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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69252
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have recieved a Parking Penalty Notice from Parking Eye.

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I have recieved a Parking Penalty Notice from Parking Eye. I overstayed my parking time in Aldi Catford car park, owned by Aldi.
They have sent photos of my car entering the car park and then leaving again and it is clear that it is my car and it was parked there.
The photo shows a driver in the car but you cannot see clearly who the driver is - I have not had any communication with them yet.
I think that the law changed recently and they are not supposed to impose fines on private land - is this still the case?
Fair enough I did overstay but they are fining me £140 and that just seems totally excessive!
Is there anything I can do?

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

What was the date of the fine?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was in October 2012. They wrote to me and I ignored the letter. I have just recently received a second letter from them recently.

What date in October please? It would change everything
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry, but I don't have that information with me. I will have access to that info from tomorrow afternoon. Can you give me both scenarios?

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 would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.
Also, 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.
They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.
Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer £5 for their loss.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
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