Failure to notify change of keeper - court hearing

Failure to notify change of keeper - court hearing

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escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Folks,

Just this very evening I have returned home to a brown envelope on my door mat stating that the DVLA are taking me to court for failing to notify them about a change of keeper on a car I used to own.

I've spoken to the DVLA (call centre in Swansea) and the chap was actually surprisingly helpful. He essentially said that I'd need to put my case forward to the relevant prosecutor but that on the V5, it does say that it's my responsibility to chase up a notification from the DVLA to state that they've received and updated their records accordingly.

I didn't do this.

However, I did send the V5 off to them by first class post and I understand from doing a bit of googling that Section 7 of the Interpretation Act basically states that in posting it to them, I have in fact, served them with the required notice.

That being the case, surely the onus is on them to prove that I didn't send it? Which would be impossible for them to do.

Ideally though, I'd like to avoid having to go to court and just get them to rescind their summons.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this successfully or indeed, if it gets that far, any experience of having to present your defence in court? I've never been to court and I don't think it will be much fun.

B'stard Child

18,945 posts

193 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
escargot said:
Folks,

Just this very evening I have returned home to a brown envelope on my door mat stating that the DVLA are taking me to court for failing to notify them about a change of keeper on a car I used to own.

I've spoken to the DVLA (call centre in Swansea) and the chap was actually surprisingly helpful. He essentially said that I'd need to put my case forward to the relevant prosecutor but that on the V5, it does say that it's my responsibility to chase up a notification from the DVLA to state that they've received and updated their records accordingly.

I didn't do this.

However, I did send the V5 off to them by first class post and I understand from doing a bit of googling that Section 7 of the Interpretation Act basically states that in posting it to them, I have in fact, served them with the required notice.

That being the case, surely the onus is on them to prove that I didn't send it? Which would be impossible for them to do.

Ideally though, I'd like to avoid having to go to court and just get them to rescind their summons.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this successfully or indeed, if it gets that far, any experience of having to present your defence in court? I've never been to court and I don't think it will be much fun.
So in nutshell no PN or revenue generation attempt - just here's a court date please attend?


Variomatic

2,392 posts

108 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Once you've sent the V5 you've completed your legal responsibility and there is no obligation whatsoever for you to chase up an acknowledgement that they don't even legally have to send you (the letter they send is a "courtesy" measure by them which has no basis in law).

Generally they don't actually go as far as court, relying on scaring people into paying up the "penalty" then dropping it at the last minute or not turning up to state a case. They've also recently lost a very similar case (can't remember the ref but someone here will) with some pretty forthright comments by the judge about their "you have to chase us up" attitude.

It wasn't a binding precedent but could certainly be offered as persuasive authority that they're wrong. In fact, even the Direct Gov website has been updated to reflect it in that they now admit the possibility that you might be sent penalties for cars you no longer own and, if you do, you should return the penalty to DVLA, with as much information as you can about the new owner, and they'll put their records right:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/BuyingAndSell...

Obviously some staff at DVLA still consider themselves above the law, a judges opinion and the Government's official advice to clients on this rolleyes

escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.

TooLateForAName

3,919 posts

131 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Didn't Liquid Knight have exactly this issue?

Liquid Knight v DVLA
http://pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f...

voyds9

7,044 posts

230 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
escargot said:
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.
Doesn't further information indicate that they have been informed (albeit incompletely/incorrectly), job done.

B'stard Child

18,945 posts

193 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
escargot said:
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.
Shocking postal system we have in this country - or that letters sent by DVLA can go missing before being sent or letters delivered to DVLA can go missing once delivered.

I'd have my day in court - they are farked and know it

I'm sure further information will result in an offer of a FPN which you would of course see as the lesser of two circumstances and pay up.

Tell em to do one - you complied with your obligation

(I keep a photocopy of any docs I send to DVLA and have done for many years - reg docs have a clear date and signature on them)

escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
TooLateForAName said:
Didn't Liquid Knight have exactly this issue?

Liquid Knight v DVLA
http://pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f...
I think his related to not SORNing the car? Though the bones of it look similar. He said he did, they said he didn't.

escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
B'stard Child said:
escargot said:
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.
Shocking postal system we have in this country - or that letters sent by DVLA can go missing before being sent or letters delivered to DVLA can go missing once delivered.

I'd have my day in court - they are farked and know it

I'm sure further information will result in an offer of a FPN which you would of course see as the lesser of two circumstances and pay up.

Tell em to do one - you complied with your obligation

(I keep a photocopy of any docs I send to DVLA and have done for many years - reg docs have a clear date and signature on them)
I'm not paying out of principle. Definitely not.

I should of course have sent it recorded delivery but even this only proves they've received an envelope.

blueg33

22,009 posts

171 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Variomatic said:
Once you've sent the V5 you've completed your legal responsibility and there is no obligation whatsoever for you to chase up an acknowledgement that they don't even legally have to send you (the letter they send is a "courtesy" measure by them which has no basis in law).

Generally they don't actually go as far as court, relying on scaring people into paying up the "penalty" then dropping it at the last minute or not turning up to state a case. They've also recently lost a very similar case (can't remember the ref but someone here will) with some pretty forthright comments by the judge about their "you have to chase us up" attitude.

