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Unjust parking fine, is anyone able to offer any advice?

(12 Posts)
Ifeelsuchafool Fri 20-Nov-15 20:44:35

My daughter recently inadvertently parked in a "residents only" spot. She received a ticket and paid her dues and thought no more of it. Last week, more than a month after the offence and over three weeks since she paid she received a letter in the post from the council concerned say that as she hadn't paid her fine they were now demanding the original cost plus 50%. Confused she contacted them. It appears that she was issued with two separate tickets on the same day quoting the same location at exactly the same time. Only one ticket was on her windscreen when she returned to the car. She appealed by email, sending a screen shot of her bank statement showing the original payment. She has just received a letter saying that, because she took more than 28 days to appeal it has been denied. But she had no knowledge of the second ticket and it appears to be for exactly the same offence. Does anyone know if this is legal? The second ticket quotes her registration number but has the make of car as "unknown" and the colour as "other" whereas the one she paid has the make and colour correctly described. It all sounds rather fishy to me and I'm really cross on her behalf but not sure if there is anything I can do to help her. Thank you for reading.

prh47bridge Sat 21-Nov-15 00:27:53

I presume the letter is a "Notice to Owner". So far the council has told your daughter she is out of time for an informal challenge. She is now able to make a formal challenge to the council. If they do not accept her challenge they will send a "Notice of Rejection" at which point she can appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (unless the offence was in London in which case she needs the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service). Given that both tickets were apparently issued on the same date at the same time I would be very surprised if the fine is not withdrawn.

Ifeelsuchafool Sat 21-Nov-15 07:46:07

I think so, prh. She is in London, she finished uni this year and is in her first job. The offence was in Twickenham so London borough of Richmond upon Thames? So we'll go to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service, thank you for that information. The confusing thing is that these parking tickets have separate numbers. The one she's paid has a different number to the one for which they're chasing her but the times and location are identical on both tickets as is the registration number. The ticket she paid has the make and colour of her car correctly described but the one they're chasing payment for says make, "unknown", colour, "other". It's all very peculiar but, as it's London, the original fine was £110 which she's paid and now they're demanding £165. £275 for parking in a residents' spot, which wasn't very clearly marked in the first place as she's not such a fool as to invite a parking fine, seems extortionate to me, even for London!

prh47bridge Sat 21-Nov-15 09:09:33

First of all an apology. The PATAS was renamed in July. It is now London Tribunals.

Before going to London Tribunals she must make a formal representation to the Council. She cannot go to London Tribunals until she has received a Notice of Rejection of Representations from the council. Unless the letter saying she took too long to appeal says that it is a Notice of Rejection that is not good enough. She has 28 days from receiving the Notice to Owner to lodge her formal appeal so it is clearly not too late for that. It sounds like the council has treated her email as an informal challenge for which the deadline is 28 days from issue of the PCN. The NtO will include details of how to lodge a formal representation - either a form or a web address.

Her grounds for appeal would appear to be:

- The PCN was not properly issued. The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 say that the PCN must be attached to the vehicle or, if that is not possible, issued by post within 28 days of the offence. Since neither happened in this case the PCN has not been issued correctly. The council may well have a photo showing a PCN attached to her vehicle. She needs to point out that, as two PCNs were issued at the same time for the same offence, the council needs a photo showing two PCNs attached to her vehicle in order to prove that both were correctly issued. In the absence of such a photo it is clear that only one PCN was issued to her.

- They cannot legally issue multiple PCNs for the same offence. The fact that they have done so combined with the incomplete details on this PCN strongly suggests that the PCN in dispute was issued in error. She needs to include full details of the PCN she has paid in her evidence, along with copies of any documentary evidence she has relating to that PCN.

If the ticket was printed rather than hand written my guess is that the incomplete ticket was issued by mistake and the person that issued it immediately issued the correct ticket, not realising that they couldn't cancel the incomplete one. However, I am guessing.

peteneras Sat 21-Nov-15 10:01:41

Wait a minute, call me ignorant if you wish, but can you get two tickets for the very same offence and be expected to pay both of them?

Hey, why don't the council issue a dozen tickets instead of stopping at just two - or better still, throw the whole book at the illegally parked car? That'd be a sure way of instantly blowing up the council's coffers! grin

LovelyFriend Sat 21-Nov-15 10:27:01

I would challenge them again in writing, making her argument clearly. And finish by stating if they don't dismiss the 2nd ticket she looks forward to telling it all to a judge/tribunal.

It will cost them to take this further and they will only look at it seriously when it progresses and has an element of financial risk for them.

They expect the threats to work.

prh47bridge Sat 21-Nov-15 11:25:43

Wait a minute, call me ignorant if you wish, but can you get two tickets for the very same offence and be expected to pay both of them

No. If the OP's daughter had stayed illegally parked for several days she could get a penalty for each day but multiple tickets issued at the same time for the same offence is clearly not legitimate.

I would challenge them again in writing, making her argument clearly. And finish by stating if they don't dismiss the 2nd ticket she looks forward to telling it all to a judge/tribunal

Please don't do that. Ignoring the process laid down in law will not help. The OP's daughter will seriously weaken her position if she does not lodge a formal representation and, if that fails, take it to London Tribunals.

Ifeelsuchafool Sun 05-Jun-16 23:24:01

Sorry to resurrect this thread but just wanted to thank prh47bridge for all the advice, which we followed. DD made the representation which was rejected and so went to the Tribunals.

Apparently one ticket had been written by a traffic warden and the other was issued automatically by some camera or other.

Now, it was complicated because they actually did post out the 2nd ticket within the 28 days but DD, on receiving it, put it aside as, as far as she was concerned, it had been paid a couple days prior to receiving it. But she'd paid the first, handwritten, one.

She hadn't looked closely enough to realise that they had different numbers and were, actually, on inspection, some 8 minutes apart!

She argued that it was the same offence (she'd been parked there for just under one hour all told) and that no-one expects to get two tickets for the same offence, hence why she hadn't scrutinised the second ticket more closely, she had just assumed the payment and the letter had crossed in the post.

It's taken a long time but she's finally off the hook and didn't have to pay the second fine after all. grin

Beggars belief that they're paying a warden, utilising a camera and then wasting tax payers money arguing the toss to boot. No wonder councils never seem to have enough money for essential services hmm

Thanks one and all for your replies.

gingeroots Mon 06-Jun-16 08:55:53

Thanks for the update .Well done for perservering .And I agree about time and cost of tax payers money .

AugustaFinkNottle Mon 06-Jun-16 09:00:16

I'd be tempted to go back to the council and ask whether they tell their wardens not to waste their time by checking parking areas that are already covered by automated systems - if not, why not; if they do, what are they going to do about the fact that this warden wasn't doing his or her job properly.

confuugled1 Mon 06-Jun-16 09:19:32

OP - maybe they are trying to boost the coffers by issuing double tickets and hoping that most people will just pay up without checking too closely!

prh47bridge Mon 06-Jun-16 17:38:18

Glad your daughter won in the end. Appalling that the council rejected her representation, though. They should have known they would lose if it went to the Tribunals.

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