Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

Irish Rail Fine Appeal Query

  • 21-08-2019 5:26pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    Hi, I was served a fine a few weeks back that is due to be paid soon. Long story short I didn't even use a train and was fined. The fine was for fare evasion and was 100e. As in they didn't add the cost of the fare on top of the 100e regular fine because they knew I hadn't used the train but gave me a fine anyway. In fact I never use the train and never intended to, something which I proved to them (I live and work a walking distance from the track). They told me to appeal and it'll be waived once they check the cameras - very nice of them.

    Anyway my questions is not even about the outcome of the appeal but whether or not I need to pay even if they havent responded to my appeal? I appealed through their designated email weeks ago and have not gotten a response apart from the automated one. I really do not want to have to receive a summons for a fine Im nearly certain will have to be waived.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Damienmac
    Registered User


    I'd say don't assume it's OK just because you haven't heard back. You don't want the hassle and potential cost of a court appearance. I'd ring them if no reply by email.

    What were you actually fined for? A quick look on the irish rail website says you must buy a ticket before boarding the train. If you didn't board the train then how could they fine you?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    Damienmac wrote: »
    I'd say don't assume it's OK just because you haven't heard back. You don't want the hassle and potential cost of a court appearance. I'd ring them if no reply by email.

    What were you actually fined for? A quick look on the irish rail website says you must buy a ticket before boarding the train. If you didn't board the train then how could they fine you?

    I entered the platform and they were at the exits / entrances. I walked onto the platform to exit through a different entrance as the gates were open and it saves me a few minutes to walk this way. Once I walked on I saw them and asked could I use the track to exit the other side. They ignored my question and asked for a ticket, which I didn't have. Gave me a fine.

    You might argue trespassing, but I did ask permission before continuing to walk the platform. There's a dedicated exit for my workplace that I use but she told me it's for rail users only. I said fair enough, now that I know that I'll leave the track but she wouldn't let me back out the way I came in without fining me. The fine was for fare evasion too not trespassing. Her argument was she didn't see me walk in behind her before I approached her so I could have gotten off a train for all she knew.

    Anyway, regardless of whether I somehow deserve a fine or not, I would feel like some pushover if I just paid up without even a response. Can't bring myself to pay such a silly fine, even if I am made pay it in the end. Surely there has to be an obligation on them to address appeals before people who are fined are forced to pay? Is what I'm assuming anyway. They have had weeks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Damienmac
    Registered User


    I see. I certainly wouldn't pay it.

    As I said, you need to get someone on the phone.

    You might have a bit of pushing to do. If they couldn't be bothered responding to email then it'll likely be difficult to get them to check cameras.

    I'd argue that they shouldn't be able to issue that fine (fare evasion) at the platform to anyone since they have no proof you boarded a train.

    I see the revenue protection officers on the train regularly, but they are always on the train itself, or at the train door. Never at the platform exit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,287 ✭✭✭ n97 mini
    Registered User


    Is there a foot bridge in the station?

    I'm not aware of any law that says only intending passengers are allowed on the platform. It wouldn't be possible to see people off if so.

    The fare evasion fine is complete BS if you didn't actually board a train. Sounds like someone who doesn't understand the rules, and there are many of them.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    i would be curious if you got someone on the phone in irish rail, and pointed out that you were willing to go to court over this, and were fully and truthfully intending on telling the judge that not only were you not on a train when stopped, there was not even a train in the station.

    this does not constitute advice, though.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere
    Registered User


    Interesting, they have to prove you had intent to defraud them of the fare.

    You never travelled, never had intention to do so, they have no proof. That said they have CCTV so if you are not being 100% truthful it will come out and the CCTV quality Irish Rail has is excellent.

    The issue then becomes if the station has a gate, turnstile or other barrier, passing this without a ticket is a separate issue


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    It's a funny one alright and very strange circumstances too. Because like I was saying, the only thing I could have feasibly done wrong was walking on the track without permission. I did pass turnstiles without a ticket but then asked if I was OK to walk on the track and told no and fined. But even at that, it's not a normal situation because my place of work has a dedicated exit and entrance to the track. So in theory people even have to walk on and off the track before they can buy tickets/scan on when coming and going from that side.

