Mr Mustard's guide to contesting your parking ticket (Penalty Charge Notice) in the

London Borough of Barnet
which may be of help in other local authority locations. This guide is the personal opinion of Mr Mustard and is provided free of charge and without responsibility on his part. It is impossible to accurately predict the outcome of any particular battle but armed with this Guide you will be better off than before you read it. If you find what you think is an error in this guide, please email mrmustard@zoho.com

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Glossary
Appeal - What you do when filing your Appeal Form at PATAS ATW - Affixed to windscreen CEO - Civil Enforcement Officer ( traffic warden ) Challenge - what you send in to the council within 28 days of a PCN being fixed to your windscreen (or put in your hand) Contravention - the thing you are said to have done wrong CPZ - Controlled parking zone HTD - handed to driver NoR - Notice of Rejection - a letter which rejects the formal representations you made within 28 days of receiving the NtO NSL - NSL Ltd - the private company which issues & processes parking tickets NtO - Notice to Owner PATAS - Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (for London only) PCN - Penalty Charge Notice (parking ticket) Representations - What you do within 28 days in response to a Notice to Owner.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Contesting in 3 easy stages
Technically the first stage is known as an informal challenge, the second stage as formal representations and the third stage as an Appeal.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Contesting is a 3 stage process. 1. informal 2. formal 3. PATAS - the independent adjudicator. Informal challenge Don't be disheartened when the first approach fails - they usually do. You will be offered another 14 days in which to pay at the 50% off rate. Formal representations If you don't send in an informal challenge, or it is rejected, then at some point up to 6 months after the parking ticket was issued you will receive a Notice to Owner. You can then make formal representations or pay the full charge. There is no point in paying at this stage as the PCN value does not increase until 28 days after a PATAS decision and only then if you haven't paid up if you lose. PATAS Stage 3 costs you nothing and costs the council about £40. Every rejected formal representation should be sent to PATAS as it represents an extra chance of winning and if enough people do this the whole system might come grinding to a halt. Currently in Barnet about 3,500 to 5,000 cases a year go to PATAS out of about 150,000 parking tickets. I am told that an employee can only manage to produce 3 or 4 evidence packs a day so currently it takes one member of staff who doesn't manage to do them all. It is a time consuming process and if anything gets missed that must be in the evidence pack, or it arrives too late, then that will be a procedural impropriety and grounds for your parking ticket to be cancelled. If 10,000 cases a year were going to PATAS the system would start to jam up as NSL probably wouldn't be able to divert and train staff quickly enough. If you lose at PATAS you still get the chance to pay the ticket at the full charge before it increases 28 days later by 50% if you don't pay it. A PATAS appeal is just a bit of form filling. You can have the matter dealt with by post but you are possibly more likely to win if you attend the informal hearing in Islington (adjacent to Angel tube station) if it is a case of your word against the traffic warden's sparse notes as the traffic warden will not be there. It is rare for the council to send anyone to appear at PATAS, they rely on their paperwork.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

At the roadside

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

You are about to receive a parking ticket - what should you do? The best advice I can give you is to drive away before the ticket gets affixed to the windscreen or handed to you. If the traffic warden asks you to wait, ignore them and just drive off. Don't get into an argument, just get in your car and go. If there are no photographs of your car with a parking ticket on it that weakens the council's case. The warden may well write in his notes that the parking ticket was HTD, handed to driver, but you will have a convincing argument to rebut that with, the truth. The traffic warden is also expected to make a note of any conversation with you and a description of what you look like. If you say nothing that makes your life easier and if you scarper fast the traffic warden won't have time to write down much other than that you are a man or a woman. What should happen next is that the council go off and look up your details at the DVLA and then post either the PCN (under Regulation 10, a PCN affixed to your vehicle is under regulation 9) or a Notice to Owner to you. They can't always be bothered which means you don't hear anything or they may not do it in time which gives you grounds for appeal. The document they should send you is the parking ticket but if they are pretending to have affixed to the windscreen then you will get the NtO first and lose the opportunity to pay at the 50% discount rate so you might as well argue to the end. If you were ticketed in a shopping street it might be worthwhile to spend £10 getting a video of your visit from the council's cctv record which could support your argument that the PCN was not affixed to the windscreen. You have received a parking ticket - what should you do? Firstly, don't get mad as it doesn't help. Make yourself a cup of tea and look closely at the parking ticket. Does it have all of the correct variable details on it? Is the date correct i.e. is it the day on which the parking ticket was stuck on your windscreen. Is the offence code correct? or is the offence you perhaps actually did commit different to the one that it is believed you committed as even if you made mistake B you can't be given a parking ticket for mistake A. Is the location of the Contravention correct and complete? For a postal PCN, if you didn't find the parking ticket on your windscreen, a description of "High Road" alone is grounds for appeal and if a long road changes name then the council may choose the wrong one and this is grounds for appeal. If your parking ticket is before about 13 December 2012 it will contain invalid wording. See this blog http://v.gd/pcninvalid What you must always do is to act within the timetable set out in every document you receive as if not you become guilty by default even if innocent.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Stages 1,2 & 3

