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PCN 21 - out of the country
Upsetresident
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 22:30
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Hi I’m seeking help. This is the first time I’ve ever received a PCN my whole life and very upset.
Over the Xmas period I was on holidays out of the country 9th Dec 2017 to 1st Jan 2018 and have returned to discover 4 x PCN for reason code 21 “building works suspension” on 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th Dec 2017.
Each fine £130.

My street is a resident permit zone of which I have an annual permit.
I am based at 101 and the suspension sign indicates outside 79-81 from 13th Dec 2017 to 23 February 2018.
I parked my car partially in front of 81-83 on Saturday 9th December and did not see any suspension advance sign.
I then flew out of the country and only returned today 1st January to discover the 4x parking fines which prompted me to search the street to understand why. Further along the street away from my house I noticed the sign. I do not walk that end of the street given I live at 101 and I checked there was no other notice sign along the rest of the road.
I do not recall the suspension notice being up on the 9th Dec.

What is my right to challenge to seek this PCN to be cancelled :

1) having parked legally as a permit holder well before the suspension period activated on 13th Dec.
2) the suspension sign is further down the road and no way I would have been aware of it
3) no advance notice given otherwise - I did not see the notice when I parked on the 9th before I left on holidays
4) As a reasonable person had I been in the country and received the first PCN I would have moved my car to avoid receiving the other 3 - can they charge me multiple times for the same offence given it is impossible that I could have been made aware?
5) I am the registered owner and have no friends or family that could check or move my car during the 2-3weeks whilst I was away out of the country. This time frame is normal for a reasonable person to holiday over Xmas and park legally in their street as a permit holder.

Please help as this is so upsetting and has been a horrible return from my holiday to receive 4x PCNs, especially if I had been aware I wouldn’t have parked there!!!

I am now beyond the 14 day window and subject to the full amounts but feel this is worth challenging especially the multiple fines for the same parking when I was out of the country.

Any ideas please
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post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 22:30
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stamfordman
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 22:38
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Don't panic. There are steps you can take to probably get this down to 50% of one PCN at the most of not all if the car was in situ when they suspended the space.

However, I note that Camden has been sneaky with the suspension - 00.00 to 23.30 each day for 2.5 months - could they be trying to ward off continuous contravention appeals?

Go onto Camden's site and get the council's pics and post the first PCN. Use a site such as Flickr for pics.
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Mr Mustard
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 22:59
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You could argue that it is from 00:00 on the first day to 23:30 on the final one, thus a continuous contravention.

If the OP's car was in the way, why was it not relocated?

It would be help for the OP to have documentary proof that they were out of the country e.g. an airline booking.

This post has been edited by Mr Mustard: Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 23:00


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Incandescent
post Mon, 1 Jan 2018 - 23:02
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Yes, rather sneaky, but they could have towed you away, so you'd probably have ended up with more to pay. I suspect an adjudicator would want to know why only 23.5 hours and not 24. This is really devious gaming of the system, and an abuse of process IMHO. However key question is was the period of notice sufficient ? Suspension is from 13th Dec to 23rd Feb;quite a long time and not an emergency, so one would expect a at least a weeks notice. Other question to ask is were there sufficient notices posted ? However, I do think the OP has been a teeny bit naive in just parking up and leaving the car for nearly a month without making some more detailed checks on possible suspensions. And why blank out part of the sign ? We need to see the sign, where it was placed, and the PCN, with only the PCN Number, and car details blanked out. One has to ask if the suspension is for building works why the car wasn't moved out of the way.
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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 06:38
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Hi all thanks for the replies. I’m from Australia originally, this is first time I owned a car in UK and did not know that I needed to check for suspension parking whilst I was on holidays. I have a resident permit so believed this was all that was required. Suspension parking is not something that exists in Australia.
I have proof that I was overseas in Australia for the 2 weeks so it is impossible I could have known once the PCNs were issued.

Can you please provide more detail about the 23.5hr vs 24hr timing and my grounds to challenge?

Can I challenge the multiple PCNs given I could not be aware of the first PCN to have time to move the car?

