Print Story Utter, utter, bastards.
Diary
By gazbo (Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:04:07 AM EST) (all tags)
Well, looks like I'll be going to court then.


So as I settled down to eat my lunch at home today, an envelope pops through the door addressed, you will be SHOCKED to hear, to me.  As I opened it, the first thing I saw was "Summons".

What the hell could I possibly be summonsed for?  Oh - for this.  Yup, they've waited 4 months, then sent me a summons.  If I plead guilty, I will be charged £100 (for a £3.30 ticket).

I think I'm going to plead not guilty.  Not particularly because I expect to win (I figure they've probably only sent out summons to cases they think think they have a chance with - though I maintain I didn't do anything wrong) but:

  1. Fuck them.  If they want to get a stupid amount of money out of me, they can fucking well fight me for it.
  2. I always take the easy option for everything.  It will be good for me to take the hard option for a change.
I was amused at their "statement of facts", whereby they stated that in my journey from Sheffield to Chesterfield I was stopped upon leaving the train at Sheffield station.  I will point this out to them when I reply - who knows, it may even help me out (I've had a friend pay a parking fine, but noted that actually they'd got the time of the offence wrong by 30 minutes.  They posted his cheque back to him and said they'd not pursue it).

Besides: cunts.

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Utter, utter, bastards. | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
FIGHT THA MAN GAZBO! by Breaker (4.00 / 6) #1 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:21:26 AM EST
And if it all goes pear shaped, we'll send you a cake with a file in it, and a large tub of vaseline for the remaining nights you have to spend incarcerated before making your daring escape.


But... by gazbo (4.00 / 6) #2 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:26:32 AM EST
Why would I want vaseline?  Surely that would decrease the effect that the file has on my nails?

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
vaseline by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #29 Sun Jul 30, 2006 at 05:16:19 AM EST
Coat yourself in it for the long swim to the mainland.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Stick it to 'em by priestess (4.00 / 4) #3 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:27:57 AM EST
I got fined a few months ago for assuming my Oyster card would work as well south of the river as it does north of the river.

I appealed in writing but they still insisted I pay. Mostly I just wanted to make sure I could wait till after my next pay-cheque so that went okay.

I think something like 2/3rds of parking fines get thrown out when they're taken to court. Gotta be worth a try, if only to ensure that they pay more than the 100 quid they collect from you in court expenses.

Pre.........
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Chat to the virtual me...

I think my main argument by gazbo (4.00 / 3) #8 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:41:12 AM EST
Is that it is de facto acceptable to pay on the train (although I'd probably shy away from using such pseudo-legal talk in front of a magistrate) because conductors quite hapilly dispense tickets on the trains, and never say that I was being naughty.

The fact the train was too overcrowded for the conductor to bother going down the train doesn't retrospectively make me culpable either.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Do you have any old dispensed on train tickets? by TPD (4.00 / 2) #12 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:53:17 AM EST
especially if you had some from before the journey? You could show that you routinely got on a train and paid (not fair dodged).

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
[ Parent ]
or failing that by TPD (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:11:28 AM EST
would they show up on your credit card statement? as something identifiably different from ticket office?

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
[ Parent ]
Hmm by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:15:17 AM EST
No, I have no old train tickets.  I may have some London trips and the like on card statements, but my short trips are almost certainly paid in cash.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't worry about it by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:37:44 AM EST
Unless they're going to massively lie and say that they never have conducters on trains, it shouldn't make much difference.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I suspect you might be right there by Cloaked User (4.00 / 2) #4 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:29:15 AM EST
At the very least, one of the facts of their case is clearly and demonstrably wrong, and contradicts other facts. Courts tend to take a pretty dim view of that sort of thing.

Of course, it may only result in a retrial (or whatever), but they may decide that it's not worth the cost and hassle.

Mind you, IANAL, etc.


--
This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

Another one too by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:33:33 AM EST
The start of her (the person who took my statement on the day) account begins by explaining how she was working on a ticket barrier, and "came across me travelling without ticket".  However this is clearly just a shorthand, as in actual fact I was stopped by some other blokes, who then called her to take the statement.

Unfortunately, this is on a piece of paper that I signed as being accurate, however.  Oh, foolish me for thinking I only had to check that I was being represented fairly.  Besides, I guess that could arguably be called "pernickety".


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Good luck to you by nebbish (4.00 / 3) #5 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:30:06 AM EST
Friend of mine was up in court for similar a few years ago (he was a persitent fare dodger though). He planned to give a big speech about the state of the railways and ask the judge whether he would be hanged, but lost his bottle and just murmered "sorry" in the end.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Not guilty by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:30:40 AM EST
1) No conductor to sell you the ticket.
2) Ticket machine on platform brokeen
OR
You only had a £50 note and 43p in your pocket
3) Why did they wait four months to contact you? Intentionally raising the fine?

I almost got screwd by this in Germany. I just made the train, no time to buy ticket on platform. Train was acked and I'd expected to buy the ticket from a ticket-takerPassenger Assistance Engineer. None came (train was very full). Got to Regensburg and told my friend who said they'd stopped selling tickets on that commuter route and you have to buy them from a machine before getting on. Coulda cost a lot and I would've fought that. There aren't any signs about he policy change.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

Exactly the same as you by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:43:28 AM EST
Rushed to the train expecting to pay onboard, too packed for a conductor.  Though in my case, the conductor coming was a bad thing as otherwise I'd've left the train with a valid ticket as intended.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
# I needed tickets by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #10 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:45:34 AM EST

# but I ... had none.

Good Luck. Seriously play up the station discrepancy. I was completely cleared over a parking offence when I pointed out that it was physically impossible impossible to park from 15:32:00 to 15:32:00 as it required arriving at exactly the same time I departed.

