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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 63909
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My husband was parked in a private not for public use car park

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My husband was parked in a private not for public use car park (the bay is numbered and is for the sole use of his employer). As he is a relief manager he has to park the car and got and get the ticket which means he has to leave the car for a few minute to go and get the ticket. While he was away the attendant went to ticket his car. A member of the public who knows my husband confirmed that he works for the company and had gone to get the pass. He received a phone call to say that the ticket was being applied and hurried back to find that it had been ticketed. Where do we stand?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will try to help with this.

Who is the issuer of this fine please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

pcm

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

Can I just be clear about this, he was entitled to park there but just wasn't displaying a permit yet?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thats correct

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

is the car registered to him?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.

This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.

A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.

This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract.

Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.

All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.

The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.

If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that. They have no claim for that.

Even if they do go to court, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5. In addition to that, it would seem that he was perfectly entitled to park there but just wasn't displaying a ticket. That isn't a defence with local council fines but with private land fines it goes to the issue of loss.

Obviously though I don't know what view his employers would take of this situation?

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My husband is actually moving to France at the end of next week until Nov 2013. I will be in France with him until 21 July so will be unable to deal with any letters until my return. Will that cause me any problems?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not really.

You can always get a redirection on your post but anyway they will not sue by July. They probably will write as they are entitled to do but even if they issued tomorrow they wouldn't get a court date before July.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Apparently the gentleman who questioned the attendant stated that they were supposed to be given ten minutes grace and my husband had only been missing for two minutes. He has to go to the front of the building which means he has a good two minutes walk (as it is a betting shop and is single manned he cannot get an answer from the back door that backs onto this private car park)


 


would that stand up as a reason for not paying it?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No.

Thats all a complete myth. This 'period of grace' has arisen from local council fining. I'm afraid there's a good deal of twaddle on the internet on the point of parking fines.

There are no periods of grace granted to the motorist. The reason attendants will often observe a car for five minutes is to rebut a motorist's defence of loading. A private vehicle has five minutes to load and a commercial twenty.

All that relates to local council fines though not private land.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think I am going to fight this as his company paying to have a valid parking bay means that he is entitled to park there. I am also going to take it up with the management of the centre. Thanks for your help

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I completely agree with that decision. Thats exactly what I would do.

All the best.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 63909
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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