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Stage 1 - Informal challenge. This is the informal stage which is the period inbetween receiving the PCN and the NtO. The first step is to go and look at the photos on the council website. Link to photos If there aren't any that helps (you might need to allow 24 hours for them to appear) as the council will have to rely on the computerised notes of the traffic warden and they are not always clear or comprehensive. If the photos show any grounds for cancellation such as the lines being very faded then save that information as grounds of representation for the next stage. If you click on each photo to enlarge it and then right click you can save the picture to your own computer as a jpg file. Give them new names as you do so. I tend to use your initials plus 1, 2, 3 etc. I suggest you create a sub-directory on your hard disk with the parking ticket number, probably starting AG, as the sub-directory name and you can put all related documents in there. Do the same in your email programme or label each email with the AG number. At this stage I tend to only make a challenge based upon the council's ability to exercise discretion in your favour. You will ask for mitigation, basically a begging letter asking the council to let you off. This could be on the grounds of medical urgency, that the contravention was very minimal, that something went wrong with the pay-by-phone system, whatever you can think of. Be polite, be clear, be concise. Remember that the person reading your letter or email does hundreds of these a week and so what you want to do is to make it easy for them to cancel your ticket. If you can get them on your side then so much the better. It is quite helpful if NSL ignore you at this stage! This is because the parking ticket says that an informal challenge will be considered and so if it isn't that is a point that PATAS should find is a procedural impropriety and cancel your parking ticket. The parking ticket says you can send your appeal to PO Box 197 Lowton Way, Hellaby, Sheffield, S98 1LW. This is where your documents will be scanned by PARSEQ and added to your parking ticket file in the ICES software. Do use the "Signed For" service of Royal Mail. You can also file your challenge on-line using the webform on the council website. I don't like this method as it isn't so easy to keep a copy of what you have sent - webforms hand control to the council so it is probably better not to do this. It doesn't say so on the parking ticket but challenges are also accepted by email to barnet@nslservices.co.uk which is the quickest and cheapest method especially if like me you have a signature set up which adds your name and address to emails. You also need to quote your vehicle registration and the PCN reference in every communication. You can write as often as you like if you think of extra points. The council tell you not to write again but that is not a rule that they have any right to impose. The council have an internal target of 14 days to answer informal challenges which they don't always meet. At some point you will either get a letter refusing to cancel the parking ticket or a Notice to Owner which takes you onto the next stage.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Stage 2 - Formal representations This stage is covered by legislation. The council are obliged to respond within 56 days of receipt and if not done that automatically means by law that your representations have been accepted although the council will probably grind on regardless. That would be grounds to ask for costs from PATAS although they are only awarded very rarely. At this stage you can repeat all of the arguments that have already been rejected as the council have to consider them afresh. Then add in all the other grounds you can think of which will mainly be why you say the contravention did not occur, and any procedural errors that the council have made, such as your parking ticket contains the wrong words (for tickets prior to about 13 December 2012) or the location is wrongly stated. The colour of your car being wrongly stated on the PCN does not matter. Other favourites are that the signs and lines are not clear or that the photograph of the sign is not the one next to your vehicle. Putting into question that the council have shown exactly where your car was and its relationship to the photographed sign might give the council a problem to prove that the contravention occurred once you reach PATAS. For a Controlled Parking Zone you can claim that the zone is not properly signed and then the council will have to prove it was; this applies to tickets given out for parking on a single yellow line which do not have their own time-plate as they are controlled by the signs at the entrances to the zone. In general there should be two, one each side of the road and some are missing e.g. on Barnet Hill near High Barnet tube there has only been one sign for years. My method is to try and find 5 or 6 grounds of representation and then send in my email with numbered paragraphs, one for each point. If the council fail to answer any of them that is a procedural impropriety which should enable PATAS to cancel your parking ticket. Another common error is that the council are not sufficiently precise about the contravention or the location. This on its own may not be enough to convince PATAS, but once there are a collection of small points of doubt, that can tip the whole process in your favour. A description of "High Rd" or "Station Road" could refer to many locations. A lot of parking tickets go missing off windscreens because, possibly, the traffic warden has not put the ticket on the screen in the first place or photographed an empty yellow envelope or removed the whole thing after taking photos. A parking ticket should be "affixed" according to the legislation which is why yellow sticky backed plastic envelopes exist, so that if you do not come back to your car for a week the ticket will still be there, dry and readable. I would appeal that the ticket was not affixed if it was simply tucked under the wiper. I doubt the adjudicator would cancel a ticket for that reason alone but we do need to educate traffic wardens to follow the rules. If your representations are accepted the council might just go quiet. You can check on-line by going to look at the photos again and seeing if the sum due is now £0.00 (Link to photos) If your formal representations are rejected you will be sent a Notice of Rejection which should have with it an appeal form to send to PATAS.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

