Tuesday, 29 September 2015

PATAS - June 15

East Finchley High Road
I have moved on to monthly reports as the number of cases going to Appeal seems to be dropping. Barnet are still causing more than their fair share (of 4%) and losing more than the average 50%

Long may their win rate be so low.

All the following were circumstances in which the motorist had their PCN cancelled.

The Saracens Event Day zone. The council got a drubbing over writing that people should check the Internet before you drive to see if it is an event day. Signs weren't proven, the existence of the zone or it even being an Event Day so these are all good grounds on which to challenge. The council nearly always lose Saracens cases if they are put to proof. There were at least 10 cases in June but that is as to nothing compared to the number of PCN issued.

A motorcycle was moved. It is hard for a motorcyclist to stop this from happening unless the bike is chained to something but it does mean that there is a valid reason why the contravention did not occur.

Unloading to the third floor would easily lead to a PCN as the warden drops out of the sky (or so it seems) on a scooter, issues a PCN and then zooms away. As long as you have some documentary proof of your loading or unloading you are at least halfway to a cancellation.

The new Orange bays for permit holders in some North Finchley Car Parks have mostly led to cancellations on the grounds of the lack of clarity of the signs. At least 4 PCN were cancelled for this reason in June.

Cones in a suspended bay. They could easily be moved and are not a recognised way to delineate the suspended area.

Two cases of car cloning which ought to be obvious to the council before the tribunal stage.

If you breakdown and then get your car repaired you do not have to use a vat registered garage. The council's insistence on a vat invoice is misplaced. If you use a one man band, that is Ok as long as you have a bona fide invoice.

The council wrote that "they do no accommodate unusual or mitigating circumstances". How unusual something is is a matter of opinion but if it is relevant to your parking the council must consider it as also they must consider mitigation.

The traffic warden condoned the parking and then sent a parking ticket through the post. they can't.

The common error of paying for the wrong location usually leads to trouble. In this case both locations were in the East Finchley High Road and so the adjudicator allowed the Appeal and cancelled the PCN.

Keep those Appeals coming. I'll keep writing monthly reports with tips and hints.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

PATAS - w/c 25 May 15 - Capita could learn ....

I must apologise for the gap in the blogging brought about mostly by the transformation of PATAS into London Tribunals which led to the register not being available for a few weeks. I will catch up asap.

Here are the stats for the week in question:

so as you can see Barnet were responsible for more than their fair share of new Appeals and contrived to lose more of them than the usual 50%.

There were four cases of note, which all led to the PCN being cancelled:

-  A dropped kerb was not proven

-  The Saracens Event Day Zone was not proven (the council struggle with this)

-  3 spaces in a bay were suspended. The bay had space for 4 cars; the 3 which were suspended was not made clear.

- My favourite, this one, in the words of the adjudicator;

The Appellant's vehicle was parked in a restricted street displaying a badge that had expired and a fairly detailed note explaining that the badge was in the process of being renewed.

Despite that note I would not criticise the CEO for issuing the PCN ( as motorists cannot write themselves exemptions from parking restrictions). However it transpires that the reason there was no valid badge on display is that the Council's agents Capita, had failed to issue him with one at the proper time.

Having heard the Appellant in person in detail there is no doubt at all that the sorry history of his attempt to renew the badge in very good time is correct; and that his request to Capita for the required renewal forms was, as he was informed by Capita when chasing the matter, "lost in the system". When the forms were eventually received on a Saturday morning, he completed them and put them in the post that same morning.

It appears that Capita could learn something from the Appellant's efficiency. 

The Council states that the Appellant should have applied for a temporary dispensation. He was never informed of this by the Council when he made his initial renewal enquiry or at any subsequent stage by the Council's agents Capita. All he was told to do was to display a note, which he did. In my judgement in these circumstances the law follows common sense and does not allow a Council to enforce a penalty for a contravention which occurred entirely as a result of its own failings (Capita being the agent of the Council for these purposes). Allowing it to do so would be the equivalent of an abuse of process and in these circumstances no contravention can be said to have occurred (see the dicta in Camden v The Parking Adjudicator and BHS t/a First for Food Service Ltd [2011] EWHC 295 Admin [2011]EWCA Civ 905) 

The Appeal is therefore allowed.

The Appellant has shown to me today a charge certificate issued in respect of a very similar case, and where he never received a Notice to Owner. He has of course the right to follow the statutory procedures to set this aside. I am not seized of that matter today. However, if it is the case that the situation in that case is indeed identical, the Council might be well advised to cancel that PCN without further ado, since if the matter ever came to appeal it might well find itself at risk of an order for costs on the Appeal being allowed.

Keep those Appeals coming.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance