An Order for Recovery and Witness Statement will not be issued until a penalty charge notice (PCN) has passed through the previous stages:

Following the issue of the Charge Certificate, after 21 days we may register the charge with theTraffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at Northampton County Court, if the PCN is still outstanding.

The TEC deals with the registration of debts from England and Wales for all unpaid PCNs. See Her Majesty's Courts Service website for more details.

We have 15 days from the date that the TEC send confirmation that we may proceed to recover the charge, to prepare and serve the following forms:

PCN Witness Statement

The Witness Statement is a legal declaration which allows you to object to the PCN and Order for Recovery.

Send the completed Witness Statement to the TEC. Do not send the form to us as we cannot accept this directly.

When the TEC receives your Witness Statement it will place the PCN on hold, and send authority to us to do the same. We will then make a decision on how the case will be processed.

A Witness Statement is not a request to cancel a PCN. The process allows us to do one of the following:

There are 4 grounds on which a Witness Statement may be made:

Notice to Owner not received

If you did not receive the NTO, you will not have been able to make formal representations against the issue of the PCN.

We will reissue the NTO if a valid Witness Statement is made on this ground.

Representation rejection notice not received

If you made an NTO representation that was rejected by the council, but you did not receive our Notice of Rejection, you will not have been able to submit a PCN appeal.

We will treat the case as a formal appeal and forward all documentation to the TPT if a valid Witness Statement is made on this ground. Liability for the PCN will then be decided by an adjudicator.

Traffic Penalty Tribunal appeal response not received

If you made a formal appeal to the TPT but did not receive notification of the outcome, you might have missed the opportunity to pay the full PCN.

The case will be regarded as a formal PCN appeal if a valid Witness Statement is made on this ground. If we haven't already done so, we will forward all documentation to the TPT. Liability for the penalty charge will then be decided by an adjudicator.

Penalty charge notice paid in full within 28 days

If a valid Witness Statement is made on this ground you must provide details of:

  • the date payment was made
  • the method of payment
  • who the payment was made to

You may also be asked to provide proof of payment.

If the council disputes the statement the case will be referred to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for a decision to be made by an adjudicator.

It is a criminal offence to make a false Witness Statement and proceedings for 'contempt of court' may be brought against you if you make a false statement without an honest belief in its truth.

Use of enforcement agents

Following the service of the Order for Recovery and Witness Statement, after 21 days we can request authority from the TEC to use a certificated enforcement agent to recover the outstanding penalty charge, unless:

  • the outstanding amount has been paid
  • a Witness Statement has been filed

Service is deemed to have been made three days after posting of the Order for Recovery.

This is done with a legal document called a Warrant of Distress. The enforcement agent will then send out a request for payment to the person whose name is on the warrant.

If no payment is made, the enforcement agent can remove the vehicle or goods to recover the unpaid charge.

The outstanding amount will also now include the enforcement agent's additional costs.

Once a PCN is being dealt with by enforcement agents, you will need to deal directly with those agents and we will not be able to accept any payment on their behalf.

Late Witness Statement

After the issue of a warrant you may make a late Witness Statement. To do so you will must:

  • request and complete an Out of Time Witness Statement Form via the TEC
  • explain your reasons for making a late Witness Statement
  • provide evidence of this if necessary

The TEC will then ask us if we are willing to accept a late Witness Statement.

If the late Witness Statement is accepted then it is treated in the same way as a Witness Statement that is made within time. The Order for Recovery and Warrant of Distress will be revoked, and the PCN dealt with accordingly.

If the late Witness Statement is rejected then the case will go before a Court Officer at Northampton County Court who will decide whether our reasons for rejecting the late Witness Statement are valid.

If the court decides in our favour then the Warrant can be pursued.

You may apply to review the Court Officer's decision. Once your application is processed by the TEC, the case is transferred to your local county court for a hearing before a District Judge.

The District Judge will only consider whether there is good reason to file the Witness Statement out of time and will not consider whether the penalty charge notice should have been issued.

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