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PCN issued due to wrong month scratched on visitor parking voucher, visitor parking voucher
MTJ
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 17:32
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Hi. My sister recently received a PCN from Barnet Council as she had scratched the wrong month on a visitor parking voucher. The council have rejected the informal appeal in which we used the "de minimis" argument. I've copied below the main details of the informal appeal and Barnet's reply. Is it worth going to a formal appeal or should we just pay the discounted rate while we still can ? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Informal appeal
On Saturday 3rd of August I was visiting..... Knowing the parking restrictions, I had duly completed a visitor's parking voucher on my arrival. Just before 2.55pm I noticed a traffic warden looking at my car and went outside to find out what was happening. She informed me that the voucher had been incorrectly completed (from her perspective) because I had inadvertently scratched out the month of July instead of August. The rest of the voucher had been correctly completed. I tried to explain that it had been a genuine mistake and that the 3rd of July 2019 had not been a Saturday, so I had not been trying to fraudulently re-use the recently-purchased voucher, which had been her implication. Despite my plea for common sense to prevail, she preceded to issue the penalty notice.

Please also note the Chief Adjudicator's report on a similar recent Brighton council appeal, which I have copied below. In reference to my case, the last time the 3rd of July fell on a Saturday was back in 2010, which was a long time before these parking vouchers were issued, therefore (applying the same logic) a similar "de minimis" mistake has occurred which does not invalidate the voucher.

"The PCN was issued for parking in a resident’s permit space without displaying a valid permit. The appellant was a visitor. She obtained and displayed a visitor’s scratch-card voucher. This required her to scratch off the day of the week,date,month and year. She made a mistake with the date, scratching off 21 instead of 22; all the other details were correct. The council claimed that this error invalidated the voucher.
Held: This was the wrong approach. No contravention had occurred. The mistake was de minimis and did not invalidate the voucher. Given the
combination of correct information given, the voucher could not have been used on any other day. While the adjudicator did not necessarily criticise the enforcement officer for issuing the PCN, the council should have appreciated that a minor and genuine error had occurred and cancelled it.
Appeal allowed."

Barnet Council reply
Contravention: Parked in a residents` or shared use parking place or zone without a valid virtual permit or clearly displaying a valid physical permit or voucher or pay and display ticket issued for that place where required, or without payment of the parking charge.
We have carefully considered the evidence you have supplied and decided not to cancel your PCN. The reasons for this decision are stated below. The Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) observed your vehicle parked in a residents' parking place without any form of valid permit that allowed it to be parked there. I must advise you that vehicles are not permitted to stop within a residents' parking space without a valid permit as this is deemed to be a contravention and therefore a PCN will be issued.
I have noted the comments made in your correspondence regarding the incorrectly completed voucher. Please be advised that if any part of a voucher is incorrectly completed and displayed in the vehicle, it is invalid and a PCN will be correctly issued. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the correct details are scratched off on a voucher prior to displaying in the vehicle.
I have also noted the comments made in your correspondence regarding another case that was cancelled. Please be advised that each case is dealt with separately and the decisions made on other case have no effect on the outcome of this case.
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post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 17:32
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 18:25
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You must see the council point of view. That permit might well have been used in July How do you propose to show it was not? can you show that the vehicle was somewhere else in July?


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MTJ
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 18:39
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Thanks for the reply. I should clarify that the date and the day were correctly completed, which meant that the date combination scratched out was Saturday July 3rd, whereas it should have been Saturday August 3rd. The last time that July 3rd fell on a Saturday was back in 2010, well before these vouchers were issued.
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Incandescent
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 19:43
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Usual reply from Barnet, a very venal and rapacious council, (just ask Mr Mustard !). If you are prepared to take them all the way, Mr Mustard may be able to help you, he is a member on here and has had many successes with this deeply wicked council.
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MTJ
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 19:55
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Thanks v. much for the advice Incandescent. I'll fight them all the way if necessary. I'll see if I can get in touch with (Mean) Mr Mustard....
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PASTMYBEST
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 21:23
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QUOTE (MTJ @ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 20:55) *
Thanks v. much for the advice Incandescent. I'll fight them all the way if necessary. I'll see if I can get in touch with (Mean) Mr Mustard....


Send him a PM


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stamfordman
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 22:27
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Their reply only reiterates that the PCN was correctly issued, which it was, and citing another case just gives them the fall back of saying it is not binding, which it isn't.

They should be put firmly to the test of fairness and de minimis for this case.
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Mad Mick V
post Fri, 16 Aug 2019 - 08:24
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OP----to be honest, I would settle at the discount given that you are bang to rights.

I understand the points made by other members but Barnet won't budge and you will have to argue your case before an adjudicator.

In that respect de minimis won't fly and you are left with mitigating circumstances where an adjudicator might sympathise but would have no discretion in the matter.

The odds of you appealing successfully are IMO very low.

Mick
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