It wasn't a binding precedent but could certainly be offered as persuasive authority that they're wrong. In fact, even the Direct Gov website has been updated to reflect it in that they now admit the possibility that you might be sent penalties for cars you no longer own and, if you do, you should return the penalty to DVLA, with as much information as you can about the new owner, and they'll put their records right:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/BuyingAndSell...

Obviously some staff at DVLA still consider themselves above the law, a judges opinion and the Government's official advice to clients on this rolleyes
I read about that case too. I would let them take me to court and I would advise the press as it came to court as the public need to be made aware of this scam

escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
voyds9 said:
escargot said:
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.
Doesn't further information indicate that they have been informed (albeit incompletely/incorrectly), job done.
Possibly, though they clearly know there has been a keeper change as I guess the new keeper must have applied for a new log book (assuming of course, that they definitely didn't receive then lose it internally).

escargot

Original Poster:

17,048 posts

164 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Variomatic said:
They've also recently lost a very similar case (can't remember the ref but someone here will) with some pretty forthright comments by the judge about their "you have to chase us up" attitude.
I'd love to know what the case ref or name was if anyone can remember?

I'll do a bit of googling myself in the meantime.

B'stard Child

18,945 posts

193 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
escargot said:
B'stard Child said:
escargot said:
Thanks so far guys.

This is the first piece of correspondence I've received from them, though the 'Requisition' does note that I was apparently sent a 'notice on 01/02/2011 requesting further information under S46 of the Vehicle Excise & Regulations Act 1994 and offering the opportunity to pay an out of court settlement.'

I never received it otherwise I'd have addressed this issue before it got to this stage.
Shocking postal system we have in this country - or that letters sent by DVLA can go missing before being sent or letters delivered to DVLA can go missing once delivered.

I'd have my day in court - they are farked and know it

I'm sure further information will result in an offer of a FPN which you would of course see as the lesser of two circumstances and pay up.

Tell em to do one - you complied with your obligation

(I keep a photocopy of any docs I send to DVLA and have done for many years - reg docs have a clear date and signature on them)
I'm not paying out of principle. Definitely not.

I should of course have sent it recorded delivery but even this only proves they've received an envelope.
Excellent - wish you luck with this one

Recorded Mail - why the chuff should you......


Topic for another discussion as I was going through my car history file last year and I see that a few cars that I fully deconstructed in order to save others were showing as unlicenced.

I contacted DVLA who said they had no record of notification that they were scrapped.

Now the stange thing was one of them post dated the SORN requirement and I know I had it on SORN for a while.

So I've not been getting SORN renewals - they've no record of it being scrapped and the car was classified as unlicenced

I got a fax number from them and sent copies of all the reg docs where I had them saying all scrapped.

To my mind surely scrapping should remove it from the database!

streaky

19,311 posts

196 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
The one referred to here: DVLA lose court battle over SORN?

Streaky

Variomatic

2,392 posts

108 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
There's DVLA V Collins (Clerkenwell District Court, Oct 2009) and DVLA v Peck (Horsham County Court, April 2010). Both were in respect of failure to SORN rather than failure to notify, but the DVLA's argument was exactly the same - that it's your responsibility to chase them if they don't acknowledge something you send. The judge in both cases dismissed that argument as having no legal merit. AKAIK DVLA didn't appeal either ruling, so preventing precedent being set in a higher court.

Given that it's over 18 months since the first ruling, and that ruling has been confirmed by at least one other case, it's pretty scandalous that they're still trying it on with the same legally flawed argument. Of course, it makes SORN unworkable if they don't but their responsibility in that case is to obtain a binding precedent one way or the other, not to continue harassing people with court cases on a spit-ball basis hoping some of them stick!

streaky

19,311 posts

196 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
As has been said, if it proceeds to court, best to make sure the fourth estate is there ... national as well as local.

It's possible/probable that they'll fold at the eleventh hour, but that too might interest the media given that it's been pushed so far.

Streaky

Variomatic

2,392 posts

108 months

Tuesday 28th June 2011
quotequote all
Watchdog have taken a pretty keen interest in DVLA in the past (including the whole "you have to chase us" farce):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2010/05/dvla_i...

They're also aware that courts have ruled against it having covered at least one of the previous SORN cases.

More details from Peck for reference:

Claim No: 9BR0829

Court: Horsham county court

Date: 30 March 2010

The basis for the decision was that DVLA have no statutory power to require anyone to contact them if they do not receive a receipt. Clearly, while this was in relation to SORN, that reasoning is entirely compatible with a case involving failure to notify if they rely on the same non-existent "requirement".

nuster100

531 posts

102 months

Wednesday 29th June 2011
quotequote all
I got taken to court for this 18 months ago.

Cost me £140 inc costs.

B'stard Child

18,945 posts

193 months

Wednesday 29th June 2011
quotequote all
nuster100 said:
I got taken to court for this 18 months ago.

Cost me £140 inc costs.
More details please

nuster100

531 posts

102 months

Wednesday 29th June 2011
quotequote all
I sent V5, was never received.

Moved not long after, DVLA had tried to issue a fine then sent summons, which did mysteriously manage to find me.

Appeared in front of mag's, when they read out my address explained it was incorrect. They then said, so if you had received the initial fine would I have paid it (to which I said yes)

So they fined me £60 + costs + victim surcharge.