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sabarcas
Dear all ,

I'm new to this so apologies if asking same old questions - I have read as much as possible on this forum but would like to clarify a few points.

My question is when is it out of time to give a statutory declaration regarding a 'further steps notice'.

Due to reasons working away from my registered address and post forwarding arrangements failed (the people in the property did not forward mail as requested) I became aware of the 'further steps notice' in Nov 09 - fine of 625£.

I contacted fines office at the time ie Nov 09 and was advised to pay and told it was likely a parking ticket or speeding fine but if i paid no further action would be taken. I paid it, thinking it was just a very expensive parking fine which I managed to stop getting worse.

I recently up dated my driving licence which shows and MS90 and 6 points and fine. At this point (8-3-10) I contacted the fines office who told me, and I quote, " to submit a STATUTORY DECLARATION, and the court is obliged to set aside the origional conviction".


From reading on this forum, a stat dec can only be 21 days from when I was first alerted to the problem . However, as I did not have any indication that it was anything other than a parking fine, I left it once paid as I had very pressing personal matters (though £600 is very pressing !).

It was only since I found it was for a speeding fine and endorsement that the implications of what has happened has become evident. Therefore does the 21 days start from Nov 09 or from 8-3-10, when I found it was related to a driving / speeding conviction.

Also, I still have not ever seen any paper work other than the 'further steps' notice that has any indication of the offence on it. The only indication is the endorsemnt on my licence. The DVLA, the court concerned or the fines office have so far failed to be able to tell me what the origional fine/ problem was (though I am now guessing a speed camera SP30 type ).

What can I do ? I issued my stat dec within 3 days of finding out about the points etc, however do those of you with more understanding out there see this as being a way to have the conviction set aside.

I am happy to face any speeding charges and had I known about them I would have replied as required (as I did at beginning of 2008) when my work / life was more stable and I remained at my normal address consistently. I work in the health care industry and not being able to drive would impact greatly on pateints who I visit at home.

Any ideas.

Many thanks- and to all the other people who this has happended to - how will this end ? !
jobo
not sure what your asking, its 21 days from when you become aware of the conviction unledss the court allow you to submit out of time

you became aware of A conviction in nov, but where you aware of what the conviction was ?


what exactly have you done with the stat dec and what date did you tell them you became aware, if the courts accept what you say they will over turn the conviction, but i dont know how you will get the fine back

even if you get it over turned you may well have to go to trial again over it and will have problems defending yourself

peterguk
QUOTE (sabarcas @ Sat, 13 Mar 2010 - 00:52) *
to find MS90 and 6 point on licence.


QUOTE (sabarcas @ Sat, 13 Mar 2010 - 00:52) *
I found it was for a speeding fine and endorsement.


An MS90 endorsement is "failing to furnish", not speeding.
andy_foster
The original alleged offence is probably irrelevant now. Presumably a notice under s. 172 RTA 1988, requiring you to provide information regarding the driver's identity, was sent to you at your last known address, and you failed to provide that information. A summons for failing to provide information would have been sent to that address, and you would have been convicted in your absence - 6 points, endorsement code MS90.
Unless there was also a summons for the original alleged offence (e.g. speeding), it would be too late to prosecute you for that.

Unless there is any case law to the contrary, I would say that when you received the further steps notice, you became aware of the conviction, although that is perhaps debatable. In any case, the court have the discretion to set aside the judgment out of time where it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Whether or not it is worth having the judgment set aside would seem to depend on whether you have a viable defence - there's little point in having it set aside if you're just going to waste half a day in court and have a similar sentence imposed.

In law, an s. 172 notice is deemed to be lawfully served if it is delivered to your last know address, and is presumed to be delivered if properly posted. As you were not living there at the time, it seems very unlikely that you could rebut the presumption.
Assuming that the notice was [deemed to be] lawfully served, there was a legal requirement to provide the required information within 28 days beginning with the date of service. Obviously, you failed to do this. There is a statutory defence if it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information within the 28 days and either you provided the information as soon as was reasonably practicable after the 28 days, or it was not reasonably practicable to provide it at all.

Proving that it was not reasonably practicable for you to provide the information within the 28 days would seem to be relatively straightforward, but from what little you have told us, it is not immediately obvious why you were aware of the further steps notice (presumably sent to the same address), but not the NIP/s. 172, any reminders, summons, or any other paperwork.
sabarcas
Hello,

Thank you for your answers so far. To clarify :

The property is on an island in south east england.... a change in my work meant I worked on the mainland but was temporary contract in nature, based throughout the south and it was not practical to commute therefore I stayed at alternative places (friends and parents and girlfriend). Eventually I accepted a private tenant in my flat but stayed on the mainland as the nature of my work was still not permenant.

I visited the flat for the first time in 5 months for maintainence reasons and found the 'further steps notice'. Apart from some mixed junk mail, there was nothing else there. The girl who rents the flat says she did not know much about the post as she herself sends stuff to her parents - she had said she would forward my post but did not. It is one of those external post areas and not secure.

