Woman who allegedly owes €3,300 for M50 tolls has car seized

Kathy Moore went through tolled section of motorway on 22 occasions without paying

A woman who allegedly clocked up more than €3,300 in unpaid tolls had her car seized and sold off to settle the bill, the High Court has heard.

Kathy Moore allegedly ran up the toll bill in multiple unpaid tolls and penalty tolls incurred as she went through the tolled section of the M50 motorway on 22 occasions between January 15th and September 16th, 2016.

She later had a judgment for the €3,302 debt, plus costs, set aside by the District Court.

On Monday, the National Roads Authority (NRA), operating as Transport Infrastructure Ireland trading as eFlow, was given leave to challenge the District Court order.

Counsel for the NRA, Michael Delaney SC, told the court that proceedings had been brought against Ms Moore of Parkvale, Baldoyle, Dublin in the District Court in a bid to recover sums €3,300 in relation to alleged multiple unpaid tolls and penalty tolls incurred on the toll road on the M50.

It is claimed that 35 letters of demand were posted to Ms Moore at the Baldoyle, Dublin address.

Counsel said an attempt was made to serve Ms Moore with the proceedings by registered post but this was marked ‘refused’.

He said other attempts were also made to contact Ms Moore and advise her, if she did not make contact with a view to discharging the amount due, it would be necessary to seek judgment against her.

Counsel said no appearance or defence was received.

On September 5th, 2017, judgment in default was entered in the District Court office for a total of €3,708, including €406 for costs.

Counsel said Ms Moore was notified in September 2017 of the granting of the judgment in a letter sent to her but the letter was returned with a sticker attached to the envelope which stated ‘Return to Sender’.

It also stated, among other things: “I do not recognise you.”

The following month the judgment was lodged with the Dublin County Sheriff for execution and the woman’s 2014 car was seized on November 7th, 2017.

Counsel said the Sheriff afforded Ms Moore an opportunity to get legal advice but later wrote to her saying he had not heard from solicitors on her behalf and her car was being put up for sale. The car was later sold for more than €9,000 but, allowing for seizure and storage costs of €1,900 and the €843 cost of obtaining a new key and the payment of the alleged debt, it left just over €3,000, which was sent to Ms Moore.

Counsel said Ms Moore had on July 31st this year applied to the District Court to have the default judgment given to the NRA set aside. Counsel said this application was made without notice to the NRA and on grounds included a claim she had never been served with the proceedings in relation to the toll debt and was not aware the proceedings existed.

The District Court granted her application to set aside the default judgment for the alleged unpaid tolls.

Counsel said Ms Moore also issued court proceedings claiming damages arising out of the alleged wrongful seizure and sale of her car.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted leave for judicial review aimed at quashing the order of the District Court setting aside the judgment granted against Ms Moore in relation to the alleged toll debt.

The case will come back before the court next February.