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gravamen11
Hello there,

First post, and thanks for any help you can give. Reading the forum has already been very useful.

I'm an Islington resident, one of the "paperless" boroughs, and unbeknownst to me, my residents permit expired last month (September 2014). I was unaware of this, as there is no physical permit in the windscreen with the date to remind you. The enforcement officers scan your reg number and find out that way. Nor was a letter sent. More on this later.

Three PCNs on my car drew my attention to it. All coded 19. "Parked in a residents or shared use parking place or zone either displaying an invalid permit or voucher or pay and display ticket, or after the expiry of the paid for time."

My car was displaying nothing, as they're electronic permits. Or does "after the expiry of the paid for time" cover it? Is it worth challenging on the basis that contravention didn't occur? If it's the wrong code will they just bump me to a different one after the fact?

I didn't receive a reminder letter, though during a phonecall yesterday (28/10/14) to pay for the new permit, I was told a letter had been sent in September. This (non arriving letter) seems to be a courtesy, as on their website Islington state "It is your responsibility to renew your permit before it expires. The council takes no responsibility to provide reminders."

(Un)Fair enough. However, elsewhere on their website, (my account section, can't link to it, but screen grab attached) to renew your permit, you need to enter a permit account number and are told that "this number can be found on your permit renewal letter"

So this seems to create the expectation of the letter; indeed the impossibility of renewing without it. Whether a renewal letter and a reminder letter are the same thing is another question. I received neither.

So if not the codes, is it worth challenging on the basis of their creating a reasonable expectation of a letter being sent?

Thanks to all for your help.

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Mad Mick V
The fact that you have a lower penalty charge rather than a Code 12 higher penalty charge indicates that the CEO fully understood that your permit had expired.

The display element in this is whether something "displays" on the Hand Held Computer.

If the vehicle was not moved between the 1st and 3rd PCN then it is one "offence" and you should look up continuous contravention in the search box.

You might have to pay the 1st PCN since you seem bang to rights.

Mick
clark_kent
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 21:25) *
The display element in this is whether something "displays" on the Hand Held Computer.





Really??!

hcandersen
And the PCNs please, all three of them.

Why didn't you twig that something was amiss after PCN 1. Or did you leave your car somewhere and not go to it for several days? PCNs or not, this is risky in London where parking places are often suspended in residential roads.

If 3 in the same location for the same contravention without moving, then nos. 2 and 3 can be cancelled.

But please do try and accept your responsibility in this matter, after all it is your permit and your responsibility.
gravamen11
Hi there, and thanks for all your replies.

Hcandersen, the PCNs, and a screengrab of the website are in the links at the bottom of my first post. They don't seem to be showing as thumbnails.

And I appreciate your remark about my responsibility. Have never run over a permit before, but when they become invisible and dateless it's much easier to do. There is literally nowhere online that would tell me when my expiry date was, even logged into "my account" on the Islington website. Just the message that to renew I would need my permit account number which would be on my renewal letter. This I checked a couple of months back. Fair enough, I'll wait for the letter, I thought. Then three PCNs in a row, as I don't use my car on a daily basis.

The continuous contravention thing is very useful though, and paying one is better than three certainly. The car hadn't been moved, all three were on the windscreen, and any photo of PCN 2 or 3, will show 1 or 2 as well. Is this the kind of thing you're talking about, Andersen and Mick? Contains the ruling given against Haringey. Any suggestions on wording the appeal?

Thanks again for your advice.
Mad Mick V
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 23:42) *
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 21:25) *
The display element in this is whether something "displays" on the Hand Held Computer.





Really??!




My opinion c_k since the OP queried. Otherwise you would have to argue that virtual permits cannot sit within the current contravention code system.

As to continuous contravention perhaps something like this?

