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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I work overseas. I received a parking fine while I was

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Hi, I work overseas. I received a parking fine while I was away. I returned and managed to pay the order for recovery. I sent a check to the council on time. The council claims to have received the check 14 days after I posted it. They claim to have returned the check ( I have not received it) and referred the matter to bailiffs for enforcement without any notice. I submitted a TE7 and TE9 to the TEC that temporarily suspended the enforcement. unfortunately the judge today refused to accept my out of time filing, even though I was not aware of any enforcement action (having duly paid the full amount). Please help! How do I avoid bailiff fees? I just want to pay the council only. thanks, Vince
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you post the cheque abroad?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I posted the cheque from the UK by first class post on 10 April from the office and we used a company cheque as I got the ticket while working. The council must have received the check within 2 -3 working days latest but they claim their received it on the 23 April.

Do you still have the post mark?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the post mark is on the envelope that we sent the cheque in to the council. We have the usual office payment voucher showing 10 April approval, which we use for all documents. I was not even aware that the council was taking action until I returned and got a visit from the bailiffs the next evening at almost 7pm!

But if you paid at the reduced amount then they would have sent out a notice to owner demanding the extra?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I sent a cheque for £172 paying the order for recovery in full on the 10 April.

The council claim to have returned the cheque and not cashed it due to it having reached them on the 23 April (even though that makes no sense given the first class postal service. The council forwarded the claim to bailiffs who will want to recover over £400 in total (including their expenses). I cannot afford paying bailiffs - I wish to avoid paying the bailiffs and want to pay the council what they claim I owe (£172).

Have you checked your account to confirm it wasn't cashed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes I called my bank and they confirm the cheque has not yet been cashed.

The difficulty with this is that you cannot make a statutory declaration on this basis because you received all the relevant documents.
The only way to challenge this is to sue the bailiffs essentially. At least, you can always try to negotiate with the council. Sometimes actually they will revoke these orders in the interests of fairness. However, you should probably proceed on the basis that they will not do that at this stage.
If they do refuse then the only challenge is essentially to the bailiffs fees. In principle you can get a stay of their warrant using the N244 form but there is expense in that. Another alternative is to pay them off and then sue them for the sums you have paid. The advantage of that is that at least it will stop further enforcement action and spiralling cost. The disadvantage is that you would have to find the money up front.
If you have evidence that you did send the cheque off in time then you probably can prove that particular point. You only have to satisfy the civil burden.
The fact that the cheque wasn't cashed though is something a court could seize upon. They could say that you should have noticed that. I realise that nobody checks their bank statement with that level of scrutiny but courts can seize upon any excuse if they want to find against you.
The only other option is to judicially review the decision to return the cheque which is really the point you want to make but it is a very expensive action with a high test.
You can also complain to your local councillor for free which is often very effective.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your answer. Kindly clarify for me teh following:

1. As I am not contesting the amount due of £172 and no bailiff action has be re-started since I appeled to the TEC (that was rejected today), then surely there must be a reasonable way for me to settle the debt amount without having bailiffs coming to visit and incurring another £300 unnecessarily!

2. I have the money to pay the council. How might I get the council to accept payment? Some website suggest that I should find a way to only pay the council and NOT the bailiffs to discharge the debt and avoid added on bailiff fees

3. I can prove reasonably that we posted the cheque by the 10 April. I am surprised that the council makes an unreasonable claim of receiving the cheque on 23 April - yet no one is giving me a forum to at least provide evidence in support of my case; when I don't have any penalty fees outstanding; I am not a repeat offender... yet receiving no benefit of doubt to at least substantiate my own case. So, what do I need to do to action a judicial review? The situation in completely unfair and biased.

Please clarify

Thank you,


On your specific points
1 Only what I suggested above.
2 Only really what I suggested above. There are no magic wands that will make them settle and probably they will not.
3 You should take advice before considering a judicial review. It will cost literally thousands. There is also an obligation to exhaust all other remedies which would include at least complaining to your local councillor. You can just issue at the high court if you are intent but the risk you face is adverse costs if it goes against you so it is not a good idea.