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Civil Enforcement Ltd (again!)


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Hi, 1st time poster, discovered this place after receiving an extremely dubious ticket in the post from CEL. The alleged offence is staying 15 minutes over 2 hours in a Co-Op supermarket car park in Sunderland.

 

I spoke to the manager of the store who expressed his disgust in the only way he could ("its not ideal and its not the way i'd do it"), before coming home and finding this place. I'm looking at drafting a letter based on the templates here to basically say "go away, i refute you, try and take me to court if you can, we both know you can't". I spoke to the CAB and i knew more than them on the subject.

 

So what i'm doing now is going to see my solicitor for some advice before i send the letter, are there any tips i should use? I've read the FAQs but obviously it's quite a lot to take in in once go.

 

Lastly, their letter looks like it's been knocked up in an hour in Wordpad, and they've spelled my address wrongly, and the address of the car park wrongly (the word square spelled wrong). It's amateurish in the extreme, but i am a little bit concerned on what action they'll take to get my money.

 

Every time i look at the letter though it angers me so much i simply won't pay them a penny. Any advice anyone?

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Don't bother with a solicitor, you don't need one. Read the sticky at the start of the parking forum and it explains in detail the position with regards to this ticket. Don't bother writing to them, wait for them to write to you and then write the following letter.

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

I am in receipt of your invoice for parking at the (details of location) on the (insert date). I note you have written to me as the registered keeper of the vehicle. Please be advised that as the registered keeper of the vehicle concerned that I have no liability whatsoever to pay your invoice. You need to contact the driver and invoice them directly.

 

Please do not correspond with me any further on this matter except to confirm that you will be not taking the matter any further with me as the registered keeper of the vehicle.

 

Yours sincerely

 

etc etc

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Ah, thanks chaps :) Would you advise i put anything else in the letter saying i dispute their ability to go to court, and please either send me a cancellation or do not contact me again?

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No, just stick to what I put above. No need to add anything else. No doubt they will write back and try to bully you into paying, but just stick to the line that as registered keeper you are not liable for their invoice. Just come back to us at anytime if you feel the need, there are plenty around who can help.:)

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Thanks Rob, appreciated. I actually spoke to a girl there on my lunch hour and informed her i would be rejecting their "demand". She even gave me their fax number, but i think i'lll just post it.

 

If anyone wants their fax just let me know as i have it.

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I've just been reading pete's FAQs again and noticed that he suggests NOT denying being the driver if you actually were. Should i still proceed with the 'take itup with the driver' approach?

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I think what Pete is saying is don't make a statement such as "I wasn't the driver" because they may have evidence that you were. But if you say "I am the registered keeper of the vehicle and I am not liable for your invoice. I suggest you take it up with the driver" you are neither denying or confirming anything. There is nothing that says you have to confirm who was driving:)

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Thanks Rob. I have added a little paragraph to the letter but i havent sent it yet, i wonder what you think of it?

 

my letter:

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

 

I am in receipt of your invoice for parking at the XXXXX car park on the 20/05/07. I note you have written to me as the registered keeper of the vehicle. Please be advised that as the registered keeper of the vehicle concerned that I have no liability whatsoever to pay your invoice. You need to contact the driver and invoice them directly.

I also note from your correspondence your use of the term Parking Charge Notice, which you abbreviate to PCN. Having previous experience in this field, I am aware that there IS a provision within the Road Traffic Act for an instrument called a ‘Penalty Charge Notice’. However the term ‘Parking charge notice’ does not adhere to this.

 

Please do not correspond with me any further on this matter except to confirm that you will be not taking the matter any further with me as the registered keeper of the vehicle.

