Marston - 'warrant of control'

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Lh2017
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#1 Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 24 May 2017 19:41

I've been looking through some of the other forums and there seems to be a wealth of information... I was hoping to get some clarification on my own situation if possible!

I recieved an NIP about 2 years ago now, to which I replied to and gave my details for. A couple of months later I moved house and during that time had my mail redirected to my new address. I never heard anything in those few months. I wrote a letter to the Police advising them of my new address. I never heard anything back and as time passed I thought it had perhaps gone out of time to be dealt with. I wasn't going to chase to find out and offer a prompt! Anyway... the new house owners had my new address and never sent anything on either so again I pressumed it had been sort of lost in the system...

Yesterday, I received a letter from Marston telling me I had failed to pay a fine of £829. I looked into who they were and gave them a ring today to find out what it was all about. They told me it related to a court fine issued on 19th January 2017 at Oxford Magistrates court, regarding a speeding offence. So, given I was unaware that there had even been a court hearing, I sent of the statutory declaration form I found in another one of your threads, recorded delivery today. Marston say that if they do not hear from the court by 30th May then it will be passed to an agent who will come to the address. I am currently staying with family and they told me they had traced the address, which suggests all the other (if there was other) post was sent to my old address.

Given the time delay for this being heard in court, is this likely to be out of time and thrown out when looked at again? And how long is it likely to take for the Statutory Dec. to be laid in court? I'm very anxious of people coming to my family members address as I am rarely here so they might have to deal with Bailiffs!!!

Do I need to do anything else?

Thanks in advance!

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#2 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 24 May 2017 20:27

Lh2017 wrote:
24 May 2017 19:41
given I was unaware that there had even been a court hearing, I sent of the statutory declaration form I found in another one of your threads, recorded delivery today. Marston say that if they do not hear from the court by 30th May then it will be passed to an agent who will come to the address. I am currently staying with family and they told me they had traced the address, which suggests all the other (if there was other) post was sent to my old address.
The enforcement case is dead as far as Marston is concerned. They take it on the chin and move on.



Given the time delay for this being heard in court, is this likely to be out of time and thrown out when looked at again?
If the offence is more than 6 months, then the complaint cannot be re-made to the magistrate. Section 14 does say that "without prejudice to the original information" the proceedings are void. That means only the proceedings are void. The original complaint stands, but you can plead to the magistrate that you want more time to defend. That sours the milk because it uses up court time for a case that might already be dead.

And how long is it likely to take for the Statutory Dec. to be laid in court?
It takes effect the moment you post it by recorded delivery. It doesn't need to be "accepted" and the law doesn't require you to "book an appointment" to lay A statutory declaration.


I'm very anxious of people coming to my family members address as I am rarely here so they might have to deal with Bailiffs!!!

Do I need to do anything else?
Keep a copy of the statutory declaration inside the front door, and the bailiff a copy and video it all by holding up your mobile phone. Tell the bailiff to seek advice and quietly leave the property.

In any case, if you are not there, there is nothing the bailiff can do. If he does anything stupid, then he will be liable for everything that follows. It's not worth the risk because the bailiff is the one that goes time out defending it all afterwards and explaining away to the judge why he deliberately breached regulations.




Thanks in advance!
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#3 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 22 Jun 2017 15:47

I have finally had a response from Oxford Magistrates Court. They have sent me a letter stating they are 'unable to process the Statutory Declaration because you were convicted under the single justice procedure (SJP) and you must also respond in writing to the SJP notice.'

Attached is a form asking me whether I plead guilty or not guilty to the charge ans whether or not I want the case to be heard in my absense or whether I want to attend court. Then it asks for me to offer mitigation to the offence and to fill in a means testing form.

Should I complete these and send them back or is this a ploy to get me to engage in the process of being prosecuted without being aware!

Thanks in advance.

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#4 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 22 Jun 2017 15:53

Lol - so they say they won't process the SD then rewind the case and send you the notice from the start of proceedings.

Did they include the evidence upon which the prosecutor will be relying to prove the case?
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#5 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 22 Jun 2017 16:24

They just sent the charge sheet regarding the speeding being recorded. They said they couldnt process the Stat Dec as I also needed to fill in this additional paperwork...

My issue is, I have no information as to when the conviction was laid in court as the 'offence' took place in March/April 2015 and the court case whereby they issued the fine was on 19th January 2017. I know they only have 6 months to lay the information in court so how do I know that it isn't just out of time on that technicality alone. If i respond then it gives them more to continue to case with surely?

I wondered whether I should contact the court and ask them when the initial charge was laid in court before responding? I considered whether I need to get a solicitor but that would probably end up costing more than a fine!!

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#6 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 22 Jun 2017 16:41

The six-month rule only applies to when they first lay the information, not when the sentence was passed.

So to clarify, they've sent you the original NIP with the allegation asking you to admit the charge or give the name of who was driving at the time? Was it wildly over the limit?
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

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#7 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 22 Jun 2017 17:02

Yes, that's what I mean - I do not know when the information was first laid in court...

I have recieved paperwork entitiled SJP - stating that I have been charged with a motoring offence and now need to provide information as to whether or not I am pleading guilty and wish for the matter to be dealt in court without me or guilty and i wish to attend court or if I plead Not Guilty and then it will go to court.

It was 103mph on a dual carriageway. I am aware that sounds reckless :-( I remember the day well as due to working in a prison I was late out from work - I am a single parent and needed to collect my children from school at 3.15 and I was on a dual carriageway approx 10 mins from town (on a clear day, with one other road user on that stretch, and a slight curve in the road obscuring my view of the police van tucked in behind a verge) some personal circumstances several months before meant my children were due to be collected from school one night and their father didnt show up due to being hospitilised; there were other matters that particular day which had caused quite an amount of stress. I was very sensitive about 'not being there to collect them' and in my bid to concentrate on getting to them I admit I was careless with watching my speed...

I have since facilitated a restorative justice conference between an offender and victim who lost her adult child in a car collision which happened because the offender was speeding. Believe me. That was enough to ensure I have been very speed aware since!!! Very different circumstances but still...

I intend to plead guilty if it goes to court but I would like to be there to offer my mitigation - just dont have the income to pay a solicitor so worried I would have to essentially represent myself!

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#8 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 22 Jun 2017 17:24

Sentencing guidelines say you're looking at 6 points and a band C fine of about 1.5 times your weekly take-home pay. If you did go to court you would have access to the duty solicitor who will mitigate for you.

TBH, I doubt needing to be on time for the school run would be a strong argument as they'll just say the kids were in a safe, supervised and familiar place, and you could've contacted the school to inform them. Using the previous experience may bolster that argument, but it'll depend on the JP on the day.

Having no previous convictions, being of good character and your type of employment could be in your favour. Thankfully the bailiff's are now out of the loop.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

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#9 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 22 Jun 2017 19:30

It's a bit more complicated than just being there on time as there were more elements to it than just that (just a bit too sensitive to discuss on here) but yes I hear what you are saying. I had just returned to work after a period of being signed off with stress due to all the things which were going on - so let's just say I wasn't in an ideal frame of mind at the time and wasn't thinking logically. Hence the illogical "must get to the children". But that's good to know that I would have access to a duty solicitor on the day.

I think I will give a call to a solicitor who offers free consultation on the phone and see what they advise. Then go from there then. I don't want to fill in the forms and leave anything out that could go on my favour. I don't have any previous convictions and I'm a Probation Officer so I am hoping that will go in my favour. That and the circumstances around my frame of mind at the time.

Given I am a single parent on a part time wage I hope they will show some mercy and give me the minimum. As I understand, the new guidelines with regard to how to charge the fines are new? They would have to sentence/fine on legislation at the time of the offence I think... hoping they just give me a telling off and points and avoid the fine (or conditional discharge).

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#10 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 23 Jun 2017 09:24

So this morning I have had a letter from an enforcement agent through the door! Telling me that he will take my possessions and return this week unless I pay the fine.

I thought this was the point of the Statutory Declaration, so the court can tell the bailiffs that the issue is being taken back to court. The court have said in the letter that they have returned my Stat Dec. Which they haven't. So now they are asking me to plea on one letter AND chasing me with bailiffs for the original fine imposed. What do I do?

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#11 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 23 Jun 2017 09:50

I have just spoken to the court - they have advised me that the statutory declaration being sent does not stop proceedings against me. But that now I have to complete this further paperwork and then they will decide whether or not the fine still stands - I asked why would the court be asking me to make a plea to consider the fine but the bailiffs can still chase me for it? She then agreed to contact Marstons to tell them I am in the process of making a statutory declaration but that if the magistrates court decide the fine still stands then I will have to deal with the bailiffs again?

This doesn't sound right based on the other threads I have read. Any help at this stage appreciated!

