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The Road Traffic Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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The fixed penalty procedureN.I.

Payment of penaltyN.I.

74.—(1) [F1Where a fixed penalty notice has been given or fixed by a constable or authorised person under this Part, payment of the fixed penalty] must be made to such clerk of petty sessions as may be specified in the fixed penalty notice relating to that penalty.

[F2(1A) Where a fixed penalty notice has been given or fixed by a vehicle examiner, or given by the Department, under this Part, payment of the fixed penalty must be made to the Department.]

(2) Without prejudice to payment by any other method, payment of a fixed penalty under this Part may be made by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the fixed penalty notice and the amount of the penalty and, unless the contrary is proved, shall be regarded as having been made at the time at which that letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

(3) A letter is properly addressed for the purposes of paragraph (2) if it is addressed to the fixed penalty clerk [F3, or the Department,] at the address specified in the fixed penalty notice relating to the fixed penalty as the address at which the fixed penalty may be paid.

(4) Sums paid by way of a fixed penalty for an offence shall be treated as if they were fines imposed on summary conviction of that offence.

(5) References in this Part (except in Articles 80 to [F482A]), in relation to any fixed penalty or fixed penalty notice, to the fixed penalty clerk are references to the clerk specified in accordance with paragraph (1) in the fixed penalty notice relating to that penalty or (as the case may be) in that fixed penalty notice.

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Registration certificatesN.I.

75.—(1) This Article and Article 76 apply where by virtue of Article 61(3) or 69(2) a sum determined by reference to the fixed penalty for any offence may be registered under Article 76 for enforcement against any person as a fine.

In this Article and Article 76—

(a)

that sum is referred to as a “sum payable in default”, and

(b)

the person against whom that sum may be so registered is referred to as the “defaulter”.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the [F5relevant person], or a person authorised by him to act in that behalf, may in respect of any sum payable in default issue a certificate (referred to in this Article and Article 76 as a “registration certificate”) stating that the sum is registrable under Article 76 for enforcement against the defaulter as a fine.

[F6(2A) In paragraph (2) “the relevant person” means–

(a)if the fixed penalty notice in question was given or fixed by a constable or given by an authorised person, the Chief Constable, and

(b)if it was given or fixed by a vehicle examiner or given by the Department, the Department.]

(3) Where [F7a person] issues a registration certificate under this Article, he must cause it to be sent to the clerk of petty sessions for such petty sessions district as the Lord Chancellor may direct.

(4) A registration certificate issued under this Article in respect of any sum payable in default must—

(a)give particulars of the offence to which the fixed penalty notice relates,

(b)indicate whether registration is authorised under Article 61(3) or 69(2), and

(c)state the name and last known address of the defaulter and the amount of the sum payable in default.

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Registration of sums payable in defaultN.I.

76.—(1) Where the clerk of petty sessions receives a registration certificate issued under Article 75 in respect of any sum payable in default, he must register that sum for enforcement as a fine by entering it in the Order Book of a court of summary jurisdiction.

(2) On registering any sum under this Article for enforcement as a fine, the clerk of petty sessions must give to the defaulter notice of registration—

(a)specifying the amount of that sum and requiring payment of it by such date, not less than 21 days from the date of registration, as may be specified in the notice; and

(b)giving the information with respect to the offence and the authority for registration included in the registration certificate by virtue of Article 75(4)(a) and (b).

(3) On the registration of any sum in the Order Book of a court of summary jurisdiction by virtue of this Article, any statutory provision referring (in whatever terms) to a fine imposed or a sum adjudged to be paid by a conviction of such a court shall, subject to regulations made under paragraph (4), have effect in the case in question as if the sum so registered were a fine imposed by that court on the conviction of the defaulter on the date of the registration.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may make such regulations with respect to the enforcement of payment of sums registered under this Article as he considers appropriate.

(5) Regulations under paragraph (4) may, in particular,—

(a)modify the provisions of the [1981 NI 26.] Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 relating to the satisfaction and enforcement of sums adjudged to be paid by a conviction, as they have effect by virtue of paragraph (3) in relation to sums registered under this Article; and

(b)make such incidental, supplemental or consequential provision (including provision to modify a statutory provision) as appears to the Lord Chancellor to be expedient.

(6) In paragraph (5) “modify” includes the making of additions, omissions, exceptions and amendments.

Notices on-the-spot [F8etc.]: when registration and endorsement invalidN.I.

77.—(1) This Article applies where—

(a)a person who has received notice of the registration, by virtue of Article 61(3), of a sum under Article 76 for enforcement against him as a fine makes a statutory declaration to the effect mentioned in paragraph (2), and

(b)that declaration is, within 21 days of the date on which the person making it received notice of the registration, served on the clerk of petty sessions.

(2) The statutory declaration must state—

(a)that the person making the declaration was not the person to whom the relevant fixed penalty notice was given, or

(b)that he gave notice requesting a hearing in respect of the alleged offence as permitted by the fixed penalty notice before the end of the suspended enforcement period.

(3) In any case within paragraph (2)(a), the relevant fixed penalty notice, the registration and any proceedings taken before the declaration was served for enforcing payment of the sum registered shall be void.

(4) Where in any case within paragraph (2)(a) the person to whom the relevant fixed penalty notice was given surrendered [F9or delivered] a licence and its counterpart held by the person making the declaration, any c endorsement of that counterpart made under Article 63 in respect of the offence in respect of which that notice was given shall be void.

[F10(4A) Where in any case within paragraph (2)(a) the driving record of the person to whom the relevant fixed penalty notice was given was endorsed under Article 63A in respect of the offence in respect of which the notice was given, the endorsement shall be void.]

