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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 82150
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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On 26th April this year I parked in a car park with 3 hours

Customer Question

On 26th April this year I parked in a car park with 3 hours free parking, it is then payable for anything over the 3 hours. It is managed by horizon parking. Myself and my daughter went for lunch at a brewers fayre restaurant. We then went to the cinema at the other end of the car park to watch a film, the film was about to start so I didn't have time to book my car in on the machine inside the cinema so we went to watch the film. Once it ended we made our way to the foyer, where the parking machine is And booked my car in. We then headed back to the car and left, approx 5 mins after. About a month later I received a parking charge notice from horizon saying I had breached the parking charges and was issued with a parking charge notice. They say they had already sent a charge notice previously, of which I did not receive. I ignored it as I thought it was a scam thing. Then I got a bailiff letter saying they wanted over a hundred pounds as I had failed to pay. I am bewildered as I did sign my car in at the Vue cinema. How do i proceed now? as far as I was concerned I logged my car details in on the screen inside the cinema foyer.
JA: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what location this is in?
Customer: Southport in merseyside
JA: Was a citation issued? Was a court date set?
Customer: No nothing yet. Just a letter from debt recovery plus
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 only have 2 letters. One dated 31st May saying they wrote to me and I ignored it so I had to pay more. I ignored it as I did book my car in. Then a letter came from debt company saying I had to pay £160 or go to court.
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 14 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 14 days ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Sometimes I will get back to you very quickly, other times it's going to be longer and possibly hours or overnight

Please bear in mind that it takes me time to type answers and I also have clients and sometimes have to attend court so I may not get back to you immediately.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 14 days ago.

Do you have a CCJ?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 14 days ago.
Are you asking if you are liable?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 13 days ago.

Thank you.

You can obviously appeal but bear in mind the answer below. Do bear in mind though that if you get a large number of fines the claim against you improves.

As to the identity of the driver. This used to be the way in which private land fine claims fell. They had to identify the driver. Unfortunately the protection of freedoms act came into force in 2012 which creates a presumption that the registered keeper is the liable person if he does not name the driver within a specified period of time . To be honest there were cases even before that the did a similar thing

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

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

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

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

Expert:  Jo C. replied 13 days ago.

If you were entitled to park there then you could always argue that they suffered no loss even if they do sue.

If they do sue, you can plead your case and may well win. If you don't win then you will only be liable for the sum of the fine plus about £25 in court costs and £55 in fixed solicitors costs. If you pay it off 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 them although apparently they do uphold many appeals. Their decision does not determine whether you will pay anyway. The order of the court does.

You do have the option of putting them to proof on the adequacy of signs though. That may well succeed.

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

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

Expert:  Jo C. replied 13 days ago.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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


Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

It was my pleasure to assist you. Please come back if anything else crops up and needs clarification. Thank you for trusting Just Answer, and of course me, with your legal problem. 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 @JoC Thanks again