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Dispute Between my partner and northern rail.

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Barron01257

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My partner, On the 25/08/2015 was travelling from Manchester Victoria too Horwich parkway. She paid the fare for a return fare and jumped on the train without any hassle.

On her way back from she travelled from horwich and arrived at Manchester Victoria and was trying to get through the new ticket barrier system that they have placed in. She was pulled aside by a ticket attendant who then informed her that she had the wrong ticket. It seemed to be that she was travelling with an off peak ticket a peak hours. She was made to give the attendant her details, made her pay the difference between the ticket and was told to be on her way thinking this was the last of it.

However, just over 3 weeks ago we received a court summons from them stating that she had not paid the fine for her not having a ticket on the day of her travel.

The problem we have is that 3 weeks after the events of the day we moved out of manchester (Leaving our forwarding details with the estate agent) and never heard of this fine before.

I am just curious to see if anyone knows what northern rail will be seeking on the court day, Seeing as we have proof that a ticket has been paid for on the day and as far as i can tell, for having an off peak ticket during peak times, the only thing that can be done is being made to pay the difference. Any help would be great.
 
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221129

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My partner, On the 25/08/2015 was travelling from Manchester Victoria too Horwich parkway. She paid the fare for a return fare and jumped on the train without any hassle.

On her way back from she travelled from horwich and arrived at Manchester Victoria and was trying to get through the new ticket barrier system that they have placed in. She was pulled aside by a ticket attendant who then informed her that she had the wrong ticket. It seemed to be that she was travelling with an off peak ticket a peak hours. She was made to give the attendant her details, made her pay the difference between the ticket and was told to be on her way thinking this was the last of it.

However, just over 3 weeks ago we received a court summons from them stating that she had not paid the fine for her not having a ticket on the day of her travel.

The problem we have is that 3 weeks after the events of the day we moved out of manchester (Leaving our forwarding details with the estate agent) and never heard of this fine before.

I am just curious to see if anyone knows what northern rail will be seeking on the court day, Seeing as we have proof that a ticket has been paid for on the day and as far as i can tell, for having an off peak ticket during peak times, the only thing that can be done is being made to pay the difference. Any help would be great.

Did your partner pay the difference in Fares at the time?
 

bb21

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If the only irregularity were the time restrictions, and she paid the difference there and then, I don't believe Northern will have any case.
 

najaB

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If she paid the difference in fare at the time then they can't realistically prosecute for the same.
 

cuccir

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However, just over 3 weeks ago we received a court summons from them stating that she had not paid the fine for her not having a ticket on the day of her travel.

The problem we have is that 3 weeks after the events of the day we moved out of manchester (Leaving our forwarding details with the estate agent) and never heard of this fine before.

Can you clarify here - what is the court summons for? Is it with regards to not having the proper ticket, or not paying a court fine? In other words, has your partner been prosecuted in her absence as she was unaware of the prosecution, due to you moving house?
 

MichaelAMW

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If the only irregularity were the time restrictions, and she paid the difference there and then, I don't believe Northern will have any case.

Indeed. The only time you would be wrong is if they thought she was deliberately trying to avoid her fare, but that doesn't seem to be the case here as she was allowed to pay the difference. I guess to help the OP's partner we need to be absolutely sure what she paid for her original ticket and what difference she was asked for, and that she definitely paid up there and then.
 

Master29

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It does seem from the OP`s post that a fine may well have been issued by the court judging by the fact this took place over a year ago. If this is so you need to contact the court that issued the fine direct and give them the reasons why you didn't answer your correspondence and attend court. In your case you say you moved some 3 weeks after the initial incident and have had no correspondence regarding the old address. They may want to know why you didn`t have your mail re directed (if this was the case).

On the other hand can you let us know if your court summons date has passed or not as there are many on here more than willing to help and as Cuccir points out there are one or two points that need clarifying.
 

DaveNewcastle

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There's a lot of uncertainty here.
IF we can be absolutely positive that the Summons is in respect of an unpaid fine which related to exactly the same journey that you reported (and not another incident, possibly even one involving a third party), then your partner must make a Statutory Declaration (SD) to state that she was unaware that Court proceeding were being taken against here and that she had no knowledge of the hearing at which the fine was set. That will set aside the judgement and enforcement action.

An SD can be made at a solicitor's office or simply at the Clerks' counter in the Magistrates Court, but if the latter then there is a distinct possibility that they will immediately be asked to enter a plea of 'Guilty' or 'Not Guilty' to the offence, and if 'Not Guilty' then a date will be set for the re-trial of the original offence.
That is not impossible to deal with, but it may be more effective to pay the small fee to a Solicitor to issue the SD, and so avoid the immediate request for a plea; this provides you with the time to also contact the Railway Company and to negotiate over the apparent confusion of a settled fare being prosecuted.

Although there are several possible explanations for the apparent contradiction in the facts, I must stress that there are now three parties involved in all of this (your partner, the Railway Company and the Court) and all correspondence MUST be copied to all three parties.

If you need more assistance then it can be provided on here, but it looks as if you ought to be visiting a local law firm for the SD, so it might be more expedient for you ask them to do the negotiation (and the checking that it is all about justthe one incident and not two). Any cheap 'n' cheerful local firm which deals with Criminal Defence work will be able to help you [cue cynical remarks about 'cheap' access to law].
 

gray1404

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In such a situation whereby a passengers ticket is only not valid due to the time of travel, in a mere excess fare is all that is payable. Northern should not have requested their details.
 