Two further PCNs were issued to my vehicle on ??? 2014 and ??? 2014 repectively although the vehicle had not moved since the first PCN was issued. This is therefore a continuous contravention and the second and third PCNs (NOs ???) should be classed as invalid and cancelled. The effect of these subsequent PCNs is that I am being penalised thrice for the same alleged contravention. This is both unfair and against the European Convention on Human Rights which indicates you cannot be punished twice for the same "offence". Therefore the aggregate penalty charge exceeds the amount applicable in the circumstances of this case.

In terms of Continuous Contravention I would refer the Council to PATAS Cases 2110166557, 2140191859, 2140184092, 2140234882, which all justify this ground of appeal.

Mick
hcandersen
From your account, you are unable to determine the renewal date of your permit on the council's system or to renew your permit until you are notified in writing of your renewal number by the authority. IMO, if this is the case then some responsibility falls to the authority. But some falls to you and you would be expected to chase them

You mentioned that your permit expired last month, but have not told us when. Also the first of the PCNs is dated 23 Oct, so what happened in the interim?

Make your challenge and include all the points. Make sure you are clear about the restriction which the authority places on permit holders by not allowing them to obtain a renewal number online and get them to explain what they would expect a permit holder to do in these circumstances.
gravamen11
QUOTE
You mentioned that your permit expired last month, but have not told us when. Also the first of the PCNs is dated 23 Oct, so what happened in the interim?

I believe it expired mid September. I was told on the phone when renewing, but wasn't able to make a note at the time. So yes, perhaps five weeks without a permit before the first PCN. I suspect that the officer had stopped scanning my car, as he was so used to my having an in date residents permit.

I'll compose an appeal and post the draft here.

Thanks again guys, incredibly helpful. I was all set to pay £120, which is £30 more than the cost of the annual permit I've just bought.
clark_kent
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Thu, 30 Oct 2014 - 02:13) *
QUOTE (clark_kent @ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 23:42) *
QUOTE (Mad Mick V @ Wed, 29 Oct 2014 - 21:25) *
The display element in this is whether something "displays" on the Hand Held Computer.
Really??!
My opinion c_k since the OP queried. Otherwise you would have to argue that virtual permits cannot sit within the current contravention code system.





What like using 'parked on a taxi rank' when the restriction is no stopping as is frequently the case? If councils want to race ahead with changes then they need to ensure they have covered all their bases its not the publics job to try to accommodate their enforcement activities! The penalty is for a breach of a traffic order not some nonsense the Council decided at a meeting one evening. I'm fairly certain the TMO probably does not state the permit must be clearly displayed on the CEOs handheld pda.

Bogsy
If the current practice is that no permit is ever displayed then its impossible (as CK points out) for the contravention to have occurred. This seems to be a typical case of where technology is much further advanced than your average traffic order or contravention code list.

I'd argue contravention did not occur as no invalid permit was displayed. I'd argue that code 11 should have been used

Parked without payment of the parking charge

Permits usually require a payment.
gravamen11
One more question on tactics.

CK says contravention did not occur, Mick says not continuous, HC says I might have some leverage regarding the impossibilty of renewing without a reminder letter.

Is it bad form/unadvisable to take a scatter gun approach and appeal for 3 different reasons? Or should I choose my strongest first, and then if rejected, try the others?
Bluedart

I would go for a scatter gun approach in the hope that I would hit something.

Nothing is guaranteed so trying to pick one way over another in the first instance, could make you vulnerable to go back with something different.

Put your cards on the table and hope..
clark_kent
The fact is its not a requirement to renew your permit you may not even live in that zone anymore you may have even sold the car. So if we take the last scenario you have sold the car to someone who does not need a permit as they have a garage. On the day in question they park for a few minutes to unload some goods, when they get back they find a PCN claiming they parked displaying an invalid permit or beyond the time paid for, hang on...no they haven't they didn't pay and have never had a permit or any knowledge of one being in the car so how can they be guilty of such a crime!? Now you see the Councils problem they have not clearly stated the reason for the PCN and the person that got the pcn wouldn't have a clue why they got it.
Personally I would ask for photos of the permit, state you didn't display anything as you were going to get a visitor permit or load something and see how they respond.
Chaseman
QUOTE (Bogsy @ Fri, 31 Oct 2014 - 02:20) *
If the current practice is that no permit is ever displayed then its impossible (as CK points out) for the contravention to have occurred. This seems to be a typical case of where technology is much further advanced than your average traffic order or contravention code list.

