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Court date for TV Licence

  • 08-12-2021 4:55pm
    Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭


    Due in court for no TV Licence. I dont have a TV. What will happen when i tell judge i dont have one? I got rid of it during lockdown but had licence when i had TV. Will he not believe me?

    Any info much appreciated.



  • Registered Users Posts: 32,887 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN

    No expert of the legal world, but the advert always says, if you have a tv then you must have a tv licence.

    By that, I'd guess if you don't have a tv, then you don't need a tv licence.

    Seems fairly clear cut.

  • Registered Users Posts: 237 ✭✭purplefields

    How did it get as far as court?

    I just tell the inspector I don't have a TV and that's the end of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭The Witches Cat

    I think it was because i always had licence and then i didnt renew it and then got registered letter to go to court.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,459 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    It needs more than non-renewal to go to court. What reason does it give for saying they believe you are liable - there are more categories than just "has a TV"; having aerials or dishes for instance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,421 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    A phone call to them would have sorted it at the time

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,285 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    Seems odd that the accused has to go about proving innocence rather than vice versa.

    OP generally the inspector will say that he noted a TV on the premises. After that it is your word against his.

    Disgusting law

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,421 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    I assume the inspector will have evidence.

    Does the op have evidence he doesn't have a TV.

    A phone call when he got the summons would have sorted it

    I don't like the licence. I've a TV, don't watch satellite or terrestrial TV but have to pay it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,149 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    You will need to get your dates straight.

    You need to be able to say exactly when you got rid of the tv. Did you sell, gift or recycle it?

    When did the licence run out?

    Have you consulted a solicitor?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,687 ✭✭✭✭wonski

    You never received any letters allowing you to tick "no TV at this address" OP?

    They normally send quite a few before going legal. I am always late paying TV license (up to 4 months just because I hate paying it) and have at least 2 or 3 in the post in that time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    One click on Google gets me to this

    Surely op got several reminder letters and warning letters and decided in their wisdom to totally ignore them.

    I hope the judge fines you as it is so easy to make a declaration and you just couldn't be bothered

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 22,285 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    He can't have evidence of the OP doesn't have a TV 🤣

    They just assume you have a TV unless you demonstrate otherwise

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,032 ✭✭✭Cerco

    The tv licence covers more than a tv receiver. If you have an aerial or dish for example or if you are using a pad or computer for viewing you are still liable to have a licence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,489 ✭✭✭Raichu

    That’s not true. The “entertainment licence” which would’ve meant you needed to pay the fee if you owned a smartphone/computer/tablet never passed and it applies to devices capable of receiving a television signal (eg Televisions, set top boxes) only.

    similarly having a satellite dish or aerial does not make you liable to pay a TV licence. Owning a TV does.

  • Registered Users Posts: 710 ✭✭✭TefalBrain

    Went through the exact same thing about 2 years ago OP. Just tell the judge you've no TV and you'll be in and out in no time.

    There was actually 4 people before me with the exact same issue a complete waste of court time and resources..

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,489 ✭✭✭Raichu

    and people wonder why it can make months or years to get a court date..

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,415 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    In case this is read as meaning that nobody ever gets fined for not having a licence, that is not the case. As is proved by the cases where people refuse to pay the fine, and are further prosecuted for that offence.

    One question which could arise, is whether someone was asked to complete the Statutory Declaration.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,459 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    The definition of "televsion set" in legislation is so broad that judges have interepreted having an aerial or satellite dish as sufficient proof (when someone has not granted access to an inspector)

    " “ television set ” means any electronic apparatus capable of receiving and exhibiting television broadcasting services broadcast for general reception (whether or not its use for that purpose is dependent on the use of anything else in conjunction with it) and any software or assembly comprising such apparatus and other apparatus;"

    District court judgements are not precedent forming, but if you get a judge that assumes having a dish = having a TV, good luck arguing otherwise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭ForestFire

    "capable of receiving and exhibiting television broadcasting services broadcast"

    An Ariel or a Satellite dish cannot do this....Its quite unambiguous that they cannot exhibit the broadcast, and these alone could not be used as evidence or a requirement to have a TV licence.

