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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71034
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was issued with a PCN in Harrow on 5 May 2012 for taking

Customer Question

I was issued with a PCN in Harrow on 5 May 2012 for taking an illegal turn. I paid the original £130 fine on 27 July on receipt of a warning dated 19 July. It was accepted, although a week late. I have never received any correspondence since then to indicate there was an outstanding amount. Last Tuesday (6 Aug) a bailiff (from Newlyn plc) arrived on the doorstep, after having clamped my car, and demanded £506 as payment of that fine. My (ex) husband (staying here because he has cancer) paid it, although he queried it, as I had to go to work and my car is necessary for that. I also told the bailiff that I had not received any notification of any outstanding amount or possible impoundment. He assured me one had been sent. On Thursday (8 August) a letter was dropped through my door to inform me that the bailiffs would be enforcing a Warrant to seize and distrain my possessions etc., unless I paid £144.12. It was conveniently dated 5 August and the letter states it was "delivered by hand". I paid the original fine of £130, although 7 days late. I have phoned Harrow Council, who acknowledge it was paid, but will not discuss the matter with me. I phoned Newlyn, who claim that if I had paid the £144.12, they would not have sent bailiffs round. As I didn't receive their notification until 2 days after they sent the bailiffs round and demanded £506, what do I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What are you hoping to achieve please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What are you ultimately hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jomo1972: what else do you wish to know? I can supply you with documents, if you want.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I just need to know what you are hoping to achieve?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jomo1972. I am hoping to get the original PCN rescinded, as I paid, in good faith, £130, and get the bailiffs costs of £506 repaid to my ex's bank. I would also like to expose this kind of rip-off.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I'm really sorry if I'm missing the point but surely you paid late?

So the fine would have increased and that will be the basis upon which the bailiffs have been instructed.

On what basis can you challenge that?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For Jomo1972. I acknowledge I paid the fine a week late. However, it was accepted by Harrow Council, and there was nothing that said anything to the contrary. My basis is that a) Harrow Council accepted the payment in good faith and I've never received any correspondence to indicate otherwise - and b) that there was no indication that bailiffs had been instructed, let alone any warning. As far as their (Newlyn) conduct is concerned, it seems to me that whilst they enforce the Council's debt collection, it is dubious and skirting the law. Their representative had been told to tell me a letter had been sent, when in fact, it hadn't. My ex (who is here because of cancer) can verify this, as the bailiff couldn't produce a copy of it. It was shoved through my letterbox 2 days later and made to appear (by the date, and "delivered by hand" statement) as if it arrived a day before the bailiffs turned up. I can't prove any of this, but I see time and time again how it works in favour of bureaucracy. I work for a charity and deal with lots of single Mums day to day, and there is one common thread throughout , which we try to deal with - talking to the Council. It's often a waste of time. You are shunted from left to right and back again - anything but get a straight answer, and although some people are helpful they are constrained by rules and regulations. It's very frustrating.

It may seem a small point to you, but I've found it's often the case with Councils to pass the buck. I did make an illegal turn, but it was night-time and there were no other cars around. Also, I didn't know the area, and was anxious to get home after dropping off things for our charity. I don't know what else I can say, except that for trying to do something positive and a good deed, and paying the fine a bit late, I have been penalised. Does one turn into a wrong street which was empty and constituted no harm to anyone really constitute the heavy hand of law enforcement visiting me and threatening to take away my house and belongings? If so, there's something very wrong with this country.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
What I asked is probably quite simple, but in context is actually asking the question between what is the law and what is justice? I may have broken the "law" by contravening a by-law in Harrow,by driving down a one-way street(which was empty), which was acknowledged and paid for, although late. The subsequences a year down the road are that Harrow Council passed details on to bailiffs who turned up, clamped my car and threatened me with seizure of my home and possessions - and without any notification.They also made sure that I got the notification (after pointing it out to them) 2 days later. What am I supposed to do? My ex (who has cancer) paid the fine. Now I owe it to him. I can't afford £500+ for a fine which I already paid. I know I was late in paying it, but as far as I'm aware, it was paid.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

I am very sorry that I cannot give you good news.

What has happened here is that you paid late. They increased the fine because you paid late as they are entitled to do.

Because you only paid the lesser sum, there is an amount outstanding. It is that sum that the bailiffs are chasing and I'm afraid they are entitled to chase.

This may very well be unfair. That is no defence. The issue is law not fairness.

If you are asking me whether this can be overturned then the answer is that it cannot unless, of course, you paid in full or you paid in time.

I'm very sorry.