As Lawyers we are very pleased to see the new sentence that has been passed relating to traffic fines, as reported in Málaga hoy the 12th February 2018.
Much of our work is in dealing with such cases and to date we have had a 100% success rate and the reason being is stated below.
Beware if the traffic fine is badly notified … You have to return the money and points!
The DGT has been ordered to return the points of a motorist who was sent a fine to a house that was not the one listed for the vehicle.
A recent ruling issued by the Contentious-Administrative Court No. 21 of Madrid has ordered the Directorate General of Tráfico (DGT) to return the points deducted to a motorist to whom the Treasury had previously annulled a fine for being badly notified. It also ordered Trafico to pay the legal costs.
As reported by Automoviles Europeos Asociados (AEA), who legally assisted the driver, the case was initiated by a claim to the Treasury because the fine of 240 euros that was the fine with a surcharge had never come to the driver’s knowledge.
In a first instance, the Tax Agency of Madrid (AEAT) denied the appeal arguing that Tráfico had notified the fine through an edictal publication in the Traffic Sanctions Board (TESTRA), because the postal notification had been returned by the postal service “with the indication of absent in delivery hours”. So the driver never received the notification.
However, the claim filed in the second instance before the Regional Economic and Administrative Court of Madrid (TEAR), was accepted because the postal notification was addressed to an address that was not the one indicated by the interested party and, therefore, the edictal notification was not justified.
As indicated by AEA, based on that TEAR resolution, the Provincial Traffic Authority of Madrid was asked to return the points, but the latter refused, arguing that the annulment of a fine by the Treasury cannot mean nullifying the deduction of points because it does not have “faculties to review the sanctioning competence in traffic matters”.
As you can see Trafico are not happy at this point and do not want to take the points back.
In view of the issue by Traffico, the petition was reiterated because it did not understand how the economic part of a fine that had not been notified could be annulled and, therefore, had not acquired firmness, but the deduction of points was maintained.
Traffico admitted again the resource, transferring the case to the Contentious-Administrative Court number 21 of Madrid, which finally gave the reason to the interested party.
Outcome: the driver had the fine annulled and no points deducted from his licence.
One out of every three fines is badly notified.
As reported by the association, this is the first sentence that has occurred in Spain in this regard, so this will allow about 10,000 drivers to recover each year the points that, both traffic and municipalities, wrongly detracted by fines poorly processed.
In addition, for the volume of fines that are published each day in the BOE and the latest audit report of the annual accounts of the DGT of 2016, the AEA has estimated that one out of every three fines that are processed in Spain is badly notified.
Taking into account that 1% of drivers have lost points, 45,000 drivers each year would be losing points without anyone being warned.
For the president of the Association, Mario Arnaldo, this sentence is a “very important legal precedent inasmuch as it means dismantling the perverse argument that the DGT has been using for a decade not to return points of fines poorly processed.”
“If a fine is not well notified, not only must the economic part of the sanction be annulled, but also the ‘mochilita de puntos’ (The little back bag of points) that accompanies it,” he adds.
In addition, AEA maintains that the Administration “abuses the system of edictal notification”, since it notes that the Constitutional Court has reiterated on numerous occasions that among the guarantees of the right to defense set forth in Article 24 of the Constitution are the rights of defense and to be informed of the accusation, whose exercise presupposes that the citizen is summoned or duly notified of the fines, because only then can he enjoy an effective possibility of defense against the infraction that is imputed to him.
It also notes that the edictal site constitutes a “last remedy of a supplementary and exceptional nature, since no citizen is obliged to read the bulletins daily to see if their name appears in them”.
Summary of Traffic fines
In Spain every citizen has a right to a defense; if you have had no notification of the fine then you have no opportunity to defend yourself.
If you believe you have been a victim of the system and have not had an opportunity to defend yourself, then contact us now and will fight your cause, our proven success rate will ensure any wrong doing is rectified.