What are Magistrates Court
Typically, a Magistrates Court Fine will be for any of the following:
• Driving offences: such as speeding.
• Driving without a licence, insurance or car tax.
• Driving whilst disqualified etc,
• Not having a TV Licence
You must treat a Magistrates Court
fine as a priority debt because you
could be sent to prison if you default on payments, and, although
rare, this does happen.
What is the procedure if you do not know anything about this fine?
We are hearing many cases of enforcement officers attending premises where the owner has no knowledge at all of the fine against them. From further enquiries, we are aware that Magistrates Courts are giving bailiff companies fines to enforce that were at one time considered to be uncollectable. Many of these are fines going back 5 or 6 years and which were obtained against an individual at a previous address without their knowledge. Magistrates Courts are able to locate a new address through national insurance records.
If you were unaware of the fine for any reason, you need to swear a simple Statutory Declaration to have the fine set aside. Please contact our office for further details.It is important that you swear a Statutory Declaration as soon as possible to avoid your goods being removed.
The procedure for collecting a fine is as follows:
• After the fine is imposed, notice of the fine and the
repayment rate (if one has been agreed) is sent out to you.
• If payments are missed, or
not made at all, a reminder is sent to you.
• If you do not bring the payments
up to date, a court hearing will usually be arranged and you are
informed of the date.
• If you do not attend the hearing,
the court can issue a warrant without bail. This means that you
can be arrested and bought back before the court. Our office are seeing many cases such as this.
• Issue a Committal Warrant to commit you to prison (if
there is a suspended sentence already on the fine).
If a warrant has been issued, you are required to either pay this,
or, if you are unable to afford to do so, you need to contact the
Fines Department of the Magistrates Court to arrange a date when you can attend
for a Means Enquiry hearing. Our advice
is that this must be done immediately.
This is a very simple hearing where you will be required to complete
an Income & Expenditure form so that the Magistrates can agree
repayments at an affordable level. You must ensure that you maintain
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