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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter parked at our local train station but incorrectly

Customer Question

My daughter parked at our local train station but incorrectly put her car reg wrong by a letter when she paid for ticket online. During the day she realised her mistake and changed it the site confirmed she had paid the charge with the correct reg. on her return in the evening she found she had been issued with a parking ticket. She has corresponded via email to them immediately she had no response. Later she was issued with a PCN debt recovery notice she again wrote to the address on the notice explaining she had paid (as explained above) and sent them copies of all correspondence plus a snapshot of online message confirming her payment. She has now received a letter dated 19.07.14 saying she has to pay the fine as she had not appealed within 14 days of fine which was 25.4.14 or risk being taken to court. What should she do now as her initial email explaining what had happened and confirmation online that she had paid the parking ticket was within 24hrs of paying for the ticket.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Who is the issuer please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
London & South Eastern Railway t/as Debt recovery and prosecutions services (DPS)
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. That is a proper railway bye law fine and she has admitted being the driver effectively.
Is she willing to risk being taken to court?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes she is. As they have accepted her payment for her ticket on 25.4.14 we can't see how they can be issuing a penalty notice for non payment she would therefore have to pay again. All this is backed up by their confirmation of payment.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm afraid it doesn't work like that.
The issue is not whether she paid. The issue is whether she paid and displayed. She did not. Or at least, she did but not correctly. That is what is required.
I do agree with you that its not a prosecution that is really in the public interest as there is no loss and they may well take that view and abandon it. However, you should be aware that the account she is raising is not an absolute defence.
This is a proper railway bye law fine not a private land fine so there is a risk that they will act. They do have authority.
Refusing to pay now is basically a decision to run the risk of being summonsed. That comes down to how much risk she wants to take. The chances are fairly high in her favour that they would abandon this on public interest grounds but obviously that cannot be guaranteed. I have spent all week prosecuting something that isn't in the public interest so it would be irresponsible of me to suggest that is never a possibility.
In fairness, if this is brought under the Railway Bye Laws then it will only be a fine even if she loses at court and its a non recordable offence so shouldn't appear on PNC so the risks are low.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo

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