Fines defaults and the register
The Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines includes details of fines defaults relating to individuals convicted in magistrates and crown courts in England & Wales.
Registration of fines defaults
Registry Trust Ltd (RTL) is contracted to the Ministry of Justice to maintain the statutory public Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.
One section of this has, since April 2006, included details of Fines Defaults relating to individuals convicted in magistrates and crown courts in England & Wales.
What’s on the register
The court only registers a fine default following the offender’s failure to respond to a Further Steps Notice issued by the relevant court. At this point the Fines Officer at the court has the discretion to decide which of the range of enforcement options is appropriate to best recover the outstanding amount. If the officer chooses to add the default to the Register the registration will include all outstanding monies owed on the fine(s) including costs and compensation.
Defaulted fines are only entered onto the Register where the offender is an individual or a trading style. The Register does not contain fines records against corporate bodies.
Unless the conviction is set aside or reversed, or the fine is cancelled because it was repaid within one calendar month of the date of registration, details of the default will remain on the Register for a period of five years from the date of conviction.
The information appearing on the Register includes:
- The name and address of the offender,
- Details of the court and case number
- The amount and date of registration.
- Satisfaction details once RTL has been notified by the court.
At the time of registration, a letter is sent to the offender advising of the action taken, of the steps required to amend the Register and listing a court contact telephone number for any queries.
Satisfying or removing a fines default entry
The amount must be paid into the court listed on the notification letter and if fully repaid within one calendar month from the date of the letter, the record can be removed from the Register.
If the fine is fully repaid after one calendar month from the date of the notification letter, the entry will be marked as “satisfied” on the Register where it will remain for the statutory five year period.
The offender can also apply to the court for a Certificate of Satisfaction or Cancellation, whichever is appropriate, enclosing the court fee of £15 (cheque/postal order payable to HMCTS).
Amending the register
If an offender feels that details of a registration are inaccurate, application should be made to RTL providing particulars of the Fine default and stipulating the required amendment.
If a recent search of the Register has not been undertaken, the requisite search fee must be enclosed.
The query will be raised with the relevant court who will investigate and respond to RTL. Upon receipt of their response, the offender will be advised and, if appropriate, the Register will be amended.
Who uses the information
Details of fines defaults held on the Register, and any subsequent amendments, may be passed to commercial organisations and may then be supplied to credit grantors and others seeking information regarding an individual’s financial standing.