I'd argue contravention did not occur as no invalid permit was displayed. I'd argue that code 11 should have been used

Parked without payment of the parking charge

Permits usually require a payment.


I think Bogsy has the point covered here. How can you be penalised for displaying an invalid permit when the Council's own practice requires no display of a physical permit at all? The notion that what the wording really means is "not displayed on the CEO's handheld" is just fanciful. Now the council isn't going to back down on this point because it would mean admitting that they couldn't enforce any similar offence. So be prepared for a trip to PATAS. The wording about "or parked after the expiry of paid-for time" can be safely ignored in your case as that bit clearly refers to P&D tickets - it is a shared bay after all. Residents' permits don't really incorporate the notion of "paid for time" unless it cna be construed as 365 days' worth of paid for time, which is where Bogsy is coming from with the code 11 point. I think if you had been ticketed under code 11 then you would be on much weaker ground. As it is, the technology has run ahead of the legislation; either the council needs to go back to issuing paper permits or else the legislation needs updating.

Definitely hit all points in one letter, you don't get several bites at the cherry. Lead with the point above, follow that up with the seeming impossibility of renewing your permit without a reminder letter, which they say they sent but you never received [er, so how have you renewed the permit in the meantime?] and finish off with the point about it being one continuous offence (if it is deemed an offence at all) rather than three.
Mad Mick V
I like "fanciful" but would point out that on Codes 16 & 19 (v6.7 of the Standard Codes) there is the use of suffix 4 which relates to virtual permits and thereby allows CEOs to consider this issue. One might even surmise that they could possibly use their HHCs in such consideration.

The concept of display and its legal definition will raise its head more and more because of virtual permits and PBP. The Chief Adjudicator has mentioned "technology creep" on more than one occasion so it is an issue.

I agree c_ks point that there are gaps for the forum to exploit in this area, particularly TMOs and what they mean by "display".

Mick
clark_kent
If handled properly this cash saving advance by the Council could end up being rather expensive for them!
hcandersen
You have to understand that people do not like to admit mistakes. This would include those responsible for dealing with permits. The enforcement side of the council won't necessarily be the same as the one which deals with permits and it's clear that they've not thought through the consequences of having paperless permits. You will not be the only one who's been served with a PCN which gives the wrong contravention and they'll want to limit the fall out if they can.

Your main point would appear to be CK's, but if you add in that you didn't receive your renewal letter and couldn't log in to renew etc, then they'll probably give in on those grounds (they'll use a euphemism like 'technical error') because they're personal and therefore limited. They'll then hope the problem will go away.
clark_kent
The more I think about it the more stupid it becomes! An expired permit would theoretically remain on the system until purged (usually after about 6 years) so the car could have been sold on several times with the new owner not realising it once had a permit. Then you have to look at the fairness of the enforcement I could buy your car then park in a permit bay next to my wife who is in her car, I would get a lower rate PCN she would get a higher rate and we would not have a clue why they differed?
hcandersen
Reductio ad absurdum springs to mind, as it would before breakfast on a Sunday morning. biggrin.gif
gravamen11
Here's the draft guys. Thanks for all your help, Mad Mick, I've cut and paste your suggestion entirely. Thanks very much. Let me know if anyone has suggestions before I send.

REPRESENTATIONS CHALLENGING PCN NUMBERS

xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx

I am writing to challenge the above Penalty Charge Notices issued on 23rd, 24th and 25th October on three grounds:

1) The contravention code given is 19 "Parked in a residents or shared use parking place or zone either displaying an invalid permit or voucher or pay and display ticket, or after the expiry of the paid for time."