 

Yours sincerely

XXXX

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Chococat,

 

I wouldn't use the paragraph relating to the PCN. You were allegedly parked on private property so the 1991 Road Traffic Act doesn't apply. Just stick to paragraphs 1 and 3 and that will be sufficient:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

[edit] now includes scan of letter

 

Well, their response has arrived. They still haven't managed to spell my address correctly, and it says: (shortened to main points, my comments in brackets)

 

We are in receipt of your letter dated 0000000 (What? it WAS dated)

 

We have considered the matters raised but regret we cannot close the matter. As registered keeper we hold you responsible for the matter. You can of course choose to recover costs from the driver yourself. The PCN remains valid (As invalid as ever then, seeing as its a Penalty Charge Notice, not a Parking Charge Notice), and payment must be made without delay.

 

However in view of your representation, we have extended the time allowed and will accept a payment of the lower rate (please just pay us something).

 

In the event that the payment is not received, we will have no option but to issue proceedings against you in the county court to recover the amounts owed to us, we will add our costs and fees to the claim.

 

Yours faithfully

 

(signed by a child it seems)

 

Representation Team.

 

 

 

My 3 responses are a) ignore, b) speak to solicitor and c) write another letter saying good luck, see you in court.

 

Any thoughts anyone....am i safe?

 

the letter:

 

dsc004722kj9.jpg

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Hi everyone

I'm a new user to this site. I found it last week while browsing for some help for my mother.

My mother received a parking ticket from a private parking company (civil enforcement LTD) a couple of weeks ago demanding payment for £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 7 days. She had no idea why this was received. The PCN states that she was at Colton retail park in Leeds and they have video footage of the times she arrived and departed.

I visited the retail park the next day and signs around the park state that there is a 3 hr time restriction. She had over stayed approx 15 mins. My mother shops there regularly and was oblivious to any restrictions. As she is elderly, she has to take a rest in Sainsbuy's cafe to complete her shopping.

I have appealed against the PCN and used advice from this site. The letter is as follows:

To whom it may concern

I am representing my elderly 77yr old mother with reference to the above parking charge notice which she received in the post on 13 June 2007. She was very distressed upon receiving this notice and unaware of any ‘offence’. This extortionate demand for payment has caused her distress and worry.

The PCN simply states that her vehicle was parked at Colton Retail Park, Leeds on the 15/05/2007 from 15:44 until 18:59 and requests a payment. There is no statement on the PCN explaining either the terms and conditions she is supposed to have agreed to or in what way she has specifically breached any such terms and conditions. So there appears to be no basis for the charge other than being present at Colton Retail Park between those stated times. I have contacted Trading Standards and legal advise.

 

I purposely visited the car park yesterday to examine the parking signs of any restrictions, which can only be read if you stand right in front of them. The sum to be paid for a breach of the contract is substantial and arbitrary. It bears no relation to the potential loss of the other party and is therefore extravagant and unconscionable. Issuing and pursuit of funds claimed due because of such are a crime in itself. From a legal standpoint, I understand that private charges can only be based on contract. You will have to prove in court that she agreed to a contract, agreed to park under the terms of the contract, that she agreed to pay a charge if she breached the contract, that she actually did breach the contract and that the charge is both fair and not an unenforceable penalty charge which is not a reasonable estimate of your loss.

The PCN format itself quite obviously purports to be of an official nature. This document is nothing more than a notice from your company sent unsolicited to my mother’s personal address. No company can legally issue a penalty charge notice in respect of parking on private premises. The only bodies who can issue PCN's are local authorities who enforce decriminalised parking under the 1991 Road Traffic Act on the public highway. This legislation does not apply to parking on private premises. It would also be interesting to see how the police would view such documentation if I made a complaint of attempted extortion, blackmail and deception for taking advantage of a vulnerable elderly lady.

The Administration of Justice Act 1970.

Section 40 of the act provides that a person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:

(a)

harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;

(b)

falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;

©

falsely represent themselves to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;

(d)

utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.

Paragraph (a) above does not apply to anything done by a person which is reasonable (and otherwise legal) for the purpose of:

(1)

of securing the discharge of an obligation due, or believed by him to be due, to himself or to persons for whom he acts, or protecting himself or them from future loss; or

(2)

of the enforcement of any liability by legal process.

It is also provided that a person may be guilty of an offence under paragraph (a) above if he concerts with others in the taking of such action as is described in that paragraph, notwithstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment.

