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Courts Bill [HL]


Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 2 — The fines collection scheme: main components

    60

 

Part 2

The fines collection scheme: main components

Meaning of “in default”

  4        For the purposes of this Schedule, P is in default on a collection order if he

fails to pay any amount due under the terms of the order on the date on

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which it is required to be paid.

Nature of power to vary terms of collection order, and to vary them in P’s favour

  5       (1)      A power to vary the terms of a collection order includes power to—

              (a)             substitute terms requiring payment by instalments for a term

allowing time for payment, or

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              (b)             substitute a term allowing time for payment for terms requiring

payment by instalments.

          (2)      Subject to sub-paragraph (1), a power to vary the terms of a collection order

under which the sum due is required to be paid on a specified date is a

power to vary the date on which the sum due is to be paid.

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          (3)      Subject to sub-paragraph (1), a power to vary the terms of a collection order

under which the sum due is required to be paid by instalments is a power to

vary—

              (a)             the number of instalments payable;

              (b)             the amount of any instalment;

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              (c)             the date on which any instalment becomes payable.

          (4)      Any variation of the terms of a collection order under which smaller

instalments are required to be paid over a longer period is to be regarded as

a variation in P’s favour.

Discount on fine if the sum due is paid without default

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  6       (1)      A discount on a fine is available if—

              (a)             the terms of the collection order require the sum due (or an

outstanding part of the sum due) to be paid within a specified

period, and

              (b)             the sum due (or the outstanding part of the sum due), less the

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amount of the discount, is paid at or before the end of that period

without P having been at any time in default on the order.

          (2)      A discount on a fine is also available if—

              (a)             the terms of the collection order require the sum due (or outstanding

amounts of the sum due) to be paid by instalments, and

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              (b)             the instalments (or the outstanding instalments), less the amount of

the discount, are paid without P having been at any time in default

on the order.

          (3)      The amount of the discount is to be determined in accordance with fines

collection regulations but must not be greater than 50% of the fine.

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          (4)      The discount is given effect by extinguishing P’s liability to pay the part of

the sum due that is equal to the amount of the discount.

          (5)      Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply if P is in default—

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 2 — The fines collection scheme: main components

    61

 

              (a)             on another collection order, or

              (b)             in payment of a sum due in respect of which no collection order has

been made.

Application to fines officer for variation of the initial terms of the order

  7       (1)      P may, at any time—

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              (a)             after the collection order is made, and

              (b)             before he is in default on it,

                   apply to the fines officer for the initial terms of the order to be varied.

          (2)      On such an application being made, the fines officer may decide—

              (a)             to vary the initial terms of the order in P’s favour, or

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              (b)             not to vary them.

          (3)      A decision of the fines officer under this paragraph must be in writing, dated

and delivered to P.

          (4)      Subject to paragraph 8, the effect of a decision under sub-paragraph (2)(a) is

that the collection order has effect with the terms varied in the way decided

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by the fines officer.

Appeal against decision of fines officer

  8       (1)      P may, within 10 working days from the date of the decision under

paragraph 7, appeal to a magistrates’ court against the decision.

          (2)      On an appeal under this paragraph the magistrates’ court may—

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              (a)             confirm or vary the initial terms of the collection order, or

              (b)             discharge the order and exercise any of its standard powers in

respect of persons liable to pay fines.

Increase in fine on first default

  9       (1)      This paragraph applies if—

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              (a)             P is in default on the collection order, and

              (b)             none of the following is pending—

                    (i)                   an application under paragraph 7 (application to fines officer

for variation of the initial terms of the order);

                    (ii)                  an appeal under paragraph 8 (appeal against decision of fines

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officer);

                    (iii)                 a reference under paragraph 17 (power of fines officer to refer

case to magistrates’ court).

          (2)      An increase is imposed on the fine which is the subject of the order.

          (3)      The amount of the increase is to be determined in accordance with fines

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collection regulations but must not be greater than 50% of the fine.

          (4)      The increase is given effect by treating it as part of the fine imposed on P on

his conviction.

          (5)      But the liability to pay the part of the fine representing the increase—

              (a)             ranks after the liability to pay any other part of the sum due, and

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              (b)             is subject to paragraphs 11(6) and 14(2) (liability to increase

extinguished in cases of subsequent compliance).

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 2 — The fines collection scheme: main components

    62

 

Notice of increase

  10       If an increase is imposed the fines officer must deliver a notice to P (an

“increase notice”)—

              (a)             informing P of the increase, and

              (b)             requiring P, within 10 working days from the date of the notice, to

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contact him, in person or in writing, with a view to explaining why

he is in default on the order.

Effect of compliance with requirement to contact fines officer

  11      (1)      This paragraph applies if P contacts the fines officer as required by an

increase notice.

