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    • Hobnail you don't know Elms too well yet. I am surprised that they got as close as they did to adding up to 30. I think the poor dears get confused because most other letters they send out are to give 28 days notice. They even  have difficulty with their two times table and often consult with the char lady to confirm that 2 plus 2 equals 4.  Just act on the notion that they are total numpties and you won't be far out.
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Cash Payment Refused for Parking Fine (Is this Legal?)


dw190
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I have established that Oxford City Council do not have a facility to accpt CASH payments for parking fines.

 

Is it legal to refuse Legal Tender for payment?

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On the contrary, if there is anywhere that cash must be accepted in payment of a debt, then it is through the Courts. See : Legal tender - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Also see the Bank of England pdf file and the Royal Mint website for additional insight. You would need a friendly lawyer to be certain of the law, but my reading of what is available on the internet strongly suggests that legal tender (i.e., bank notes and coin issued by the Bank of England) cannot be refused for payment of a debt. Both parties can agree to another form of payment, but refusal to accept legal tender in payment means you cannot be sued for non payment. See: British Royal Mint - Legal Tender Guidelines

 

I hope this helps but best to take legal advice before proceeding.

 

Shoestring

The more I read this site, the more congratulations I want to heap on CAG for the invaluable service they are performing. Bravo!

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On the contrary, if there is anywhere that cash must be accepted in payment of a debt, then it is through the Courts. See : Legal tender - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Also see the Bank of England pdf file and the Royal Mint website for additional insight. You would need a friendly lawyer to be certain of the law, but my reading of what is available on the internet strongly suggests that legal tender (i.e., bank notes and coin issued by the Bank of England) cannot be refused for payment of a debt. Both parties can agree to another form of payment, but refusal to accept legal tender in payment means you cannot be sued for non payment. See: British Royal Mint - Legal Tender Guidelines

 

I hope this helps but best to take legal advice before proceeding.

 

Shoestring

 

You are mistaken and wholly ill-informed. Read the Royal Mint guidelines again specifically the highlighted portions.

 

Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning in the settlement of debts. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender. It does not mean that any ordinary transaction has to take place in legal tender or only within the amount denominated by the legislation. Both parties are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes. In order to comply with the very strict rules governing an actual legal tender it is necessary, for example, actually to offer the exact amount due because no change can be demanded.

 

It very clearly states that it applies to payments INTO COURT, and that other, non-court parties can "agree" to any form of payment they choose; whether legal tender or not.

 

Wikipedia I dismiss as an inadequate reference for matters of a legal nature.

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Wikipedia I dismiss as an inadequate reference for matters of a legal nature.

 

I agree. However I know at least one solicitor who uses it ;)

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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Thanks for the quick replies.

 

Here is a copy of the reply from Oxford City Council:

Thank you again for your enquiry.

 

Unfortunately the answer to your question is no, we do not have the facility in place to take cash payments for Oxford City Council car parking fines, payments need to be posted to the address on the ticket as stated in the previous email.

 

I hope this is of some help to you, and please don't hesitate to contact as again if you have any further questions.

 

Kind regards

 

Ms C Halliday

Customer Services

Oxford City Council

 

01865 249811

[email protected] .gov.uk

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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So they do not have a public-facing cash office. Nothing stopping you putting the cash in a Registered Envelope and posting it to them.

 

Except you aren't covered for loss if it goes missing.

 

Surely, even if this isn't covered under "Legal Tender", it is covered under some sort of discrimination act?

 

I'm going to start issuing fines, payable only in Roubles. Or lego bricks.

 

Having a debit card, credit card, chequebook etc isn't (as far as I'm reasonably aware) a legal requirement.

 

I'd be writing back saying that I'm unable to satisfy their payment terms, but am perfectly willing to settle in cash. If they don't find this acceptable, let them take the matter to court.

 

A judge is unlikely to look favourably on ANY claimant who won't take payment when it is offered, if it is offered reasonably.

 

Even if the judge finds in their favour, there is no CCJ issued unless you continue failure to pay. However, as the matter is now "in court", they are obliged to take cash.

 

Whether you'd be liable for their £30 court-fee, or whether the judge would award against their application for "costs" is another matter.

 

I must stress, this is purely my opnion and isn't advice I would advocate anyone taking up without seriously thinking about it. But as a matter of principle, it'd be nice to hear the Council admit IN COURT that you had offered correct payment, and they'd refuse it. They'd be laughed out of court.

