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Keele University fines

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I have been called for a 'student' discipline meeting, for the following reasons.

Preliminary Disciplinary Interview

I am writing to inform you that you are required to attend an interview at 4.00pm on Thursday 17th December 2009 with the Head of Security to discuss the following incidents:-

Allegations of persistent failure to comply with University regulations regarding use of vehicles on Campus and driving causing danger to staff on the Students Union car park on Wednesday 9th December 2009.

The interview will be held in the Darwin Building in the Boardroom on the top floor. This is your opportunity to inform and assist us with ascertaining all of the circumstances related to this issue, prior to the matter being considered for disciplinary purposes.

You may bring with you a member of the University community to support you. You are advised that it would be in your best interest to seek the advice and representation of the Independent Advice Unit in the Student Union.

If you choose not to attend the meeting, the Head of Security is authorised to make a recommendation about the action to be taken, despite your absence.

 

You may wish to refer to University Regulation 20: Student Discipline which can be found on the University’s website at:

http://www.keele.ac.uk/admin/ps/governance/acts/Regulations/REGULATIONS.htm

If you have any queries, please contact me on ...

 

I was parked in the university car park last wednesday, when the two parking officers decided to tap into their computers, so I saw this and got into my car, one of them said 'dont move it' and while i was reversing, the other decided to get VERY close to my wing mirror, and subsequently he hit it while stood right next to my car.

Secondly, I can imagine they are going to question me regarding the numerous unpaid tickets. In my first year of study, I would buy a ticket and display it, and park. I once got a ticket, but appealed and my appeal got rejected, at which point I stopped paying and displaying, and parked where i wanted without a care. Now I know that the PPC are unlikely to take me to court, but the university are threatening to withold my degree for unpaid fines, so what can I do?

They dont have any proof that i have been the driver for any of the tickets.

The ppc in question is liberty services.

Thanks in advance

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They are not fines, they are invoices. If the invoices are raised by a PPC and not directly on behalf of the university I fail to see what your nonpayment of these invoices has to do with the university in the first place.

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I doubt very much if they can withhold your degree and if tnhey did oyu could be in line for massive compensation, i.e. unable to get a £30000 pa job as unable to produce degree.

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Looking at the regulations I would guess that they are giving you their equivalent of the police's "helping them with their enquiries". Depending on your answers they may or may not initiate formal "charges".

 

Get the Head of Security to put the allegations to you then ask for time out so that you have time to consider your response. I would insist on recording the conversation with the Head of Security so that you have an accurate record of what was said. Also be very careful about what you say and how you phrase it. You don't want to incriminate yourself. You might want to consider reading a prepared statement.

 

I would also acquaint myself with H&S law. While you have a duty of care to avoid hitting anything or anyone while manouvering a vehicle, H&S also makes it clear that an individual should not put themselves in a postion that could endanger themselves or others. I would argue that the idiot who stood next to your wing mirror while you were manouvering was deliberately endangering themselves. I would suggest that if he has caused any damage to your wing mirror you tell the university that you will be holding the individual responsible and seek to recover repair costs.

 

Make sure you treat the issues seperately.

 

I think you need to point out the relevent law is the law of contract and that the use of the PPC invoices is wrong. Not only do the fines form a disproportionate penalty (in terms of the loss incurred) but also breach the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act. The withholding of your degree IMV for alleged/disputed debt could also be considered a disproportionate penalty. I would suggest to them that if they beleive the debts are owed that the matter is put before a court. This link here is a good starting point. You might want to get details of the PPC's operating agreement as there is probably a privitiy issue (i.e. the PPC don't have enough rights to the land to be able to enforce parking and aren't acutally suffering any loss.)

Edited by pin1onu

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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subbing


Please remember our troops, fighting and dying in our name. God protect them.

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Bit of forum - letshelp is subscribing to the thread. He'll receive notifications when and if there's new posts.


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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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oh right, i see!

 

can anyone point out any legality issues with the actual tickets that PPC's hand out.

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See this link(click here) mentioned in my previous post. It's a good starting point.

 

Look at the Dunlop Case 1915 concerning penalty charges (same as the bank).

 

The rights to the land may not be sufficient for the PPC to offer and enforce parking. (Privity).

 

Unfair terms in consumer contracts act 1977.


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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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See this link(click here) mentioned in my previous post. It's a good starting point.

 

Look at the Dunlop Case 1915 concerning penalty charges (same as the bank).

 

The rights to the land may not be sufficient for the PPC to offer and enforce parking. (Privity).

 

Unfair terms in consumer contracts act 1977.


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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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The PPC case is weak at best, they can only invoice for actual losses, and I see non her as its campus property.

 

and the PPC goon who put him self in harms way is to blame for the incident, not you.

 

Get a rep, go in there, quote song and verse the regs and laws that apply.

