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Not allowed to appeal my parking fine

(8 Posts)
HoneywithLemon Fri 29-Jan-16 19:44:33

Got a ticket through this week for an alleged parking offence (failure to pay and display) back in mid November. I had actually paid using the phone app, and I have proof that I had paid for parking two hours beyond the time of the alleged infringement.

There was no ticket on my windscreen on the day, and unfortunately I missed the first notice that they sent to my home (got stuck behind the front door curtain and was hidden behind a basket we keep by the front door). So, I got the second notice (increased fine, pay up or else we send the bailiffs) the other day. Rang the council and they said it's too late to appeal (you have 28 days from the first notice, which in this case was sent out on 22 December), you must pay up (£75 now, up from an initial £25) or it's the bailiffs for you. Oh and by the way, if you had said you never received the first letter we'd have probably let you off...

So I called the adjudicator. They can't help despite being a national body set up to deal with such things, because I'm out of time. But they said it was likely the the Central Enforcement Agency (where all unpaid fines end up from across the country) will not refer my case to court and instead send it back to the Council for re-consideration.

So I wrote a nice letter to the council pointing out that (a) I had paid for my parking (b) I had no ticket on my windscreen (c) Very sorry but I had not seen the initial letter [PCN] (c) If I had had the letter or the sticker on the windscreen OF COURSE I would have challenged it straight away, why wouldn't I??(c) I was only just outside the 28 days for appeal, if they accepted that the PCN probably only arrived after Christmas (d)The Central Enforcement Agency will in likelihood not refer this matter to court.

The Council wrote back to me today and said get stuffed, pay up.

I don't suppose anyone has any advice? I feel very strongly that this is unjust. The parking warden either failed to check the online app data or there was a problem with his access on the day.

AnthonyBlanche Fri 29-Jan-16 20:10:41

Get your local councillor to help? I'm sure he / she would be able to assist.

HoneywithLemon Fri 29-Jan-16 21:07:08

That's an idea. She's the transport person as well ;)

HandbagFan Sat 30-Jan-16 10:50:20

Go to pepipoo.com and the forums there will help advise.

prh47bridge Sat 30-Jan-16 11:48:18

I think you need to make an out of time witness statement. See here for details.

HoneywithLemon Sat 30-Jan-16 17:35:55

Thanks HandbagFan, I found that forum after some rooting around on MSE.com, and some very interesting information from the Secretary of State's Statutory Guidance on Parking of 2008. This is a legal duty upon them that they cannot escape from, under s87 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. Here are the relevant extracts : -

"84. It is in the interests of the authority and the vehicle owner to resolve any dispute at the earliest possible stage. Authorities should take account of the CEO’s actions in issuing the PCN, but should always give challenges and representations a fresh and impartial consideration.

85. An authority has a discretionary power to cancel a PCN at any point
throughout the CPE process. It can do this even when an undoubted
contravention has occurred if the authority deems it to be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. Under general principles of public law, authorities have a duty to act fairly and proportionately and are encouraged to exercise discretion sensibly and reasonably and with due regard to the public interest.

86. Enforcement authorities have a duty not to fetter their discretion, so should ensure that PCNs, NtOs, leaflets and any other advice they give do not mislead the public about what they may consider in the way of
representations. They should approach the exercise of discretion objectively and without regard to any financial interest in the penalty or decisions that may have been taken at an earlier stage in proceedings. Authorities should formulate (with advice from their legal department) and then publish their
policies on the exercise of discretion. They should apply these policies flexibly and judge each case on its merits. An enforcement authority should be ready to depart from its policies if the particular circumstances of the case warrant it."

Sorry it's long, but it's very useful (providing the legislation is still relevant as this comes from a post from October 2014).

HoneywithLemon Sat 30-Jan-16 17:38:32

Thanks prh47bridge. I've spoken with the Parking Enforcement Centre and they didn't mention this but I'll try it anyway.

HoneywithLemon Sun 07-Feb-16 16:15:33

I emailed the Council in response to their reply to my first email which set out the situation. This time I simply said thanks for your reply and I enclosed a copy of my RingGo receipt. Next day I had an email back to say they were cancelling the original PCN "as a gesture of good wiill", and reminding me of my duty to the DVLA to read my post!

It's interesting because everything the Council said to this point suggested that once the Charge Certificate has been issued there is no right of appeal and they have no powers to stop the legal process. This is not true and makes the "advice" I was given by them on the phone and in writing tantamount to extortion. Anyway, i am relieved and shall spend the £75 I've saved on something nice instead.

Thanks for the advice thankssmilethanks

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