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#12 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 23 Jun 2017 09:51

Lh2017 wrote:
22 Jun 2017 15:47
I have finally had a response from Oxford Magistrates Court. They have sent me a letter stating they are 'unable to process the Statutory Declaration because you were convicted under the single justice procedure (SJP) and you must also respond in writing to the SJP notice.'
That is not what section 14 does.

Just tell Court staff they have received the SD and they must follow the law.

If anyone gets funny, ask for their name and say you will make a complaint to the Ministry of Justice for deliberately subverting a statutory declaration exposing you to an unlawful loss.
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#13 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 23 Jun 2017 09:58

Lh2017 wrote:
23 Jun 2017 09:50
I have just spoken to the court - they have advised me that the statutory declaration being sent does not stop proceedings against me.

That much is correct. While the SD kills off the fine and the conviction, they can (within 6 months of the offence - section 127(1) of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980) re-start the proceedings. That can only start with a summons under section 1 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980.

If it is more than 6 months since the offence or the complaint arose (the date the police filed at court), then any fresh proceedings are also dead. This applies to non-indictable offences, and speeding is non-indictable.

It looks like court staff are messing you about.

But that now I have to complete this further paperwork and then they will decide whether or not the fine still stands
You don't need to complete anything. They have to summon you first. Until then you can remain silent.





- I asked why would the court be asking me to make a plea to consider the fine but the bailiffs can still chase me for it?

Court service is trying to reinstate the fine without complying with the procedures. They need reminding that Section 14 revokes everything except for the original complaint.

The original complaint dies after 6 months from the date it was laid before the court. Section 127(1).

Cheating is not allowed!



She then agreed to contact Marstons to tell them I am in the process of making a statutory declaration
You have already done that. They admitted receiving it. The proceedings are all invalid.


but that if the magistrate's court decide the fine still stands then I will have to deal with the bailiffs again?

The conviction is invalid. They cannot revive a fine in this way without a conviction.

This doesn't sound right based on the other threads I have read. Any help at this stage appreciated!

Court service staff are being funny with you. You must record everything. If you have an android phone download ACR Pro £2.49 and you can record everything without telling them. It's exempt under section 35 of the Data Protection Act.


I would then give everything to Ministry of Justice, Complaints Team, 4th Floor, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 1AJ. Make a claim for damages from the Secretary of State for Justice. Your problem quietly goes away.
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#14 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 23 Jun 2017 10:18

jasonDWB wrote:
23 Jun 2017 09:58
If it is more than 6 months since the offence or the complaint arose (the date the police filed at court), then any fresh proceedings are also dead. This applies to non-indictable offences, and speeding is non-indictable.
Are you sure about that? The original offence would still have been laid before the court within 6 months - the SD only rewinds proceedings to the point after that.
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#15 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 23 Jun 2017 10:23

Section 14 only revokes the conviction and the proceedings, but it is "without prejudice to the validity of the information" meaning the original information laid before the court, stands.

That is how the court can re-summon a defendant because Section 14 does not revoke the information laid before the court.


Section 127(1) revokes the information if more than 6 months have elapsed since it was laid before the court.

If the above is breached, the only working remedy I have is a claim against the Secretary of State at 102 Petty France.
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#16 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 14 Jul 2017 09:57

I wish I had come back and checked this - I got nervous and completed the forms. I found information that stated with the new SJP legislation a Statutory Declaration could only be heard at the same time as the original conviction would be discussed. I filled in a mitigation statement and pleaded guilty to the original offence.

Now I've seen your response! :-( what can I do now? The court said they would be sending another summons... have they basically just manipulated me into pleading? They only agreed to call off Bailiffs if I completed the forms...

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#17 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 14 Jul 2017 09:59

The original offence was April 2015. They would not confirm when the information was laid in court. The court hearing where the fine was issued was January. And it was May when I found out about it via bailiff contact. Does that mean this is all still in time?

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#18 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Jul 2017 17:04

If you have pleaded guilty, then I think you are nailed as far as the offence goes.

You should have done a section 14 when the bailiff made contact.

If you want to unseat a conviction because the proceedings were laid before the court out of time, then I think you need a solicitor. I don't know how to make the application. It looks like Court Service mislead you into entering a plea for an offence under the threat of sending round bailiffs if you don't.
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#19 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 14 Jul 2017 17:59

Thats the thing... I did exactly that! I sent the Section 14 off and they responded saying they couldn't process it without me entering a plea at the same time. When I looked into I found information to say the process had changed to save time so now they process the Stat Dec at the same time as the plea and they won't do the Stat dec without it.

