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Hi all,

I received a PCN from Harrow Council over a month ago.

 

I challenged the PCN within 14 days (the period that you can pay a 50% reduced amount for early payment) using their online system.

 

I received a letter about a month after my submission stating they had considered my submission but were still going to enforce the ticket.

 

However, the letter states that I now have to pay the full amount as it is after the 14 day reduced period.

R

Today I received a Notice to Owner stating that I would need to pay the full amount.

 

The PCN itself and the Harrow Council website both state that if a challenge is received within the 14 day period but rejected, you will have 14 days from the date of the rejection to pay the reduced amount.

 

Why am I being asked to pay the full amount?

 

You can only contact them via E-Mail and Letter.

I sent an E-Mail on the day I received the initial rejection,

but the automated response says they have up to 56 days to respond.

 

What do I do now?

 

(This is my first ever parking ticket).

 

All advice greatly appreciated.

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What's the date of the pcn and the date you submitted your informal challenge?

 

Did you receive an automated reply to say they had received your challenge?

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harrow are a disaster when it comes to things like this.

 

Find out who the chief executive is and start a formal complaint and say that this has been through stages one and two via the useless parking dept so now a stage 3.

 

Be prepared to pay the full amount and then demand a refund of the overpayment if your complaint is upheld or goes to the local govt ombudsman

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But in the meantime do not ignore the NTO.

 

At the very least make representations that whilst the council do not have a statutory obligation to re-offer the discount,

but if they do (as in this case) then they must re-offer the discount.

 

So there is:

a) procedural impropriety by the council

b) the penalty exceeds the amount that applies in the circumstance.

 

What was the original contravention and on what grounds did you challenge it?

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Hi Michael Browne & ericsbrother, thanks for your super fast responses.

To answer the questions:

 

Original PCN issued on 30/10/2017 09:12

Challenge submitted online with confirmation received via E-Mail on 10/11/2017 03:37

Letter from council saying they won't cancel the PCN is dated 08/12/2017 (think we received it on 12/12)

NTO Letter is dated 19/12/2017

 

Original contravention: 40 Parking in Disabled space without displaying a blue badge.

Grounds for challenge: Other compelling reasons option

 

14 days from the date of their response to my challenge would be tomorrow - 22/12/2017

 

I appreciate your help so far.

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OK. I would make reps to the NtO as per post #5.

 

If they reject you would have to go to adjudication on the same grounds and if that appeal is refused, you would still only be liable for the full penalty.

 

It's possible that on recieving your reps they backtrack and re-offer the discount at which point you would have to play doulble or quits by either taking the discount or risking full penalty at adjudication.

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If you did get your original challenge in within 14 days and they are asking for the full amount ots grounds for appeal in itself 'penalty higher than permitted'. Make a challenge to NTO stating original grounds but include the unlawful demand for higher amount.

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OK. I would make reps to the NtO as per post #5.

 

If they reject you would have to go to adjudication on the same grounds and if that appeal is refused, you would still only be liable for the full penalty.

 

It's possible that on recieving your reps they backtrack and re-offer the discount at which point you would have to play doulble or quits by either taking the discount or risking full penalty at adjudication.

 

Happy New Year Michael Browne!

Thank you for the response and apologies for the late follow up.

 

From your message it sounds like you're saying that if the Council do re-offer the discount,

I could choose to go to Adjudication anyway and if they rule in my favour the entire fine would be cancelled?

Have I understood that correctly?

 

If so, are there any past cases that show adjudication going in favour of the citizen over the Council or is it far likelier to go in the Council's favour.

 

I'd obviously rather pay the discount if there's only a slim chance of winning at adjudication.

 

Are there costs involved in going the adjudication route, or do you have to attend any special meetings/court visits?

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there are thousands of challenges and around 50% are successful.

 

When you consider how many PCN's are issued it is a fairly routing thing.

there is no cost,

you can have a hearing where you attend (the council rarely send anyone along)

or you submit papers and an adjudicator makes a determination binding on both sides.

