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FightBack Forums > Queries > Council Parking Tickets & Clamping and Decriminalised Notices
Khal
Click to view attachmentI received a PCN this morning for failing to display a parking ticket on my car. I parked in a council car park which is actually free for the first hour, but I forgot to take a ticket from the machine and display it on my car. I was not gone for long, but the parking attendant must have been close by or watching me.

Looking at the notice, all I can find wrong is:

1. the first letter of the car registration number looks like a "0" instead of a "D"
I have obscured out the other letters but left the first letter as it was.
(It's too early to login to the council website to check how it has been entered on-line, but I have a feeling it will be correct on their system.)

2. The colour of the car is wrong. The notice says it is silver when it is recorded as grey on the car registration document.

Are these suitable grounds to appeal the fine because it is in breach of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions General Regulations (2007) as it lacks the correct car details? Or should I just pay now before the fine goes up?!

I have attached the ticket below. I would really appreciate some help or advice about whether I can appeal this fine.

Thanks!
hcandersen
Forget colour, it's not a required component of a PCN anyway.

As regards the D v O, an adjudicator would no doubt say that this is simply a matter of perception - it's not a nought because they're struck through and it's not an 'O' because the only other one we can see, in row, is clearly different.

But if whoever transposes this info into the authority's system does so other than as a D, then we're in business.

Check their website when you can then report back here so to speak.
DancingDad
No contravention cited on the PCN.

The PCN fails to state mandatory information as prescribed under The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007, Schedule 9, Paragraph 1(e) "the grounds on which the civil enforcement officer serving the notice believes that a penalty charge is payable;"
The only ground that is shown is Code 83. This is not a clear explanation that could be readily understood by the average motorist.
I understand from wording on the PCN that there would normally be an "insert" explaining the codes but such an insert cannot be regarded as part of the PCN.
This has been established in decriminalised parking law in cases such as Ali's Bar V Wandsworth, McArthur V Bury and within the High Court in the Judicial Review of Barnett V the Parking Adjudicator.
Without mandatory information the PCN must be regarded as null and void and cancelled.
Incandescent
We don't often see Stockton-on-Tees PCNs but it does show how completely dozy some of them are. However the codes are where , on the back of the PCN ? This might be acceptable on "substantial compliance". Only way to find out is to take them to TPT and see.
Khal
QUOTE
Check their website when you can then report back here so to speak.


I will check the registration details on their online site tomorrow and let you know.

QUOTE
No contravention cited on the PCN.

The PCN fails to state mandatory information as prescribed under The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007, Schedule 9, Paragraph 1(e) "the grounds on which the civil enforcement officer serving the notice believes that a penalty charge is payable;"
The only ground that is shown is Code 83. This is not a clear explanation that could be readily understood by the average motorist.
I understand from wording on the PCN that there would normally be an "insert" explaining the codes but such an insert cannot be regarded as part of the PCN.
This has been established in decriminalised parking law in cases such as Ali's Bar V Wandsworth, McArthur V Bury and within the High Court in the Judicial Review of Barnett V the Parking Adjudicator.
Without mandatory information the PCN must be regarded as null and void and cancelled.


The insert explaining the codes is given on a separate page insert in the envelope. The back of the charge notice is the "How to Pay" details. But I have just checked the envelope of the PCN and it says: "Details of the contravention are contained in this envelope". See Attached below.

QUOTE
Only way to find out is to take them to TPT and see.


What is TPT? Ive looked at the list of common acronyms used in the forum and it's not on there.

Stockton council allow challenges to fines to be made online, so that should speed up the process. Does anyone know how long councils take to make a decision?
DancingDad
As I put in the post, the regulations require that the contravention is written on the PCN
This must be sufficiently clear to show the motorist what is alleged to be wrong.
Code 83 is a convenience, not a clearly written contravention.