They've sent a summons now for me to attend court on the 2nd August so I suppose my only option now is to hope for the best or get a solicitor?

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#20 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 14 Jul 2017 18:02

...and yes that is what happend. The Bailiffs came round and the court told me that they would not verify with the Bailiffs that the Stat dec was in progress unless I sent off the SJP paperwork. The Bailiff posted a letter stating the next time they came they would force entry so I really felt I had no choice but to plea. It was either that or try to prevent Bailiffs from forcing their way in or clamping a car...

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#21 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Jul 2017 21:21

Lh2017 wrote:
14 Jul 2017 17:59
Thats the thing... I did exactly that! I sent the Section 14 off and they responded saying they couldn't process it without me entering a plea at the same time. When I looked into I found information to say the process had changed to save time so now they process the Stat Dec at the same time as the plea and they won't do the Stat dec without it.

The law is the same as it has been for the last 37 years.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/43/section/14



They've sent a summons now for me to attend court on the 2nd August so I suppose my only option now is to hope for the best or get a solicitor?
If the offence is non-indictable, and it has been more than 6 months since the date of the offence, then ask the magistrate to strike out the proceedings because they are in breach of section 127 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980
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#22 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 15 Jul 2017 07:24

(1)Except as otherwise expressly provided by any enactment and subject to subsection (2) below, a magistrates’ court shall not try an information or hear a complaint unless the information was laid, or the complaint made, within 6 months from the time when the offence was committed, or the matter of complaint arose

Excuse my stupidity - does this mean that because the original court date was over 6 months from the complaint I have grounds for them to dismiss? Or because the current court date is more than 6 months from the date of the offence?

Offence was in April 2016
Court date was January 2017
(No idea when summons was orginally sent or when it was laid in court initially) but given how quickly they summoned me this time I find it surprising that it took so long before...

Can I still make a complaint about how they handles the Stat Dec? I have it in a letter from them stating they were unable to process it without me making a plea at the same time.

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#23 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 15 Jul 2017 09:56

The information has to be laid within 6 months of the offence date.
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#24 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 15 Jul 2017 13:52

I just want to clarify some misinformation spewed elsewhere. The Criminal Procedure Rules state that if you attend in person to serve the stat dec and the offence was dealt with under the Single Justice Procedure, you do indeed need to declare your intentions on how you want to plead at the same time. The rule is under 24.17 (5)(c)(i).

However, if you post the stat dec in (so you are not present), the court staff cannot insist you have to attend - the proceedings are rewound to the point of needing to serve the summons. This is rule 24.17 (5)(c)(ii). In such a case the court staff are referred to and must follow rule 24.17 (6).

Some people just do not plain understand that. This is why this site always advises to post a stat dec rather than attend and be subject to a kangaroo court. Other sites always recommend to attend - their reasons are unclear.
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#25 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 15 Jul 2017 16:47

So basically they've had me on. I posted the Statutory Declaration... they then wrote to me to say this couldnt be processed without me completing plea paperwork. So they have breached that rule and essentially manipulated me into making a plea by telling me 1) the bailiffs would not be stopped on them recieving a Stat dec 2) if I didn't make a plea the Stat Dec would not be processed and the bailiffs would force entry.

How do I find out when the information was first laid in court?

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#26 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 15 Jul 2017 21:20

Lh2017 wrote:
15 Jul 2017 16:47
So basically they've had me on. I posted the Statutory Declaration... they then wrote to me to say this couldnt be processed without me completing plea paperwork.

It's nonsense.

You cannot enter a plea for an offence you know nothing about.

Give the SD and the court can re-summon you and say what you are accused. You ask for 28 days (reasonable time) to consider the information and decide your plea.

If the court forces you to enter a plea without considering a defence then the court service may well be in breach of the right to fair trial and the conviction is unsafe. Court service pays costs out of central funds.




So they have breached that rule and essentially manipulated me into making a plea by telling me 1) the bailiffs would not be stopped on them recieving a Stat dec
The law says the proceedings are invalid.

Nothing in section 14 enables court staff to revalidate them. They must start again from section 1 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980.

2) if I didn't make a plea the Stat Dec would not be processed and the bailiffs would force entry.
That is not what the law says.

The stat dec makes the proceedings invalid. If a bailiff takes an enforcement step, they are jointly and severally liable.

