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Chillychrisy
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - December 2013
Date of the NIP: - 7 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 18 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - Totteridge Lane, High Wycombe
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - Not known
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? -
How many current points do you have? - 3
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons - Hi,
Glad i have found the right place!
I was photographed doing 37 in a 30 on 12/12/13. The NIP is dated 19/12/13 but i dont know when it was posted as there is no postmark on the envelope. It arrived at my house on 30/12/13 as it was (presumably) delayed by the Christmas post. The official Royal Mail "last posting day" for Christmas delivery is 20/12/13.
I replied to the NIP by confirming my details and agreeing that i was the driver but enclosed a covering letter stating that as the NIP was not received within 14 days of the offence that it wasnt valid. Thames Valley police has now replied saying that they will still pursue the matter and have offered me either a fixed penalty (3 points + £100) or a Magistrates appearance.

If i have a good (95%+) chance of success, i will pursue the matter to Magistrates Court but wont if i have little chance of winning.

What do people think? Many thanks in anticipation for the help!


NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - Yes
Did the first NIP arrive within 14 days? - No
Was there a valid reason for the NIP's late arrival? - Unsure
Although you are the Registered Keeper, were you also the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - Yes
Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 14:19:49 +0000
henrik777
The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The date of the NIP is of little value. To discharge their burden of proof they would need to supply some kind of proof of the date of posting.

If the prosecution can overcome that hurdle then this places the burden on you to rebut the assumption. Christmas post will help although i suspect it won't be enough. Have you contacted your local sorting office to enquire as to any backlog at this time ? Have any witnesses to delivery ?
peterguk
The authorities will no doubt have proof of when they posted the NIP. Normally the same date as the NIP.

It will therefore be for you to convince the Magistrates of late delivery.

To put the scale of that task into perspective, i had my postman as witness to late delivery, and i still lost in the Magistrate's Court.
localdriver
It can be an uphill struggle! Search for 'Gidden v C.C. Humberside' his case ended up in the High Court before it was quashed.
Gan
QUOTE (localdriver @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 15:48) *
It can be an uphill struggle! Search for 'Gidden v C.C. Humberside' his case ended up in the High Court before it was quashed.

IIRC "Gidden" sometimes posts here as Peterguk
sgtdixie
QUOTE
If i have a good (95%+) chance of success, i will pursue the matter to Magistrates Court but wont if i have little chance of winning


Your chances are nowhere near 95%, probably less than 50% in reality, but it can be done. If your threshold is that high best advice is to take whatever they offer then get on with life.
Jlc
QUOTE (Gan @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 16:14) *
QUOTE (localdriver @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 15:48) *
It can be an uphill struggle! Search for 'Gidden v C.C. Humberside' his case ended up in the High Court before it was quashed.

IIRC "Gidden" sometimes posts here as Peterguk

Post #3 wink.gif
Chillychrisy
Many thanks for the feedback. Greatly appreciated.
My take-out is "pay the fine and take the points because i have less than a 50:50 chance of winning"
Thanks again
mrh3369
All you have to lose is money as the points will not be any more in court but the fine and costs would be greater.
Jlc
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 21:08) *
All you have to lose is money as the points will not be any more in court but the fine and costs would be greater.

Potentially a lot of money... wink.gif
sgtdixie
QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 21:23) *
QUOTE (mrh3369 @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 21:08) *
All you have to lose is money as the points will not be any more in court but the fine and costs would be greater.

Potentially a lot of money... wink.gif

Also whilst some on here enjoy going to court the vast majority of people don't and we shouldn't underestimate the stress it causes.
mrh3369
Indeed, the reason for my post was simply to allow the op to make a decision with ther eyes wide open.
Transit man
QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Jan 2014 - 14:48) *
The authorities will no doubt have proof of when they posted the NIP. Normally the same date as the NIP.

From the OP's wizard:-

Date of the NIP: - 7 days after the offence


Don't know if that's of much help, but it puts it to the 19th, which could mean postal delays. huh.gif
Chillychrisy
The key dates are:-
Offence on 12th December (so the "14th day" is either 26th or 27th December - neither postal days)
NIP dated 19th December
Post Office "last posting date for 1st class Christmas delivery" is 20th December
NIP arrived on 30th December

My argument being that it's not reasonable to expect to be able to post a letter on or just after 19th December and expect it to arrive before 26th December.

