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you can reopen a court case if the following conditions apply

Reopening a Driving Offence Case

Application to Re-open a Court case

Normally the only way in which you can set aside a conviction is by appealing to the Crown Court or if you are unaware of the proceedings by making a Statutory Declaration (see article on Statutory Declaration)

However, the Magistrates do have a power under Section 142 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980 to re-open a case to rectify a mistake.

The Magistrates can use this power to re-open a case for example if you have missed a stage in the proceedings and you have been convicted without your knowledge.

You might be able to persuade the Court to re-open your conviction if, for example, you have an insurance certificate that would have covered you in relation to an alleged offence and you were not able to produce this insurance certificate to the Court at the time when you were convicted, either because you were not able to get hold of a copy or you missed that stage in the proceedings.

This is a general power to correct mistakes. The Magistrates must act on proper judicial grounds and will consider whether or not it is in the interests of Justice to re-open the case in order to allow them to correct a mistake.

If you delay making an application under section 142 then this will be harmful in relation to the likely success of the application. Therefore as soon as you know that a mistake has been made you should make the application to the Magistrates as a matter of urgency.

If you want to ask the Magistrates to use their Judicial Powers under Section 142 to re-open a case then you should arrange with the Court Listing Department to attend at the Court in order to make the application. There is no set form for the application and you will simply have to stand up in front of the Magistrates after arranging with the Listing Department to attend and outline the circumstances in which you believe a mistake has been made and try and persuade the Court that it is in the interest of Justice to re-open the case.

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