You can see how to complete the simple Appeal form on this blog post.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Stage 3 - PATAS PATAS do not have any jurisdiction over the exercise of discretion so if the council are not kind to you by not "letting you off" PATAS cannot make them except where there are compelling reasons and even then they can only recommend that the council reconsider. As the council have to put all of your communications in the evidence pack, PATAS will see them anyway. Therefore at this stage you drop the requests to be kind and concentrate on legally acceptable grounds of appeal which are that the contravention did not occur or that there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the council, and there often is. The defective wording of the parking ticket is such an impropriety. Also, until recently, the NtO was defective in that it did not give the date of service of the PCN (this was corrected after Mr Mustard blogged about it in November 12) and that enabled PATAS to cancel parking tickets. This is where you can bring out the Pay By Phone arguments. You need to claim that the signs are unclear and that the instructions are also unclear and incomplete and then the council will have to show that they are adequate. You should also appeal on the grounds that the tall sign with instructions on how to pay is not approved by the Secretary of State as it should be as it is a non-standard sign and not in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The possible grounds of your appeal can be found on the PATAS website here and quickly stated are: contravention did not occur, car not owned by me on that day, someone else put it there without my consent, council asking for wrong amount, vehicle out on hire, council cock-up, Traffic Management Order invalid (very rare this one), PCN served by post when it could have been put on windscreen, already paid it (one would expect this to be sorted already). The PATAS appeal form is straightforward and you can expect a postal hearing after a month, perhaps a bit longer for a personal hearing if your free days are limited. PATAS are independent. The council pays them to hold the appeal hearing and so the independent adjudicator is truly independent; it does not matter to them whether they cancel the PCN or not as PATAS are paid a fixed fee. This is the exact opposite of the council who stand to gain by rejecting your argument. If you attend a personal hearing you are likely to know on the day what the outcome is and if by post you will hear a few days afterwards. You can also look the result up on the PATAS website here. The hearing is informal, although chaired by a legally qualified person with lots of experience in parking legislation, and so is not a daunting prospect for the lay person i.e. you and me and could be treated as an interesting half day out.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Contravention codes and relevant arguments

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Code 1 - Parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours. What you did wrong. More PCN were issued for this alleged contravention in the year to 31 March 13 than any other. This means you were on a single or double yellow line when you should not have been. You cannot park on double yellow at any time on any day. (Christmas Day is the one day on which Barnet Council don’t, at the time of writing this guide, enforce single or double yellow lines; as they do on Boxing Day and at Easter etc) If a single yellow line is inside a CPZ the hours at which you cannot park will be on the CPZ entry signs, like this one, so keep your eyes peeled whilst driving and memorise the times,

unless there is a sign on a pole adjacent to the line which has other times on it, which override the CPZ times. Outside a CPZ there has to be a sign for a single yellow. There is no need for a sign for double yellow lines as they apply at all times. Grounds on which you can contest the PCN: Double yellow: The lines are faded beyond the point of being substantially compliant. You were setting down or picking up passengers. If the passengers were young, old or disabled then you are allowed more time than for the able bodied. You were loading and/or unloading (except where signs and kerb marks indicate that it is not permitted). You were displaying your Blue Badge and clock, there was not a prohibition on loading and you were not parked for more than 3 hours. Single yellow: The lines are faded beyond the point of being substantially compliant. You were setting down or picking up passengers. If the passengers were young, old or disabled then you are allowed more time than for the able bodied. You were loading and/or unloading, except where signs and kerb marks indicate that you couldn’t.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

