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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a parking charge ticket in December. I appealed

Resolved Question:

Hi
I received a parking charge ticket in December. I appealed this and first received a letter that I lost the appeal. Two days later I received another letter stating that the appeal had been upheld and that no money was due and the case settled. Assuming everything was sorted, I went away for 5 weeks during which time I received two letters asking for payment and also that the matter had been sent to debt collectors. I sent both the MET Parking and the debt collectors a letter which included a copy of the one they sent me saying that the matter had been settled.
Met parking have today written to me stating that they sent me the second letter was a clerical error and that I now had to deal with the debt collection agency.
My question is: Can the MET in view of the second letter enforce the charge? If yes, do I have grounds to negotiate for the lower £60 charge?
Many thanks for your advice
Gabriella Bologna
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hello how exactly was the penalty incurred?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HelloI was parked in a private car park without a permit. I thought it was an overflow to the free car park which was full at the time and did not notice the sign stating it was for permit holders only as opposed to a similar looking sign in the other car park saying that it was free. It was my mistake. I thought I'd appeal the charge and see what happens. I was about to pay the cheaper £60 rate when the second letter came through the post stating that the matter was closed.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Do you still have the letter?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have paper copies of all correspondence as well as the date, time and person I spoke to at the debt recovery agency.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, I meant their letter discontinuing it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. I also have a scanned copy. Would you like me to copy and paste it for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They have now sent me a letter (received today) saying that it was a clerical mistake and that the charge still stands only at the more expensive rate plus debt recovery charges.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Are you prepared to risk being sued?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would being sued mean? I understand that I would have to go to court, but what would it entail, financially? Also, what are my chances of winning? More specifically, how legally binding would the letter stating that the case was settled be? What would the implications of loosing be?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not a huge risk. The fine would probably increase to about £150 and costs would be about £35 plus fixed solicitors costs of £50.In terms of the letter, it depends what it says but it would probably not be decisive of the claim. This is a contract basically. The fact that they have said they will not pursue it doesn't mean they can't. This is not a local council issue fine. Then the authority have an entirely different relationship with the motorist and would be bound by such an utterance. If there is an error here then they can still pursue this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
in terms of your chances, you do not mention your specific defence above? That would make a huge difference?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To be honest I don't really have a defense. I made a mistake in that I did not read the signs properly. All the articles in the papers say to try and appeal and see what happens. When I appealed the case I just copied and pasted a letter that I found on a message board which essentially asked them to show me a copy of the contract that I signed and to prove to me what losses they incurred as a result of me parking there in view of the fact that the free car park was full.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Then you are taking the risk they won't sue. It is not all that likely that they would. They do not common.You cannot stamp out the risk though obviously.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Surely the letter should be binding, otherwise what stops them from changing their mind and charging people after they tell them that the case was settled?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do you think a magistrate or judge view said letter?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In terms of the letter, it depends what it says but it would probably not be decisive of the claim. This is a contract basically. The fact that they have said they will not pursue it doesn't mean they can't. This is not a local council issue fine. Then the authority have an entirely different relationship with the motorist and would be bound by such an utterance. If there is an error here then they can still pursue this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
A Judge would completely ignore the letter for the reasons above.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks for your advice. I have decided to pursue the matter.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem. All the best.