I turned the other cheek, and it got slapped
An adverse verdict from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal exposes it as extortion
I have a result from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal from my appeal hearing that raised fundamental due process and civil liberties issues. I am not surprised that the adjudicator ruled against me; I will need to get a judicial review, but it is now an existential problem for these fake administrative courts that are constructed to destroy our constitutional liberties and steal from us. The adjudicator may not have realised the consequences of being a knowing accessory to treason, as well as personally on the hook for acting ultra vires to aid the violation of my civil rights.
This appeal was considered at a video hearing on 31/01/2024. The hearing was attended by Mr Geddes. The Council was represented by Mr Butcher. There were also a number of observers present invited by Mr Geddes and an observer from the Council.
The appeal concerns a Penalty Charge Notice (“PCN”) issued to Mr Geddes for driving in the Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone (“CAZ”) on 27/10/2023 at 12:57 without payment of the road user charge. I understand that the Council have issued a further two PCNs for the same contravention which are at the prerepresentation stage.
There is common ground in this case. It is accepted by both parties that; a. Mr Geddes’ vehicle is a 2001 Ford Escort described in the VC5 document as a “car derived van” and with N1 categorisation. b. Mr Geddes’ vehicle was used in the CAZ on the date and at the time stated in the PCN. c. Mr Geddes was aware of the CAZ restriction. d. Mr Geddes’ vehicle is for private use only. e. No charge was paid to use the CAZ ON 27/10/2023.
Mr Geddes relies in his appeal on what he describes as “higher forms of law (equity, constitutional limits on power, international treaty obligations)” rather than a strict interpretation of the Road User Charging Schemes (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement)(England) Regulations 2013 (“the 2013 Regulations”). He says that the matter is of considerable public interest, since fundamental principles of law are at stake.
I do not propose to repeat Mr Geddes’ detailed submissions here, they are all set out in his various written submissions to the Tribunal. In summary he argues that his vehicle has been incorrectly classified by the DVLA and its “van form” has been elevated over its “car substance”. He says that by using data in this way results in a conversion tort and forfeiture of his rights. Mr Geddes accepts that the Tribunal is bound by its role as set out in the 2013 Regulations but says that allowing his appeal and cancelling the PCN ensures his fair treatment under the law; absolves the Council from enforcing flawed legislation (including the lack of primary legislation) and preserves the integrity of the Tribunal. He asks me to dismiss the PCN on constitutional grounds and preserve the integrity of this administrative tribunal.
As I explained to Mr Geddes, my role as an Adjudicator in the context of a CAZ PCN is to determine appeals against a charging authority’s (Council’s) decision to reject the representations made by the person under Regulation 8 of the 2013 Regulations. In doing so I am bound to deal with cases justly which includes fairly, proportionately and effectively.
Therefore my role is restricted to considering whether, factually, the contravention occurred and whether any of the statutory grounds in Regulation 8 apply. If the appeal is not allowed then I may refer the case back to the Council if I am satisfied that there are compelling reasons why the PCN should be cancelled.
Mr Geddes indicated he would not regard the latter as a satisfactory outcome.
The Newcastle and Gateshead CAZ is a class C CAZ which means, in summary, that it applies to taxis, vans/ LGVs, HGVs, buses and coaches.
The relevant Charging Order (Newcastle and Gateshead CAZ Charging Order 2023) provides that a charge will apply to “relevant vehicles” which includes all N1 vehicles that are not compliant or non-chargeable.
“Compliance” is decided by reference to a vehicle’s emissions. Mr Geddes’ vehicle is EURO3 and not compliant. Equally it is not “non-chargeable” as it does not appear in Annex 2 to the Charging Order.
Mr Geddes says, in effect, that the N1 categorisation of his vehicle is wrong, irrational and inequitable. He uses his “car derived van” for private purposes only and regards it as his “car” not a business van.
Mr Butcher implied some sympathy with Mr Geddes’ complaint and accepted that there was a degree of arbitrariness in the way the 2013 Regulations and the Charging Order have been drafted when specifying which vehicles are “relevant” and chargeable. However neither the 2013 Regulations nor the Charging Order make any reference to the subjective use of the vehicle but rely on its objective classification by the DVLA.
I too appreciate Mr Geddes’ frustration with the CAZ scheme. However, I am satisfied that the wording of the 2013 Regulations and the Charging Order is clear and unambiguous and there is no room to read into the definition of “relevant vehicle” or “N1” vehicles an exemption applying to car derived vans for personal use whether on any equitable or other basis.
The matters that Mr Geddes has raised are legally interesting but do not give him the remedy he seeks in this Tribunal. He raised judicial review and it is of course a matter for him whether he pursues remedies in the High Court on the many bases he has set out.
Whilst I understand that this outcome will be disappointing for Mr Geddes, I am bound to make a decision on the basis of the facts and applying the law which leads me to find that the contravention occurred and the PCN was properly issued.
Mr Geddes’ appeal is therefore refused.
The Council have confirmed that as a gesture of goodwill they are willing to accept payment of the road user charge only (£12 x 3) in full and final satisfaction of all 3 PCNs issued to Mr Geddes provided payment is made within 7 days. After this the cases will revert to the discounted penalty plus the CAZ charge of £72.50 x 3 for a further 7 days after which period the cases will revert to the standard charge of £132.50.
Jo Garbett Adjudicator 01/02/2024
This adjudication is unlawful on the following grounds:
There was no due process at an elementary level: multiple observers were excluded, there was insufficient time for me to get my reasonable questions of jurisdiction and rules answered, and I am given no right of redress or counter-claim for harms done to me.
I have suffered a forfeit (more than just the clean air zone charge) of property rights and civil liberties without any charge, court of law, or jury of my peers. This is flat-out unconstitutional and violates international human rights law.
The tribunal is operating unconstitutionally in general, as it uses statute law to elevate an IT policy of the DVLA (the lowest possible level of authority) above constitutional law, equity, and international law. It is an end-run around the restrictions on the power of the legislature and executive.
The tribunal is aiding the council and DVLA in committing civil liberties infractions against me, which are superior claims, including the right to protest and access healthcare.
There is no separation of powers, essentially being a star chamber, and it is a violation of the Bill of Rights 1689.
The “administrative facts” are elevated above the facts on the ground, and secondary legislation is mercilessly applied without reference to other statute laws and common law.
The adjudicator is not under any obligation to uphold the law in its widest sense or act under a judicial oath of office, which disallows the conversion of its finding into a legitimate outcome enforceable in a real court of law.
I did not expect any other outcome, as to do so would call into question the legitimacy of the tribunal, as well as the lawfulness of clean air zones. The timing may be interesting, as it looks like the financial reset and jubilee is looming. I expect when all is said and done, I will walk away with no debt and my honour intact, whereas others will have a long time to live down the violence they have done using the colour of law.
There is a long way to go in this process yet; it could easily find it as a leapfrog test case to the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of these tribunals. I have a slam-dunk case in equity, and a strong one in tort, and being denied access to justice means these tribunals are just window dressing on extortion by the state against travellers.
That said, it’s a lot to take on — with also two other civil rights matters including Durham County Council (more to follow) and BBC/Capita fraud under the name “TV Licensing” (more to follow, too). But someone has to expose them with the right test cases, and somehow it all seems to fall to me. Those who wrong us are given the opportunity to repent, but when they do not, and knowingly double down against truth and morality, then they deserve everything that comes to them.
Can my principles and freedoms be bought off for £36… I think you know the answer!
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