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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi , My friend has to attend magistrates court ,he was stopped

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Hi ,

My friend has to attend magistrates court ,he was stopped for drink driving. His wife is a magistrate, in the same town. He will probably be banned from driving for apprimately 12 months. Will his wifes role as magistrate be affected.?

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

Is there any reason why you think it might be please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi ,
My friend was over the limit for drink driving . His wife is a magistrate , but he does not want his wife to find out that he was stopped for drink driving, he spent a night in a cell. He is very concerned that his wife will no longer be able to remain a magistrate. I think the magistrates court have told him that this might be the case. If this happens , then it will cause a further disturbance in his life.

Why should she not be able to continue to be a Magistrate? What reason have they given?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I think they have said that until the outcome of the decision by the court for his offence she can not sit on the bench. I want to know , can they stop her from sittings. His offence is going to be heard in another magistrates court in a different town from where his wife sits. he has requested that . But its affected his emotional well being, because they have insisted that he tells his wife , beforehand of his offence.orthetwise they will inform her themselves, because she can not do her duties as a magistrate until after his court hearing. He doesnt want to do this because it will have a detrimental affect on him and his family. What is his legal position regarding this.
Thank you.

On the face of it, I cannot see any liability. You are not a dealer and so not bound by the sale of goods act. The only way they could bring a claim against you as a private seller is to argue that this is their call was misdescribed in some way at the time of sale.

Of course, that can refer to a lie but it can also refer to a misleading statement which might be there allegation here. Beyond that though I cannot see any liability.

If it is just that they have realised that they have paid more than the vehicle is worse then that is down to them rather than you and no liability arises.

Of course, they may sue and you may have to defend this matter and probably you have better things to do but I think overall, on the facts that you present you would succeed.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi ,

Was there an error from your part.... This isnt my reply .., ?

Yes, sorry! My dictation software cuts and pastes the wrong answer sometimes.

Thank you.

I can completely see that they can stop her sitting while the case is being heard. The risk of a coincidence is too great and anyway it would not have the appearance of fairness if this case were to be heard before a court that contains his wife as a magistrate.

What I don't think that they can do is stop her sitting long-term. It isn't her conviction. In any event, magistrates do still sit with certain convictions.

She may have to declare this but it would not stop her achieving anything.

Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My point is that his wife does not sit on the bench , where he will be seen
Eg .. She sits on sheffield magistrates court and he will be going to leeds magistrates court, as he wanted the case to be heard in a different court to his wife. However can they still ask him to inform her, because it seems unreasonable, and this is what they have asked him to do.
No, but if she sits within the Magistrates Court area then I'm afraid I can see their concern.

Its not necessarily that it would cause prejudice but it would not have the appearance of fairness.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No she sits in Area 6 and he is going to Area 5...

She doesnt sit anywhere other than Area 6 .
I'm afraid that there is still a risk that they could remove her until the case is heard. It is not guaranteed by there is a chance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What can he do next, as he doesnt want his wife to find out?
In that case, the best thing that he can do is nothing in the hope that they do not remove her.

He is not under any duty to mention this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
On the phone they told him that they need to inform her, but that he can do this himself before the end of this week as his case is to be heard the following Tuesday.
they may need to but he does not and they may decide not to do so.

It depends whether he is willing to take the risk of her finding out.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Are there any legal guidelines regarding this that he can refer to when speaking to the court. ?
In relation to what? Legal guidelines have nothing to do with an obligation to inform his wife because she is sitting magistrate.

I am happy oo continue with this but please remember to leave feedback for my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks I meant Legal guidelines that the court uses to decide whether to inform the wife if she is sitting at another Area of magistrates court. What are they referring to interms of guidelines ... And if the couple are no longer legally married, and are divorced...can the court still ask her not to do sittings until his case is cleared.?
Its not a legal issue. Its an issue of their ethical obligations.

I think when they refer to guidelines they mean sentencing guidelines for the sentencing of offences although I suppose they could be referring to any policy guidelines.

They could ask her to stop sitting as I have said. Whether they would or not upon divorce is another matter.