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Bernie_the_Bolt

Private Parking Tickets - Template Letters

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

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

 

This is what the writer would do in the contemplated circumstances. It is placed freely in the public domain on the basis that if it is used no liability of any kind attaches to the writer and/or the publisher.

 

Any person relying on this information does so entirely at their own risk.

********************************************************

 

A Cautionary Note

 

Since I drafted these templates, life and experience has moved on.

Much of the advice given now is to ignore completely all correspondence from PPCs.

 

My only slight reservation about this is that in the remote possibility of a case being argued in court, would a failure to respond be presented by the claimant and accepted by the court as the actions of an unreasonable person? Would this then count against you?

 

It really comes down to how you, personally, see the risk and whether you are prepared to run the risk.

 

If you are not comfortable to ignore all communications and are not happy with running the risk I outlined above then the templates are possibly for you.

 

I have always said, and stand by the view that you should not initiate correspondence.

 

Recently a number of posters have stated how useful it would be to have a set of template letters.

 

The following are my examples that I would use myself. They apply only to private parking tickets NOT to those issued by the LA, police or Traffic Wardens. You are free to use them provided you read and agree to the “Important Information” at the top and foot of this post.

 

Firstly, let me acknowledge the excellent work by petej2811 in his article which can be seen here. His work is the inspiration behind much of this and he deserves appropriate credit. If I repeat anything he has said it is meant as a compliment and if I say anything in disagreement it is meant with respect.

 

This information is prepared on the assumption that there has been no correspondence with the private parking company. If a letter has already been sent to the private parking company then a different approach is needed. By all means read this, much of it will be relevant but you will also need to refer to the sticky entitled http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-wardens/119917-private-parking-tickets-template.html

 

Add to your armoury for complaints with a compaint revolving around the data protection act. See here for details.

 

Feedback with any typos, inaccuracies, omissions, improvements, errors etc is most welcome. I may come back and edit this post (subject to permissions) to add and clarify matters including relating to feedback.

 

The basic approach:

 

To coin a phrase first used by Pat Davies, I think, on this forum – be “icily polite” at all times. My rules for the correspondence are:

  • Do not initiate correspondence.* This means ignore the ticket but keep it. Only write when they have written to you.
  • Do not ignore letters (unless and until you have written a “cease and desist” letter).
  • Keep copies of all correspondence.
  • Do not answer their questions but ask your own.
  • Do not use any of the following in your letters: anger, sarcasm, irony, begging, sob stories, excuses etc.
  • Write nothing that you would not be proud of if read in court.
  • Do not add technical details unless you are absolutely sure of their accuracy.

* There is an exception to this which is that if I was not the owner of the car (say for example I had a company car, hire car or garage courtesy car) the person identified as the keeper would receive the letter from the private parking company, pay the bill and seek to recover the funds from me under alleged contractual obligation. If thsi applies to you, refer to the sticky http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/parking-traffic-wardens/119917-private-parking-tickets-template.html

 

By doing this you will

  • Be acting reasonably.
  • Maintain your credibility.
  • Have a real chance of making them give up.

Drafting notes:

 

Where something appears in square brackets eg [dd/mmmm/yyyy] it is for you to insert what is relevant to you.

You may need to make contextual changes for your circumstances.

 

The first letter:

 

The purpose of this letter is simply to acknowledge theirs and to deny liability. It should read something like this:

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

I acknowledge receipt of your captioned letter. It seems that you have got my details from the DVLA and I confirm I am the keeper of the vehicle in question. You need to take this matter up with the driver concerned.

 

In the meantime I absolutely deny your claim that the amount claimed, or any amount at all, is due to you from me.

 

Yours faithfully

If you are writing for someone else (eg partner, parent etc) you will need to have your partner/parent etc write as follows:

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

I acknowledge receipt of your captioned letter. It seems that you have got my details from the DVLA and I confirm I am the keeper of the vehicle in question. I have appointed my [husband etc] [Mr John Smith] to act on my behalf and protect my interests in this matter.