That it is on an insert is irrelevant, just as is being on the council website, on Patrol website, readily found on Google or explained by the bloke down the pub who knows these things.
It must be on the PCN.
The cases I cited all debated similar and the basic was that inference wasn't good enough, nor was it even good enough to have mandatory information on the Tear Off Slip, it must be on the PCN.
One question asked at the time was "what happens when the tear off slip is removed?"
Similar in this case, what happens if the CEO does not include the insert?
If the insert is lost or not handed over to the Owner who will be liable for the payment?
Code 83 means absolutely nothing to the man in the street.
If the council is going to rely on hand written PCNs, the insert must be part of the PCN, not an added extra that the CEO should include.

TPT are the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, the adjudication service who ultimately decide on cases should the informal, then formal challenge system not resolve a PCN.
Council is unlikely to accept the point above so in the end, if you decide to go with it, you would need to take it all the way and risk paying the full amount should you lose (No More then that)
It should be a clear win but adjudicators can be wayward at times so cannot guarantee.
Council may fold before any hearing rather then have their whole PCN stock condemned by an adjudicator though.
I would go all the way on this point alone.... but I am stubborn.
Khal
DancingDad Thank you so much for explaining everything in detail. I agree with you- I would probably go all the way too, but my husband just wants me to pay now and get it off my back. But I am at least going to try an informal appeal. The strange thing is that the notice has still not appeared in their online system- it says to wait 1 working day and it has been that, but I still can't login with my details.

I have drafted the letter below, I admit I used the wording you gave in your post reply! I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a look and let me know what you think, or give possible edits.

QUOTE
PCN Vehicle Registration Number
Representations against the above PCN
Submitted by Dated 17 August 2016

I wish to make an appeal for the above Penalty Charge Notice on the basis that no contravention is cited on the Penalty Charge Notice, making it invalid.

The Penalty Charge Notice fails to state mandatory information as prescribed under The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007, Schedule 9, Paragraph 1(e) "the grounds on which the civil enforcement officer serving the notice believes that a penalty charge is payable;"

The only ground that is shown is Code 83. This is not a clear explanation that could be readily understood by the average motorist. The “insert” explaining the codes included with the Penalty Charge Notice cannot be regarded as part of the Penalty Charge Notice.

This detail has been established in decriminalised parking law in cases such as Ali's Bar V London Borough of Wandsworth (Case No: 2020106430), McArthur V Bury (NPAS case Case No: BC188) and within the High Court in the Judicial Review of Barnett V the Parking Adjudicator (Case No BC 188).

Furthermore, I refer you the Parking Enforcement Policy document given on Stockton-On-Tees Council website, which lists one of the Statutory Grounds to Make a Representation which may be accepted as: S3 THE TRAFFIC ORDER WAS INVALID, which states “If the Traffic Regulation Order which prescribes the restrictions that the vehicle was parked in contravention of was either not constructed correctly, i.e. is ultra vires, or was not made correctly, i.e. not consulted on properly”.

Without this mandatory information clearly presented, the Penalty Charge Notice must be regarded as null and void and cancelled.

Thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.



Again, many thanks everyone for you help on this. I am feeling a lot more confident now after the fantastic advice given on here biggrin.gif
DancingDad
Well, don't send it yet.
But do keep an eye on deadlines.

At the moment there seems to be two possible grounds, or at least situations.
As HCA says, they may have inputted the registration number incorrectly, the D or O you mentioned.
In that case, there is a good chance you will hear nothing more if you ignore.
But is a risk as the handwriting may not be accepted as fatal by an adjudicator and you would be in for full amount after receiving a Notice to Owner if the sneakily correct.

When checking on line, try both options of reg number, let's see if either is accepted.
Give it another day when trying, updates on some systems can be slow.
Khal
I have tried logging in using all combinations, the D, o and 0 but nothing works yet. l'll give it another day but if it still doesn't work, am I still liable to pay? I guess as you already mentioned, there is a good chance I will hear nothing more if I ignore. But I don't want to risk losing the 14 day period so maybe I should send off my appeal letter anyway after a few days?

I'll keep you posted. Thank you

DancingDad
Let us know tomorrow
You have 14 days counting yesterday (16th) as day one so no need to panic for a day or two.
hcandersen
Do not pay - I'm not certain you could anyway because you would need to enter a valid PCN number which ties to your registration. Keep trying daily and make a note.