 

the adjudicator is normally a solicitor well versed in parking matters

so if you are right and raise the right points you get the PCN cancelled.

 

Occasionally you get it cancelled for reasons you havent thought about a great deal so always woth raising any point you can find.

 

Green n mean's post is a particular case in mind, they have to obey the protocols as well as show you committed the original offence

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From your message it sounds like you're saying that if the Council do re-offer the discount, I could choose to go to Adjudication anyway and if they rule in my favour the entire fine would be cancelled? Have I understood that correctly?

Correct

 

If so, are there any past cases that show adjudication going in favour of the citizen over the Council or is it far likelier to go in the Council's favour.

I'd obviously rather pay the discount if there's only a slim chance of winning at adjudication.

Adjudication is always a bit of a gamble. Each case is judged on it's merits and an individual adjudicator is not bound by a previous decision of another adjudicator. If it was my pcn, I'd go all the way.

 

 

Are there costs involved in going the adjudication route, or do you have to attend any special meetings/court visits?

Adjudication is basically double or quits. If you lose, you would only have to pay the full penalty. If you win, nothing. There are no additional costs.

 

You can either opt for a postal decision or a personal hearing at London Tribunals in Chancery Lane. Personal hearing is always preferable, it will be just you and the adjudicator. The council will not attend.

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If you did get your original challenge in within 14 days and they are asking for the full amount ots grounds for appeal in itself 'penalty higher than permitted'. Make a challenge to NTO stating original grounds but include the unlawful demand for higher amount.

 

Hi green_and_mean, Happy New Year to you! Thank you for the reply and advice, it seems there is consensus that I should challenge the NTO with the "higher than allowed amount" option.

When you say to state the original grounds, what benefit is there to this? Or is it just as a matter of cataloguing what went before?

Thank you!

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If you claim that you did make a challenge within 14 days it would only be natural to include that at the tribunal obviously the first challenge could not be they didn't re-iffer the discount,

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there are thousands of challenges and around 50% are successful.

 

When you consider how many PCN's are issued it is a fairly routing thing.

there is no cost,

you can have a hearing where you attend (the council rarely send anyone along)

or you submit papers and an adjudicator makes a determination binding on both sides.

 

the adjudicator is normally a solicitor well versed in parking matters

so if you are right and raise the right points you get the PCN cancelled.

 

Occasionally you get it cancelled for reasons you havent thought about a great deal so always woth raising any point you can find.

 

Green n mean's post is a particular case in mind, they have to obey the protocols as well as show you committed the original offence

 

Adjudication is basically double or quits. If you lose, you would only have to pay the full penalty. If you win, nothing. There are no additional costs.

 

You can either opt for a postal decision or a personal hearing at London Tribunals in Chancery Lane. Personal hearing is always preferable, it will be just you and the adjudicator. The council will not attend.

 

 

If you claim that you did make a challenge within 14 days it would only be natural to include that at the tribunal obviously the first challenge could not be they didn't re-iffer the discount,

 

Michael Browne, ericsbrother & green_and_mean, thank you for your responses.

 

Taking your advice I submitted my Representations against the NTO under the clauses:

 

a) Procedural impropriety by the council

b) The penalty exceeds the amount that applies in the circumstance.

 

I included the original representations (as you suggested green_and_mean)

I wrote in challenging the PCN under the clause:

Other compelling reasons.

 

I received the quickest turn-around I have ever had from the council,

they must have written a response the very same day they read my representations.

 

they rejected my representations and wrote the following:

 

"A Penalty Charge Notice that has not been fully paid progresses through a series of stages and increasing charges.

Although your case has progressed to an increased charge,

we have reduced the charge for a limited period to the amount shown below."

The first option is the reduced £55 if paid within 14 days.

 

(No apology or reason as to why they made a mistake in not offering the reduced rate as per their own rules).

 

Going by what you say Michael Browne,

if it were you,

to take it to Appeal,

reading the information on the letter with the Notice of Appeal Form the council included,

you can only have the charge cancelled on the standard grounds,

this excludes the Other Compelling Reasons option.