You have no statutory right of access to the DVLA’s keeper information. Your conduct in this instance is in direct breach of the DVLA code of conduct pertaining to the enforcement of parking restrictions on private land. Specifically, point 3.2 of the code states:- “Notices giving full details of the parking contravention and the proposed course of action to be taken by the enforcer should be placed in a prominent position on the ‘offending’ vehicle without causing it damage. Vehicle keepers should be made aware that their name and address will be requested from the DVLA”. No such notice was ever placed on my mother’s vehicle but you clearly obtained her personal details from the DVLA without her prior knowledge in order to send your PCN to her address. Under these circumstances I will consider writing a strong letter of complaint to the DVLA regarding your abuse of this system. If pressed they may decide to withdraw your company’s right to obtain vehicle keeper information.

 

I now expect a response in writing within 7 working days of receipt of my letter that you are going to withdraw your charges with immediate effect. Your failure to respond appropriately to this letter within the next 10 working days will result in the following actions on my part. I will report your company to the DVLA for your failure to comply with the code of practice. I will report your company to the office of fair-trading. I will write a strong letter of complaint to both my local MP and contact the local press. I will report this entire incident to the police for nuisance and harassment and for attempting to extract money using threatening documentation purporting to be of an official nature. You should also take note that further threats for money will most certainly be reported to the police under the protection of harassment act 1997.

I received a reply from the company yesterday morning stating that they have considered the matters raised, but regret that they are unable to cancel the parking charge. The ticket was correctly issued with the terms and conditions clearly displayed in the carpark, which is monitored by sophisticated and timed cameras.

In view of the appeal they will accept payment at the original reduced charge if received by cheque within 7 days. If the payment is not received they will issue proceedings in the County Court to recover the amount due. They will also add additional costs, interest and fees to the claim.

My mother is struggling to pay her bills as it is and £60 is alot of money to her. Should she pay the charge or is there anything else we can do? I would be extremely grateful of any advice.

Tictactoe

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Tictactoe,

 

Under no circumstances should she pay this "fine". All they can claim for should they go so far as to take it to county court is any losses they have actually incurred. As it is free to park at the car park their losses are nil.

 

Can you imagine how these charletans would look if they took your mother to county court and she then stood up to explain the reason she "overstayed" by 15 minutes was to allow her to take a rest so that she could continue her shopping?

 

Ignore them from now on and let them do the work.

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Thanks Rob, I appreciate your advice.

 

My mother is extremely worried about the PCN and I have a sneaky feeling she will go ahead and pay the charge without my knowing. Should I write another letter to them and explain why she was 15 mins over her stay, so that I can reassure her that I will not let it go as far as court? I just want to stop her handing her money over to theses crooks.

 

Tictactoe

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You've already given a reasonable explanation, so I wouldn't waste anymore time on them. Just concentrate on making sure your mum doesn't give these charletans a penny! And reassure her that their threats are meaningless.

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I would second Rob, please re-assure your Mother that she doesn't owe a penny and they won't be able to prove that in county court if they were to go that far which is highly unlikely.

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Thanks for your support Andy7807. I have spoken to my mother today and she agrees that they are crooks. As a precaution, I have removed all corresondence from her house so that she cannot pay the charge!!!

Decided to write one more letter and ask them to prove it's not a penalty, but a reasonable pre-estimate of the loss incurred by them. I will also add that should anything happen to my mother as a result of harassment caused by them, I will hold them soley responsilble. They can see us in court!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any update on this thread? Despite a fairly hefty response they've continued to attempt to collect the money which surprises me.

 

I've just started a refusal to acknowledge their demands, without proof, which they are refusing to provide without paying a tenner :lol:

 

Good luck!

 

wrinx

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Hi All

 

Just to let you know that that after writing back to Civil Enforcement LTD they have decided to cancel my mother's parking charge. Must have been the threats to take action against them I think!!!

 

Thank you to all for the advice and support and a special thanks from my mum!!!

 

Tictactoe X

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Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3431 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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