How do I question a “distress warrant” that was issued and forced to pay. Basically last year I was summoned to court for to driving offenses. One for 48 mph in a 40 mph zone and one for 38 mph in a 40 mph changed to 30mph due to roadwork’s (after 5pm).
My problem was that I received my court summons for the two offenses which were delayed because of the Postal strikes on a Saturday and due to appear in court the following Monday. I informed the Court first thing on Monday morning that I couldn’t be in court as I am currently living in Dundee Scotland, and may court appearance was in Feltham outside London.
I also received “plead by post” forms on the same Saturday, which I explained to the court I wished to do. After sending off the forms I received yet another court sentence for a later date. In between that I received a fine for court payments and for the speeding fines. The fines were reduced to £50 per offense as I am currently a student.
I sent off payment with the forms they sent with the adjusted fines. After Christmas I got a demand from the DVLA for my driving license which I couldn’t send as it was with x Magistrates. Not long after in January I received my Driving license with the points added and the cost of the two £50 fines.
Thinking that was it I left it at that, only to receive a Distress warrant demanding a payment of £385 for non payment of the fines and court fees which I thought I had avoided by pleading guilty by post.
The speeding fines are not an issue as I was prepared to plead by post but feel I have been mistreated under circumstances beyond my control with regard to the postal strikes and my current living address. Is there anything I can do to claim the money back for the court fees and especially the “charges” of the bailiff?
I’m afraid that the court will still impose fines even when you plead guilty by post. Those fines will always be higher than those which would have been imposed under the fixed penalty system.
Its going to be too late for you to appeal the fines imposed if the cases were dealt with last year and its your responsibility to make sure you pay any fines outstanding and that you are aware of how much there is to pay. The court are entitled to enforce the fines and they are the bailiffs are allowed by law to add their costs to the amount outstanding.
You should call the fines office and agree a payment method with them they will agree to spread the payment for you. If they are happy with your offer and you stick to it they will withdraw the distress warrants.
Ultimately though if you do not stick to an agreement reached the court can issue a committal warrant which would result in imprisonment without you having the chance to plead your case in court so be careful.