 

If the Adjudicator finds in my favour based on the Other Compelling Reasons

they can only recommend to the council that my PCN be cancelled,

but they cannot direct them to,

which means Harrow Council can do what they please anyway

- Do I understand this correctly?

 

While my NTO representations fell under the standard grounds, my original PCN representation was under "Other compelling reasons".

 

I guess what I am asking is now that the council have re-offered the reduced charge,

would I be appealing based on the representations I made against the NTO, or the original PCN?

 

Many thanks!

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they have reoffered the original discount so reset the clock so my interpretation is that they have used the divided appeal as a way of making this a "soft" appeal again and hope you accept.

 

You have edited their reply in such a way that I am unable to see what law they rely on to make this decision so cant say whether the latter reason was considered or whether you should expect another response.

 

So, you submitted to the Tribunals service and got this reponse from the council or did you just email the council and havent actually submitted an appeal to PATAS?

 

Please make it clear exactly what yo ahve siad and to whom and how this response came about.

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Can you post a full copy of the rejection, they may have cocked up again by re offering the discount at this stage.

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they have reoffered the original discount so reset the clock so my interpretation is that they have used the divided appeal as a way of making this a "soft" appeal again and hope you accept. You have edited their reply in such a way that I am unable to see what law they rely on to make this decision so cant say whether the latter reason was considered or whether you should expect another response.

So, you submitted to the Tribunals service and got this reponse from the council or did you just email the council and havent actually submitted an appeal to PATAS?

Please make it clear exactly what yo ahve siad and to whom and how this response came about.

Hi ericsbrother, sorry for the confusion!

The complete exchange so far is as follows:

 

Original PCN issued on 30/10/2017 09:12

Challenge to PCN submitted online with confirmation received via E-Mail on 10/11/2017 03:37

Letter from council saying they won't cancel the PCN is dated 08/12/2017 (think we received it on 12/12)

NTO Letter is dated 19/12/2017

Challenge to NTO with representations sent on 16/01/18 (this was the form included with the NTO)

Notice of Rejection of Representations is dated 18/01/2018 (think we received it on 19/01/18).

 

So the next step I understand is to appeal via the London Tribunals system, but reading the information if I am claiming grounds of "Other Compelling Reasons", then it's not enforceable by the independent adjudicator anyway. And given that Harrow Council already decided to reject my initial representation, I just don't see an adjudicator's 'suggestions' making them change the council's mind.

 

Can you post a full copy of the rejection, they may have cocked up again by re offering the discount at this stage.

 

Hi green_and_mean, of course:

 

Dear FELIXR

 

Notice of Rejection of Representations. Your case comes under the Traffic Management Act 2004

 

Penalty Charge Notice (parking ticket) number: XXXXXXXX

Contravention Date: 30 Octboer 2017

Location: XXXXXXXX

Vehicle registration: XXXX XXX

Verification code: XXXXXX

 

Thank you for writing to us.

 

We have carefully considered what you say but we have decided not to cancel your Penalty Charge Notice.

 

A Penalty Charge Notice that has not been fully paid progresses through a series of stages and increasing charges.

Although your case has progressed to an increased charge,

we have reduced the charge for a limited period to the amount shown below.

 

You have these choices:

  • You can pay the reduced charge of £55.00. You have 14 days from the date of the this letter being served (delivered) to do this.
  • You can pay £110.00 if you miss the reduced-charge period. You have 28 days from the date of this letter being served (delivered) to do this.
  • You can appeal to the Parking Adjudicator.....etc

.

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Does it mention charge certificate? They have put the wrong period for paying its not 28 days FROM the date of service its 28 days BEGINNING with the date of service.

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Does it mention charge certificate? They have put the wrong period for paying its not 28 days FROM the date of service its 28 days BEGINNING with the date of service.

 

Hi green_and_mean,

Yes, after all the bits about the Parking Adjudicator, on the back of the letter it says:

 

If you do nothing

If, after 28 days, you have taken no action, we may send you a Charge Certificate increasing the charge from £110.00 to £165.00. You will then have 14 days to pay the increased charge, we may apply to the County Court to recover the money - plus court costs - from you.

