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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 16731
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have received a parking charge notice for staying at a

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Hi Pearl, I have received a parking charge notice for staying at a Euro Car Parks parking for over 10', while I was using their services (cleaning and vacuum car as well as refuelling tank)
JA: What location was this in? And have you consulted a local lawyer?
Customer: It was in Edgware Road, London
JA: Was a citation issued? Was a court date set?
Customer: no
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No

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.

A parking fine results from breach of contract - either you didn’t pay when you used a car park, or you did but you overstayed. The fine is fairly low initially but will increase for as long as it remains unpaid - with debt collection charges so it can easily double. Whether you pay or dispute the fine depends on the facts.


There is a well known case which went to court, Parking Eye v Beavis.

The Beavis case concerned the initial £100 "fine", court fee and expenses. A parking fine case is a breach of contract case.

Note that in a breach of contact case, a "fine" is not applicable - it does not apply. They are pursuing you as they believe you are in breach of contract and are due damages.

The above case concerned the reasonableness of the fee (the amount) for an overstay. It hinged on whether the claimant had actually lost that money due to the defendant's conduct.

As to whether the case applies to you, I would say it does but each case is different and depends on its own facts. In my view you should challenge the reasonableness of the fine and ask them for evidence that the sum they want from you is their true loss (and if so, to break it down for you). You only overstayed a matter of 10 minutes according to your question after all.

You could make them an offer or you could refuse to pay and challenge this in a small claim.



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.popla.co.uk

If you don't pay then they may use debt collection. 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. But certainly I think you would succeed in a defence, just to be clear, in terms of the amount they want from you.

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 13 days ago.
Thank you Jim for your advise. I will try the Ombudsman option and will get back to you if I need further assistance.BW,Jhon.

No problem and good luck with it too.

Thanks,

Jim

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