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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello. I have just opened a letter from Roxburghe demanding

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I have just opened a letter from Roxburghe demanding £73.00 for an unpaid parking charge notice. I was parked'outside a designated parking bay' at the hospital where I work and where I pay a monthly charge to park my car in the staff car park. I sent a very nice letter in the beginning asking for the charge to be cancelled. The response was simply that the charge was due and they were not interested in my appeal. Is this a genuine 'parking charge' that I have to pay. I would like to 'go to court' first as I believe I have a genuine case for not paying. This all started on 24.9.2013 and I would like to sort it all out ASAP now. Many thanks. Joanna

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

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jo.
I am confused I have asked a question and for your help......
Do you need more information to help in addition to that already given in my question?

No, I just need to know what your question is?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
On the 24th sept 2013 I received a parking charge notice for ' parking outside a designated parking bay' at the hospital where I work and where I pay a monthly charge to park my car whilst at work as a midwife. I appealed to APCOA parking but they didn't want to know. I have, this morning, received a demand for payment of £73.00 from Roxburghe (UK) Ltd..
Is this parking charge legal?
My question is am I liable?
Can I insist on being taken to court to have my 'side of the story' heard
Thank you
Joanna (my name as well!)

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. 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.

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. They have no claim for 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.

Also, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.

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 £5 for their loss.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your very helpful reply.
Do you have any idea how long the 'nasty letters, and threats' go on for and is there anything at all that I can do to stop their action now?
Its unfortunate that you appealed. They will interpret that as you engaging with them.

Usually the letters go on for many months but I would brace yourself to get more than normal. Probably about a year.

No, there's nothing that can be done to stop them writing and phoning unless its literally a call a day at something like 2am.

The claim that they have against you is not baseless. They do have a claim against you. Its just not very easy to enforce.
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