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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71141
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son was found quilty of travelling on a train without a

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My son was found quilty of travelling on a train without a ticket....He had lost his ticket(purchased on line) At the destination station he reported this to the station office and gave addresses where he could be reached if necessary. He explained that he would only be at his present address for 2 further weeks (early June) as it was residential halls at University and he would not be returning until October, so gave his summer address, his new address when returning October and his family address. 4 addresses in total. After several months a Court Summons arrived at the family address, the Court date for him to attend was for several weeks earlier. The letter had been redirected to him via the residential halls when they opened again in Sept. He contacted the courts and sent them all the information they required(proof of purchase and explained the circumstances)He has now received a demand from bailiffs for £700. The courts have been contacted and say they do not have his previous correspondence (He has the email he sent and auto response to it)They say there is nothing they can do accept for him except make an declaration by appointment which is not for a few weeks, however he will not be able to make this appointment as he is travelling this summer. There is not any appointments available earlier. Is there anything he can do.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What can he do to stop the bailiffs!

I'm not sure I can really give you good news.

The only way to stop them dead is to pay in full.

He can make a statutory declaration although I suspect that may be refused because he seems to have given a large number of addresses which a court is likely to consider to be his fault. There is case law to the effect that a person should keep tabs on their post even if away. It was always open to him to use his parental home.

That doesn't really matter all that much though because he can apply for the case to be reopened on the basis that he didn't get the summons and they probably will do that even if the fault does lie with him. They don't often refuse those applications.

However, he is going to need to attend. There is no way of doing it remotely. I suppose you could write to the court and ask them to consider it but they will not.

Its used to be possible to negotiate with the collections office when fines had gone to bailiffs but that stopped some time ago. He could negotiate directly with the bailiffs and begin payment. If he is able to agree an instalment payment plan then at least that will stop enforcement action and therefore fees racking up further. He would be able to claim anything he paid back if he ultimately succeeded.

If the bailiffs think he is making a statutory declaration though then they probably won't enforce until he has had a few weeks to do that basically because it would be a waste of their time if the finding is set aside.

Most courts will usually hear statutory declarations first thing most mornings though. Some courts do demand that you attend on certain days of the week but they don't usually issue listings weeks in advance. I suppose courts can do that if they want to but its certainly not the practice in London.

He is going to need to do it though in person. There is no way around it. Courts generally hate delay and the fact that he was abroad is not likely to find favour I'm afraid.

The only possible option is to just attend first thing one morning and tell court staff you want to make a statutory declaration. Magistrates Courts are always hearing declarations first thing.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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