During the time I was a driver I racked up over 18 parking “fines”, I can remember only 18 but I know there have been more…they kind of all blur into one over time. Of those “fines” I only ever paid the first one, because I didn’t at that point understand the way they work. Yet I have never been taken to a magistrate’s court or prosecuted for it in any way. The reason for this is that I don’t fight them….I embrace them and accept them.
Because all parking charges are illegal!
Whenever I tell people this they tend to think I’m a bit mental and I suppose I am a bit…but it doesn’t mean I’m not right.
I have a document that can be downloaded from here that will twist the council into a knot so tight they can’t escape without admitting the truth or breaking the law.
This isn’t about fighting the system because frankly the system is so heavily stacked against you that if you try in almost all cases the system will beat you into the ground. This is about getting the system to fight against its self by using it to your advantage.
This is a tactic I have used against 3 separate local councils countless times and I have always won.
From now on I’m going to refer to the parking charge notice as a PCN.
PLEASE NOT THAT THESE STEPS ARE FOR PARKING CHARGES FROM A LOCAL COUNCIL AND NOT A CHARGE FROM A PRIVATE PARKING COMPANY, IF YOU GET ONE OF THOSE JUST TREAT IT LIKE A DEBT AND FOLLOW THE STEPS IN MY BLOG ABOUT CRUSHING DEBT.
OBVIOUSLY I’M NOT QUALIFIED TO GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE.
Ok so that’s the usual disclaimer out of the way now let’s bust some myths.
A PCN is not a fine, a bill or a demand. It is an offer to discuss the notice with which you have been served, if you ignore it then you are accepting the views the notice expresses, namely that you owe the council money, this is why they always give you a deadline which legally they have to, once the deadline expires you have by not replying accepted that the notice is true and valid. Once you do that then you are liable for prosecution if you don’t pay.
So to fight back you answer the notice by discharging a notice of your own. Here is the letter template to download, just fill in the blanks with your details and away you go, print a copy for yourself also and keep it. Please note that you must send this by recorded delivery so that they have to sign for it and can’t deny that they have received it.
This document is very powerful, very threatening yet very polite all at the same time, this letter warns not try and use the 2007 road traffic act as it is not valid (and it isn’t). The document reminds them of the common law regarding the nature of this PCN and questions the authority of the person issuing it to do so. The last page of the document is a legal affidavit (they have to fill that part in so send it to them blank) for them to sign stating that the PCN is lawful, they won’t sign it of course because they know it isn’t lawful and by signing it they would be seriously incriminating themselves. More importantly you aren’t denying the possibility that you may be liable to pay the charge, you are just asking for proof that it is legal (which is your legal right). The document ends by offering to deal with their claim at a charge of £750…and of course you want the money up front ;-)
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU JUST SENT THE COUNCIL A CHARGE NOTICE…..SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT
The Council can’t prosecute you because there is no conflict to the PCN, you are conditionally accepting it once you have proof it is legal. You satisfied the legal requirement to respond to their notice and now the emphasis is on the council to satisfy the notice you sent them
So now the council can either admit that all PCN’s are not lawful (they won’t do that) or they can break the law and continue to pursue you for the money in which case you can bring a private prosecution against them….contact me if you want to do this and I’ll talk you through it (it’s easier than you think).
Different councils operate differently so the response you get is generally a variation on the same sort of thing
I have used this method against Wakefield council, Hull city council and Leeds city council the response has always been the same…a weak computer printed letter stating they will pass my letter on to their legal department and be in touch…nothing was ever heard again. The only thing they really can do is try to fob you off because if they quash the charge they are admitting defeat so they choose these silly face saving letters instead.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE JUST BEAT THE COUNCIL
If in the very very unlikely event that they send back some form of garbage refusing to drop the matter I have included a second document hitting them harder and also ending with a second affidavit. Send them again by recorded delivery with the affidavit blank.
There really is no way out for them now.
Parking charges are not about traffic management or rules of the road…they are nothing but a racket to extort money from average people and we already fund them by paying council tax so why the hell should we give them more ?