I hope that this came through clearly in my previous posts
The Rookie
If it's dated the 19th it may not have entered the postal system until the 20th if it was printed after (or at least too late) that days post left, that would leave the presumed delivery date at 24th.
Jlc
QUOTE (Chillychrisy @ Fri, 17 Jan 2014 - 10:44) *
My argument being that it's not reasonable to expect to be able to post a letter on or just after 19th December and expect it to arrive before 26th December.

I hope that this came through clearly in my previous posts

Yes, only you know whether it's worth the fight for a 37 in a 30. Personally, I don't think it's reasonable either but you don't have to convince me.

The presumed delivery date would be 23rd or 24th - if you are credible then the Mag's may well agree. But you'll have to opt for court and SAC/CoFP will have to be rejected. Just as long as you are aware of the potential cost (financial/stress) of failure.
peterguk
QUOTE (Chillychrisy @ Fri, 17 Jan 2014 - 10:44) *
My argument being that it's not reasonable to expect to be able to post a letter on or just after 19th December and expect it to arrive before 26th December.


Using what you think is reasonable or not as the basis of a defence will fail.

As happens every year, i posted most of my cards on Friday 20th, and i know that at least some arrived by Christmas.

Statistics, percentages, and possible delays are irrelevent.

You have to give credible evidence that YOUR NIP arrived after 26th. No one else's post is of any interest.

Was anyone else at home the day the NIP arrived?
The Rookie
The point is that the OP's verbal evidence would be backed by a reasonable explanation to aid his credibility, it is not proof, but it makes the OP's verbal evidence more credible than without it being at Christmas.

Whether that is enough to convince a magistrates bench or not is hard to say.
sgtdixie
I think that the OP has a better chance than most. Given this is firmly in SAC territory a defendant claiming 'letter' posted on the 20th didn't arrive before Christmas would be credible. How credible only a bench will know. But it is really up to the OP whether the 'risk' of court is worth it.
mrh3369
Is a risk financially and only the op can decide if it one they want to risk, personally I would on a point of principal and the fact that I could afford to lose, op it's your call I'm afraid.
Chillychrisy
Many thanks again for the advice.
I dont have any other witnesses to the letter arriving on 30th. I opened it immediately but didnt want to spoil Christmas for others so didnt mention it for a few days...
On the other hand, I'm sure i would be a very credible witness.

What are the stages involved in taking it to Magistrates Court?
Chillychrisy
After due consideration, i have decided to pay the fine and take the points.

However, i would also like to formally write to Thames Valley Police and point out to them that i dont believe that the NIP was delivered according to the guidelines and that their procedures for sending out NIP's over the Christmas Period (when the first class post is very often delivered more than 2 days after posting) are inherently flawed.
In doing this i will use a form of the "RAC Legal advice line" wording and will refer to the Glidden case as a legal precident to support my view.

Can anyone suggest a form of words to use or even to whom i should address my letter?

Is there a formal board which looks at these types of complaints?


Many thanks for the help and advice
Logician
I suggest you don't waste your time. The likely outcome is that your letter is filed in the round filing cabinet on the floor and the worst outcome is that they take your letter as a rejection of the offer of a fixed penalty and take you to court. If you cannot resist the urge, wait until after you have dealt with the fixed penalty and then get the name of the case correct.
Jlc
Gidden wink.gif
sgtdixie
QUOTE (Chillychrisy @ Sun, 19 Jan 2014 - 11:37) *
After due consideration, i have decided to pay the fine and take the points.

However, i would also like to formally write to Thames Valley Police and point out to them that i dont believe that the NIP was delivered according to the guidelines and that their procedures for sending out NIP's over the Christmas Period (when the first class post is very often delivered more than 2 days after posting) are inherently flawed.
In doing this i will use a form of the "RAC Legal advice line" wording and will refer to the Glidden case as a legal precident to support my view.

Can anyone suggest a form of words to use or even to whom i should address my letter?

Is there a formal board which looks at these types of complaints?


Many thanks for the help and advice


The jails are full of innocent people who only pleaded guilty to avoid a bigger penalty. The Police see this on a daily basis and the letter will achieve nothing.

You need to either fight this on principle at court using the late NIP defence; or just pay up and take the points.

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