Thursday, 3 April 2014

PATAS - w/c 24 Mar 14 - 100 cases

a century of cases
A really busy week at PATAS starting on Monday 24 March. There were 13 witness statements which I'll ignore as they are just delaying the inevitable. There were 100 cases which had followed the usual route and of those 68 led to cancellation of the PCN. Even if you are not good at maths you can see there was a 68% success rate last week. Keep those Appeals flowing.

The following cases all resulted in the PCN being cancelled:

- Kara Way, a sign is inadequate.
- PCNs often go missing and the reason is unknown, traffic wardens removing them is oft suspected and not often proved, the following is an extract of the adjudicator's decision in which it was:

Further the Enforcement Authority assert that a Penalty Charge Notice was subsequently issued by post as a result of the said vehicle having been driven away before the civil enforcement officer had finished preparing the Penalty Charge Notice for service by affixing it to the said vehicle or handing it to the person appearing to be in charge of the said vehicle.

Mr. L indicated the purpose of his business at the location and described a sequence of events regarding the questionable behaviour of two civil enforcement officers. Not only did Mr. L dispute the alleged position of the said vehicle, he also vehemently denied driving away. On the contrary he remained in situ waiting for his passenger and observed the civil enforcement officer print out a document and place it in his breast pocket as he photographed the time plate.

- those PCN which arrive in the post are often suspect. The adjudicator's decision shows that there is concern at PATAS about these Regulation 10 PCN in Barnet:

This appeal concerns a Penalty Charge Notice issued under regulation 10(1)(b) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007. This regulation enables a penalty charge notice to be sent by post after a Civil Enforcement Officer has attempted to serve it either by fixing it to a vehicle or giving it to the person appearing to him to be in charge of it, but was prevented from doing do by some person. In his notes at the time, the issuing Civil Enforcement Officer stated that he had told the returning driver that he had got a Penalty Charge Notice and he got into the vehicle and drove away.

In her representations, the Appellant disputed the alleged contravention by reference to a number of matters, in particular that at no time was a Civil Enforcement Officer prevented from issuing a Penalty Charge Notice. The representations were rejected, and the reduced penalty was reoffered for a limited period, but the offer was not taken up. Similar issues were raised on appeal.

A driver removing a vehicle is not "preventing" the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice. The PCN should refer to the ground at Regulation 10(1)(c) of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007, not 10(1)(b).

As the PCN does not correctly state the grounds on which it is issued it is defective and its issue is a procedural impropriety. Indeed strictly speaking it ceases to be a PCN at all in law. So long as the Enforcement Authority issues PCNs in this form, in these circumstances appeals will be allowed and the question of costs may fall to be considered.

- there were a few Saracens Event Day PCN and of course the Traffic Management Order does not define what an "Event Day" is. That mistake is now being corrected but will still take a few weeks during which every Saracens Zone PCN should be appealed.

- a type of PCN that isn't often seen is for selling goods from your van or car. That can be forbidden but people in the street must be told about it by signage. Here is the adjudicator again:

Before reaching a determination in this matter I Adjourned the Case to afford the Enforcement Authority an opportunity to elucidate upon the statement in its letter of 12th November 2013 to the Appellant regarding the motorists' knowledge of the prohibition, and how that is achieved.

Although Article 17 of the Traffic Management Order conveys such a restriction the Enforcement Authority were requested to address the issue of the means by which such prohibition is communicated to the motorist.

In so Adjourning I also asked the Enforcement Authority to address its reference to 'grounds' in correspondence where its consideration can encompass mitigation.

I interpret the absence of reply from the Enforcement Authority as an indication that this Appeal is no longer contested, accordingly I allow this Appeal.

- In Heathfield Rd there was obscured signage
- In Woodstock Avenue the signage was unclear.

Remember that once you have the Notice to Owner there is nothing to lose by making representations and then Appealing to PATAS. The opportunity to pay at 50% has gone and won't come back so make the council work for their money.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

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