You were displaying your Blue Badge and clock and there was not a prohibition on loading and you were not parked for more than 3 hours. You were inside a CPZ zone, the single yellow line was not governed by a local time plate, and one of the zone entry signs was missing, damaged or facing the wrong way. The time plate, or CPZ sign, did not forbid parking at the time that the PCN was issued (traffic wardens do make mistakes).

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Code 2: Parked or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and loading restrictions are in force. So this is the same contravention as Code 1 except that waiting (which is a form of parking) is even more restricted; blue badge holders cannot park where loading is not allowed and is a mistake they often make. The loading restriction is required to be indicated by both a sign and marks on the kerb at right angles to the road. Grounds on which you can contest: That there isn’t both a "no loading" sign plate and the kerb marks which should be about 25cm long and are at right angles to the road (roughly a foot long and they should be spaced at 2 to 4 metre intervals so that there is always one alongside your car). That the lines and/or kerb marks are faded beyond the point of being substantially compliant. That you weren’t parked at a time that the restrictions applied (single yellow or less than a 24 hour loading restriction only). Note: It is possible to have a CPZ in which "No Loading" is also shown on the entry sign and prohibits loading throughout the CPZ. I have not seen one of those in Barnet but beware elsewhere.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

5. Parked after the expiry of paid for time. This is for when you are parked on the street. (Code 82 in car parks.) It is clear what you have done. You have parked for longer than you paid for. Check that you haven’t been short-changed by the parking meter or the PayByPhone system. Grounds on which you can contest: It was not a location at which you were required to pay for an initial period of time. There are dual use bays in some of our town centres where you are allowed 15 minutes of free parking. If you stay for 30 minutes and get a PCN for this contravention you have not committed it. It is true that you stayed too long but if you didn’t pay for any time at all then you cannot have parked after the expiry of paid for time. The lines are faded beyond the point of being substantially compliant. The traffic warden did not observe your car for 5 minutes before issuing a PCN. The contract with NSL requires an observation period of 5 minutes. If this was not done then NSL are in breach of contract and the PCN should not have been issued. The council should not profit from breaches of contract by NSL. You had paid for longer but for some reason the parking meter or PayByPhone system gave you a shorter time period than you had paid for. The sign about payment is missing, wrong, damaged or facing the wrong way.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

11. Parked without payment of the parking charge. This will usually be a result of the PayByPhone system not functioning very well. Often you will be in the process of making your payment when the traffic warden gives you a parking ticket. You are allowed a reasonable time to register for the first time and then make payment. It might be that you purchased parking our of a meter and had a receipt which you placed in the windscreen and it blew away or slipped down the windscreen behind the obscured part of it. Grounds on which you can contest: You were in the process of making payment. The council’s contractor Verrus have a full record of all your calls, texts and key presses and can produce them if you ask the council to do so. You had already paid. You paid but the receipt slipped out of sight due to reasons beyond your control. (Produce a copy of the receipt). You paid but the Verrus PayByPhone system recorded an incorrect vehicle registration or parking location. Blame Verrus, you know your vehicle registration number, they don’t and they must have made the error.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

