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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69356
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I work at an NHS hospital in Manchester and pay monthly for

Customer Question

I work at an NHS hospital in Manchester and pay monthly for a staff parking permit. On one occasion after returning to work after two weeks sickness, my ID badge (which opens barrier to car park) had expired, I parked my car in a visitors bay with the intention of getting my badge reactivated and moving my car to the staff car park, Due to work demands I could not reactivate the card until end of shift.
As a result of this I was issued a Civil Parking Notice which I ignored after being advised that a civil parking charge is not a parking fine but a land fine and is only enforceable for the amount I would have paid for the period of time I left my car in the visitor's bay.
I have now received an invoice for £60.
What is your advice on this matter.

Jackie
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Who is the issuer please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Car Parking Partnership


Po Box 597


Northampton


NN4 7XN

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Car Parking Partnership


PO Box 597


Northampton


NN4 7XN

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

Does your employment contract comment upon use of the car park please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No my contract of employment does not refer to the car park

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.

A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.

This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract.

Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.

All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.

The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.

If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that. They have no claim for that.

Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.

Also, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.

They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.

Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer £5 for their loss.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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