    Funny thing is if they just close their turnstiles and don't have them open 24/7 I just wouldn't bother walking it and this annoying situation would never happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,617 ✭✭✭✭ Spook_ie
    Registered User


    FatRat wrote: »
    It's a funny one alright and very strange circumstances too. Because like I was saying, the only thing I could have feasibly done wrong was walking on the track without permission. I did pass turnstiles without a ticket but then asked if I was OK to walk on the track and told no and fined. But even at that, it's not a normal situation because my place of work has a dedicated exit and entrance to the track. So in theory people even have to walk on and off the track before they can buy tickets/scan on when coming and going from that side.

    Funny thing is if they just close their turnstiles and don't have them open 24/7 I just wouldn't bother walking it and this annoying situation would never happen.

    Dedicated entrance/exit to the track sounds so very wrong unless it's Irish Rail property and employees


  • Registered Users Posts: 77,620 ✭✭✭✭ Victor
    Registered User


    Spook_ie wrote: »
    Dedicated entrance/exit to the track sounds so very wrong unless it's Irish Rail property and employees
    Google and AIB, possibly others, have private entrances onto platforms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,617 ✭✭✭✭ Spook_ie
    Registered User


    Victor wrote: »
    Google and AIB, possibly others, have private entrances onto platforms.

    Platform not track


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    Spook_ie wrote: »
    Dedicated entrance/exit to the track sounds so very wrong unless it's Irish Rail property and employees

    No it's correct. Sign up there and all saying so. Sorry I should say platform not track. I never walked on the actually track, just the platform.

    Anyway beside all that, if I have to pay I have to pay.. I just don't want to pay without a response to my appeal first. Think it would be a bit of a joke if I have to pay this though tbh


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,563 ✭✭✭ pad199207
    Registered User


    I was waiting in Naas Train station one time for a friend to arrive from Heuston and a ticket checker came along to see if I had a ticket or leap card.

    I said no I was waiting for a train and for a friend to arrive and he gave me a suspicious look. I told him to jog on.

    If you didn’t board a service and that the train station in question is free to access without barriers then you certainly should not have been fined.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    Right so I sent another urgent email today as the fine is due today and they actually responded.

    Interestingly if I had paid (expecting a refund when the appeal goes through), the appeal would be dropped and I'd have no chance of a refund :confused: As in they told me not to pay until the appeal has been responded. And if I did pay the appeal would not be reviewed further and the case would be closed.

    So if I paid up out of fear of being summonsed to court then, to Irish Rail, this is an admission of guilt and the case is closed. I suspect I won't be hearing from them again. Absolute Cowboys.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,287 ✭✭✭ n97 mini
    Registered User


    Interesting, they have to prove you had intent to defraud them of the fare.

    You never travelled, never had intention to do so, they have no proof. That said they have CCTV so if you are not being 100% truthful it will come out and the CCTV quality Irish Rail has is excellent.

    CCTV wouldn't matter as the OP didn't board a train the day he got the fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,766 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk
    Registered User


    I think maybe phone them as opposed to emailing them might be the best route to go?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    gmisk wrote: »
    I think maybe phone them as opposed to emailing them might be the best route to go?

    All sorted as above. They only give an email and address for appeals. Then a number to pay the fine. Was about the phone that number and ask if I have to pay with an appeal outstanding etc. Before I got their email reply.

    Honestly I could have ended up paying this fine out of annoyance and possibility of further fines and a summons. Obviously with a view to getting a refund but like I said above they close the case once you pay.

    It really is a joke that I had to press them to find this out. They should explicitly states that if you lodge an appeal then you are not obliged to pay within 21 days until they respond. They don't state this anywhere


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere
    Registered User


    n97 mini wrote: »
    CCTV wouldn't matter as the OP didn't board a train the day he got the fine.

    Prove that, person on a station exiting the platform, fair assumption they were onboard a train.

    The Luas bye laws had to be specifically changed to ensure to address this scenario of on platform checks


  • Registered Users Posts: 24 Damienmac
    Registered User


    Prove that, person on a station exiting the platform, fair assumption they were onboard a train.

    The Luas bye laws had to be specifically changed to ensure to address this scenario of on platform checks

    I personally don't think fines should be issued based on a fair assumption. Either they see you on the train, or they don't. I think there should be no doubt when giving a fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,405 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail
    Registered User


    Prove that, person on a station exiting the platform, fair assumption they were onboard a train.

    The Luas bye laws had to be specifically changed to ensure to address this scenario of on platform checks

    the OP said they never got to exit the platform and there was no train in sight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere
    Registered User


    The burden of proof to issue the fine is very low. Regardless of the case, Irish Rail has the basis of case for trespass and the penalties are pretty much the same.

