishly i did not make a record of the dates.
PhoebeS
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 11:05) *
No. If the NIP is not properly served then that is a bar to the offence for which it was served.


Thanks for that. That's as I suspected.

Oh well, the area I got papped in is covered by a force that is notoriously slow at sending these things out. To be fair to them, they have a disproportionately high number of offences to deal with per day/week, so here's hoping. I know five people who know they have been photographed, two of who never got a NIP and three who got it late.
patdavies
QUOTE (westbury @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 11:49) *
I am really struggling to get verification of the date the information was laid and as I mentioned before the lady at the Central Ticket Office states that because i am being prosecuted for failure to furnish information, it is regarding the second (duplicate) NIP/S172 and therefore they are within the six months timeline.


I suggest that you stop talking to the Central Ticket Office (who are now irrelevant in the process) and start talking to the Court.

Either get them to confirm, in writing, the date of laying information or a provide copy of the summons.
cjard
Wow.. what a crock they appear to have made here. If this succeeds, then the 6 months rule is open to abuse in the following form:

Flashed for speeding on day X
Sent an NIP within time allowed, person does whatever with it (respond/feed to dog)
A year passes, SCP do a review of old files, see that one went unprosecuted! Ahh.. Send another NIP with different dates and if we don't get a response, issue a summons and do them!

Inferring, the SCP can "renew" their mags court 6 month time limit just by trotting out another NIP and then prosecuting for it? Out of order..


As I see it, you are now down to taking the argument to court:

If the court holds that the first NIP/S172 is key, then youre out of time for prosecution and the court should throw it out
If the court holds that the renewed NIP/S172 is key, then youre liable for failure to furnish but the NIP is invalid w.r.t the speeding charge.

I think one of the legal wizards would comment here, but I'd approach the court and say "This offence happened more than 6 months ago; here is a copy of the relevant S172 request. I ask that it be dismissed"
If they come back with it being the renewed S172 (I'm not even sure that's legal), write again to the court and say "The renewal of the Question does not alter the fact that the original offence of failure to supply was committed more than 6 months ago, and to attempt to renew the request so as to artificially extend the time limit for trying the case is an abuse of process. I ask that it be dismissed."

SCPs cannot just keep renewing the question, in the hope that one day you wont answer it so you can be done for an offence.. It almost sounds like vexatious litigation



cjard
QUOTE (PhoebeS @ Mon, 18 Aug 2008 - 12:11) *
To be fair to them, they have a disproportionately high number of offences to deal with per day/week

Fair? Curious use of phrase.. While I'm pro-police and have a high admiration for the work they do, I must observe:
Maybe if they werent so zero-tolerant then they wouldnt have such a mountain of paperwork to apply procedure to and they could get some convtions processed. If they are so keen to do everybody, they risk drowing in their own mess. The solution would be to issue fewer prosecutions and/or be more efficient at dealing with those that they do issue.
westbury


jeffreyarcher
So what happened on the 1st of August?
You said that you were going to court then.
It is the opinion of a specialist road traffic solicitor that it is an abuse of process to use a subsequent S172 notice to extend the six months time limit.
westbury
I got the date put back to 26th August as I was not in the country on the 1st August.
Would it be benificial to write to the courts and prosecutors now to point out that it is an abuse of process to use a subsequent S172 notice to extend the six months time limit or leave it until the court date
jeffreyarcher
The problem with this sort of thing is that just because 'you read it on the internet' is hardly a compelling legal argument.
You have to be able to back it up.
The other potential problem is that the information may have been laid in time, despite what the Fixed Penalty Office said.
You could try contacting these people (who were not the one that I was referring to, but he is some distance from Manchester).
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