Parking Charge Advice UK
Going To Court
Going To Court
It is unlikely, that a parking fine firm will take you to court, and will often hope all the letters they send you will scare you into paying.
However they may take you.
If you get any court letters, never ever ignore them, and reply.
If you ignore these letters, the parking firms will often win automatically, and one suspects that is the aim.
It is also important that you keep all documents/letters sent to you, including the parking ticket.
Remember, this is a civil matter about money (you cannot go to prison for debts these days). Also it is for the parking firm to prove the case.
It is also reported that even if you go to court the parking firm often do not bother to turn up and you will probably win due to this. A few years ago I won a speeding fine because the police did not bother to turn up to court.
Also you can claim some expenses if you win from the parking firm (such as travel and so on).
When I have been for such cases, it was at the local court and in a small room with me, the judge and the representative of whoever had taken me to court. It is not scary.
Before you go to court, you are entitled to ask for evidence from the other side, that should be sent to you 14 days (I believe) before you go to the court itself.
Things you may wish to ask for:
A copy of all letters sent to you – It may be this is the first you have heard about any fine. Most parking firms do not register letters sent to you. It may even be they have never sent you a single letter.
A contract with the land owner – Do the parking firm even have permission from the lad owner to hand out tickets, as they may have had no authorisation to hand tickets out. I have heard some parking firms seeing parking signs on land and putting tickets on cars, knowing most people would not know it is a different firm operating.
Evidence that the land owner, in fact owns the land – A few years ago, an owner of a building thought he owned the car park space and had a parking firm operate on it. It turned out the land belonged to someone else.
They may say that they will not send you a copy but bring it to the courts. If they do that, personally I would dismiss this evidence as you have the right to see a copy of the documents 14 days before the trial.
I have a problem with the automatic cameras that record you going on then off the land, as I have known people go on and off a few times that day, but the cameras have recorded them staying all day, even though they were well under the time limit each time.
Also they are not recording you parking, but simply going in and out. So you may have parked under the time limit, but due to traffic leaving, this may mean you simply go over the time limit. Or you may have driven to get petrel (as supermarkets tend to have a petrol station on the land) as you leave, and that time gets included.
When you do not get a ticket on the day, but a fine later. This to me puts you at a disadvantage as the parking firm, may not at the time have signs up, but put them up next day. So if you go back to take pics as evidence, you can not prove your case.
See also: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27/pd_part27