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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70701
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello On October 28th lat year our van was photographed in

Resolved Question:

Hello
On October 28th lat year our van was photographed in a bus lane and a PCN was allegedly issued. At the time we have just moved office and DVLA was informed of address change on 25th November. All correspondence from our old address was forwarded to our new address until the end of 2013.
We received no correspondence whatsoever concerning this PCN.
The first thing we heard was when a bailiff appeared at our new address two months ago without any warning demanding £600 which we paid when he told us he would start removing our goods at once if we did not.
We have complained to Westminster City Council who tell us the matter is now closed.
We believe that this is totally unfair and would like to take action. Do we have a case?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
When did the bailiffs attend?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello

It was 12th June this year

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is there any reason you havent' acted until now? That will be a problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, we have been writing to Westminster City Council who wrote to us today to tell us that they had acted in accordance with the law and that, as far as they were concerned, the matter is now closed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, they will say that and indeed it is.
Had you posted earlier I would have told you to make a statutory declaration which would have been the correct way to pursue this. The difficulty is now that you are nearly two months out of time which could lead to refusal in itself.
In any event, its your only option. If you did not receive the documentation then you can make a statutory declaration to that effect. If accepted then that will take the matter back to the issue of the original PCN.
You need to make an out of time statutory declaration explaining why you are out of time. The answer to that would have been simple enough if you had acted expeditiously because you didn't know anything about sets until the bailiffs attended. The difficulty that you now have is explaining the delay of two months but I suppose that you can always make the points that you had sent letters to Westminster Council and hope that you meet with a sympathetic judge. That will almost certainly be refused and you will have to appeal which may be accepted.
If it is accepted then you need to make and in time statutory declaration to the effect that you did not get the PCN and explaining the reasons for that. Usually these are accepted.
If it is accepted then you have a claim for refund and the council can reissue the PCN which can be paid or appealed at the reduced rate.
Obviously you can only do this if it is true because filing a false statutory declaration is perjury and people go to prison for that even on first offences.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for this which is most helpful.

I have just two comments:

Surely it was the appropriate response for us to contact the council after the bailiff's visit which we did at once? They are responsible for any delay by taking a long time to reply to our letters.

Secondly, the bailiff came without any warning. I understood that bailiffs were legally obliged to leave notice seven days before coming to distrain. They gave us no notice whatsoever.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No. A statutory declaration would have been the right thing to do. Whether a Judge might accept it was an understandable mistake is another matter.
A bailiff only has to send a letter to the address on register. The failure to do even that will not usually render their actions unlawful
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Actually we have written four times to Westminster City Council and only received a final reply today.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I do understand but the plain fact remains that is not the route of challenge.
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice which was very helpful. I will, of course, give you an 'excellent' rating.

However, please note that I really do object to receiving SEVENTEEN reminders within less than 24 hours.