Author Topic: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?  (Read 1448 times)

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mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2024, 04:04:31 pm »
@Southpaw & @NewJudge - thanks both.

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I must say I was surprised that the Magistrates refused to hear your SD. Did they give their reasons?

Sort of, but it made little sense. After the magistrates & LA returned to the court room after breaking to discuss whether I could perform the SD, they told me that they believed the FtF convictions were issued correctly. That was about it (plus they said I could appeal if I felt this was wrong).

Of course I never contended otherwise - I was correctly convicted. My whole point of being there was that I simply didn't know about them! Other than that, the LA asserted on two or three occasions during the initial back and forth in court that I knew about proceedings. I tried to correct her twice, but she didn't appear to be having any of it (I honestly didn't understand her demeanor towards me from the second I walked in - maybe she'd just had a difficult morning, or maybe my request to speak with her prior was taken badly or something. I do not know!). I suspect this is where the issue is.

My best guess is that the LA seemed to not grasp the dates and has told the magistrates that I knew about proceedings (when I did not), and with that in mind, the magistrates didn't see any other reasons as to why the FtF convictions shouldn't stand. I guess that is what they meant when they said I could appeal - somehow it seems to have been interpreted that I felt the FtF convictions were themselves wrong (which of course I never said - indeed this never even came up).

Any idea if I can request minutes from the hearing? I would be good to not have to speculate as to their reasoning, but I'm pretty sure they just failed to understand the timeline.

NewJudge

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2024, 05:34:01 pm »
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Any idea if I can request minutes from the hearing?

Unfortunately, with the exception of evidence provided during trials (of which notes are taken near enough verbatim) proceedings in the Magistrates' Court are not formally recorded. The only notes will be a record of the outcome.
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andy_foster

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2024, 08:46:44 pm »
Where there is no conventional route of appeal, appeal is by Judicial Review - the appeal of last resort.
I am responsible for the accuracy of the information I post, not your ability to comprehend it.

Southpaw82

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2024, 09:05:05 pm »
Where there is no conventional route of appeal, appeal is by Judicial Review - the appeal of last resort.
Exactly. Not sure the OP fancies a trip to the High Court.

ManxTom

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2024, 11:52:08 pm »
Further to my previous post, I suppose it might depend on whether the OP was notified that he'd been convicted in his absence when he received these two communications referred to in his opening post on the pepipoo thread:

"... In mid-January 2023 I received a letter back stating that I owed 100 and would get 3 points due to not responding in time... "

and

"... A few weeks later, in early Feb 2023 I received another letter stating that, having not paid my fine on time, I now owed 816!!... "

The OP hasn't clearly said what these two letters actually told him.  Did they tell him he'd been convicted in his absence?

Hi mate - happy to clarify.

The letter in mid-Jan was referring to the 3rd offence (the only one I knew of at the time). It was basically just a reminder letter for my fine (already paid) and licence details (already sent). As I had already complied with the COFP and all post was delayed due to the strikes I wasn't initially concerned by these reminder letters (which were arriving around 10 days or so from their dating in any case). This letter had nothing to do with the convictions I was unaware of.

Then I got the "816" letter. It did not specify any convictions, and given I was unaware of any other motor offences at that time, my assumption was that I was being fined for not having paid my 100/sent my DL details (even though I had). That's what then prompted me to reach out to the Avon & Somerset police who then put me in contact with the CTO. After a bit of back & forth with the CTO, they then said that having looked into my case, they'd come across other offences which it seemed I was unaware of, two of which had already been referred to court. This was the 28th Feb.

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Unless @mooney11 made a right horlicks of telling the court what happened

Whilst I can't rule out this possibility, I don't think I did at all. Firstly I know all the dates of everything that occurred by rote. Not only have I documented it in writing on the PePiPo0 forum, but you can imagine how many times I've explained all of this to friends, family & so on!

Secondly, when I filled in the form for an SD referral (the one linked to in the sticky), I had to detail how/when I became aware of proceedings. So it was in writing and in the court's possession.

Lastly, as mentioned I had prepared a simple written summary of the circumstances, which I gave to the prosecutor who gave it to the LA. I don't know if the LA or the magistrates bothered to read it or give it any more attention than a brief skim. It was given back to me at the conclusion of proceedings.

All I can tell you is that everything I've written across both forums has been 100% truthful, and I believe I relayed that information to the court in both writing and verbally just fine. In court I was asked when I became aware ("28th Feb"), how I became aware ("via email exchange with the CTO regarding a separate matter"), when I contacted the magistrates ("17th March, by phone") and why I didn't call on the 28th Feb ("I was in India volunteering and had read that I had 21 days to contact the magistrates"). I was also asked some more bizarre questions as detailed a couple of posts ago.

All of which is academic at this point anyway. I won't be appealing the decision and I had no faith a just solution to my situation was going to be arrived at given they couldn't even recognise that I was unaware of the proceedings. I'm quite confident that I would have been disqualified again, even if that seems completely unfair.

I'm not a lawyer or a magistrate but like NewJudge I'm at a loss to understand why the court refused to accept your SD.

It was within 21 days but, after listening to your answers to the questions put to you by their legal advisor, the court obviously came to the conclusion that - contrary to what you were swearing to - that you had had prior knowledge of the s172 proceedings against you.

