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  Solicitors Bude Cornwall   Parking Tickets - 14 Dec 2009 Holsworthy Solicitors

Parking Tickets
  There has been something of a surge in the issue of Parking Notices, not the normal Parking Ticket you get for parking on a double yellow line but something with the grand sounding description of Parking Contravention Enforcement Notice or something similar. Such notices tend to be linked to private car parks and land.

The words “Parking Contravention” and “Enforcement Notice” are clearly used with the intention of trying to persuade the poor motorist that the Notice is an important document and that prosecution will follow if no payment is made. Whilst parking on double yellow lines can result in a fine and prosecution if ignored, the situation is not the same in respect of a notice issueds by the owners of a privately run car park. The owner would, in effect, have to sue for breach of contract in the County Court. Given the amount that will be involved, the claim would be a small claims matter.

The “contract” is that when you drove into the car park and parked the car you accepted the offer to park there on the owner’s terms provided, of course, that they are clearly displayed. So, if you buy a ticket for 1 hour but leave your car parked there for 4 hours you have breached the terms of the contract. The burden of proof would be on the owner to persuade the Court that you had breached the terms of the contract. The claim would be for damages arising from the breach of contract and the owner would have to establish that level of damages to the Court’s satisfaction. Just because the car park has set on a fine/charge of £80 or whatever does not mean the Court would accept that as a reasonable loss to the owner arising from the alleged breach of contract.

The owner of the car park may obtain your details from the DVLA and write to you if you have ignored their Notice. Again, the burden of proof is on them. If you were not driving the vehicle at the time, tell them and that the debt is nothing to do with you. You do not have to tell them who was driving. If you were the driver, then do not admit to that but instead ask them to produce whatever evidence they have which they will rely upon in Court to identify the driver. If they cannot do so, then they should stop pestering you.

Martin Curnow
Head of Litigation, Paul Finn Solicitors
Tel: 01288 356 256
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