As regards DD's point, I don't necessarily agree - c'est la vie 😉 - and my argument is that when a postal PCN is sent this comprises at least 2 pages and is put in a single envelope. Each page must contain mandatory info and every postal PCN is not invalid simply because all the required info is not contained in a single page. I believe the same probably applies here. If I was to counter my own argument in this case I would say that the PCN does NOT refer to an additional page and does not direct the reader where to find the codes, it simply states 'see codes for .....' but does not mention where this should be found. Similarly, the enclosure makes NO reference to its relevance to PCNs.

The most often cited case re PCNs relates to a tear-off portion which, if used, would no longer be available. This does not apply here.

So probably not open and closed, but certainly arguable. But this would no doubt be at adjudication - Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) - and with the full penalty in play.
DancingDad
QUOTE
....and my argument is that when a postal PCN is sent this comprises at least 2 pages and is put in a single envelope...


And usually numbered, Page 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Here is a PCN on a single sheet with an insert.
If it were numbered as part of the PCN I agree my argument fails.
Khal

After checking this morning, the PCN is now on the council website, with the correct vehicle registration number sad.gif

So I guess I will have to start an appeal. Here is my appeal wording (slightly revised from the original taking into account the points made above):

QUOTE
I wish to make an appeal for the above Penalty Charge Notice on the basis that no contravention is cited on the Penalty Charge Notice, therefore it is invalid.

The Penalty Charge Notice fails to state mandatory information as prescribed under The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007, Schedule 9, Paragraph 1(e) "the grounds on which the civil enforcement officer serving the notice believes that a penalty charge is payable;"

The only ground that is shown is Code 83. This is not a clear explanation that could be readily understood by the average motorist. The “insert” explaining the codes included with the Penalty Charge Notice cannot be regarded as part of the Penalty Charge Notice.

Furthermore, the Penalty Charge Notice does not refer to an additional page nor does it direct where to find the codes, it simply states 'see codes for contravention description” but does not mention where this should be found. Similarly, the enclosure makes NO reference to its relevance to Penalty Charge Notices. The Penalty Charge Notice is presented on a single un-numbered page with no reference to an additional page.

These details have been established in decriminalised parking law in cases such as Ali's Bar V London Borough of Wandsworth (Case No: 2020106430), McArthur V Bury (NPAS case Case No: BC188) and within the High Court in the Judicial Review of Barnett V the Parking Adjudicator (Case No BC 188).

Furthermore, I refer you the Parking Enforcement Policy document given on the Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council website, which lists one of the Statutory Grounds to Make a Representation “which may be accepted”, Statutory Ground: S3 THE TRAFFIC ORDER WAS INVALID, which states “If the Traffic Regulation Order which prescribes the restrictions that the vehicle was parked in contravention of was either not constructed correctly, i.e. is ultra vires, or was not made correctly, i.e. not consulted on properly”

Without this mandatory information clearly presented on the Penalty Charge Notice, the Penalty Charge Notice must be regarded as null and void and cancelled.

Thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.


Does this sound ok and is there anything else I should add or change? I want to present as much info as I can on this first appeal, so that hopefully so it will be accepted at this stage.

Thank you for your help smile.gif
Mad Mick V
Stick this in somewhere:---- "It is a tenet in English law that you must know and understand the charge you have to answer. The PCN is deficient in that regard and is a nullity."

You must emphasise that the code insert is not part of the PCN.

Mick
DancingDad
Works for me, see what comes back.

Unfortunately, it is likely to be rejected by the council but rejections often give further ammunition so don't despair.


I think we ought to add something on the original contravention as well.

Why didn't you get the free ticket?
Didn't know, didn't look, forgot, saw signs saying free for 1 hour so didn't look at fine print?

Always far better to challenge the contravention as well as technical bits so tell us what happened and we may be able to suggest something
Khal
QUOTE
Stick this in somewhere:---- "It is a tenet in English law that you must know and understand the charge you have to answer. The PCN is deficient in that regard and is a nullity."

You must emphasise that the code insert is not part of the PCN.

Mick


Thanks Mick, I'll add that somewhere.