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          (2)      The fines officer may decide—

              (a)             to vary the terms of the collection order in P’s favour, or

              (b)             not to vary it.

          (3)      A decision of the fines officer under sub-paragraph (2) must be in writing,

dated and delivered to P.

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          (4)      P may, within 10 working days from the date of the decision under sub-

paragraph (2), appeal to a magistrates’ court against the decision.

          (5)      Subject to paragraph 14 (powers of court after increase), the effect of a

decision under sub-paragraph (2)(a) is to vary the terms of the order.

          (6)      If, after the terms of the order are varied by virtue of sub-paragraph (2)(a),

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all amounts due under the order, other than the part of the fine representing

the increase, are paid without P being in further default on the order, P’s

liability to pay that part is extinguished.

Functions of fines officer in relation to defaulters: referral or further steps notice

  12      (1)      This paragraph applies if P fails to contact the fines officer as required by an

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increase notice.

          (2)      This paragraph also applies if—

              (a)             P contacts the fines officer as required by an increase notice,

              (b)             the fines officer decides not to vary the collection order, and

              (c)             no appeal under paragraph 11(4) (appeal against decision about

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variation following increase) is pending.

          (3)      This paragraph also applies if, after the increase is imposed—

              (a)             there is a relevant variation of the terms of the collection order, but

              (b)             P is again in default on the order.

          (4)      “Relevant variation in the terms of the collection order” means—

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              (a)             a variation under paragraph 11(2)(a) (variation in P’s favour

following increase) in relation to which no appeal under paragraph

11(4) is pending, or

              (b)             a variation under paragraph 14(3)(a) (variation by court) on an

appeal under paragraph 11(4).

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          (5)      The fines officer must—

              (a)             refer P’s case to the magistrates’ court, or

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 2 — The fines collection scheme: main components

    63

 

              (b)             deliver to P a notice (a “further steps notice”) that he intends to take

one or more of the steps listed in paragraph 13.

          (6)      Any steps that the fines officer intends to take must be specified in the notice.

          (7)      A further steps notice must be in writing and dated.

          (8)      P may within 10 working days from the date of the further steps notice

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appeal to the magistrates’ court against it.

The range of further steps available against defaulters

  13      (1)      The steps referred to in paragraphs 12(5)(b) and 14(3) and (4) (powers to take

further steps) are—

              (a)             issuing a warrant of distress for the purpose of levying the sum due;

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              (b)             registering the sum in the register of judgments and orders required

to be kept by section 90;

              (c)             making an attachment of earnings order;

              (d)             subject to sub-paragraph (3), making a clamping order;

              (e)             taking any other step permitted under provisions of fines collections

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regulations which apply any other enforcement power of a

magistrates’ court (with or without modifications).

          (2)      A clamping order is an order—

              (a)             that a motor vehicle be fitted with an immobilisation device

(“clamped”), and

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              (b)             which complies with any requirements that are imposed by fines

collection regulations under paragraph 18 with respect to the making

of clamping orders.

          (3)      But a clamping order must not be made except in relation to a vehicle which

is registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (c. 22) in P’s

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name.

Powers of court after increase

  14      (1)      This paragraph applies if the magistrates’ court is hearing P’s case

following—

              (a)             an appeal against a decision under paragraph 11(4) (appeal against

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decision about variation following increase),

              (b)             a referral under paragraph 12(5)(a) (functions of fines officer in

relation to defaulters), or

              (c)             an appeal under paragraph 12(8) (appeal against a further steps

notice).

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          (2)      If the magistrates’ court is satisfied that the circumstances of P’s case are

exceptional, it may make an order that if, after the making of the order, all

amounts due under the collection order, other than the part of the fine

representing the increase, are paid without P being in further default on the

order, P’s liability to pay that part is extinguished.

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          (3)      On an appeal or referral falling within sub-paragraph (1)(a) or (b), the court

may—

              (a)             vary the terms of the collection order;

              (b)             take any of the steps listed in paragraph 13;

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 2 — The fines collection scheme: main components

    64

 

              (c)             discharge the order and exercise any of its standard powers in

respect of persons liable to pay fines.

          (4)      On an appeal against a further steps notice, the court may—

              (a)             confirm or quash the notice;

              (b)             vary the notice so as to specify any step listed in paragraph 13.

5

Implementation of further steps notice

  15       If—

              (a)             P does not appeal within 10 working days against a further steps

notice, or

              (b)             he does so but the further steps notice is confirmed or varied,

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           any step specified in the notice (or the notice as varied) may be taken.

Power to order sale of clamped vehicle

  16      (1)      This paragraph applies if—

              (a)             a motor vehicle has been clamped under a clamping order, and

              (b)             at the end of the period specified in fines collection regulations under

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paragraph 18 any part of the sum due is unpaid.