Does the 14 day count include weekends and public holidays as I’m conscious I am now beyond that period?

Attached are the 4 PCNs they were water logged from snow/rain so difficult to read.

I suspect that didn’t keep issuing tickets or tow due to the Xmas period. Perhaps the parking inspectors weren’t working 19th Dec to 1st Jan.

I received no letter or email about building works at 79-81 in advance and did not see any notice in the street on 9th Dec when I parked the car there.

What should I do? I tried to submit a challenge on Camden council but their website was down last night (1st Jan) I can try again today.

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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 07:55
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Other PCNs posted
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stamfordman
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 09:48
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Don't challenge without drafting something here first for comment.

There is no point in worrying about the times on the suspension sign.

Have a look today for council pics.

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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 09:51
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Thanks I have drafted a note as below, also the Camden website is still down which prevents me being able to view the PCN details or to lodge a challenge. My only choice is via mail or in-person and my time is running out.
Does the 14 days include weekends and public holidays?

Here is my draft:

I am writing in regards to PCN notices as follows:

14th December 2017 – CU49622914
15th December 2017 – CU49623032
16th December 2017 – CU59635905
18th December 2017 – CU49656621

I am challenging all 4 PCNs issued on the grounds of:
1) Insufficient advance notice advising of the future suspended parking
2) My car was in situ before the parking space was suspended
3) Insufficient warning signage indicating that parking was prohibited
4) I was physically out of the country in Ireland and Australia (have proof of flights/itinerary) before the suspension commenced and therefore as a reasonable person could not have been aware of the initial PCN being issued, nor the ability to respond by moving my car to avoid the further 3 x PCNs or to challenge within the first 14 days
5) The times of the suspension are from 00:00-23:30 which appear Camden Council may be trying to ward off continuous contravention appeals which feels like an abuse of the system. If so, only one PCN should have been issued in total.
6) One of the PCN issued was on Saturday 16th December, when this is not a permit restricted day.
7) If my car was obstructing the building works outside 79-81 Messina Ave, why was my car not towed/removed? From what I can see, the builders have been able to place their skip equipment (I cannot see a skip licence reported on Camden Council) in the allotted space without interference from my car. I would also assume over the Xmas period, building works were not being carried out, therefore additional reason my car has not obstructed works.
8) Upon my return from overseas and discovering the PCNs, I have tried to log on to the Camden Council website to view my PCN details and to lodge my challenge, however the website is not working “Due to technical difficulties on our end, we are not able to process any PCN challenges at the moment. Please check again in a few hours. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.” If the Camden Council Website is not working, I am not able to view the details of each PCN to allow time to challenge within the 14/28 days.
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stamfordman
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:09
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I would delete points 5 and 6 and add this to point 4:

"I understand that in any case these 3 PCNs must be cancelled owing to being in continuous contravention."

Exactly how much were you encroaching on 79-81? Is it clear where these properties start and end?


Street view:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.543092,-0.1...3312!8i6656

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:14
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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:32
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I was partially in front of 81-83, but not 79 at all where the builders skip is based.

I just called Camden Council about their website being down to lodge a challenge, and he said I can only write via post and the days are still ticking even if their website is down.
I also asked about the 23.5hrs, he did agree that was unusual and he'd expect it to be 24hrs, however he said he couldn't comment further.
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Chaseman
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:41
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OP - see this case at PATAS (now succeeded by London Tribunals)


QUOTE
Case Details


Case reference
2110189461

Appellant
James George Gibson

Authority
London Borough of Haringey

VRM
P844KKU




PCN Details


PCN
HY64567480

Contravention date
06 Jan 2011

Contravention time
09:12:00

Contravention location
Lausanne Road

Penalty amount
GBP 80.00

Contravention
In resident shared use place with invalid perm


Decision date
18 May 2011

Adjudicator
Carl Teper

Appeal decision
Appeal allowed

Direction
cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and the Notice to Owner.