    The number of cases in recent years were there was clever planning involved to beat the system has meant a zero tolerance policy, e.g. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/free-rail-trips-end-up-costing-passenger-5500-30958835.html fined first questions later.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 37,405 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail
    Registered User


    The burden of proof to issue the fine is very low. Regardless of the case, Irish Rail has the basis of case for trespass and the penalties are pretty much the same.

    The number of cases in recent years were there was clever planning involved to beat the system has meant a zero tolerance policy, e.g. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/free-rail-trips-end-up-costing-passenger-5500-30958835.html fined first questions later.

    what exactly are the penalties for trespassing on irish rail properties?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,806 ✭✭✭ goingnowhere
    Registered User


    bye law 3
    (1) enter any lift or pass any ticket barrier unless and until he or she or someone on his or her behalf shall have obtained from the Board or from an authorised person a ticket or other authority entitling the holder to enter such lift or pass such barrier; and such ticket or other authority shall be produced on demand to any authorised person; or

    Doesn't matter which direction, you have to have some form of proof of authorization


    Rail Safety Act 2005
    “(1) A person who trespasses on any of the railways of or worked by the Board is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,000.”.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,439 ✭✭✭ italodisco
    Registered User


    what I find most hilarious is the fact you gave someone your personal details.

    If a conductor, security guard, staff member etc demanded my details I'd laugh at them.

    If they tried to impede me from leaving I would use force.

    Next time give your brother or mates details lol !!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,284 ✭✭✭✭ bucketybuck
    Registered User


    Interesting, they have to prove you had intent to defraud them of the fare.

    You never travelled, never had intention to do so

    Prove intent?

    I would have thought it very reasonable to assume that anybody passing the turnstiles onto a train platform is doing so with the intent of getting a train. For 99.99999% of people that is exactly what they would be there for.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,107 gwalk


    italodisco wrote: »
    what I find most hilarious is the fact you gave someone your personal details.

    If a conductor, security guard, staff member etc demanded my details I'd laugh at them.

    If they tried to impede me from leaving I would use force.

    Next time give your brother or mates details lol !!!!

    you're hard


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,405 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail
    Registered User


    bye law 3
    (1) enter any lift or pass any ticket barrier unless and until he or she or someone on his or her behalf shall have obtained from the Board or from an authorised person a ticket or other authority entitling the holder to enter such lift or pass such barrier; and such ticket or other authority shall be produced on demand to any authorised person; or

    Doesn't matter which direction, you have to have some form of proof of authorization
    (1) enter any lift or pass any ticket barrier unless and until he or she or someone on his or her behalf shall have obtained from the Board or from an authorised person a ticket or other authority entitling the holder to enter such lift or pass such barrier; and such ticket or other authority shall be produced on demand to any authorised person; or

    (2) enter any vehicle for the purpose of travelling unless and until he or she or someone on his or her behalf shall have obtained from the Board or from an authorised person a ticket or other authority entitling him or her to travel therein.






    The Board shall be entitled to recover the full fare for the distance actually travelled by the offender without a ticket or other authority.

    they didn't travel so there is no full fare applicable.

    Rail Safety Act 2005
    “(1) A person who trespasses on any of the railways of or worked by the Board is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,000.”.

    so not a €100 fixed penalty fine then?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228
    Registered User


    Interesting, they have to prove you had intent to defraud them of the fare.

    Well, actually no they don't, this is often incorrectly stated due to the way people read the provisions of the Railway Safety Act 2005.

    The Act has two distinct offences, the first is contrary to S132 (3) which requires mens rea - the guilty mind, this offence applies when someone travels or attempts to travel on a railway without having previously paid a fare with intent to avoid such payment.

    The second offence and the one which is commonly used is contrary to S132 (2), it is an offence to fail to offer up a ticket when requested simpliciter. It requires no mens rea, it is a strict liability offence.


    italodisco wrote: »
    what I find most hilarious is the fact you gave someone your personal details.

    If a conductor, security guard, staff member etc demanded my details I'd laugh at them.

    If they tried to impede me from leaving I would use force.

    Next time give your brother or mates details lol !!!!

    They have the lawful authority to request it, you are by law required to give it, failure to do so is an offence which could see you arrested, including by the staff themselves where they deem it justified.


    so not a €100 fixed penalty fine then?

    Trespass on the railway is also a €100 FCPN.