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Stonelaughter, I have read the Royal Mint outline very carefully. The bit about “both parties are free to agree to accept any form of payment” clearly implies that there must be agreement by both parties – not diktat by one of them. Also, the sentence concerning payment into court is relevant because in my neck of the woods, parking fines can be paid at the courthouse and therefore, refusal to accept payment of a fine in legal tender suggests that the person attempting to make payment cannot be sued for the failure of the Council to accept it.

 

This admittedly is an arcane subject and my intention in raising it (as I have stated elsewhere on this site) is my hope that a lawyer knowledgeable in these areas will submit to post a message on current legal thinking on this issue. In the meanwhile, my view is that legal tender (even in its narrow sense) can be used to fully discharge a debt and cannot be refused for payment of said debt. So far no lawyer has come forward to provide knowledgeable comment and clarification. Let’s hope they do.

 

I agree that Wikipedia is not to be regarded as a legal reference, but nor is the Royal Mint or the Bank of England (I cited them out of a consideration of balance). The staff of the Bank of England are bankers by definition and (in my view) are more agreeable to the wishes and needs of the banking fraternity in such matters. I believe the Royal Mint may be likewise biased and may not be citing the full position in regard to the actual law.

 

I also agree with Jampot about insisting on paying in cash only and if they refuse to accept legal tender that is their problem. I say this because it is becoming more and more evident to me that there is a concerted move to a cashless society and I dread to think what this would ultimately mean to the individual. Fighting for historic rights must be encouraged and not left to wilt away into obscurity, I think.

 

Shoestring

The more I read this site, the more congratulations I want to heap on CAG for the invaluable service they are performing. Bravo!

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Of course you are. I wouldn't have suggested it otherwise.

 

http://www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/content1?catId=19100182&mediaId=19100268

 

Apologies, I mis-read "Registered" for "Recorded".

 

I certainly agree that someone can refuse to accept cash in payment for something - certainly most places these days will refuse a "large" cash payment, citing money laundering regulations - and I also agree that someone can refuse to take credit or cheque to settle a debt. But refusing to take a cash payment for a fine... well that's a new one on me.

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Maybe you should just go with a witness into thier office and offer to pay it. There must be something somewhere about what they can or can't do if you have offered to pay but they have refused it?

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Guest Bert52

A case in my area of south Wales established that a council can legally turn down the offer of a cash settlement for a parking fine and this was very recent-within the past year or so anyway.

 

It was because an irate motorist wanted to pay his fines in 1p pieces but the collection office refused it. It went all the way to court and, from what I remember, the collection office could refuse any sum of cash if the small coinage exceeded something like £2.

 

So they were able to refuse the whole total of the fine being paid in cash, albeit in 1p pieces, but I guess they could have accepted notes and a small amount of coins.

 

However, it is still a fact that legal tender was refused and they were right to do so.

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A case in my area of south Wales established that a council can legally turn down the offer of a cash settlement for a parking fine and this was very recent-within the past year or so anyway.

 

It was because an irate motorist wanted to pay his fines in 1p pieces but the collection office refused it. It went all the way to court and, from what I remember, the collection office could refuse any sum of cash if the small coinage exceeded something like £2.

 

So they were able to refuse the whole total of the fine being paid in cash, albeit in 1p pieces, but I guess they could have accepted notes and a small amount of coins.

 

However, it is still a fact that legal tender was refused and they were right to do so.

 

I think the following clarifies the posotion of attempting to pay in 1p coins.

 

COINS:

 

Circulating Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amount:

 

 

£2 - for any amount

 

£1 - for any amount

 

50p - for any amount not exceeding £10

 

25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding £10

 

20p - for any amount not exceeding £10

 

10p - for any amount not exceeding £5

 

5p - for any amount not exceeding £5

 

2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

 

1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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Guest Bert52

Gosh, it was only 20p then.:!:

 

I believe it is also a myth that a postage stamp is legal tender too?

 

Other than putting it on a postal order to make up a difference.

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There is no way on Earth I would pay by cash even registered post, where is the proof that you sent the correct money? You could send an empty envelope registered and claim it contained the correct money and someone at their offices had nicked it, likewise you could send the correct money and someone at the other end could go oooh nice and then claim there was no money in it.

 

Unless the PO will witness the OP sticking the cash in the enveope first that is and stick it on the receipt.