Reasons
The authority's case is that the Appellant's vehicle was parked in a residents' parking place or zone displaying an invalid permit when in Lausanne Road on 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19 and 21 January 2011 at 09.00. The Appellant's case is that the permit had not been renewed because they had not received a renewal notice from the authority. The Appellant and his wife were on holiday from 31 December 2010 until 23 January 2011 during which period the Penalty Charge Notices were incurred. I have considered the evidence and I find that the Appellant's vehicle was parked in a residents parking place displaying an invalid permit when in Lausanne Road on 4 January 2011. It is the Appellant's responsibility to renew their permit and they are not entitled to rely on the courtesy renewal letter, which may not have been received. However, I find that the Appellant's vehicle committed one contravention of parking in a residents' permit bay without clearly displaying a valid permit when in Lausanne Road on 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19 and 21 January 2011. I find that one continuous contravention has occurred; the vehicle remains at the same location throughout the period these Penalty Charge Notices were issued. Further, I have taken into account that the residents' bay is operational from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday and I find that the situation would be the same if the residents' bay was operational 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is no rule of law or regulation that entitles an authority to issue a penalty charge notice every 24 hours or as in some of these Penalty Charge Notices less than 24 hours. An enforcement authority has other powers at its disposal for a continuous contravention, such as removal. For the reasons given this appeal is allowed.


I would refer to this case in your appeal. The adjudicator makes it very clear that the doctrine of continuous contravention applies whether the parking restriction is for 24 hours or not so long as the vehicle has not been moved. It is simply a fallacy (but one that LAs love to propagate) that a new offence is created every 24 hours.


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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:52
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Thank you that's very helpful!
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Chaseman
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:53
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Further to previous post, here are two more LT cases that impinge on the supposed requirement on residents to check their cars every day (did the LA warn of this when issuing a permit?) and the advance warning needed of a parking suspension.

QUOTE
2160241155

The Appellant has attended his appeal I find him to be an honest, convincing and consistent witness I believe what he tells me.
The Authority's case is that the Appellant's vehicle was parked in a suspended bay when in Carnarvon Road on 23 February 2016 at 12.52.
The Appellant's case is that there was no Penalty Charge Notice found affixed to his vehicle, that he had parked before the suspension notice had been erected on 17 February 2016, and that he was never informed that he had to check his vehicle on a daily basis before restrictions come into force.
I have considered the evidence and I find that this Penalty Charge Notice cannot be upheld for the following reasons:
First, I find that the suspension notice was erected too near to the suspension period; it is less than a week.
Second, I find that this resident permit holder of 4 years was never informed that he had to check his vehicle on a daily basis; the Authority has not produced any application or form that accompanied the permit informing a resident of this condition.
Taking these two matter together I find that this Penalty Charge Notice is not proved.
The appeal is allowed

