Criminal Justice and Police Bill - continued        House of Commons
Penalty notices and penalties - continued

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Secretary of State's guidance.     6. The Secretary of State may issue guidance-
    (a) about the exercise of the discretion given to constables by this Chapter;
    (b) about the issuing of penalty notices;
    (c) with a view to encouraging good practice in connection with the operation of provisions of this Chapter.
Right to ask for a trial
Notification of court and date of trial.     7 - (1) If a person is given a penalty notice under section 2, he may be given written notice ("a warning notice") specifying the magistrates' court by which, and the date on which, the offence will be tried if he makes a request to be tried.
      (2) Subsection (3) applies if a person ("A") who has been given a warning notice makes a request to be tried.
      (3) The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 applies to proceedings in respect of the offence as if-
    (a) the allegation in the penalty notice were an information properly laid in accordance with section 1 of that Act; and
    (b) the warning notice were a summons.
      (4) Such a summons is to be treated-
    (a) as properly issued on the information by a justice of the peace for the area for which the magistrates' court notified as the court of trial acts, requiring A to appear before that court to answer to that information; and
    (b) as properly served on him on the date on which the warning notice was given.
      (5) Subsection (3) does not apply if notice is served on A, by or on behalf of the chief officer of police, stating that no proceedings are to be brought in respect of the offence.
      (6) If notice is served under subsection (5), no proceedings for the offence may be brought against A.
      (7) If a person has been given a warning notice, section 14 of the Act of 1980 (proceedings invalid where accused did not know of them) does not apply.
Constable's witness statement
Statements by constables.     8. - (1) This section applies to proceedings for a penalty offence.
      (2) A certificate that a copy of a statement by a constable with respect to the alleged offence (a "constable's witness statement") was included in, or given with, a penalty notice given to the accused on a date specified in the certificate is evidence that a copy of the statement was served on the accused by delivery to him on that date.
      (3) But subsection (2) applies only if the certificate purports to be signed by the constable who gave the accused the penalty notice.
      (4) The statement is to be treated as properly served for the purposes of section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 (proof by written statement) even though the manner of service is not authorised by subsection (8) of that section.
      (5) Subsections (6) and (7) apply to any proceedings in which service of a constable's witness statement is proved by certificate under this section.
      (6) For the purposes of section 9(2)(c) of the Act of 1967 (copy of statement to be tendered in evidence to be served before hearing on other parties to the proceedings by or on behalf of the party proposing to tender it), service of the statement is to be taken to have been effected by or on behalf of the prosecutor.
      (7) If the accused had made a request to be tried, section 9(2)(d) of the Act of 1967 (time for objection) applies with the substitution, for the reference to seven days from the service of the copy of the statement, of a reference to seven days from the date on which the request to be tried was made.
Payment of penalty.     9. - (1) If a person to whom a penalty notice is given decides to pay the penalty, he must pay it to the justices' chief executive specified in the notice.
      (2) Payment of the penalty may be made by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the amount of the penalty (in cash or otherwise).
      (3) Subsection (4) applies if a person-
    (a) claims to have made payment by that method, and
    (b) shows that his letter was posted.
      (4) Unless the contrary is proved, payment is to be regarded as made at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
      (5) Subsection (2) is not to be read as preventing the payment of a penalty by other means.
      (6) A letter is properly addressed for the purposes of subsection (2) if it is addressed in accordance with the requirements specified in the penalty notice.
Registration certificates.     10. - (1) The chief officer of police may, in respect of any registrable sum, issue a certificate (a "registration certificate") stating that the sum is registrable for enforcement against the defaulter as a fine.
      (2) If that officer issues a registration certificate, he must cause it to be sent to the justices' chief executive for the petty sessions area in which the defaulter appears to that officer to reside.
      (3) A registration certificate must-
    (a) give particulars of the offence to which the penalty notice relates, and
    (b) state the name and last known address of the defaulter and the amount of the registrable sum.
      (4) "Registrable sum" means a sum that may be registered under this section as a result of section 4(5).
      (5) "Defaulter" means the person against whom that sum may be registered.
Registration of sums payable in default.     11. - (1) If the justices' chief executive for a petty sessions area receives a registration certificate, he must register the registrable sum for enforcement as a fine in that area by entering it in the register of a magistrates' court acting for that area.
      (2) But if it appears to him that the defaulter does not reside in that area-
    (a) subsection (1) does not apply to him; but
    (b) he must cause the certificate to be sent to the person appearing to him to be the appropriate justices' chief executive.
      (3) A justices' chief executive registering a sum under this section for enforcement as a fine, must give the defaulter notice of the registration.
      (4) The notice must-
    (a) specify the amount of the sum registered, and
    (b) give the information with respect to the offence, and the authority for registration, which was included in the registration certificate under section 10.
      (5) If a sum is registered in a magistrates' court as a result of this section, any enactment referring (in whatever terms) to a fine imposed, or other sum adjudged to be paid, on conviction by such a court applies as if the registered sum were a fine imposed by that court on the conviction of the defaulter on the date on which the sum was registered.
Enforcement of fines.     12. - (1) In this section-
    "fine" means a sum which is enforceable as a fine as a result of section 11; and
    "proceedings" means proceedings for enforcing a fine.
      (2) Subsection (3) applies if, in any proceedings, the defaulter claims that he was not the person to whom the penalty notice concerned was issued.
      (3) The court may adjourn the proceedings for a period of not more than 28 days for the purpose of allowing that claim to be investigated.
      (4) On the resumption of proceedings that have been adjourned under subsection (3), the court must accept the defaulter's claim unless it is shown, on a balance of probabilities, that he was the recipient of the penalty notice.
      (5) The court may set aside a fine in the interests of justice.
      (6) If the court does set a fine aside it must-
    (a) give such directions for further consideration of the case as it considers appropriate; or
    (b) direct that no further action is to be taken in respect of the allegation that gave rise to the penalty notice concerned.
Interpretation of Part I.     13. In this Chapter-
    "chief officer of police" includes the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police;
    "defaulter" has the meaning given in section 10(5);
    "penalty notice" has the meaning given in section 2(4);
    "penalty offence" has the meaning given in section 1(1);
    "registrable sum" has the meaning given in section 10(4).
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Prepared 19 January 2001