 

Not having an office to accept payments in this context is a FARCE and penalises anyone who doesnt have a cheque book, PO's cost a small fortune and sending cash even registered is still risky as per above. This is even more galling considering the council will have an office for taking other payments like council tax

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Guest tlusnoc
Even if the judge finds in their favour, there is no CCJ issued unless you continue failure to pay. However, as the matter is now "in court", they are obliged to take cash.

 

 

Sorry but if that happened you would be back to square one, as you have to pay the debtor direct in county court actions, therefore they could again insist on cash. So all you would likely end up with is a bigger bill.

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There is no way on Earth I would pay by cash even registered post, where is the proof that you sent the correct money? You could send an empty envelope registered and claim it contained the correct money and someone at their offices had nicked it, likewise you could send the correct money and someone at the other end could go oooh nice and then claim there was no money in it.

 

You could - but then why would you go to that bother? If you were that paranoid, you could have a witness that the money was correctly placed in the envelope and handed over at the PO counter. If someone at the other end pilfered it, then that would be their look out - especially as the arrival of same would be unusual and perhaps be dealt with by more than one individual. Alternatively, Postal Orders paid to the council. The bottom line is there ARE alternatives to their lack of a cash office and need not be an inhibition to paying.

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Oh come on people do stupid things all the time, like I said you would need someone to witness you putting the correct money into the envelope which is what I suggested above.

 

Do you know how much PO's cost, have you actually had to use them recently?

 

My partners aunt has to pay 50p per week to a debt and it costs the same again in PO's they are a very expensive way of paying for anything. In this day and age there is no excuse if they dont want to accept cash then there's always payzone etc to pay in shops, bar coded bills so you can pay at the post office, bank transfer details, giro slip and many others just refusing to take cash and then not offering any other options is a bit silly really.

 

It's not just about the people who end up getting shafted who actually want to pay its easier for the council to manage as well using the other methods as well and they don't cost a lot to run.

 

I would be interested to actually see what payment options they state on their paperwork.

 

Like I said councils have a cash office for other facilities so not accepting cash for certain things makes no sense as you have the facilities there for council tax payments etc (most councils have this anyway).

 

Also I am not arguing against payment, far from it but councils generally house some of the more vulnerable people in society so they know the problems people encounter not having bank accounts etc so should be a bit more open with payment terms

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Yes, I know how much PO's cost - but faced with them being lost, or using Special Delivery as a posting method for cash, it still is a viable option.

 

You have to balance the lack of a customer-facing cash office for fines - do remember, they may have outsourced this to a third party - and staff there will (eventually) have to answer to their local councillors. For a variety of reasons, who I bank with is information I refuse to give to my council, so I'd really make use of alternative means of payment.

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I would be interested to actually see what payment options they state on their paperwork.

 

This is what they said when asked where could one pay in cash.

Thank you again for your enquiry.

 

Unfortunately the answer to your question is no, we do not have the facility in place to take cash payments for Oxford City Council car parking fines, payments need to be posted to the address on the ticket as stated in the previous email.

 

I hope this is of some help to you, and please don't hesitate to contact as again if you have any further questions.

 

Kind regards

 

Ms C Halliday

Customer Services

Oxford City Council

 

01865 249811

[email protected] .gov.uk

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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Could you not pay someone the money in return for a cheque?

 

Postal Order?

 

Walk in to one of them shops which cashes cheques, surely they can do it in reverse? You give them the cash, they write out a cheque? :D

 

All with added cost.

 

I remember the days when cash was king and discounts for cash were rife.

PUTTING IT IN WRITING & KEEPING COPIES IS A MUST FOR SUCCESS

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dw190, why not ask them to stipulate what the law says should you refuse to pay by any other means other than cash? Local Authorities (like, I suspect most entities) intensely dislike being forced into a corner and since they can reply by internet quickly, it would be enlightening to know what they have to say. They may not even have considered the legal aspect of stopping cash receipts. For your part you could argue that you understand that they must accept legal tender in payment providing it is offered in reasonable denominations...

 

Can't hurt to ask before making your decision?

 

Shoestring

The more I read this site, the more congratulations I want to heap on CAG for the invaluable service they are performing. Bravo!

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Guest tlusnoc
I remember the days when cash was king and discounts for cash were rife.

 

Yes those were the days, problem is they can make far greater profit out of selling finance than what is on the original item. Mind you I still try and negotiate a discount on larger purchases, one trick is to have a credit card out and then ask for cash discount as they have to pay a card transaction fee, sometimes it works others not, but we have nothing to lose by asking.

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