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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 16654
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I had a ticket for parking in a private car park. When I got

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I had a ticket for parking in a private car park. When I got my ticket I noticed that the only the first two letters were showing. I subsequently had a ticket.. The enforcer states that it''s my fault
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what location this is in?
Customer: Capts Table, Christchurch, Hants
JA: Was a citation issued? Was a court date set?
Customer: No just a request for £100 or £20 if a paided now.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I paid the parking fee.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

The ticket results from breach of contract - there will be a sign in the private car park which has a pay and display term - and that your vehicle registration needs to be entered in full when you pay.

It would be a minor breach on your part - and it's difficult to stomach for a £100 fine when the breach is so minor. What goes in your favour is that you paid so my view is there is no "loss" on their part. You could go back to them ask them to confirm what their actual loss is, when you paid and complied with the contractual term for payment.

If they don't back down, you could make them an offer or you could refuse to pay anything and let them issue a small claims case against you (which is easy to deal with - no lawyer is required).

Whether you pay or dispute the fine depends on the facts.

You should reply to them to set out why you dispute the fine - the pre action protocol does state that parties in a dispute such as this one should communicate and try to avoid litigation if possible.

You can also go to the Ombudsman to see if they can resolve this dispute without the court having to be involved. You can do that via this site : https://www.ombudsman-services.org

If they use a debt collection company, just note that debt collectors are not bailiffs - they have no powers as such. They will simply try to collect the money their client thinks you owe. You can turn them away if you dispute the debt and they visit you - they can’t enter your home and take goods. They would report back to their client they were unsuccessful and it’s then up to their client whether to take matters further.

They should send a letter before action to you if their debt collection attempts fail - which is required under the pre action protocol to give you the chance to avoid court action. They usually give you 14 days to pay before they will take civil court action.

It is recommended that you reply to this letter given the courts expect parties in a dispute to engage and discuss their dispute, to try and avoid court action.

If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help.

You should not ignore the court papers as if you do, the claimant will apply for judgment in default meaning they win and you would not be allowed to defend the claim.

A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.

The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record. 

If you lost and if you were unable to pay the full sum owed at that point you can also ask the court to pay by instalments (a simple form is sent in, form N245, and a fee of £14 unless you qualify for a fee exemption so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you would qualify). If the CCJ was not paid in full though bear in mind the credit record would contain the CCJ details for up to 6 years. After that it comes off the credit registers.

I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim.

I hope this helps

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim


Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim



Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you the company has been paid for the car parking. Is the rest a fine ? Would I be entitled to know when the ticket machine was last serviced or how many drivers have been fined?
they refer to it as a "fine" which is a misnomer as it's a civil case (not a criminal one). You can ask for details of when the ticket machine was last serviced and for details of previous faults, yes. You could ask for maintenance and repair records for the previous 12 months. And details of how many drivers has been fined.
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