Over the years, I've had clients complain that court service is trying to work around section 14. I appoint a solicitor to the client and the solicitor is paid out of central funds every time.

They know the risk, so they try it on knowing that most of them get the desired result, but the occasional one will lawyer up and is paid out of central funds.





How do I find out when the information was first laid in court?
They will tell you that when you have been summoned and you attend the hearing. After the prosecutor has given the case to the magistrate, you take the stand and ask the date the information was laid. If the date is more than 6 months (for non-indictable offences) then you ask the magistrate to throw out the prosecution's case because the proceedings are in breach of section 127 of the Magistrates Courts Act.

I have been at the magistrate's court when such a case was dismissed and the officer of the court picked an argument with my client's solicitor over section 127. This was much to the bemusement of the magistrate sitting quietly, while all this legal argument went right over her head.

The Officer of the court needed some re-training on section 127 before she could preside over a magistrates court again. My client gets his way, my client solicitor gets her fee. We all go to a nearby Starbucks laughing all the way.
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#27 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 15 Jul 2017 22:04

It's the contradiction or incompatibility of different parts of CrimPR that's causing confusion. 24.17(2) says if the proceedings were brought under the SJP then a plea is entered with the SD, yet 24.17(4) & (5) contradicts this. As you say, how on earth can anyone enter a plea if they don't even know what the allegation is?

More digging is needed.
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#28 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 16 Jul 2017 09:20

The CPR's are drafted by court service. The law is created by Parliament.

An Act of Parliament is top of the chain in the legal hierarchy. No digging is needed if the client does not know the allegation. He can make an SD as section 14 says.

If court staff quibble the I give the client a solicitor and we all get paid.

This is why I won't lobby for a change. It puts money in my pocket.
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#29 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 16 Jul 2017 09:35

jasonDWB wrote:
16 Jul 2017 09:20
If court staff quibble the I give the client a solicitor and we all get paid.
Who has to pay for the solicitor first though? There's never a guarantee those costs are returned.
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#30 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 16 Jul 2017 09:43

jasonDWB wrote:
16 Jul 2017 09:20
An Act of Parliament is top of the chain in the legal hierarchy. No digging is needed if the client does not know the allegation. He can make an SD as section 14 says.
Yes obviously, but subsequent regulations and rules clarify legislation. There is a clear contradiction and incompatibility in there and it's causing problems, as seen in this thread. No sane person could argue that it's proper that someone must enter a plea before knowing the details of the allegation, but this is what the court staff are blindly following.
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#31 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 16 Jul 2017 09:49

I let court staff blindly follow it.

I'm not a solicitor, so I give my client a solicitor to deal with it. My consultancy only gives the law and the clients SD and the solicitor does the rest.

If court staff want to use CPR's they can do so. But it cannot be used to rebuke the operation of an Act of Parliament.

Bottom line, if the client doesn't know he was convicted, then the proceedings are invalid once he makes an SD. He will have no way of knowing what he is accused.

This is why I always tell clients to send the SD by recorded delivery.

Never take it there in person, otherwise, court staff will mess them about.
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Pote Snitkin
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#32 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Pote Snitkin » 16 Jul 2017 10:23

I reckon an extra line in the SD should be added:
If these proceedings were brought under Criminal Procedure Rule 24.9 (Single Justice Procedure), I cannot enter a plea under rule 24.17 (2)(b) as I have not been served any notices or material under rule 24.9 (1)(c).
That should keep them busy and should help avoid the chaos the OP in this thread has experienced.
On 29/07/17, Compo said "If you are interested I actually typed the word label. My spell checker interpreted it as liable" Discuss.

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#33 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 17 Jul 2017 07:42

So the question is. What do I do now?

I've been summoned to court on 2nd August and since the court threatened not to stop bailiff action unless I completed the forms, I have made a plea with the single justice procedure paperwork AND included a letter of mitigation.

Do I need a solicitor to fight whats happened so far? Or do I just turn up to court and ask when the information was first laid, hoping that it falls out of the 6 month window they had to lay the complaint in court...

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#34 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Schedule 12 » 17 Jul 2017 12:16

I'll add potes line in the SD. Its a good move, but without the legal blurb.
I cannot enter a plea because I have not been shown evidence of the offence I am accused
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#35 Re: Marston - 'warrant of control'

Post by Lh2017 » 17 Jul 2017 12:17

They sent me the charge sheet though...

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