Attachment Of Earnings.. £591!

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by Martin101, 1 Mar 2017.

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  1. Martin101

    Martin101 New Member

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    I wanted some advice regarding an attachment of earnings which I have received through my work...

    I was notified from my employer on the 24thJanuary 2017 that money would be taken out of January’s payslip which I believed was work related, only to find out when I had been paid on the 28thJanuary 2017 that the overall amount that was taken out of my salary as an attachment of earnings was £591.60.

    As you can imagine I was pretty annoyed and confused at the same time, so I looked into this further only to find out that I had been accused of travelling from Rochester without paying for my previous fare when boarding the train which was £2.60 on the 8th July 2016. This was the only information I had been given from the court when I rang.

    So I contacted South Eastern to explain to them that I wasn't present or aware that this event had even occurred and someone had given my name in an act of fraud. South Eastern told me they have a third party organisation who deal with all of their penalty fares (Iris Penalty Fares)and I would have to contact IRIS for this matter.

    After hours trying to track down their contact number I found out that the only way which you can contact them is to write a letter to appeal against your penalty fine. I have completed a letter of appeal which IRIS received on the 1stFebruary. I haven't received a letter back and they have stated on their website:

    (Appeals can take about 2 weeks to investigate and respond, if all the information is readily available. IPFAS may write to you to ask for further details, or they will send a letter reply to you at the address you gave with your appeal, but only when the appeal decision has been reached.)

    I am yet to receive a response as of yet but I very much doubt they will respond as you only have 10 days to submit your appeal after the event has taken place. Therefore I have arranged a Statuary Declaration hearing on the 7th April to give my plea (not guilty). In the meantime I am going to gather as much evidence as possible to prove my innocence.

    I think I have done what is necessary for the time being but it’s always good to get a second opinion, so if anyone has any further suggestions/thoughts please comment and let me know!
     
  2. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    As you have been convicted of a crime, this matter is (for now) out of Southeastern and IRIS's hands, so any appeals to them won't achieve anything.

    The statutory declaration will be a very quick process in which you sign a document to state that you were unaware of the conviction (see it here). Technically, you ought to do this within 21 days of finding out, which has clearly passed, though the court can extend this. However, I'm fairly confident that if you explain you weren't aware of this, and if part of the delay was caused by the Magistrates Court only taking statutory declarations on certain days, then you ought to be OK (did you apply for the hearing within 21 days?).

    You should be prepared to enter a plea of (presumably) not guilty when you arrive in court for the statutory declaration. After that, write to IRIS and explain that it wasn't you. If you have evidence that it wasn't then even better. It is then up to them to decide whether or not to try and prosecute you again. Rail companies are familiar enough with this happening so if you have any evidence to support your claim that it wasn't you then they will likely drop it immediately.
     
  3. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    If what you've claimed in my bold is correct, then my first port of call would be the police.

    Secondly I'd see if there is a process for having the attachment of earnings nullified while it is investigated in a similar way to a bank putting a freeze and credit on a disputed transaction.
     
  4. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Member

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    Incorrect Advice.

    The way to deal with this is as the OP has already done - arranging a Statutory Declaration to be made and reopening the case. The issue of identity will need to be dealt with in court.

    The only problem the OP may have is the delay in making the declaration. The court can refuse the application if you make the declaration 21 after hearing about the matter. I'm assuming that by making the appointment that the court has set the expectation that the matter will be heard.
     
  5. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    It wasnt advice.

    It is simply a statement as to what I'd do if I was in that situation. I'd imagine the police would be interested and helpful if what the op is alleging is true, namely that he has been a victim of fraud.
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    The police honestly aren't going to give a flying toss.

    There won't be any way of them effectively pursuing any lines of enquiry.

    Stick with the statutory declaration and leave the police out of it.
     
  7. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Except they wouldn't, since he isn't.
     
  8. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Clearly I'm missing something here.

    The guy in the op has been impersonated by someone. Whoever this other guy is has falsely given someone elses name while avoiding paying a fare, both of which are surely crimes.
    Yes, the police may not give a 'flying toss', especially about the fare dodging by I though impersonating another person while commuting crime would be of interest.

    Clearly I'm wrong.
     
  9. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    They are both breaches of the Regulation of Railways Act, but they don't - in my opinion at least - reach the level where the DPP would be interested in opening a fraud investigation.
     
  10. island

    island Established Member

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    I think the main issue here is that you didn't make the statutory declaration within 21 days of learning about the matter. If the court lets you off this, then you can continue.

    Do you have any evidence as to your whereabouts on the day of the offence?
     
