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Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

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Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby peckerwood » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:40 pm

I was convicted ages ago without knowing for driving with no insurance but a solicitor dealt with that long ago and I thought the matter was closed.

Rather by surprise I have been re-summonsed to appear on Feb 26 in connection with the same 1994 offence.

I heard somewhere, that non indictable offences could not be brought outside 6 months under section 127 of the Magistrates Act 1980 but it, seems, does not apply to complaints being made by the police.

Is there a time limit for the court to issue a summons or bring proceedings after a complaint is made?

I don't have any driving records dating back 1994.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby diy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:14 pm

I believe its 6 months Section 127 Magistrates' Court Act 1980 under normal circumstances and 3 years where there are exceptions as per section 6 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/53/section/6
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/43

There must be something more to this?

I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say dealt with?

Given that its 22 years ago I wonder if there has been a mistake? This could be an abuse of process if you aren't able to defend yourself due to not having any records.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby dls » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:40 pm

As has been said, something must be going on.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby peckerwood » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:46 pm

I suspect there is. I recently bankrolled an unrelated claim for legal costs for a prosecution that was brought out of time and I was stonewalled when I asked for my costs. I brought in the Parliamentary ombudsman who said the Court Service was at fault because it was an employee that re-listed the proceedings out of time believing the summons was not invalidated by a section 14 statutory declaration. Court Service paid my costs, but without accepting liability. I suspect a background check was made on my DOB (I did wonder why a solicitor insisted I make it over!) and they found a historical fine for no insurance going back 20 years and they have decided to revive it saying the laying of the complaint is not invalidated by a statutory declaration.

It's not known what legislation protects the laying of the complaint from being voided following a statutory declaration.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:56 pm

Are you saying that you are being pursued for non-payment of an old fine? Let's hope that the cost to you of sorting that out is a good deal less than the costs recently paid to you by the Court Service.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby diy » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:04 pm

If everything is legit and this is a reviving of an old case that was discontinued, but served in time, then it's likely to be out of time. If it's more complex then it might be an abuse of process. If you feel a vendetta against you, then once you've addressed it. you might ask for a complaint along the lines of misconduct etc. If he judgement was never settled, then the court may want a little more than payment.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby dls » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:19 am

Peckerwood.

You are confusing the process.

Where a decision is made by magistrates in your absence, you can ask it to be set aside. That is started by you swearing a statutory declaration. The declaration does not of itself set the decision aside. It is used as evidence, and depending on its content and credibility, the magistrates may then decide to set the earlier decision aside.
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby peckerwood » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:56 pm

That has already been done, but I understood the statutory declaration voided the proceedings including the summons, and the decision, in this case a conviction in absentia.

I haven't asked for it to be 'set aside' (I think that is terminology from civil proceedings). The statutory declaration just voids the proceedings when it is laid or given to a 'designated officer of the court'

I am referring the case back to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. I think somebody in Court Service might be disingenuous, because Criminal Procedure Rules does not appear to enable this cause of action, and Court Service is just saying 'seek legal advice' and 'it's out of their hands'
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby dls » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:48 pm

I am corrected
See
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/43/section/14

But the conditions must be met. By your own statement you knew of the summons
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Re: Being done for driving no insurance in 1994

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:21 pm

So far as voiding a conviction is concerned, a Statutory Declaration must be served upon the designated offer within 21 days of the defendant becoming aware of the proceedings - Part 37 of the Criminal Procedure Rules applies. The effect is that the hearingis treated as not having taken place: the conviction is therefore set aside but a further hearing may take place, the purpose being to ensure the defendant has the opportunity properly to defend himself. It doesn't bring proceedings to an end, it resuscitates them. The laying of the information is not voided. As a matter of public policy, a defendant cannot avoid proceedings by successfully ignoring them.

Section 127 imposes a six-month limitation period, but it says that a case may not be heard unless the information is laid within six months of the offence. If the information was laid in 1994 (presumably so, given the OP instructed solicitors to deal with it at that time) then there appears to be no prohibition on him being tried now.

By the way, schedule 3 of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 says that the commencement or conduct of criminal proceedings in any court in the United Kingdom is not subject to investigation by the Ombudsman.
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