Having looked at your two threads on pepipoo and on here, I can only assume (as I posted previously) either that you got your presentation of the dates to the court wrong, or that the magistrates and their legal advisor simply did not grasp the actual sequence of events and dates that you put before them.

My understanding is that you first became aware of the two s172 proceedings against you when you were told during a phone call on 28 Feb 2023 that you had been convicted in your absence and without your knowledge.  That 'phone call - as I understand it - was initiated by you with no awareness of the s172 proceedings. You then made contact with Bath magistrates court on 17 March (within 21 days) to arrange to make a SD.

As I posted previously, I can only wonder whether the court was of the opinion that the two letters you had received in mid-January 2023 and in early February 2023 had already informed you of the two convictions, and you were therefore outside 21 days. 

However, as I understand it the letter in January was unconnected with the s172 convictions although the letter in February was (or might have been?) in connection with them, but that letter didn't actually tell you clearly what it was about.  It simply said "you've been fined 800" but no explanation why - so even after receiving that letter you did not fully understand what it was related to.  And that was why you phoned them on 28 February which is when you first realised what had happened.  (Is that a fair summary?  I can see why the court could have been confused...)

As I said I'm not a lawyer.  I can only suggest you follow @NewJudge's advice and write to the court asking them to reopen the hearing in the interests of justice under s142 of the Magistrate's Court Act.

The only other option would be to make a formal appeal through the court system, but both Andy foster and Southpaw are suggesting that that would be prohibitively expensive...

Sorry - can't be of more help.

And in any case, did you ever really resolve the question of whether it's still in your best interests to have the 172 convictions set aside in the first place.  Could you still end up getting banned again?

(Personally it would seem daft to me that you could be banned again, but you've seen how the courts don't always do what you want them to do...)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2024, 11:58:53 pm by ManxTom »

ManxTom

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2024, 11:54:36 pm »
Sorry - duplicate post!   :-[
« Last Edit: January 23, 2024, 11:57:16 pm by ManxTom »

ManxTom

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2024, 12:16:45 am »
I suppose another possibility is that the court did accept that you only learned of the proceedings on 28 February, but for the purposes of the 21 day limit they ignored your initial approach on 17 March to arrange making a SD.

Therefore they simply treated your hearing on 05 January as being out of time and exercised their discretion to reject your application

Without being present and hearing what reasons (if any) they gave for rejecting your SD it's impossible to say.

Good luck whatever you decide to do - or not do...
« Last Edit: January 24, 2024, 12:20:15 am by ManxTom »

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2024, 11:37:18 am »
@ManxTom

You summary a couple posts up is correct (with the exception that it was an email rather than phone call on the 28th Feb in which I learned of three other charges beyond the one I was dealing with - two of which had been "referred to court" - their words, no details).

Unfortunately I'm as stumped as everyone else as to why my SD was rejected. All I can say is that the LA seemed to take issue with me calling the magistrates on the 17th March and not the 28th Feb. When I told her I was in India she asked "do they not have internet in India?", and seemed puzzled when I said I got in contact within 21 days.

I think I would have been disqualified again. Not on any justified grounds; I simply don't think the court process is equipped at all to deal with a situation like mine and I don't think my argument would have been properly understood or considered on the day. I did briefly get to make a defence for why being disqualified would be unjust after the LA raised the issue of my facing a disqualification if the SD is accepted and as with pretty much every reaction I got from that particular LA, she looked puzzled and skeptical. Maybe I'm doing the courts a disservice - I do think I'd have had a fairer crack had it been the same bench and LA that I had in July. In that instance, the LA was very reasonable, and the lead magistrate was more involved - he addressed me several times, asked questions and actually seemed on my side. I wish I'd pressed on with my defence rather than timidly accept the original COFP. That one I did make a horlicks of! In this instance however, the magistrates never spoke a word to me other than at the end to say that I wouldn't be permitted to perform my SD.

My situation now is basically a bit crap. If I were able to actually perform an SD, I don't have any faith or confidence in the court process to actually recognise that a further disqualification would be unjust. If I do nothing, I've got big fines to pay, 6 points on my licence and MS90 codes to declare for the next few years.

It's quite striking to me that members of this and the other forum have taken vastly more time to understand the situation fully compared to the magistrates court.

I will debate whether to write a letter to the magistrates, requesting the opportunity to perform an SD again, explaining why I feel the decision to deny me that opportunity was wrong and to outline as clearly as possible why a disqualification would be unjust if the SD were permitted (I did of course do this last time around!). Or I may just call it quits - it really depends I think on what payment terms for the fines I can get. If I can make a small monthly contribution over say, 24 months, that wouldn't be the end of the world.

Any clues as to how accommodating courts/SEU's regarding fine repayments can be would be appreciated (if known).

Southpaw82

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2024, 07:03:47 pm »
The number of people who pay off fines at 5 a week is staggering, so you should be ok with that (depending on your finances).

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2024, 08:20:32 pm »
The number of people who pay off fines at 5 a week is staggering, so you should be ok with that (depending on your finances).

To be honest, that seems like the perfect '**** take' amount to pay the fines off. By my calculation, at 20 per month I should fully pay off the fines at roughly the same time as I no longer have to declare MS90's for insurance purposes, which seems like a kind of moral victory of sorts.

Cheers for the info.

NewJudge

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2024, 09:29:05 pm »
The court will normally expect the fines to be settled within 12 months.