I sent a letter to the court explaining everything and stating as I was told, that I would like to make a statutory declaration to the court regarding my situation. In that letter I did state I found the further steps notice on the 5th November, indeed I duly paid the fine about a day or so later. So I was aware of the fine ! but not at all of the conviction in any way. At the time I asked the fines officer who told me it was most likely a parking fine unpaid. Having had a few parking tickets over the recent period I figured i must have missed on or something, so paid and thought that was the end of the matter.

Until I renewed my licence and found the endorsement and points etc.

In mitigation, this was a very unstable period of time for me, separtating from long term partner hence wanting / needing to leave the island address. I was also prescribed medication and councelling from my GP and looking back I was not exactly on great form regarding usual personal admin, thus things like updating details, checking details etc was not on my radar of things to do.

Having sent the letter to the court now, have I blown it ! I figured I tell them everything but trusted they would see my story but have a feeling that was rather naieve !

Thoughts much appreciated. Should I approach a solicitor at this stage ?
jobo


you make a stat dec, by turning up in court and signing the dec with a court witness to the signing,( though you could do it witnessed by a solicitor and send it to them) they then commonly put it before a judge there and then and either over turn the decision or tell you to sod off

if youve sent a letter in they will presumably make a decision on if they will accept your circumstances for a stat dec

i cant see any reason why they wouldnt, but you need to wait and see what they say ??
sabarcas
Thanks Jobo,

May be obvious but do I need a solicitor ? I am happy and willing to go court and to explain my situation but I have never been to court and would not want to make some elementary mistake that may influence the decision. I know I can tell the truth but literally is that enough ?

Clearly if there is not really any benefit of getting a solicitor compared to me attending and explaining fully my case I, I would not bother and probably cannot afford it anyway.

However, it is really important that if it is possible I get the MS90 overturned so perhaps it would be worth it ?
peterguk
QUOTE (sabarcas @ Sat, 13 Mar 2010 - 13:17) *
However, it is really important that if it is possible I get the MS90 overturned.


As AF said, your biggest problem will be:

QUOTE (andy_foster @ Sat, 13 Mar 2010 - 05:24) *
In law, an s. 172 notice is deemed to be lawfully served if it is delivered to your last know address, and is presumed to be delivered if properly posted. As you were not living there at the time, it seems very unlikely that you could rebut the presumption.
Assuming that the notice was [deemed to be] lawfully served, there was a legal requirement to provide the required information within 28 days beginning with the date of service. Obviously, you failed to do this. There is a statutory defence if it was not reasonably practicable to provide the information within the 28 days and either you provided the information as soon as was reasonably practicable after the 28 days, or it was not reasonably practicable to provide it at all.

Proving that it was not reasonably practicable for you to provide the information within the 28 days would seem to be relatively straightforward, but from what little you have told us, it is not immediately obvious why you were aware of the further steps notice (presumably sent to the same address), but not the NIP/s. 172, any reminders, summons, or any other paperwork.
jobo
thats a decision for you, if you do get a solicitor find one that specil;ises in motoring stuff

you dont need one if you put the effort in learning your stuff and youl get advise on here as good as any solicitor and better than most

you really need to wait to see what they say about over turning the judgement before making any decision
sabarcas
[



Proving that it was not reasonably practicable for you to provide the information within the 28 days would seem to be relatively straightforward, but from what little you have told us, it is not immediately obvious why you were aware of the further steps notice (presumably sent to the same address), but not the NIP/s. 172, any reminders, summons, or any other paperwork.[/quote]
[/quote]

The reason I was aware of the 'further steps notice' was because I found it in the foyer of the block where my flat is, amongst junk mail. There was no other letters relating to this. I therefore was a) shocked to find the further steps notice and b) did not know what it was related to.

I called the fines office the next working day to find out more. I was told they did not know but was most likely the consequence of an unpaid parking fine and that if I paid it, that would be the end of the matter. Looking back, had I known more and been wiser I would have pursued this more but I had alot of other things going on and paid on my credit card thinking at least it was finished with.
jobo
the arguments are for court, if it gets that far

what people are trying to point out is you will have to put up a convincing story about why it wasnt revived by you, just saying that two or three formal docs went missing isnt enough
sabarcas
Dear all,

Following advice from this forum, I managed to successfully make a stat dec which resulted in an MS90 endorsement being set aside.

I have been informed that the police will be notified of this and therefore are able to re start the prosecution case, should they wish too.

Is it likey that they will ? Given that the sat dec was accepted by the magistrate and was of course true and I have documentary evidence to prove my situation.

Is there a time scale within which renewed prosecution may occur?

The origional alleged offence was March 09 but having moved house I did not receive ticket , hence MS90 (Oct 2009).

MS90 set aside Feb this this year (2010).

I have been told a varitey of options such as 6 months from original allegation , from MS90 conviction, or there is no statutory time limit within which the prosecution can restart the case.

Do the police ever bother to inform you what they intend to do ie to prosecute or not to prosecute ?

Hope this helps others out there too.

Thank you
jobo
no they dont need to tell you

the 6 months is out of the window as they raised a summons in 6 months

i believe its three years from offence ? to time out, but id bet if you dont here in the next few weeks then you wont ?

nb the stat dec has nothing to do with the prosecution, just the lack of summons
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