    On the point of railway trespass, very few people are aware that you can only be prosecuted for such when there is a no trespass notice provided at the nearest level crossing to the point where you trespassed, yes that is correct the nearest level crossing, not the nearest access point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    People seem to be misunderstanding the fact that Irish rail have an agreement with places of work to allow them to use a dedicated entrance or exit. This immediately removes my intent to travel on a train as I was a 5 minute walk from workplace at 9am, I was never going to be getting a train this is obvious to anyone with a brain.

    Ive thought this through even more now and it also means that people coming the opposite direction (from a private entrance onto the platform) can never technically do so legally. Because everyone coming from that direction must tag on or buy a ticket after entering the platform. In theory an inspector can stand on the platform on the opposite side of a private entrance and fine everyone who enters the platform unless they happen to have a return journey ticket because they have not yet tagged on or have not yet bought a single ticket. Now I'm not saying this is my argument but it's interesting to think about if you wanna dig really deep.

    The penalty they gave on my ticket was fare evasion, not trespassing. If they check their cameras they will see that I walk onto the platform and engage in a conversation with the inspector, not the other way around. I asked if I could proceed and exit through the dedicated exit. I walked onto a platform with an inspection point at the entrance and asked could I proceed and I was issued a fine.

    I understand the craic with trespassing and how it could be put down to a trespassing offence. But my circumstances are such that it would honestly feel like a joke if I were to be given a fine. Im very reasonable when it comes to the fines/rights imposed by Irish Rail, I think they are there for a good reason. But I would honestly lose all my faith in how they are being operated if I end up having to pay.

    Just a last thing to add, Im not bothered about proving any sort of innocence here, I've told you what happened to open discussion. My original post was to question whether or not I needed to pay with an appeal (that they hadn't replied to after 3 weeks) still outstanding. The most shocking takeaway from this for me is that if I had paid out of fear of further action because their administrative team isn't up to the task of responding to appeals within 21 days, then I would then have no recourse and my case would be closed. They need to explain the appeal process explicitly on their website and fine notices but they don't at all. I almost paid 100e to Irish Rail that I would never see again (and my not be justified) because of their negligence in informing the public with key information on appeals. A public service can't be allowed to work this way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭ GM228
    Registered User


    FatRat wrote: »
    People seem to be misunderstanding the fact that Irish rail have an agreement with places of work to allow them to use a dedicated entrance or exit.

    Be that as it may the idea of such entrances is for travel via the railway, not as a means of a shortcut.


    FatRat wrote: »
    The most shocking takeaway from this for me is that if I had paid out of fear of further action because their administrative team isn't up to the task of responding to appeals within 21 days, then I would then have no recourse and my case would be closed. They need to explain the appeal process explicitly on their website and fine notices but they don't at all. I almost paid 100e to Irish Rail that I would never see again (and my not be justified) because of their negligence in informing the public with key information on appeals. A public service can't be allowed to work this way.

    They are not permitted to explain the appeals process on the fine itself.

    Also as a prosecutor there is no obligation to explain the process of appeals nor to inform you of any consequences of failure to pay etc.

    They explain how to appeal on their website.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭ FatRat
    Registered User


    I'm sorry but walking to a place and asking someone for permission to use said place, being told no and then being prosecuted/fined does not make sense to me. They wouldn't let me leave the track until I accepted said fine either so go figure how that makes sense legally. Even if I intended to use it as a shortcut at least I approached them and asked and offered to leave the premises when they said no.

    Anyway this debating is a waste of time. This is not the intended purpose of this thread - to argue with strangers (or perhaps Irish rail employees from what I gather, on this forum) about whether I should be fined or not. My issue was with not knowing the status of my appeal.

    I didn't wish to know their appeals process BTW, but I did wish to know where I stand / the status of my appeal. Imagine sending an email about a legal matter and getting no response for 3 weeks - when further legal action has been threatened for non-compliance after that 3 week period. General information for the public should be available and if they don't supply this its just bad practise on their part or the law should be changed. (Granted I know this is very specific) They have more than likely received 100e payment from people who didn't deserve to be fined and closed their cases in the past. In the end they gave me the information I needed, but it was too hard to get. It's just poor form from a public office.

    Anyway, I'm sorted for now, they will get back with the outcome of the appeal. I will pay it if I'm forced to and I will feel they made the most REASONABLE decision if they waive it. I say we close this thread before the lecturers of law hijack it any further.


Advertisement