Magistrates Court Act 1980 Section 14

Maurice Barnett made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Ministry of Justice.

Dear Ministry of Justice,
I require the reason why when a Statutory Declaration has been served upon the Designated Officer under section 14 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980[ "Proceedings invalid where accused did not know of them.
(1)Where a summons has been issued under section 1 above and a magistrates’ court has begun to try the information to which the summons relates, then, if—

(a)the accused, at any time during or after the trial, makes a statutory declaration that he did not know of the summons or the proceedings until a date specified in the declaration, being a date after the court has begun to try the information; and
(b)within 21 days of that date the declaration is served on the [F1designated officer for the court],]
several Designated officers at various courts such as Preston Magistrates, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates and Willsden Magistrates Court, have practiced their own law to overrule section 14 of that said Act.

The Designated Officers at the above mention courts have instructed several members of the public that they had to attend court to discuss the legitimacy of the Statutory Declaration.
Each Statutory Declaration had been witnessed and sworn in by an officer of the court and served under the said Act [(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) above a statutory declaration shall be deemed to be duly served on the [F2designated officer] if it is delivered to him, or left at his office, or is sent in a registered letter or by the recorded delivery service addressed to him at his office.]

How is it possible a Designated officer, can practice their own Law and overrule section 14 1(b) without prejudice to the validity of the information, the summons and all subsequent proceedings shall be void,]

Yours faithfully,
Maurice Barnett

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Ministry of Justice

Dear Maurice Barnett,


Thank you for your e-mail. I am writing to advise you that your enquiry
does not fall under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) regime and
has been rejected by the Disclosure Team. I have forwarded this to the
relevant department within the MoJ.


It may be helpful if I explain that the FOIA gives individuals and
organisations the right of access to all types of recorded information
held, at the time the request is received, by public authorities such as
the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Section 84 of the FOIA states that in order
for a request for information to be handled as a FOI request, it must be
for recorded information. For example, a FOI request would be for a copy
of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in
place. On occasion, the MoJ receives requests that do not ask for recorded
information, but ask more general questions about, for example, a policy,
opinion or a decision.


You may wish to re-submit your enquiry to the Ministry of Justice, which
will be treated as Official Correspondence. Our contact details are as


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If you do have any questions relating specifically to the FOIA or Data
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Kind regards,


The Disclosure Team




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Leck, Simon, Ministry of Justice

Dear Sir,


Your email has been forwarded to this Court by the HMCTS Customer Service
unit.  Unfortunately we cannot locate a Statutory Declaration made by you,
if you could provide further information we will look into the matter.






Operations Manager

Lancashire Magistrates' Courts | HMCTS | Preston Magistrates' Courts |
Lawson Street | Preston | PR1 2QT

Tel: 07980 912670

Web: [1]


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Holmes, Louise, Ministry of Justice

Dear Sir,


Your email has been forwarded to this Court by the HMCTS Customer Service


Unfortunately I cannot locate a Statutory Declaration made by you, if you
are able to provide me with further information I will look into the
matter further.





Louise Holmes

Delivery Manager

Bradford & Keighley Magistrates Court

[mobile number]

Tel: 01274390111

“I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice contractually, nor to
make representations or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means”

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Maurice Barnett

Dear Holmes, Louise,
Hi Louise
the Freedom of information request was a general request and not related to any specific case relating to me. I have however drafted up a couple of Statutory Declarations for a friend of mine to who he had that signed and witnessed by a solicitor and was served upon you by way of recorded delivery as per section 14 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980;
I was informed that you refused his Statutory Declaration due to it not containing the fact that it did not mention the single justices system, the very fact the Statutory Declaration did state that my friend was not aware of the proceedings until he received a further steps notice, which you are aware does not state it was heard under a single justices system
SO my request under the Freedom of Information Act is why are Designated officers refusing Statutory Declarations when they are aware the other party was only aware of the case after a further steps notice had been served

Yours sincerely,

Maurice Barnett