 

Make the security manager feel 1" tall

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I think what a number of those replying have forgetten is that as the OP is obviously a Student of relevant university that the biggest problem is in fact the University discipline issue , as when they signed on the dotted line to enroll they agreed to follow the rules and regulations of the university, much as an employee is bound to follow the ruels and regulations that their employer sets.

 

to the OP

 

are you a student ?

 

can students ordinarily park in the car park in question and do you have the correct permit ( if required ) to do so ?

 

in terms of losses employers are known to discipline staff for parking in the 'wrong' parking spaces ( e.g. visitor / customer spaces) rather than the tucked away in awkward places staff parking spaces

 

they will also discipline people who have the wrong permit or fail to pay the correct P+D charge ...

 

Universities have a suprising amount of power especially as ' conduct unbecoming' or 'bringing the university into disrepute' can easily be created from such things which when (if) proven will lead to academic sanctions or if academic sanctions are not forthcoming other 'difficulties' ...

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Universities have a suprising amount of power especially as ' conduct unbecoming' or 'bringing the university into disrepute' can easily be created from such things which when (if) proven will lead to academic sanctions or if academic sanctions are not forthcoming other 'difficulties' ...

University's cannot put themselves above the law and should conduct themselves in a lawful and fair way. They can try and put pressure on the OP true enough but I think they are on a loser if the OP takes them to court.

 

To quote their Keele's regs

 

Vehicles, improperly parked or causing an obstruction, may have parking notices fixed to their windows. A fine of £50 (subject to periodic review) will be charged to the owner of the vehicle. When the penalty is paid within 14 days of the notice issue, a discount of 50% will be allowed from the amount payable (subject to periodic review). (e) The University reserves the right to commission an external authority to collect and enforce such penalties by civil process and to adjudicate on appeals against the issue of such penalties. The decision of this authority shall be final.

A student has in effect agreed a contract with the university. The amounts are not a genuine pre-estimate of loss and I would suggest that the amount is penal and therfore invalid under the Dunlop ruling. Also as the amount has not been negotiated it falls foul of protection from unfair terms in consumer contracts. I think the OP has a fair challenge if they want to make a fight of it. They can resort to the Civil Courts if the University doesn't want to listen to reason.

 

The idiot that walks and then stands close to a vehicle that is manouvering is breaching health and safety law and would be held culpable. I checked this with my Health and Safety Rep and it tallies with my understanding of H&S law. A good question for the OP to ask is to see if they filed a near miss report or an accident report.

Edited by pin1onu

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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can students ordinarily park in the car park in question and do you have the correct permit ( if required ) to do so ?

 

in terms of losses employers are known to discipline staff for parking in the 'wrong' parking spaces ( e.g. visitor / customer spaces) rather than the tucked away in awkward places staff parking spaces

 

they will also discipline people who have the wrong permit or fail to pay the correct P+D charge ...

 

Universities have a suprising amount of power especially as ' conduct unbecoming' or 'bringing the university into disrepute' can easily be created from such things which when (if) proven will lead to academic sanctions or if academic sanctions are not forthcoming other 'difficulties' ...

 

Exactly. It's no good having the law on your side if you have to spend 2 years taking legal action and trying to get back in education.

 

Be aware of your rights, but personally - and I hate to say it - as a last resort I'd rather pay and stay in university, if circumstances mean there's little other option.

 

But then take small claims action AFTER graduating.

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had a preliminary meeting today with a residential manager. As stated, its an investigation into a possible breach of regulation 20. regulation 24 is regarding parking, you may want to look at that too.

20: Regulation 20: University Regulations

24: Regulation 24: University Regulations

Heres the sunmary of the preliminary meeting.

In response to the possible breach detailed against you, you have denied the allegation, therefore, as per Reg 20 sec 2; i formally give you notice of my intent to properly investigate the matter in response to your denial. You have stated that you choose to pay and display each time that you visit the university, and that as there are not enough spaces to accommodate everyone you park where you can find a spot to leave your vehicle. You have stated that you fell that you are being victimised from the security team, in that they follow you each time you come onto the campus and within 10 minutes of parking the wardens are present in that area. With regard to the allegation of dangerous driving, you have stated that you believe that the parking warden was to blame for this as he saw that you were going to reverse your car, and failed to move out of the way. You deny that you drove dangerously and wish to hold a formal meeting with regard to all allegations to formally record your views on the matters outline.

Once I have investigated the breach, you may be required to attend a formal hearing. If so, this will be formally notified to you in writing and all wirtten statements that I have collated will also be sent to your attention....At the end of the hearing you will either be formally charged or informed that the possible breach has been withdrawn.

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I'd lose the victimisation aspect - makes you look bad.

 

Also think about the dangerous driving side. It's your responsibility to check there's nothing there before reversing (playing devil's advocate when it comes to this sham procedure) - so reword this for the next meeting.

 

Go and talk to SU as has been suggested.

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I spoke to the independant advice unit on monday, and they said 'can they prove you were driving', and when I asked them if they could withhold my degree for non payment, they said no.

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Can they put that in writing?

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