Also play up the utter lack of means to purchase a ticket and the fact that many others were in the same boat.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Well, by komet (3.20 / 5) #11 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 05:46:01 AM EST
if you need us to attest to your character in court, you know where to find us. It would be fun to parade hundreds of Internet weirdos in front of an old git with a wig.

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
It'll be magistrate's court by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #16 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:14:18 AM EST
In which case it'll be some wizened old crow.

All gazbo needs to do is put on a smart suit, tip her the wink that says "hey, baby, your place or mine?" and he'll end up with damages paid to him.

Are you going to apply for legal aid, gazbo?  The man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client and all that.

Then again, it's only 100 notes and you could prepare an impassioned plea about the general state of the railways, not only their lack of ticketing facilities but their inability to have the trains run on time, be clean and have usable toilet facilities.  All the while the boards of directors vote themselves staggering bonuses and pay rises. 

Also, get a copy of the relevant network operators last financial year end statement, and a copy of the train performance stats.


[ Parent ]
'The man who represents himself in court...' by gazbo (4.00 / 2) #18 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:20:39 AM EST
That phrase had occurred to me also.  But for £100, what am I going to do?  This is not an area I have much experience in, so I don't know what the SOP is.  Surely I can't be expected to "lawyer up" before "talking to the feds" - or can I?  And...well...how?

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
With only a hundred quid at stake by nebbish (4.00 / 5) #20 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:41:10 AM EST
It'll be a laugh to represent yourself. Think of the anecdote value.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #21 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:45:37 AM EST

Take your guitar. Sing a little song.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Holy fuck - you're right! by gazbo (4.00 / 4) #22 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:50:00 AM EST
This is a blessing!  Ferchrist'ssake last time I wanted an anecdote I ended up with 2 weeks in hospital and a permanently mangled foot.  This time all I stand to lose is £100 (assuming the cunts don't charge me loads more for not pleading guilty).

That's genuinely cheered me right up, thanks - thinking about it as £100 and an anecdote makes the whole thing seem a hell of a lot less worrying.

Though I reserve the right to shit myself just a little on the day


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Unless...they make you pay costs by Imperial Mince (4.00 / 2) #24 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:05:35 AM EST

--
This space reserved for whining like a little bitch and being sanctimonious.
[ Parent ]
It's civil, not criminal by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #25 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:13:51 AM EST
They cannot imprison you for fare evasion, unless they've caught you a few times and then press charges at the police for fraud.  One single evasion is not going to be prosecuted by the police as it's not in the public interest.  Check the ticket evasion signs they have up in the stations; they're all "you may be fined up to 100 pounds if found not in possession of a valid ticket for your entire journey."  No mention of jail time.

The only thing you have to be careful of is being seen as in contempt of court; for that then even magistrates can make things a little unpleasant for you.

Present a cogent case "the trains are fucked and they are trying to get their pound of flesh" and you'll be OK.  Explain that you're a respected professional who was stupidly expecting a level of service, not some dolemole scrounger chancing it so you'd have an extra three quid to spend on White Lightning and I reckon the magistrate will probably fine you £3.10 plus costs, and tell the railway's representative that they need to sort out their ticketing procedures.


[ Parent ]
What have they charged you with? by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #26 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:16:49 AM EST
Under what actual law?  Get a copy of their charter as well, and see if they followed their own procedure with respect to conductors on trains, ticketing machines on stations, and fare evasion policies.

I have assumed that it's all a magistrates court; have you verified this? 

It might be worth a call to Legal Aid, anyway, just so that you can pick their brains on what actually happens, protocol in court, and all that kind of thing.  They might be able to send you some bumpf on these kind of proceedings.


[ Parent ]
Here's my advise by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 4) #13 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:07:32 AM EST
If I were you I would simply not show up for court.

This lets them know they can't just push you, a law abiding VAT paying citizen, around on a whim. Show them you're the boss here.

Then a week after that send them a letter telling them you were too busy to make it to their trivial little court thing and ask them to check with you so you can check your schedule before they willy nilly assign another date and time.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

See that's why I like you, Bob. by gazbo (4.00 / 3) #15 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:12:30 AM EST
Can I call you Bob?  It's good, solid, everyday advice for the everyman.  Like that Jack Wagner chap who's prevented me from being late for job interviews on an almost weekly basis.

We salute you.


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Don't take advice from someone who can't spell it! by Imperial Mince (4.00 / 4) #23 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:04:55 AM EST

--
This space reserved for whining like a little bitch and being sanctimonious.
[ Parent ]
Another good method of resistance by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #27 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:17:07 AM EST
When Bubba tells you to bend over in the shower, clench your buttcheeks really hard.

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
Tell your story like it is by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #28 Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 08:24:41 AM EST
And hope that it's not a law-and-order magistrate.  Wanting to pay and not being able to is something a reasonable person would understand.  A law-and-order type would say you should have bought a ticket, and it's not the municipality's fault that can't follow the rules of civilization. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Utter, utter, bastards. | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback