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Paid on Charge Certificate £125 but still want to persue

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Hi, this is my first post and looking for advice. I parked in a free car park where you must get a free ticket to display. Because my 12 yr old daughter was in the car and I was very stressed out from current financial position, I stupidly didn't get a ticket (I park there all the time and do get a ticket but my post had brought me several debt collectors letters and I wasn't thinking straight). I was only diving in quick and thought they'd never give a ticket when someone was present. He turned up, to his credit did ask my daughter to go and get a ticket, but she was very intimidated and didn't want to get out of the car so texted me to say I was being given a ticket. I ran out (thought it was a joke actually) and true enough he had. I went after him, begging and crying (the debts got the better of me as I'd just borrowed money from my daughter to buy cereal!) and of course he could do nothing as he'd already issued. I wrote immediately to the council (Sutton). They stood their ground. I wrote again, they stood their ground again. I was terrified of it rising but wanted to appeal so allowed it to go to £80 from £40. I got the NTO - which is in my partner's name, I am the named driver. I noted when the representations had to be made by and counted 28 days from the day I received it, not paying any attention to the date on the letter itself which is tiny and hard to find. Anyway, time went by and along came the charge certificate saying it was now £120. Stupidly, I didn't check my dates first but sent an immediate email saying sorry i was late with the representations but am sending them now, please hold off at £80 charge. Hours later I checked my paperwork and found my note of the due date back and I WAS within the 28 days of RECEIPT but not within 28 days of their posting. The NTO states "within 28 days of delivery of this notice" and to me, it was within 28 days, they say it was 41 days after becasue they are counting from when they posted it which is not the same as from when it was 'delivered'. They would not budge. We had several exchanges by letter, I quoted the road traffic act and everything else I could find becasue I believe this is a flaw in the wording but they wouldn't budge. So that left me the last opportunity which was to appeal to the Northampton TEC on the grounds of not having received a rejection to my representations. I could have done this becasue they were not accepting my representations and therefore they did not send me a rejection. BUT, I could actually not do this because the owner of the vehicle, my partner, is too stressed and depressed by our financial situation and I cannot burden him with this worry as well. For me to make that statutory declaration it has to be in his name and he would have to get it sworn which means him going to a solicitors and I couldn't put him through all that. I tried again to appeal to Sutton to please withdraw the notice, or at least let me revert to the £40, next letter asking to revert to the £80 but they have dug their heels in despite my bearing my soul on my personal circumstances, and the time lapsed to bailiff time. I contacted Northampton who said I am not allowed to sign the statutory declaration it has to be the driver. I could get a medical certificate to say he was not fit but that would also mean telling him and making him go to the doctors to be 'certified' and I couldn't do that to him either. So I have just paid the £125 (borrowed of course) so that the bailiffs don't turn up and tip him over the edge. I am not one to give up as I really cannot believe that this has escalated as it has. I know they can use their discretion when they want to but have chosen not to, but even if they stand by the issue of the ticket being valid, I still think there is scope in the wording being wrong. So, sorry for the long tale, but does anyone know if there is any recourse I can now take to get my money back? I don't know if the appeals service would work as it is very specific I think for 'before' you have paid, and not after. If I had been the owner I would definitely have followed this through the proper channels without paying, but because of the owner having to make the statutory declaration, I just can't do this to him. Any advice gratefully received. Thank you so much for reading this far!

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I think it should be from date of service (the date it falls through your letter box) but as they do not send them registered post they cannot prove date of service. Whos to say it has not been lost in post it happens even with recorded delivery letters I know its happened to me

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