 

How to pay

Online

Phone

In person

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mr B Golanski

Enforcement Assistant

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Hi green_and_mean,

Yes, after all the bits about the Parking Adjudicator, on the back of the letter it says:

 

Rejection of representations against notice to owner

6.—(1) Where representations are made under regulation 4 and the enforcement authority serves a notice of rejection under regulation 5(2)(b), that notice shall—

 

(a)state that a charge certificate may be served unless before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the notice of rejection—

(i)the penalty charge is paid; or

(ii)the person on whom the notice is served appeals to an adjudicator against the penalty charge;

(b)indicate the nature of an adjudicator’s power to award costs; and

©describe in general terms the form and manner in which an appeal to an adjudicator must be made.

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it looks like they've covered all those points, only some of the semantics are different (from instead of beginning).

 

Am I correct in assuming I wouldn't be appealing the NTO anymore, which had the incorrect fine amount stated, now that they have re-offered the original reduced amount?

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you take it to the Tribunal. the council have failed to issue correctly and you use the grounds already laid out by green and mean.

You have bee arguing the point with the wrong body and hence their desire to restart the whole thing

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But in the meantime do not ignore the NTO.

 

At the very least make representations that whilst the council do not have a statutory obligation to re-offer the discount,

but if they do (as in this case) then they must re-offer the discount.

 

So there is:

a) procedural impropriety by the council

b) the penalty exceeds the amount that applies in the circumstance.

 

What was the original contravention and on what grounds did you challenge it?

 

This is not a procedural impropriety. A procedural impropriety is defined in section 4(5) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007 as:

 

"a failure by the enforcement authority to observe any requirement imposed on it by the 2004 Act, by the General Regulations or by these Regulations in relation to the imposition or recovery of a penalty charge or other sum..."

 

Extending the period beyond which the reduced penalty must be accepted by the enforcement authority is not a requirement under the TMA 2004.

 

It can be argued that including such an extension in documents places an obligation upon the authority to comply with this. However, this is mitigation and not a ground for appeal in itself as 'procedural impropriety' is.

Edited by Spaceman69

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Hi all,

Thanks for all the responses.

 

I'm a bit confused now.

 

It seems Spaceman69 is saying that "Procedural Impropriety" is not something I can use as grounds of appeal .

 

ericsbrother - I'm not sure I understand the process then if I have been arguing with the wrong people.

My understanding is that if you get a PCN you can challenge it, if it's rejected you then get an NTO, which you can challenge with representations. Once your representations are rejected only then can you go to the Tribunals service.

Is that incorrect?

This is the route I followed as per what was advised and provided in the literature from the Council.

 

As they have re-offered the reduced fee with the rejection letter, my understanding is that I cannot appeal on the grounds of "Penalty exceeds the amount that applies in the circumstance" as they have provided the correct amount again?

 

Thank you!

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Hey green_and_mean,

As today is the last day I can pay the reduced amount the council re-offered I just wanted to make sure I understand what it is I am appealing to the Tribunals service for.

 

I have attached a PDF of the Rejection Letter of my Representations to the NTO from the council. I just wanted to be clear about which bits you mention exactly would be relevant for me to argue on.

 

Appreciate your help!

 

Rejection of representations against notice to owner

6.—(1) Where representations are made under regulation 4 and the enforcement authority serves a notice of rejection under regulation 5(2)(b), that notice shall—

 

(a)state that a charge certificate may be served unless before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date of service of the notice of rejection—

(i)the penalty charge is paid; or

(ii)the person on whom the notice is served appeals to an adjudicator against the penalty charge;

(b)indicate the nature of an adjudicator’s power to award costs; and

©describe in general terms the form and manner in which an appeal to an adjudicator must be made.

 

Sorry, I was replying to this post above, for some reason the quote didn't come up and I can't edit my previous response.

Rejection of NTO Reps.pdf

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