Sunday, 18 September 2016

London Tribunals - Jan 16 - in the dark

In January 2016 the usual balance between the council and the motorist was found. Of the decided cases the motorist won 80 of them and the council 79 so that is almost as near to 50/50 as you can get.

There was only one case which presented any real interest.

The allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway. Mrs. M disputes this, stating that all the wheels were ‘on the road’ and nowhere near the pavement. She says that she is a disabled badge holder and parked on a single yellow line by virtue of the disabled badge.

Since 1974 there has been a London-wide prohibition on ‘footway parking’. The Highway Code advises that

‘You MUST NOT park anywhere partially or wholly on the pavement in London…’

The precise definition has been amended on several occasions and is presently expressed so that the contravention occurs if the vehicle is parked ‘with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than a carriageway’. As the prohibition applies across London, there is no requirement for signage at any particular location.

The Enforcement Authority have provided photographs taken by the Civil Enforcement Officer which show the vehicle parked partly on a single yellow line. The single yellow line implies carriageway, although there are other features which might imply a vehicle crossover. It may be that Mrs. M has been fortunate on this occasion and I do not find that the vehicle was parked legally. However, it is the Enforcement Authority who must prove their case and on the evidence I have seen I am not satisfied that the contravention occurred. Accordingly I allow the appeal.

February might be a little more interesting.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

London Tribunals - December 15 - Costly

Image result for vomitorium
Improve your Latin

In December 15 there were 100 Barnet Council cases which ended up as allowed or refused. The motorist only won 43. Barnet Council are on a roll. A 50/50 split is the average outcome across London.

Only two non-routine cases.

Costs are rarely awarded.

I allowed this appeal on 31/07/15 following a personal hearing.

(The local authority do not deny that they received this payment but say in their case summary that the Appellant has not provided any evidence that this payment was for the vehicle the subject matter of the contravention.

The local authority having accepted that a payment was received should be able to trace from their records what the payment relates to and whether or not they incorrectly failed to credit the payment to the Appellant's vehicle.

In addition they should have explained why they were rejecting the Appellant's representations that a payment had been made, as not being valid, in their Notice of Rejection. Instead they have merely informed the Appellant that the evidence is not sufficient without any explanation as to why or what evidence the Appellant was expected to produce.

Considering the evidence carefully I am not satisfied that the contravention did occur or that the local authority have addressed the Appellant's representations properly.)

The Appellant has now applied for an order for costs and expenses to be made against the authority on the basis that their conduct in rejecting her original representations and resisting this appeal has been frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable. The Authority have been sent copies of everything submitted, and have been requested to make any representations as to why an order for costs should not be made. They have not responded.

I allow the appellant's costs in the amount claimed of £54

Barnet Council are often disrespectful in not replying to tribunal correspondence. perhaps a cost order will make them more polite.

Don't drive before you vomit

The Appellant does not deny the contravention as such, but claims the exemption that he was unable to move his vehicle because of circumstances beyond his control - that his passenger, his wife who was pregnant, felt sick and he had to pull over, into what was in effect the middle of the road in a hatched area, where she vomited as seen by the civil enforcement officer.

The burden is upon the Appellant to prove this exemption that amounts in effect to a medical emergency. Clearly, the driver feeling unwell can be such an emergency as it could prevent a driver driving a vehicle safely. Where the feeling unwell is of a passenger, if it is not life threatening (requiring immediate medical attention), it is more difficult for this exemption to apply as in most cases the driver could have pulled over where it was legal to park as he was not prevented by sickness from driving.

In any event, the burden is upon the Appellant to establish that he is entitled to the exemption.

The civil enforcement officer recorded the following: driver returned after pcn was printed icO male 30’s 1.70m medium build he asked me to delete the pictures, his wife icO female 30’s . 1.70m medium build

she said she is pregnant and she came out from the back seats

after pt, pcn printed, awc, nbbv, nlul, pt, vda

I am not persuaded that the passenger became ill as he suggests, but even if I am wrong and she was, the exemption does not apply because the driver did not have to stop where he did double yellow line as the sickness was not an emergency in the sense of a serious illness requiring immediate medical attention.

In these circumstances, this appeal must be refused

You must tell the tribunal the truth otherwise you lose.

Gosh, we'll be in 2016 soon.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

London Tribunals - November 15 - Bleeding Hell

Sorry for the delay, just so many things to do.

In November 2015 there were 101 decided Appeal cases by independent adjudicators at the tribunal for Barnet Council.Of those the motorist only won 45% (45 in fact) and so Barnet Council had a better month than usual.

There were four unusual cases and part of the text of the decisions is repeated here.

Medical Emergency

I have considered the evidence in this case and I find that the Appellant stopped his vehicle due to a medical emergency over which he had no control.

I find that it was necessary for him to stop to check his bleeding to determine whether he could continue driving or required an ambulance, in case he was bleeding too profusely and could pass out whilst driving.

You do have to wonder why Barnet Council, or its contractor NSL, saw fit to fight this PCN to the end.

Wilful blindness

Mrs T explains that between the evening of 27 May and 08:30 on 28 May her car was stolen. She provides supporting evidence of that. She has a crime number from Hertfordshire police. She has evidence of a tax refund. LV Insurance have acknowledged that she is liable to receive an insurance claim in respect of the vehicle having been written off following an incident on 28 May 2015. There is an email from a Hertfordshire Police officer to Barnet parking services requesting details of the contravention.

Barnet council has been unable to verify the police reference number. However, given the totality of the evidence I am satisfied that although Mrs T was the registered keeper of the car on the day of this contravention, it had been stolen prior to the contravention and was being used without her consent. I allow the appeal.

Quite rightly, due to data protection, the police cannot tell Barnet Council or NSL anything about a reported crime without the consent of the registered keeper, when it is a mere civil contravention, a PCN, that is in question. It is wrong of the council or NSL to even phone the police.

How to turn a £1 into £56

The allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours. Mr P does not dispute this but says that he paid the reduced amount of £55 demanded of him in coin of the realm. He argues it would not be logical for him to pay £1 short.

In this case the Enforcement Authority have provided a copy of a cheque payment. Logical or not the cheque is for the sum of £54. It follows that, as payment of £55 was not made within the discount period, the Enforcement Authority are entitled to insist on payment of the full penalty charge of £110 and that the balance to pay is £56.

Legally correct but utterly mean & miserable.

Easier said than done.

The motorist is expected to manage the need for a toilet. The motorist who fails to stop in good time cannot rely on that failure to park in contravention when the need for the toilet becomes pressing. It would only be in exceptional circumstances that the need to use a toilet would provide an exemption from parking restrictions.

A question that comes up quite a lot. The need to spend a penny, or two, might cost you £110 in Barnet. You'll be less flush.

A report on the next month, hopefully, coming along soon.

Yours appealingly

Miss Feezance