I do not know about this court fine

This is one of the most common enquiries that we receive via our helpline or online  Enquiry Form. In many cases, it will be found that the Magistrates Court fine is one managed by the HMCTS Historic Debt Team. 

Is there a reason why a court fine had been imposed without my knowledge?

There are a number of reasons. With motoring offences ( such as speeding etc)  the police are reliant upon the information held by DVLA  on the day of the alleged offence. In many cases, this information is found to have an outdated address etc.

If an outdated address is recorded on your driving licence or V5C (Log Book) then this would mean that the court summons, (or Single Justice Procedure notice), the Notice of Fine  and Collection Order and the Further Steps Notice would also have have the incorrect address and accordingly, none of these statutory notices would have been served on you.

The letter from the bailiff has come to my current  address.

The reason for this is because the four  bailiff/enforcement companies contracted by HMCTS to enforce warrants of control for unpaid court fines  (Marston Group, Collectica Ltd, Swift   and Excel Enforcement)  have “tracing” facilities enabling them to find a new address. The Magistrates Court take the view that if a person has  an unpaid court fine and moves address, that they should inform the court of their new contact details.

Is a Magistrates Court fine covered by the Limitations Act?

No it is not. A Magistrates Court fine is for a criminal offence, it is not subject to the Limitations Act and neither can it be included in either a bankruptcy, an IVA or a Debt Relief Order (DRO).

How can I make enquiries about the court fine?

If you had not received a summons and had no knowledge of a court fine until you were contacted by either Marston Group, Collectica Ltd, Excel Enforcement or Swift, then you can approach your local magistrates court for an appointment for a  Section 14 Statutory Declaration.   All bailiff enforcement will cease and if accepted, the conviction will be overturned. However, before being able to make a Statutory Declaration you will need to first establish what the fine relates to….when it was imposed….and  which Magistrate Court are dealing with the matter (please see below).

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

If you do not know anything about the  court fine, and you need help with identifying which court imposed the fine or how to apply for a Section 14 Statutory Declaration, yo can email a question to us using our online Enquiry Form. Alternatively, can contact our free helpline. Details are on our Contact page.

Lastly, our Simplified Guide to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.