2160242963

A contravention can occur is a vehicle is parked in a bay or part of a bay that is suspended.
There appears to be no dispute that at 08:59 on 13 April 2016 a vehicle with the registration mark KT07KUR was parked in Settles Street, or that the Penalty Charge Notice was issued to it, as shown in the photographs/digital images produced by the Enforcement Authority. The vehicle was subsequently removed (‘towed-away’).
Mr Francis’ case is that although there may have been suspension signs up when the Penalty Charge Notice was issued, there were none when the vehicle was last left at rest in this bay, properly parked with a valid permit.
In their Notice of Rejection, the Enforcement Authority stated that the suspension signs were erected on 12 July 2015. However, the Enforcement Authority say that this was a ‘typing error’ and that the signs were actually erected on 7 April 2016.
The Enforcement Authority have produced a document which appears to show that no vehicle were observed in the bay when the advance warning signs were erected. The document does not actually have a date or time of erection but shows ‘signs checked at on 07/04/16 10:58’ by (it appears) a Mike F. There is one image of the sign but it does not show the bay and this is dated ‘07/04/16 09:56’, that is one hour earlier.
Mr Francis is adamant that the vehicle was parked there on 28 March 2016 and was not moved again. There can be no dispute that there were no suspension signs were present at that time.
This vehicle is actually used by other named drivers and insured from whom I have also heard and who liaise with each other as to the position of the vehicle.
Mr Stephen Smith confirms that Mr Francis texted him at 20:21 on 28 March 2016 to say he parked car in Settles Street. I have been provided with a copy of the text. Mr Smith explains went abroad and did not return until after the Penalty Charge Notice was issued on 13 April 2016. He adds that he did not use the vehicle at all during the relevant period.
Dr Benedict Richards is also a named and insured driver and he confirmed that the vehicle was not moved or driven by him at any point during the material time.
I have had the opportunity of hearing Mr Francis and both his witnesses personally and find them each to be a credible and convincing witness. I accept what all they tell me.
On the evidence before me carefully I find the following:
1. the vehicle was last left at rest at this bay in Settles Street on 28 March 2016
2. Mr Francis checked that he could properly park the vehicle at that time
3. there were no suspension advance warning signs when the vehicle was parked there
4. the vehicle was not moved before the Penalty Charge Notice was issued on 13 April
The Enforcement Authority have not produced a copy of the resident parking permit conditions. The Enforcement Authority have not stated that there is any specific requirement to, for example, check the vehicle every seven days for possible advance warnings of suspensions.
Absent any such requirement, I find that a period of 16 days is not in itself unreasonable in the circumstances in which to leave a vehicle in a bay whilst displaying a valid permit for that bay.
Considering all the evidence before me carefully I determine, for the reasons stated, that this appeal must be allowed


This post has been edited by Chaseman: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 10:55


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Upsetresident
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 13:20
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Super helpful! I've submitted my challenge online and referenced those cases. Now I sit back and wait for next steps I guess.
In the event they reject my challenge, is there any additional information I should obtain to support?
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PASTMYBEST
post Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 13:23
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QUOTE (Upsetresident @ Tue, 2 Jan 2018 - 13:20) *
Super helpful! I've submitted my challenge online and referenced those cases. Now I sit back and wait for next steps I guess.
In the event they reject my challenge, is there any additional information I should obtain to support?


See this high court case also

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2015/713.html
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Upsetresident
post Sat, 13 Jan 2018 - 12:30
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Hi again, I submitted my challenge to Camden Council via their website on 2nd January and have not received any reply from Camden Council yet. It says within 10 working days. However I received a “Notice to Owner” dated 12th January demanding payment.
I thought they had to suspend further demands until they reply to my challenge?
Do I need to reply to the Notice to Owner to submit a further challenge? I have not received any rejection/response to my original challenge.
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stamfordman
post Sat, 13 Jan 2018 - 12:47
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You challenged outside of the discount period so it looks like they just ignored it or didn't consider it.

You must make a formal appeal to the NTO. Have you just had an NTO for the first PCN?

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Upsetresident
post Sat, 13 Jan 2018 - 13:03
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It’s for the first PCN issued on the 14th Dec.
Due to being overseas until the 1st Jan, all of my PCN challenges are outside the first 14 days (if public holidays and weekends are included in the count) therefore will I receive an NTO for all 4x PCNs and need to submit separate formal appeals 4 times?
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hcandersen
post Sat, 13 Jan 2018 - 13:15
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On 2 Jan you posted:

I just called Camden Council about their website being down to lodge a challenge, and he said I can only write via post and the days are still ticking even if their website is down.

You now say you submitted your challenge online on 2 Jan. Pl clarify.

And post the back of one of the PCNs.

And post all of the NTO. Forget who posted what, when,how and to whom, we need to get dates and timetables up front before we wander off into constructing argument.
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Upsetresident
post Sat, 13 Jan 2018 - 13:34
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I’ve just realised this NTO is for a 5th PCN which was not physically on my car.
It is the 1st PCN issued on 13th Dec which I have not responded a challenge to as this is the first I am aware of it.
The physical ticket must have been removed/blown away from my car as I only got the PCNs issued on 14, 15, 16 and 18 physically.

I’ll attach the NTO and reverse of the PCN.

I submitted challenges to the 4x PCNs issued 14-18 Dec to Camden online on the 2nd Jan when their website was reinstated.
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