Traffic Enforcement Centre and N244 application.
From the many enquiries that we receive regarding ‘Out of Time’ witness statements, the vast majority of people are very confused indeed by the letters from the Traffic Enforcement Centre and this would seem to be the main reason why so many people either fail to seek a ‘review’ ( by filing an N244) or alternatively, fail to complete an N244 correctly. If consideration is being given to have the decision ‘reviewed’ it is important to read our previous page (about the rejection of an Out of Time witness statement).
Is there a time limit for filing an N244 with the Traffic Enforcement Centre?
The letter from the Traffic Enforcement Centre will inform you that if you wish to seek a review (or to challenge) the Court Officer’s decision, that you will need to file an N244 within 14 days of the date of service of the letter of rejection (and not 14 days from the date of the letter).
In fact, you are entitled to file an N244 after the period of 14 days. However, you will be required to explain the reason for the delay on the form. Once again, please refer to the note at the foot of this page. Also, if the N244 is not submitted within the time outlined in the letter, the warrant will no longer be suspended and bailiff enforcement can recommence.
Is there a fee to pay to file an N244?
An application to “seek a review” of the Court Officers decision by way of N244 can be either be considered without a hearing or at a hearing.
From the many enquiries that we receive on this subject the cost of the N244 application is a huge shock. If you decide that you want to have your N244 application reviewed without a hearing the fee is £100 but if you require the case be heard in open court at a hearing the fee is £255. Given the significant court fees, many people prefer to have their N244 applications considered without a hearing.
Payment of the court fee must be made to the Traffic Enforcement Centre before they process the N244. If you are in receipt of qualifying benefits, you will be exempt from paying court fees. Instead, you will be required to submit an EX160 form with your N244. However, you need to be aware that you may encounter a problem with this in that TEC insist that “supporting documentation” for your EX160 should be very recent. This can lead to delays by TEC in processing your application. To overcome this there is a special form that you can submit which will allow you to file the N244 and provide the supporting documentation at a later stage. Please contact us for details.
N244 application without a hearing.
If your car has been removed by the bailiff and is in the vehicle ‘pound’, then we would always recommend that you submit an N244 application by this method as the application will be considered much quicker and if accepted….the vehicle could be released a lot sooner.
N244 applications ‘without a hearing’ are processed by the Traffic Enforcement Centre and passed by them to a Deputy District Judge sitting at Northampton County Court. Once the case has been transferred, the Traffic Enforcement Centre will notify the Local Authority by email and the authority must suspend enforcement of the warrant of control until such time as the N244 application has been considered. As you will not be able to address the court or to answer any questions it is vitally important that your N244 application is completed accurately and that you provide any supporting documentation that you wish the court to consider.
If your application is rejected at this stage, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your further options (details below).
N244 application at a hearing.
If you submit an N244 to have it considered ‘at a hearing’ the Traffic Enforcement Centre will forward the N244 to your local County Court and they will also notify the Local Authority. At this stage, the local authority must suspend enforcement of the warrant of control. Your local County Court will write to you under separate cover to advise you of the date on which they will hear your application. With cutbacks to court funding we are finding that many courts ( in particular in London) are listing N244′ s for a hearing approx 8 weeks (or even more) after receipt of the completed N244 application. Because of the serious delays, we always suggest that in cases where vehicles have already been removed to the bailiffs car pound, that an N244 be submitted ‘without a hearing’ (details above).
It is always the case that you should attend the hearing. It is very rare indeed for an N244 to be accepted if you fail to attend. It is important to take into consideration that if your N244 Application is rejected by the District Judge at a hearing that he can impose costs against you. Although this is very rare it can happen (and in particular, if you fail to turn up for the hearing).
How to complete an N244
Given that no two cases are the same, it is very difficult for us to provide too much information on here about completing the N244. We can assist with drafting the forms if you require. Please contact us using the details below.
Note from Bailiff Advice
We have a great deal of experience with Out of Time witness statements and N244 Applications. If you have concerns as to why your Out of Time witness statement has been rejected or require assistance with completing the N244, you can email a question to Bailiff Advice using our popular Question page.
Alternatively, you can contact us by phone. Please refers to our Contact us page for further details.