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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Alex how are your skills in regards to private parking

Resolved Question:

hi Alex
how are your skills in regards ***** ***** parking tickets? is this something you can help me with?
Craig
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Hello Craig and thanks for asking for me,.

What would you like to know about this?
Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex
Thanks for getting back to me.
I have received a solicitors letter threatening court action if I do not pay £160 for a parking offence.
I contacted the solicitors by phone on receipt of the letter.
I asked them what was going on as I had not received a parking ticket.
They told me my vehicle was caught on camera over staying the maximum period allowed in a private carp park (Iceland).
I informed them that I had not received a parking ticket.
The solicitor said that the company must have written to me.
I informed them that I received nothing from them. They said letters would have been sent and it was for me to prove that I hadn't received them! I asked how I was supposed to prove such a thing. He said it was not his concern and I must pay the £160 demanded or face legal proceedings.
How do I get out of this ticket or minimise my liability please?
Facts
The car was parked in this car park but I did not park it there.
I received no ticket at the time or since
I believe the parking fine to be excessive
Please advise
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Just to be clear you never had a ticket? What about a notice saying you had a ticket?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only communication I have received on the matter is from the solicitor demanding £160!
The 'offence' occurred on 19th March from recollection I was then out of the country for 6 weeks from 10th April and received nothing in my post throughout this period.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Ok - just to be clear you were not in the country at all? Do you have evidence to confirm this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was on India from 10th April for 6 weeks - which I can prove with plane tickets and visas.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Then you dont need to pay it. Worst case they will take you to Court.

But then you can show you were out of the country (and I assume no-one else could have driven the car)
So dont pay - it may end as a small claim.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think there may be some confusion on date here, the offence occurred on 19th March , I was out of the country from 10th April. The vehicle is on my motor trade insurance policy and was parked in the car park on the day in question, so I do not doubt the photo evidence.
However the car was not parked there by me so I can not have agreed to any conditions and I have never received any communication from the ticket issuing company except the solicitors letter
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

But was it your car?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my car but not my feed. It was my car yes, one of 4 cars that I currently have.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

You could still dispute it on the basis you didnt get the notice.

But you would have been liable for the fine as the owner. But if you didnt get it then you can dispute it in that basis.
Can I clarify anything for you? Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Really? I don't like the answer!
So even though I didn't park the vehicle in the car park myself I'm still liable? I'm liable for someone else's actions?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

Yes under the Protection of Freedoms Act, as owner you are liable regardless of who did it.

I am sorry

ALex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Herm...bugger. So I am bound by terms and conditions of parking that I could not have seen / agreed to as I was not the driver?
And next what about the lack of communication from the ticket issuing company? Is it my responsibility to prove that I did not receive a ticket and if so hiw can I do so?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

No, they would have to show that you DID get it

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the solicitor telling me that it was my responsibility to prove that I did not receive them was lying?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

No. Its their claim they need to show that they were sent.
Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't prove a negative / that I did not receive something! And I assume they can show that their system generates and sends out their letters.
I can prove that I was away / out of the country for a period of time and thus unless they sent there letters within 3 weeks I would have been out of the country and thus unable to comply with their time scales for payment.
What about the fairness and proportionality of the fine - is a £100 fine not disproportionate? Does the fine not represent done loss incurred by the carpel owner. £100 seems excessive to me for overstaying an arbitrary time limit in a half empty car park.
What do you suggest? What action should I take minimise my liability (in time and money)
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

In my view I would pay it. it does not need to be proportionate, these cases have been to the Supreme Court in London (Parking Eye) who says they are valid.

You risk having more costs if you lose.

Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ouch again not the answer I wanted but if fighting it is a waste of my time I may as well give up now! It does seem grossly unfair though as I did not receive any communication on the matter until the solicitors letter. Had I received the ticket in the first place I would have simply paid it and it would only have cost me £70!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

It is unfair but sadly I can only tell you what the law is.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How about writing to the ticket issuing company explaining my position and offering to pay the original £70 penalty notice value? But If they ignore this they could however simply commence proceedings immediately and I'm going to be out of the country for 2 weeks from Sunday.
Do you think this is worth a try?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

You can, but if they say no you are stuck. But it's worth a try

Does that clarify?

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