QUOTE
Why didn't you get the free ticket?


To be honest, I forgot to get the ticket. I was in a rush and it completely slipped my mind. I recently found out that that particular carpark is now free for the first hour (it has been Pay and Display for many years), so I never use it, until that day! There are many free parking spaces in and around the area and I am used to just "parking and going" without a ticket.

Ultimately, I just forgot. Shall I add that to the appeal?
DancingDad
What are the signs in the car park?
Got a location or any photos?

My thinking is that if signs generally or even on ticket machine do not make it clear that a ticket is needed then that it is free may well lull the motorist into not reading the small print.
Signage must be clear or this is a good reason to challenge.
Khal

There is a ticket machine at the entrance of the car park, which does state that parking is free for the first hour, and that a ticket is required. I will try to get a photo of it any other signage around the car park tomorrow, and share it.
hcandersen
IMO this is your starting point - rephrase but get the point across:

I recently found out that that particular carpark is now free for the first hour (it has been Pay and Display for many years), so I never use it, until that day! There are many free parking spaces in and around the area and I am used to just "parking and going" without a ticket.

So, first time user, would you please exercise discretion. Then and only then do you add... If the authority are not able to cancel the PCN on these grounds then I would also bring to their attention that as I understand it the PCN is defective in that ..... (I would also NOT refer to the regs in full, this is totally unnecessary and IMO conveys the wrong impression.. they know what 'the regs' means and don't need a motorist to spell them out at length.

Probably tactics, but if you don't give them an out i.e. to cancel on the grounds of mitigation, then you force them to say no, and they would - and what would your other half do then??
DancingDad
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Thu, 18 Aug 2016 - 16:09) *
IMO this is your starting point - rephrase but get the point across:.........Probably tactics, but if you don't give them an out i.e. to cancel on the grounds of mitigation, then you force them to say no, and they would - and what would your other half do then??


That's the same train of thought that I am on.
Always better to have something they can find on then paint them into a corner.
Counts with adjudicators as well.
Would like to see signage in place though, just so we know and can strengthen if needs be.

QUOTE
........and don't need a motorist to spell them out at length.


Yeah, right!!!!!! (sarcastic laugh)
For my money, nail it, full chapter and verse from day one then they have no excuse to misinterpret or ignore.

Unless we are simply asking for discretion in which case, be nice about it.
Khal
I got the pics of the signage! It does say in a few places that parking is free and that a ticket is required.

QUOTE
IMO this is your starting point - rephrase but get the point across:.........Probably tactics, but if you don't give them an out i.e. to cancel on the grounds of mitigation, then you force them to say no, and they would - and what would your other half do then??


I also understand what you are saying, but I don't think I will be able to submit multiple informal appeals, right? If the first one is rejected. And I don't want to take it all the way, so I have included all of the above in my statement, asking for it to be cancelled on two grounds. I think my excuse that I forgot to get a ticket is very weak, and if it was me, i wouldn't cancel it just on that.
DancingDad
No confusion on the P&D machine sad.gif
Or by the looks of it on car park signs.
Is this the car park?
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.5637679,-...3312!8i6656

All points can be included in a single challenge.

I forgot is weak but a terribly sorry and please exercise discretion as there was no attempt to avoid payment, simply confusion on need to display a ticket for free parking.
And a gentler approach on the contravention issue..... BTW, I note that there is no ground shown on the PCN and my understanding is that the regulations require this to be on the PCN and not simply referenced to an insert. If you are not prepared to exercise discretion please explain fully how your PCN complies with the regulations and are therefore enforceable.
Khal
Yes that's the car park!

QUOTE
please exercise discretion as there was no attempt to avoid payment, simply confusion on need to display a ticket for free parking.
And a gentler approach on the contravention issue..... BTW, I note that there is no ground shown on the PCN and my understanding is that the regulations require this to be on the PCN and not simply referenced to an insert. If you are not prepared to exercise discretion please explain fully how your PCN complies with the regulations and are therefore enforceable.


That is perfect I'll add that to my appeal and send it off now. smile.gif

Thank you so much!
DancingDad
Post up what you intend to send first pls
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