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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Have received a letter from Parking Eye Team

Customer Question

Hello ***** have received a letter from Parking Eye Team advising me that on the 3/8/15
I overstayed my permitted parking time by 28minutes at the Marriot Hotel Durham.
A copy of the parking charge notice is enclosed with the letter.
The PCN was issued on the 7/8/15
The address on the PCN is an address I have not lived at since 2012.
All necessary agencies and companies were advised of my new address in 2012 including DVLA, and I have taxed and insured my car from my new address several times in the subsequent period.
Parking eye state that they issued the PCN to the address registered with DVLA at the time of the ' parking event' (3/8/15)
This is not correct, I have been registered with DVLA at this new address since 2012.
They go on to say that 'although they could not reasonably have known I was at a different address' they are willing to allow me 14 days to pay the fine before the cost increases.
May I ask your advice on two points- is the PCN valid given that it was issued to the wrong address and should Parking eye have 'reasonably known' that I had vacated the address they used in 2012.
Also do I have to pay the ticket?
It may assist you to know that the property is rented to a family- who gave the letter to the managing agent and he returned it to ***** as 'not at this address'
Thank you for your consideration of my enquiry
Yours Sincerely
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Did you overstay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I cant actually remember- but for the purpose of this situation I have no proof that I didn't as I no longer have the ticket I purchased.
I visited for a gym trial- I purchased a ticket to park- and PE have included photos taken at 10.32am and 13.01pm.
I do remember there was a large BMW parked directly in front of the ticket machine which made it impossible to stand in front of it to buy the ticket - I recall complaining to the gym receptionist about access to the machine.
I will accept that I over stayed.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. 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 arising from an alleged agreement whereby you agree to park for a fee. 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. That is what is in dispute. 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. 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. 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 a small amount for their loss. Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should I dispute the PCN and if so what should I say? although it was difficult to get to the machine I cant state that the charges were not clear.
Or should I just ignore it?
I have no proof of whether I did or did not stay over the time- although there photos would suggest that I did.
Do I have any grounds at all to dispute the PCN (given that they allege I have changed addresses since the incident which is not true.)
Also once I have begun a communication with them can they still impose the 14 day limit re- increasing the charges
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It depends on your stomach for a fight.
I must admit that I usually respond to them but really only to annoy them. If you respond it will provoke more nasty letters from them. The better option is to ignore them.
Even if you did over stay the chances they will sue are minimal.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you for that- I will sit it out without responding- see what happens.
May I enquire- is there anything else I should be asking you about this matter?
I will ignore them until they get serious!
I may have to make another enquiry with you if they send court summons- to see what steps I should take.
Thank you for your assistance
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If they do send a court summons then you have been unlucky.
If you are prepared to go to court then you can always ask them to prove that their signs were adequate.
If not, you can always make a settlement offer.
They won't get any more than the sum of the fine plus about £50 in solicitors costs and court costs of £35. They will send you letters threatening fire and brimstone but it is never that bad.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
I will sit it out and see what happens
kind regards
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Please remember to rate my answer.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Jo
Apologies I havnt rated your answer- since I asked for advice from ' just answer' Ive been working away a lot.
One final question - In the letter from the parking company (that was sent to my old house) they state that they have got my new address from a credit agency
is that legal- has the credit agency broken any data protection laws by giving this company my address?
I appreciate your help
kind regards
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They are perfectly free to do that.
They actually probably got the original from the DVLA but they can perform searches subsequently. Anybody can do that. That is what tracing agents do all the time.
In any event, they have a legitimate claim so they can justify the need for your details under the DPA.