Barron01257

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Thank you for the response. I do apologise about how vague the information is. Was rather tired at the time and a bit confused.

We went to the magistrates court and met with a member of staff from northern rail. It turned out that the reason it had gone all the way to court was because we had not communicated with them in anyway, due to us moving out of the address she gave two days before they sent the letter.

Because of this the Northern rail representative gave us the benefit of the doubt and said that if we pleaded guilty he would revert the fine back to four pound twenty pence and would receive no criminal conviction.
 

najaB

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In such a situation whereby a passengers ticket is only not valid due to the time of travel, in a mere excess fare is all that is payable. Northern should not have requested their details.
I agree, something doesn't seem right about this.
 

Fare-Cop

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An SD can be made at a solicitor's office or simply at the Clerks' counter in the Magistrates Court, but if the latter then there is a distinct possibility that they will immediately be asked to enter a plea of 'Guilty' or 'Not Guilty' to the offence, and if 'Not Guilty' then a date will be set for the re-trial of the original offence.
That is not impossible to deal with, but it may be more effective to pay the small fee to a Solicitor to issue the SD, and so avoid the immediate request for a plea; this provides you with the time to also contact the Railway Company and to negotiate.


That is excellent advice for anyone needing to make a Statutory Declaration generally these days as the Courts aim to clear up matters as fast as possible and being asked to 'make your mind up' there and then, without benefit of advice can lead to further issues.
 

AlterEgo

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Thank you for the response. I do apologise about how vague the information is. Was rather tired at the time and a bit confused.

We went to the magistrates court and met with a member of staff from northern rail. It turned out that the reason it had gone all the way to court was because we had not communicated with them in anyway, due to us moving out of the address she gave two days before they sent the letter.

Because of this the Northern rail representative gave us the benefit of the doubt and said that if we pleaded guilty he would revert the fine back to four pound twenty pence and would receive no criminal conviction.

That doesn't make any sense...?
 

najaB

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Because of this the Northern rail representative gave us the benefit of the doubt and said that if we pleaded guilty he would revert the fine back to four pound twenty pence and would receive no criminal conviction.
I think you may have misunderstood what was said. Northern can't set the amount of any fine, only the Court can. What I suspect was said was something along the lines of "If you agree that you were in the wrong, we'll just take the fare due." or similar.
 

DaleCooper

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I think you may have misunderstood what was said. Northern can't set the amount of any fine, only the Court can. What I suspect was said was something along the lines of "If you agree that you were in the wrong, we'll just take the fare due." or similar.

But according to the OP the fare due was paid at the time of the incident.
 

najaB

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But according to the OP the fare due was paid at the time of the incident.
I know. That is what is odd about the whole thing.

That said, £4.22 - or even £8.44 - is a low sum to have to pay to make the matter go away (subject to the normal attempt to reclaim it via customer services).
 

Master29

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I know. That is what is odd about the whole thing.

That said, £4.22 - or even £8.44 - is a low sum to have to pay to make the matter go away (subject to the normal attempt to reclaim it via customer services).

...And considering we now know it has gone to court it seems odd Northern would only be requesting such a small amount.
 

bb21

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I can't actually see where the OP mentioned that amount (unless I am going blind).

I think najaB meant it metaphorically. I think.
 

najaB

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I can't actually see where the OP mentioned that amount (unless I am going blind).
It was in post #10 - though it was actually £4.20 - so £8.40 if you assume that she's paid the fare due already.
 

bb21

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It was in post #10 - though it was actually £4.20 - so £8.40 if you assume that she's paid the fare due already.

I'm not used to sums of money written in words. :p
 

Fare-Cop

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I read it that :

The OP seems to have made the SD (or possibly went to Court to do so, but found a Northern prosecutor was there at the time)

It looks as if the Court may have accepted the SD and 'invited the prosecutor to take a view'

If the OP and Northern's prosecutor agreed a mutually acceptable resolution ( OP to pay single fare and the prosecutor applies to withdraw the summons ) that is the end of the matter so far as a Court is concerned.

To pursue refund of the first fare alleged to have been paid at the time, the OP would need to have evidence that the fare was paid at the time the notice was issued.
 
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gray1404

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It doesn't take away the fact that the OPs partner should never have had their details taken, merely an excess fare paid. This is the problem with their contractor incorrectly thinking they have the right to take a persons details and report them for anything. There is a valid complaint here.
 

Fare-Cop

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It doesn't take away the fact that the OPs partner should never have had their details taken, merely an excess fare paid. This is the problem with their contractor incorrectly thinking they have the right to take a persons details and report them for anything. There is a valid complaint here.

That isn't wholly correct

If staff have a genuinely held belief that there was an attempt to use an invalid ticket with intention to avoid paying the correct fare, then staff have the right to take details for report

RoRA S.5 makes the right perfectly clear in cases where it is considered such an offence exists as does the Penalty Fares Rules where a notice is being issued, whether paid or not and National Railway Byelaw 23 covers the matter if a Byelaw offence is evident.

If investigation of the report indicates no offence, then no action will be taken

I'm not saying that the OP shouldn't complain, merely that just complaining that their name was taken is unlikely to get very far.
 
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