Notice of Proposed Disqualification from the Court

Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification

What is a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification?

A Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification is formal notification from the Court that you are at risk of a driving ban. It is the next stage following a Single Justice Procedure Notice / Postal Requisition and advises you that the Court is considering disqualification and if you wish to challenge or make representations about that, you must respond within a certain period of time. It is designed to avoid Court attendances for individuals who accept that a ban is inevitable or do not wish to challenge same.

Why have I received a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification?

If you pleaded guilty to the Single Justice Procedure process or did not respond to same, the Court can issue a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification if the Magistrates believe that your case justifies a driving ban.

What happens if I do not respond to the Notice?

The Notice sets out clearly a deadline by which you must provide either a request for a personal appearance or comments that you wish the Court to consider. If you do nothing, the case will progress without any further input from you and the probability is that a ban will be imposed. You will then receive confirmation of the ban but, the probability is that the ban will already have started before you receive notification. As a result, the Notice makes clear that if you do not take action, you should assume and should not drive from the date set out in the Notice.

Can I still prevent a ban?

Yes. The purpose of the Notice is to streamline the process and avoid unnecessary attendances for individuals who do not wish to raise any issues. If you want to challenge disqualification, you should request a personal attendance whereupon the Court will allocate a date for you to go to Court and present your arguments. Subject to the issues to raise, mitigation, circumstances of the offence etc, it may well be possible to prevent a ban.

Avoid a Ban

Am I not automatically entitled to have my day in Court?

Yes. The mere fact that the Notice has been issued does not prevent you asking for a hearing date which will be allocated upon request. The idea of the Notice is to prevent unnecessary attendances for people who do not wish to go to Court or do not seek to challenge disqualification. Previously, any person facing a ban was allocated a hearing date, but some individuals either did not attend or had no challenge to raise, so Court time was wasted. The Notice is designed to minimise those wasted attendances. It is not designed to prevent you having the opportunity to challenge a ban or present mitigation if you choose to do so.

The Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification is the first communication I have received. Why is that?

You should have received either a Postal Requisition/Summons or Single Justice Procedure Notice before this document. The Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification is the continuation of a Court process, not the commencement of it. There must have been some other document that was either not acted upon or not received with the result that you have now been found guilty by default and the Court is considering disqualification. In those circumstances, if you wish to challenge the allegation, you need to set it aside by filing a Statutory Declaration. If you simply wish to challenge the proposed disqualification, you should respond by asking for a hearing date.

If a hearing date is allocated, can I be represented?

Yes. The mere fact that you have received a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification does not prevent you having representation at any date allocated. It is your choice how your mitigation is presented to the Court. If you prefer to have representation at that hearing, you are perfectly entitled to it and the Court will not have any issue with that.

Attending Court Legal Advice

If I do not request a hearing, but provide a written submission, can I still avoid a ban?

In theory, the Court will consider any submission that you present but, in reality, it is unlikely a ban will be avoided unless you attend Court in person. This is particularly relevant if, in response to the Single Justice Procedure Notice / Postal Requisition, you pleaded guilty and presented mitigation in writing either by letter or online. If so, it is clear that that mitigation has already been rejected (otherwise you would not be at risk of a ban) and therefore simply repeating it in writing is unlikely to have any affect. You would be far better off attending in person and using the available time to get guidance and assistance so that your submission and prospects of avoiding a ban are improved.

If a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification has been issued, is it not inevitable that a ban will be imposed?

Yes. If a ban cannot be prevented, for example, due to the severity of the offence such as an extremely high speed, you still have the opportunity to comment on the length of the ban and the fine imposed. Whilst it may be that you cannot prevent a ban completely, there is every prospect of minimising the punishment and your best chance of achieving that is by requesting a hearing date and attending in person. This is likely to have far greater effect than simply presenting a written response.

What if I am at risk of a totting up disqualification?

You still have the opportunity to present exceptional hardship, so should therefore request a personal attendance. If you do not do so, it is inevitable that the Court will impose a totting up ban of at least 6 months.

Totting Up Exceptional Hardship

I have received more than one Notice. What should I do?

On the basis that you want to avoid a ban, you should respond and ask that both matters are heard at the same time. Even if they are at different Courts, the cases can still be transferred. If you do not get the cases joined, then there is a risk that you could be successful in challenging a ban on one, but unsuccessful on the other which would really serve no purpose at all.