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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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About 4 weeks ago I received a bailiff letter for the sum of

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About 4 weeks ago I received a bailiff letter for the sum of £1100 although the offence was unclear (not having a valid licence for vehicle). When I looked into it further, It appears that the offence was not not displaying a valid tax disc whilst parked on a highway. My Vehicle, at the time of the offence was SORN (although it later turned out to have expired). The vehicle was also parked on private land in private residents parking. I was told traffic warden that they could not issue any parking tickets for the private bays as it is considered private land). So there I am, 1100 fine. It appears summons may have gone to previous address. I have already paid an £80 fine to the DVLA for letting my SORN expire. The car is nowt taxed and insured. Im due to make a statutory declaration to the court this week. What advice can you give to avaiod the fine

Jo C. :

Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this. Are the bays officially classified as private land?


Yes. They still have the signs up from the housing association restricting it to residents parking. There are 7 bays at the end of my row of houses. They still have the old wheel clamping signs up that say 'private land' although the clampers are no longer in force. To enter the bays you have to drive across a dropped kerb / public footpath. The road itself has yellow lines and I got a fine for parking here last year. The traffic warden told me he cannot issue tickets for the residents bays as they are classed as private land.

Jo C. : I am just going to convert this to Q and A for you as I cannot view your responses.
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Who is the issuer of the fine please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Bexley Magistrates court. South London

OK. They are the convicting court.

I presume the original fine would have been issued by the DVLA then?

I need to travel home in a minute but I'll pick up early this evening.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have no idea, I never received a summons, nothing was out on my car.


It is almost certainly the DVLA. The local councils control traffic wardens and they would not usually issue a fine for this but even if they did then it wouldn't go to a Magistrates Court.

You can obviously make a statutory declaration if you didn't get a summons but all that does is take the matter back to the issue of the original fine.

Sometimes they do forget to summons again so it might all disappear.

However, if it does not then you do not have a defence I'm afraid. Come what may, your SORN had expired. I suppose you could argue the private land point if this is definitely a tax issue and not an issue of no insurance. Of course, there is a duty to keep vehicles continuously insured now even on private land.

Can I clarify anything for you?