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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70197
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have received 2 notices

Resolved Question:

I have received 2 notices of underpayment of parking fees for visits to Burton-on-Trent hospital recently. In bth cases parking eye state times of arrival and departure, and total amount of time parked, and in both cases I have the parking tickets that shoe quite clearly that I purchased more time than my visits required, and that I had in fact paid for more time than their letters were stating I was parked. I immediately wrote the "Appeals" address they give but as yet have not received any response, although I have today received another letter from them telling me that if the first notgice is not paid by tomorrow (20th) I will be charged £70 rather than £40. I am quite clear in that I did not overstay my parking time, and would like to know what I can do to take this matter futher if they refuse to consider the evidence I have submitted. I would be grateful for advice, Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know that I did not overstay my parking time, and comparison of the information they provide with the parking ticket which fortunately I kept, shows. If as seems likely from their so far non responnse, they refuse to
waive the matter what is the position legally if I refuse to make the payment which I genuinely believe is not due?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is this a council issue fine?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. It is Parking Eye scheme sub contracted to by the locla hospital.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but can you check the small print.

Sometimes the councils contract out to these companies in particular on hospital forecourts.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So far as I know it is a private company, and there is evidence from other sources of disatisfaction with it's service

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Do you still have the original fines?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I Have the fines notices, which state that "A parking charge amount due £70 payment to be made by..............This parking charge is discounted to £40 if paid by...........After this date, the full parking charge amount will be owed."


IN BOTH CASES MY PARKING TICKETS SHOW THAT i PAID FOR PERIODS OF PARKING LONGER THAN i WAS PARKED AND THIS IS SUPPORTED BY THE THE INFORMATION THEY GIVE AS TO ARRIVAL & LEAVING TIMES, AND ACTUAL TIMES IN THE CAR PARK

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 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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