  11. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    Identify fraud is a crimininal offence. If the OP has cast-iron evidence that he wasn't travelling at the time of the alleged offence then perhaps informing the police (and getting a crime reference) might be useful and taken more seriously when the OP goes to court.

    But seems strange that there is an attachment of earnings so soon - has the OP ignored previous correspondance or does he have an arch-enemy who is impersonating him and using his name to obtain other benefits?

    Remember, the OP has lost a lot of money, I'm sure he would like to see this refunded
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The police aren't interested in fraud. All they'll do is to tell you to report it to Action Fraud.

    It's not right, but that's the way it is.
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The statutory declaration (if accepted) will see the attachment of earnings order cancelled.
     
  14. Martin101

    Martin101 New Member

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    I have gathered as much information as possible which I will be taking to my statutory declaration hearing on 7th April. I have notified British Transport Police and they said now this it is a court matter there is nothing they can do in the meantime until I have been to the hearing.

    I understand I didn't book the statutory declaration within the time frame given (21 days) but I was not aware that this event had even taken place until my employer notified me on 24th Jan 2017,that money would be taken out of my account as an attachment of earnings bearing in mind the penalty was given to the person on July 8th 2016 - meaning I was not given the opportunity to appeal against this case in time.

    Someone has given my name and a part of my address when they were stopped, so letters have been going to this address which they have given but at no stage was I notified that this event even took place, I believe it is too late to do anything else as it was such a long time ago meaning I have to go through the court process and gather all the information I can and hopefully It gets dropped.

    If you suggest anything else please let me know
     
  15. Martin101

    Martin101 New Member

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    I can confirm the statutory declaration appointment has been accepted and will be on the 7th April 2017.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Keep in mind what cuccir said earlier - the purpose of the hearing on the 7th is just for you to enter a plea. Since you'll be pleading not guilty they will need to set a date for the case to be heard.

    However, see if you can't catch the TOC's prosecutor's attention before you are called to plea and make it clear that it is a case of mistaken identity. If they are satisfied that you weren't the person caught they may well withdraw the prosecution there and then. We had one such case reported on the forum not more than a month or two ago.
     
  17. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Established Member

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    I thought a statutory declaration was just that - and not entering a plea. Would a prosecutor attend? I thought it was just a sworn statement the OP would be giving.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken?
     
  18. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    I recall reading in other threads that once a statutory declaration is made, the next thing for the court to do is to seek a plea from the accused. It follows that they might ask you to make that plea while you're in the courtroom, to save on time and bother.
     
  19. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    If the appointment is at the Magistrate's Court then they will normally expect you to make a plea at the same time.
     
  20. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Member

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    Which is why I'm presuming that they're asking the OP to attend on 7th April - probably the next session where the TOC prosecutor is booked to attend and the matter can hopefully be resolved on the day.

    The standard advice on this forum is to make the SD at a local solicitor and send it or deliver it to the court ASAP. This keeps you within the 21 days and prevents you being forced into a same-day plea.
     
  21. Martin101

    Martin101 New Member

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    So before I am called to plea I should ask to speak to the TOC's prosecutor and explain what has happened? Is that who I ask for before I am called in to plea(TOC's prosecutor)?
     
  22. Skipness

    Skipness Member

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    Perhaps the OP can help on this one. A third party has given the op's name and a part address, all the court documents have gone to this address and the op has been convicted and fined in his absence. BUT an attachment of earnings has been applied to the op. How has the court got hold of the name and address of the op's employer?
     
  23. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The Court can use HMRC records for an attachment of earnings order, where they can't for sending a summons.
     
  24. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Member

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    Yes - get to court early and seek out the prosecutor before the court starts to sit. You may be able to get a result on the day, or an adjournment whilst your version of events is explored.
     
  25. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I agree with Puffing Devil (as usual!). I say this to add weight to his advice because, unfortunately for you, a lot of unreliable opinion has been given to you on here by other posters.
    Depending on how confident you are in negotiating under pressure, and in assessing the competing demands on the other party to your negotiations, I would add that not only should you be in Court early to make time for your 'discussion' with the Railway Company's Prosecutor, but you should be sensitive to the possibility that others may be attempting to make their own last-minute negotiations at the same time.
    You could make sure that you have pen and paper with you, so that you can pass a note explaining who you are and what you want, in case they are pre-occupied with someone else. In general, the Courts don't like to be kept waiting, but if the Clerk is informed that a productive negotiation is taking place, which is likely to lead to a settlement between the parties, then they are likely to be content for those 'discussions' to take place out of Court. So my advice is to be both sensitive and determined, and to focus on a constructive outcome.

    Please disregard the previous 'advice' about contacting the Police.
     
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