Islington is a paperless borough regarding resident's permits, and I have been sent no permit to display in my vehicle. Therefore a code 19 contravention did not take place.

2) I was not sent a renewal or reminder letter to inform me that my resident's permit had expired. I am aware that on your website it states "It is your responsibility to renew your permit before it expires. The council takes no responsibility to provide reminders." However, elsewhere on the website, in my e-account section (see screen grab below) to renew my permit, I am asked to enter a permit account number and am told - twice - that "this number can be found on your permit renewal letter".

(screen grab)


Two months ago, when I realised my permit might be due for renewal, I logged into my account and read the above. I took no further action, as your website creates the legitimate expectation that I am to receive a letter. It also makes it impossible for me to renew without one, as the renewal number is not available online. I have been told that a letter was sent in September, but I did not receive it.

3) After the initial PCN on 23/10/14, two further PCNs were issued to my vehicle on 24/10/14 and 25/10/14 respectively although the vehicle had not moved since the first PCN was issued. This is therefore a continuous contravention and the second and third PCNs (xxxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx) should be classed as invalid and cancelled. The effect of these subsequent PCNs is that I am being penalised thrice for the same alleged contravention. This is both unfair and against the European Convention on Human Rights which indicates you cannot be punished twice for the same "offence". Therefore the aggregate penalty charge exceeds the amount applicable in the circumstances of this case.

In terms of Continuous Contravention I would refer the Council to PATAS Cases 2110166557, 2140191859, 2140184092, 2140234882, which all justify this ground of appeal.

Yours sincerely



Incandescent
Looks OK to me, so stick it up 'em ! They'll no doubt refuse and then you take them to PATAS, At that point they might, just might, realise they are being fools as well as being venal and rapacious and cancel before the adjudication, but go all the way if you have to, you have a very good case.
gravamen11
SUCCESS! ALL TICKETS CANCELLED!! Reply from Islington below. Thanks so much guys.

"Dear Xxxxxxx

Penalty Charge Notice No. Xxxxxxxxxx Date of Issue 23/10/2014 at 12:36
Penalty Charge Notice No. Xxxxxxxxxx Date of Issue 24/10/2014 at 09:42
Penalty Charge Notice No. Xxxxxxxxxx Date of Issue 25/10/2014 at 09:09
Location of Contravention Xxxxxxxxxxx [Zone P]

Thank you for your letter regarding the above Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

As you are aware, these PCNs were issued for parking with an invalid (expired) resident permit.

Permit renewal reminder letters are sent to all permit holders as a courtesy service however I acknowledge that on this occasion you have stated that you did not receive your reminder letter. It is the responsibility of all permit holders to remember when their permit is due for renewal and/or make a note of the expiry date when they renew or purchase their permit.

The council are working towards implementing an electronic renewal reminder system via the E-account service however there is no date set for this.

However on discretionary grounds I have decided to cancel the PCNs on this occasion. Please be careful to avoid this happening again.

As the tickets have now been cancelled, there is no need for you to take any further action.

Yours sincerely"

Incandescent
Well done !
timbstoke
QUOTE (hcandersen @ Sun, 2 Nov 2014 - 09:21) *
Your main point would appear to be CK's, but if you add in that you didn't receive your renewal letter and couldn't log in to renew etc, then they'll probably give in on those grounds (they'll use a euphemism like 'technical error') because they're personal and therefore limited. They'll then hope the problem will go away.



Well called that man!
Bluedart

Whilst someone used their discretion, the reply still had an element of it being your fault and not theirs.
If you did not receive the letter, there is no way that you could have given them the number they appear to required for the renewal of the permit.
clark_kent
The Council have still dodged the bullet and avoided the main issue. There is currently no applicable contravention for failing to pay for a virtual permit, NO ONE should be paying these PCNs in areas that have introduced this cost saving measure until they amend the contravention codes.
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