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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71141
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a notice of a parking contravention last Oct in

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I received a notice of a parking contravention last Oct in Manchester as owner of the car in question, from details provide by the DVLA. The car is owned by my son who is at University and was responsible for the contravention. I informed the Council who have totally ignored six letters and numerous E-mails and ten months later employed a debt collecting agency who gave me three hours to pay and then issued a confiscation order for the police to impound my son's car to be sold at auction. Can this course of action be legally acceptable for an innocent person to be hounded in this way?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you use the appeal system?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes and they said I was the owner and did not accept my written statement that my son was the owner. They also sent me material relating to a Mrs Graham of Lincoln but said it was irrelevant.

No, they wouldn't.
Are you the registered keeper?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. My wife bought a car a few years ago and I collected it and it was registered in my name. This was changed to a different car and given to my son but the registration was continued in my name because he had no settled address. He was looking for lodgings in Manchester when the contravention took place.As you know the DVLA state clearly that the name on the log book is not proof of ownership

You are liable I'm afraid. You were always liable.
This is a local council fine. It runs against the registered keeper. It matters not who is in possession of the car. There is case law that has weakened that but you obviously didn't raise it here.
If you tried to run the defence that you were not the driver then that is not a defence which is why it has failed.
If the appeal to the Adjudicator has been decided against you and you still did not pay then I'm afraid they were perfectly entitled to send this to bailiffs.
If the bailiffs did not receive payment then they do have power to seize your vehicle and sell it at auction. There are obviously steps they should have taken first and that might give you a challenge depending on what did happen.
I'm afraid that just sending in letters to the effect that your son was the possessor of the vehicle is not an appeal and not a ground of appeal.
I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Why did you say "they have the power to seize your vehicle" when it isn't mine?

Because you the registered keeper and the bailiffs are entitled to presume that it belongs to you unless you prove otherwise.
In fact, being the registered keeper is not proof of ownership but it does give rise to that presumption.
The difficulty is though that the warrant is against you so they could seize your own vehicle or goods.
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