(5) In any case within paragraph (2)(b)—

(a)the registration, any proceedings taken before the declaration was served for enforcing payment of the sum registered, and carry endorsement, in respect of the offence in respect of which the relevant fixed penalty notice was given, made under Article 63 [F11or 63A] before the declaration was served, shall be void, and

(b)the case shall be treated after the declaration is served as if the person making the declaration had given notice requesting a hearing in respect of the alleged offence as stated in the declaration.

(6) The clerk of petty sessions must—

(a)cancel an endorsement of the counterpart of a licence under Article 63 that is void by virtue of this Article on production of the licence and its counterpart to him for that purpose, and

(b)send notice of the cancellation to the Department.

[F12(6A) The clerk of petty sessions must send notice to the Department of any endorsement of a person's driving record that is void by virtue of this Article and the Department must adjust the endorsements on that record accordingly.]

(7) References in this Article to the relevant fixed penalty notice are to the fixed penalty notice relating to the fixed penalty concerned.

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Notices fixed to vehicles: when registration invalidN.I.

78.—(1) This Article applies where—

(a)a person who has received notice of the registration, by virtue of Article 69(2), of a sum under Article 76 for enforcement against him as a fine makes a statutory declaration to the effect mentioned in paragraph (2), and

(b)that declaration is, within 21 days of the date on which the person making it received notice of the registration, served on the clerk of petty sessions.

(2) The statutory declaration must state either—

(a)that the person making the declaration did not know of the fixed penalty concerned or of any fixed penalty notice or notice to owner relating to that penalty until he received notice of the registration, or

(b)that he was not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence of which particulars are given in the relevant notice to owner and that he has a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with that notice, or

(c)that he gave notice requesting a hearing in respect of that offence as permitted by the relevant notice to owner before the end of the period allowed for response to that notice.

(3) In any case within paragraph (2)(a) or (b)—

(a)the relevant notice to owner,

(b)the registration, and

(c)any proceedings taken before the declaration was served for enforcing payment of the sum registered,

shall be void but without prejudice, in a case within paragraph (2)(a), to the service of a further notice to owner under Article 68 on the person making the declaration.

This paragraph applies whether or not the relevant notice to owner was duly served in accordance with that Article on the person making the declaration.

(4) In any case within paragraph (2)(c)—

(a)no proceedings shall be taken, after the statutory declaration is served until the end of the period of 21 days following the date of that declaration, for enforcing payment of the sum registered, and

(b)where before the end of that period a notice is served by or on behalf of the [F13relevant person] on the person making the declaration asking him to provide a new statutory statement of ownership to the [F13relevant person] before the end of the period of 21 days from the date on which the notice is served, no such proceedings shall be taken until the end of the period allowed for response to that notice.

[F14(4A) In paragraph (4) “the relevant person” means–

(a)if the fixed penalty notice was fixed by a constable, the fixed penalty clerk, and

(b)if it was fixed by a vehicle examiner, the Department.]

(5) Where in any case within paragraph (2)(c)—

(a)no notice is served F15. . . in accordance with paragraph (4), or

(b)F16. . . a notice is so served and the person making the declaration provides a new statutory statement of ownership in accordance with the notice,

then—

(i)the registration and any proceedings taken before the declaration was served for enforcing payment of the sum registered shall be void, and

(ii)the case shall be treated after the time mentioned in paragraph (6) as if the person making the declaration had given notice requesting a hearing in respect of the alleged offence as stated in the declaration.

(6) The time referred to in paragraph (5) is—

(a)in a case within sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph, the end of the period of 21 days following the date of the statutory declaration,

(b)in a case within sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph, the time when the statement is provided.

(7) In any case where notice is served F17. . . in accordance with paragraph (4), [F18the person by whom it is served] must cause the clerk of petty sessions to be notified of that fact immediately on service of the notice.

(8) References in this Article to the relevant notice to owner are to the notice to owner relating to the fixed penalty concerned.

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Provisions supplementary to Articles 77 and 78N.I.

79.—(1) In any case within Article 77(2)(b) or 78(2) of this Order, Article 19(1)(a) of the [1981 NI 26.] Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (limitation of time) shall have effect as if for the reference to the time when the offence was committed there were substituted a reference to the date of the statutory declaration made for the purposes of Article 77(1) or, as the case may be, 78(1).

(2) Where, on the application of a person who has received notice of the registration of a sum under Article 76 for enforcement against him as a fine, it appears to a court of summary jurisdiction that it was not reasonable to expect him to serve, within 21 days of the date on which he received the notice, a statutory declaration to the effect mentioned in Article 77(2) or, as the case may be, 78(2), the court may accept service of such a declaration by that person after that period has expired.

(3) A statutory declaration accepted under paragraph (2) shall be taken to have been served as required by Article 77(1) or, as the case may be, Article 78(1).

(4) For the purposes of Articles 77(1) and 78(1), a statutory declaration shall be taken to be duly served on the clerk of petty sessions if it is delivered to him, left at his office, or sent in a registered letter or by the recorded delivery service addressed to him at his office.

(5) In Articles 77, 78 and this Article, references to proceedings for enforcing payment of the sum registered are references to any process issued or other proceedings taken for or in connection with enforcing payment of that sum.

(6) For the purposes of Articles 77, 78 and this Article, a person shall be taken to receive notice of the registration of a sum under Article 76 for enforcement against him as a fine when he receives notice either of the registration as such or of any proceedings for enforcing payment of the sum registered.

(7) Nothing in the provisions of Article 77, 78 or this Article is to be read as prejudicing any rights a person may have apart from those provisions by virtue of the invalidity of any action purportedly taken under this Part which is not in fact authorised by this Part in the circumstances of the case; and, accordingly, references in those provisions to the registration of any sum or to any other action taken under or by virtue of any provision of this Part are not to be read as implying that the registration or action was validly made or taken in accordance with that provision.

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