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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78441
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am currently facing a PCN even though I bought an all-day

Customer Question

I am currently facing a PCN even though I bought an all-day ticket to park in the car park, I still have the ticket and I fixed it in my windscreen as I always do. The ticked became dislodged and could not be checked by the officer.
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: This was in Cornwall, UK
JA: Do you need to appear in court?
Customer: Not at this stage. I have been approached by a legal firm with instructions to recover the amount of my PCN.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have appealed to the issuing company and the independent legal service and both have rejected my appeals. I have emailed the legal firm in charge of recovering my PCN to inform them I am seeking legal advice and to further appeal to their sense of compassion by outlining that I did everything required of me whilst parking in the facility concerned.
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

How can I help?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
A legal firm has sent me a letter to negotiate terms for me to pay the charges associated with a PCN issued to me earlier this year for alleged contravention of the regulations stated for the car parking facility I used at the time of the alleged offence.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

OK, who is the issuer please?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I followed the car park's regulations correctly by purchasing a ticket, affixing it to my windscreen using its adhesive, peel-off patch at the back of the ticket. When I left my vehicle the ticket was clearly visible and on my return the ticket was no longer in the windscreen, having become dislodged most likely by the wind entering my vehicle through the rear, outward opening windows, and was to be found in the footwell of the rear passenger area behind the driver's seat. I appealed against their decision to issue a PCN which they rejected. I appealed to the independent legal service and was also rejected by them. I will not admit liability by paying this charge as I have done nothing wrong although they remain adamant that, because I did not display a valid ticket. I am adamant that I did display a ticket and through no fault of my own, it became dislodged from my windscreen and could not be seen by the issuing officer.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

So who is the issuer please?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
BW Legal, Enterprise House, Apex View, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 9BH.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Is there a CCJ against you?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
No just a letter from the legal firm above stating they have been instructed by their client regarding the balance of my PCN.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Ok, are you asking if you are liable?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I would assume I am liable because, under their terms, it appears as though I had contravened their parking regulations, even though I had not. I would like to know, in your experience, if my case would stand up in court, as I assume a CCJ will be their next bullying tactic.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Thank you.

If you did pay to park then then you can defend on thatbasis as you are not in breach. They mayargue you failed to display although frankly that is a little weak.

You can obviously appeal but bear in mind the answer below.

This is a private land fine. There is a good of nonsense on the internet about private landfines. The truth is that they always didhave a perfectly valid claim in breach of contract against those who do not payor park at variance with their terms and conditions. The issue was that it was not very costeffective for them to sue. It still isnot.

They used to sue almost nobody but they are becoming moreaggressive now largely because they have lost control of the industry and canonly regain it by suing those who don't pay. The chances that they will sue remain very low though so the risk is notgreat.

They have been emboldened by the case of Beavis which you canview here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFIH1Vwu1DM

Although all that really does is confirm that £85 is not excessive.

If they do sue, you can plead your case and may wellwin. If you don't win then you will onlybe liable for the sum of the fine plus about £25 in court costs and £55 infixed solicitors costs. If you pay itoff within 28 days of judgment then it will not show on your credit file.

They do have an appeal option called POPLA. I have never heard of much success from themalthough apparently they do uphold many appeals. Their decision does not determine whether youwill pay anyway. The order of the court does.

You do have the option of putting them to proof on theadequacy of signs though. That may wellsucceed.

Alternatively, you can offer them £10 in full and finalsettlement. You need to make this offerin writing heading “without prejudice”. Markthe cheque “full and final settlement” and take a photograph of both sides of it. If they cash it then there is a pretty overwhelmingargument that settles the claim.

You could appeal to POPLA to use their discretionary groundsto cancel though.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Hopefully, Ihave answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Ifanything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. Inthe meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Jo

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for the detailed options available to me at this stage. Regarding 'putting them to proof on the adequacy of their signs,' would I contact the security firm who issued the PCN, as the last time I appealed to them they informed me the matter was ; 'out of their hands' and had been passed to bwlegal. Do I send the security company a letter stating the inadequacy of their signs and information printed on the actual parking ticket as proof that I did not contravene their parking regulations; or do I send this to bwlegal?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

No, don't do anything.

Just rely on that if they sue you.

If you paid anyway then it all falls away.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you. Shall I offer them the £10 'full and final settlement' amount next ? Do I send this offer to bwlegal?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Do you want to do that?

As opposed to contesting it?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
If I sent the £10 offer would I be regarded as admitting liability and therefore subject to payment of the full charge (currently £160) if they rejected it? If they accepted the £10 and cashed it then presumably the case would be settled? If they rejected the £10 would I then be able to continue to contest the case or would I be classed as having admitted liability by offering a settlement?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

No, but you would have to offer £10 and they may accept it.

Whereas you may escape with nothing at court.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you. So shall I offer the £10 and await the outcome; or shall I simply do nothing and expect another instruction from bwlegal?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Well, that is really a matter for you but I would never offer £10 in these circumstances as you are likely to walk away with nothing.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for your patience. Am I correct to assume that by refusing to pay this PCN charge, which I intend to, I will be called to court? If this is the probability could you advise on the type of evidence I ought to collect and would I be placing my head in the lion's jaws if I represented myself?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

They used to sue almost nobody but they are becoming moreaggressive now largely because they have lost control of the industry and canonly regain it by suing those who don't pay. The chances that they will sue remain very low though so the risk is notgreat.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Many thanks for your help and I will take a breather to consider your options above. I understand I have the option to contact 'Just Answer' within the next week, so I would like to leave my contact open for now. Best wishes and thank you once again.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Noproblem.

Allthe best.

Hopefully, Ihave answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Ifanything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. Inthe meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Rememberthat I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I amin Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For futureinformation, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmarkmy profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Very kind, thank you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 days ago.

Welcome.