          (2)      The magistrates’ court may order that—

              (a)             the vehicle is to be sold or otherwise disposed of in accordance with

those regulations, and

              (b)             any proceeds are to be applied in accordance with those regulations

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in discharging P’s liability in respect of the sum due.

Power of fines officer to refer case to magistrates’ court

  17      (1)      The fines officer may refer a case to the magistrates’ court at any time during

the period which—

              (a)             begins the day after the collection order is made, and

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              (b)             ends with the date on which—

                    (i)                   the sum due (including any increase) is paid in full, or

                    (ii)                  the order is discharged.

          (2)      On a referral under this paragraph, the court may—

              (a)             confirm or vary the terms of the order,

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              (b)             discharge the order and exercise any of its standard powers in

respect of persons liable to pay fines, or

              (c)             to the extent permitted by fines collection regulations, exercise a

power it could exercise under any other paragraph.

          (3)      Fines collection regulations may provide for the fines officer to have the

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power to issue a summons for the purpose of ensuring that P attends a

magistrates’ court to whom P’s case has been referred under this or any

other paragraph.

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 3 — Supplementary provisions

    65

 

Part 3

Supplementary provisions

Supplementary provision with respect to clamping orders

  18      (1)      Fines collection regulations may, for the purpose of giving effect to the

powers to make clamping orders and to order the sale of clamped motor

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vehicles, make provision in connection with—

              (a)             the fitting of immobilisation devices;

              (b)             the fitting of immobilisation notices to motor vehicles to which

immobilisation devices have been fitted;

              (c)             the removal and storage of motor vehicles;

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              (d)             the release of motor vehicles from immobilisation devices or from

storage (including the conditions to be met before the vehicle is

released);

              (e)             the sale or other disposal of motor vehicles not released.

          (2)      Fines collection regulations must provide that an immobilisation device may

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not be fitted to a vehicle—

              (a)             which displays a current disabled person’s badge, or

              (b)             in relation to which there are reasonable grounds for believing that it

is used for the carriage of a disabled person.

          (3)      In this Schedule—

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               “disabled person’s badge” means a badge issued, or having effect as if

issued, under regulations made under section 21 of the Chronically

Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (c. 44) (badges for display on

motor vehicles used by disabled persons);

               “immobilisation device” has the same meaning as in section 104(9) of

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the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27) (immobilisation of

vehicles illegally parked);

               “motor vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or

adapted for use on roads, except that section 189 of the Road Traffic

Act 1988 (c. 52) (exceptions for certain vehicles) applies for the

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purposes of this Schedule as it applies for the purposes of the Road

Traffic Acts.

Meddling with vehicle clamp

  19      (1)      A person commits an offence if he removes or attempts to remove—

              (a)             an immobilisation device, or

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              (b)             an immobilisation notice,

                   fitted or fixed to a motor vehicle in accordance with a clamping order made

under a further steps notice or under paragraph 14(3)(b) (powers of court

after increase).

          (2)      A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable on summary

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conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Offence of giving false information to fines officer

  20      (1)      P commits an offence if, in providing a statement of his financial

circumstances to a fines officer in response to a relevant request, he—

 

 

Courts Bill [HL]
Schedule 2 — Collection of fines by fines officers
Part 3 — Supplementary provisions

    66

 

              (a)             makes a statement which he knows to be false in a material

particular,

              (b)             recklessly provides a statement which is false in a material

particular, or

              (c)             knowingly fails to disclose any material fact.

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          (2)      A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

          (3)      A relevant request is a request for information about P’s financial

circumstances which—

              (a)             is made by a fines officer, and

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              (b)             is expressed to be made for the purpose of determining whether or

how the fines officer should vary the terms of a collection order in P’s

favour.

          (4)      Proceedings in respect of an offence under this paragraph may be

commenced at any time within—

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              (a)             2 years from the date of the commission of the offence, or

              (b)             6 months from its first discovery by the prosecutor,

                   whichever ends first.

Meaning of “standard powers in respect of persons liable to pay fines”

  21       “Standard powers in respect of persons liable to pay fines” means any

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power—

              (a)             that a magistrates’ court would have had if P had not been subject to

a collection order but had been liable to pay the sum due, and

              (b)             which fines collection regulations apply (with or without

modifications) for the purposes of this Schedule.

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Meaning of “10 working days”

  22       In this Schedule “10 working days” means any period of 10 days not

including—

              (a)             Saturday or Sunday,

              (b)             Christmas Day or Good Friday, or

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              (c)             any day which is a bank holiday in England and Wales under the

Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80).

“The magistrates’ court”

  23       In this Schedule “the magistrates’ court”, in relation to a collection order,

means any magistrates’ court acting in the local justice area in which the

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court which made the order was sitting.

Changes in residence

  24       Fines collection regulations may make provision relating to cases where a

person who is subject to a collection order changes his place of residence.

 

 

 
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