    I rent in a two story house and there is an aerial fixed to the chimney that I do not use.

    There is no way I am getting up there to remove it, just because I do not use it, and what if it was needed again the the future anyway?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,766 ✭✭✭mumo3

    Hate to burst your bubble but it's now a broadcasting licence, if you watch it through your laptop or any other device you need to have a licence, it's a joke.... Paying for RTÉ and that's the only station that your damn sure to only see shite on!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,558 ✭✭✭✭dreamers75


    Phone with the ability to play video is considered a "tv" under the broadcasting licence.

    Good luck 👍️

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,921 ✭✭✭Bananaleaf

    Can you link me to proof of this please? I don't think this is true. I've tried looking this up online and I can't find any proof of what you are claiming, but maybe I'm just not looking in the right places

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,149 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    As said in post #14 above that is not the case.

    You must have a device that is capable of receiving broadcasts and a laptop is not.

    No TV no licence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,415 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The TV could be incapable because it is broken. It could be deliberately broken temporarily to fool the inspector. It still needs a licence. From Citizens Information, but the OP should ignore my and all other "legal" advice here. The court will decide on the evidence presented.

    Do I need a TV licence?

    If you have a TV, or equipment capable of receiving a television signal (using an aerial, satellite dish, cable or other means), you must have a TV licence. This applies even if the TV is broken, as it is considered capable of being repaired.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,149 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    Yes but you could have a room full of laptops and you don't need a licence.

    Your point about the court is the most important one for the OP.

    Just rocking up and saying "I don't have a TV" may do the trick but then again it might not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    That is planned for the future.

    Yes, rte get a large proportion, but they are restricted on the amount of advertising.

    And it's rte 1, rte2, rte radio. And the biggest cost is coverage of live sports such as gaa and soccer. If they dumped gaa & soccer the license fee would drop almost 40%

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,415 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005

    The OP does not mention it, but the case could depend on that Statutory Declaration. It is an offence simply to fail to complete and return it.

    Note Under section 147 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, a person who, when required to do so, fails to complete and return a Form of Declaration within twenty eight days or makes a false or misleading statement in the Declaration is liable to prosecution and fine. . If a person makes in it any statement which is to his or her knowledge false or misleading he or she commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €1,000.

    And probably lots of people would say, just fill it in and say no TV, even where there is a TV. That is up to each person themselves, but I would not do it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,766 ✭✭✭mumo3

    I only watch TV content on a monitor, Do I need a TV Licence?

    You require a TV Licence in the following circumstances:

    Connecting a SKY/Virgin Media/Saorview or any type of Digital TV Receiver to your monitor

    Viewing any TV Programmes broadcast for general reception over broadband (e.g. Eir TV/Vodafone TV) on your monitor requires a TV Licence.

    I was up in court for my TV Licence a couple of years ago, now it could have just been the judge, but there was a guy there who said he didn't have a TV and that he watched stuff on his laptop, I don't remember the finer details she fined him and that's how I remember it, I was shocked!!

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal

    The guy should have been more specific,

    Watching "stuff" on your laptop could be RTE Player, but it also could be just Youtube.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,459 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    "or any assembly comprising", e.g. part of the setup.

    Basically, if you refuse access to an inspector, get brought to court and get the wrong judge, you're getting fined.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    When I got rid of the telly quite a number of years ago, they kept on sending me letters until I sent in a declaration that I had no telly. Even after that, they still kept sending me letters once a year or so, which I binned, and nothing more came of it.

    When I got a telly again, I completely forgot about the license. When the inspector inevitably arrived quite some time later, he just asked me to get a license. You have to be blatantly refusing to pay over a fairly extended process before you get a summons. I still resent paying it, given that I don't consume RTE ever.