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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69261
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a ticket for parking in a retail park some months

Customer Question

I received a ticket for parking in a retail park some months ago. It was £90 but reduced to £50 if paid in 14 days. I sent a cheque in the 2 wks but unfortunately wrote £40 by mistake. Instead of asking for another £10 the company claimed they had destroyed my cheque and demanded another one for £50.
I argued they had no right to do what they did and it took sometime to confirm with my bank that cheque had not been cashed. I then sent another for correct amount.
Later received letter from DRP a debt collection agency who say I did not pay and demanded £150.
I wrote to say I had paid and they said no cheque received. Again made checks and discovered I had given wrong chq number to them but there is still no trace of the second cheque that I did send them.
I went on holiday and then sent another cheque for £50 which they have now returned and demand £120.
Should I pay as I have sent 3 cheques now and company destroyed first instead of requesting rest of fine, say they did not receive second cheque and now the third one has come back.
I do not think I should pay more than the £50 but am tempted to just say see you in court. What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
It was a mistake to send a cheque I'm afraid.
Who is the issuer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I wrote all the cheques from my current account with Nationwide. The second one has not appeared anywhere and parking company claim they did not receive it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, I meant the issuer of the original fine?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I misunderstood.

I cannot remember the name of the company and right now cannot find the paperwork from them. Is it important to have this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not particularly the name of the company but it is important to tell whether its private land or local council.
I am almost sure you are describing private land but it will change everything.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was a parking area for Currys/Pc World. B and M Stores and a Pizza Hut on the outskirts of Ipswich, Suffolk. I do not know who owns the land I am afraid. The parking area is also for a couple of other stores (furniture I think) as well.

The site is next door to a large Tesco store.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is a private land fine. The reason they are pursuing you is that you have sent them cheques so they know that they are getting a reaction.
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 arising from an alleged agreement whereby you agree to park for a fee. 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. That is what is in dispute.
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.
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.
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 a small amount for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My apologies I realise I did not give you the whole story now have I read your detailed reply.

The site has signs on posts that I did not see as on the day it was raining heavily and quite dark too. I had not visited the site for some months so was not aware of the signs.

I was not aware there was 2 hour limit there or that when eating in Pizza Hut I should have put my car reg no on a screen to register that I was there - not sure what difference this makes.

I went back some weeks later to see what I had missed and saw the signs.

Does that make it clearer or change what you have said?

There are no ticket machines on the site.

should I just ignore the letters now and requests for money or write and tell them to get lost basically? Or is that asking for court action?

I do not know what to do for the best but am so angry they destroyed my cheque in the beginning. Quite unnecessary and I cannot believe that is legal.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The signs may or may not be adequate. i find quite often they are not so it might be worth inviting them to prove it.
I would never pay these things but I suppose I am comfortable with being sued. If you are not then the only way to bring it to an end is to pay in full.
However, the chances they will sue are very low. But they could. Even if they do they will only get the sum of the fine plus about £35 in costs and maybe £50 in fixed solicitors costs.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69261
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

I have decided that I am going to write to them and say as I have paid - twice - in total the amount that was quoted in original notice, and as it has been refused I will not pay more.

I don't feel comfortable with it but it does seem like way of taking money for nothing to me.


Are they allowed to tear up cheques and refuse payment like that?


How can I retain a copy of your answers please? I would like to re read them?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If you are prepared to risk being sued then I wouldn't write to them again. Just plain ignore them. They are only pursuing you because they know they are getting a reaction.

There is nothing unlawful about not cashing a cheque.

I think you can access these answers again. I never use the site from your side so I don't know how its done but customer services will tell you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, maybe I wont write but will retain the correspondence and take your advice.

As it will not affect my credit rating that makes me feel better.

Many many thanks for your advice and expertise.

I shall know where to come in future if help is needed.

Kind regards


Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It will only affect your credit rating if they get judgment and you don't pay within 28 days.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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