 

Please direct all further correspondence to [him/her].

 

Yours faithfully

And you then write an amended first letter as follows:

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

I have been asked by [my wife] to handle this matter for [her]. [she] wrote to you on [dd mmmm yyyy] (copy enclosed). You need to take this matter up with the driver concerned.

 

In the meantime [she] absolutely denies your claim that the amount claimed or any amount at all is due to you from her.

 

Yours faithfully

If you are lucky that will be the end of the matter and you will hear no more.

 

It is more likely that they will write again, this is where it becomes more tricky to compose a template. What I have done is to write a basic letter and made suggestions for paragraphs you can insert depending on what they have said.

 

The basic letter:

 

This is the top and tail ready for paragraphs to be added.

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

I refer to previous correspondence.

 

[#]

 

Unless you provide evidence to substantiate your claim against me I shall be unable to assist you further in this matter and I restate my denial of this claim.

 

Yours faithfully

 

The variable paragraphs to add to the basic letter:

 

You will need to make the appropriate amendments if you are writing for someone else.

You may need to write more than once. I suggest that two or three times is sufficient before moving on to a “cease and desist” letter.

 

If they have simply ignored what you have previously said.

At this juncture there is nothing further that I can add to my letter of dd mmmm yyyy (copy enclosed).

If they refer to you as owner.

I note that you refer to me as owner. I have acknowledged only that I am the keeper.

If they claim that you are responsible for the alleged debt.

You appear to claim that I, as keeper, am legally responsible for this alleged debt. I deny this. Please substantiate this claim with appropriate citations of case and/or statute law.

If they have added further charges:

I note that you have increased the amount of the alleged debt. Given that you have failed to substantiate and support your claim that I am indebted to you; this is unreasonable, inappropriate and, quite probably, unlawful. In addition to my previous denials I absolutely deny any liability to you for this additional sum.

If they allege that you were the driver or that you have to name the driver:

If your allegation is that I was the driver then please produce evidence of this to substantiate your claim. I have to advise you that the driver could have been any one of a number of people and I keep no records of who has driven the car on any given day.

If they threaten debt collection:

I note your comments about debt collectors. Given that this debt is in dispute I shall simply advise them that the debt is in dispute and they will have to refer back to you.

If they threaten court action:

I will welcome the opportunity to defend your allegation in court and am confident of success. Of course you will be required to produce the evidence that I have requested and you have failed to provide. You will also have to answer to the court why you failed to do so.

NOTE: In either of the two circumstances above, you may wish also to add the relevant bits from the "Cease and Desist letter".

 

The cease and desist letter:

With this letter you are basically telling them to "put-up or shut-up".

Having followed the steps above, particularly if a further two or three letters have been written after the initial denial. It will be a very rash private parking company to take it further. They will simply have to explain why they did not respond.

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

I refer to previous correspondence.

 

I do not feel that you are acting reasonably in this matter.

 

I have asked you to provide evidence to substantiate your claim against me and you have not done so. I feel that I have done all that I can to assist you. Unless you provide evidence to substantiate your claim against me I shall be unable to help you further in this matter.

 

This alleged debt therefore remains disputed by me. Save for supplying the evidence referred to above I must ask you to cease and desist correspondence with me.

 

Other than as described above, any further correspondence from you or any other party in relation to this matter may result in a complaint to the authorities under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

 

Yours faithfully

 

If you receive a letter from debt collectors:

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Your letter dated [dd/mmmm/yyyy] Reference[#]

 

This alleged debt is in dispute. I have written to your principal on a number of occasions and they have failed to substantiate their claim.

 

In the circumstances please refer this matter back to your client.

 

Any further correspondence from you in relation to this matter may result in a complaint to the authorities under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

 

Yours faithfully

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

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

 

This is what the writer would do in the contemplated circumstances. It is placed freely in the public domain on the basis that if it is used no liability of any kind attaches to the writer and/or the publisher.

 

Any person relying on this information does so entirely at their own risk.

Edited by Bernie_the_Bolt
Added cautionary note

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 4655 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

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