27. Parked adjacent to a dropped footway This was ticketed for nearly 8,000 times in a year. You cannot park next to a dropped footway which has been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway for the purpose of (and this is a cut down version of S.86 Traffic Management Act 2004) (i) assisting pedestrians crossing the carriageway, (ii) assisting cyclists entering or leaving the carriageway, or (iii) assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge; or the carriageway has been raised to meet the level of the footway, cycle track or verge. This is subject to the following exceptions: The first exception is where the vehicle is parked wholly within a designated parking place or any other part of the carriageway where parking is specifically authorised (this can happen inside a CPZ) The second exception is where the vehicle is parked outside residential premises by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises (but not inside a CPZ where there is a single yellow lines across the dropped kerb). This second exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway. The fourth exception is where the vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods to, or collecting goods from, any premises, or is being loaded from or unloaded to any premises, (b) the delivery, collection, loading or unloading cannot reasonably be carried out in relation to those premises without the vehicle being parked as mentioned and the vehicle is so parked for no longer than is necessary and for no more than 20 minutes. The fifth exception is where the vehicle is being used in connection with undertaking any building operation, demolition or excavation, References in this section to parking include waiting, but do not include stopping where: (a) the driver is prevented from proceeding by circumstances beyond his control or it is necessary for him to stop to avoid an accident, or (b) the vehicle is stopped, for no longer than is necessary, for the purpose of allowing people to board or alight from it. Most of the time a dropped kerb is obvious so you should be able to recognise and avoid it. There might be tactile paving (the slabs with dimples on them) for the benefit of the blind which you would not then park alongside. There might be some different coloured paint which highlights the cycle lane although there are not many of those in Barnet. There might be a house or a block of flats and what is obviously a vehicle entry which you will stay well clear of so as not to obstruct a driver’s view.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

There is almost always a dropped kerb at a junction so that pedestrians can cross the road easily especially those pushing a wheelchair or a pram. Park somewhere else for safety’s sake. Grounds on which you can contest: The footway and the carriageway are not level. This is currently the case with the dropped kerb in Western Parade near Barnet Odeon. One cannot expect the pavement and the roadway to be absolutely level to 1mm or less and different adjudicators will take different views on what is more or less level. Mr Mustard suggests taking a photograph with your camera placed on the road to show the height difference at its most realistic. The footway is not lowered for one of the 3 statutory purposes i.e. 1. there is not a dropped kerb on the opposite side of the road, 2. there isn’t a cycle lane there and 3. it isn’t a vehicle entrance. There is a dropped kerb in Grahame Park Way which doesn’t meet one of the 3 purposes but Barnet Council keep issuing PCN there regardless. Outside of a CPZ a council should only enforce a dropped kerb which serves a single household if someone from that property asks them to. If you were visiting a friend or family member and had express or implied permission to park across the dropped kerb ask the council for evidence that enforcement was requested. That request alone may be enough to nudge the council into abandoning the PCN.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Code 62: Parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath or any part of a road other than the carriageway. (Footway parking) This contravention is really best avoided as it is the hardest to overturn. If the place that you plan to park does not look like the road, or private property which is clearly private, being cordoned off in some way, do not park there. Most of the PCN of this type are for people who are untidy in their parking habits and don’t realise they have put a wheel on the kerbstone which is sufficient to warrant a PCN or those people who think they are being helpful in a narrow road by parking with 2 wheels on the pavement to make more room for traffic, except that makes less for prams and wheelchairs. Don’t do it. It is acceptable to narrow a road down to the width of one line of traffic, they can pass in turn. Some pavements are marked out to accommodate part or all of the vehicle on them. There should be clear lines marking out the start and finish and the entire width of the bay. In nonmarked sections you must park wholly on the road even though that may leave your car sticking out as the first one to be hit by passing traffic. Grounds on which you can contest: You did not have a whole wheel on the pavement so the contravention is de minimis (i.e. trivial and the law does not concern itself with trivialities). The road has been marked out for pavement parking in a manner that misleads. At the time of writing (April 14) Gervase Road is such a location and has been for a year or two with traffic wardens still frequently ticketing despite the council knowing the lines are simply not good enough. The road has been exempted from enforcement. Colney Hatch Lane was minuted as one such road in January 2014. The council should publish a list of them in the interests of transparency and fairness. You were parked on the road but your car was knocked there in an accident (whether you saw it or not). You broke down unexpectantly and had to stop there so as not to cause an obstruction. Don’t argue this if the road is really wide.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

What happens if you fail to act or the paperwork goes missing

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Charge Certificates If you do nothing in response to the Notice to Owner you will get one of these documents.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

There are only 2 choices at this stage 1. 2. pay up wait for the Order for Recovery to arrive.

This is what an Order for Recovery looks like.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

If you have no intention of contesting the PCN then it is best to pay it at the Charge Certificate stage (even earlier would have been better but you are where you are) as although the penalty has increased by 50% it is a whole lot cheaper than ending up with a bailiff clamping your car and demanding £400 to £800. You will see that there is a clear date by which you need to act to take your PCN back in time. It is far easier and cheaper to stick to the timetable. This is what a TE3 looks like:

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

Send your form TE3 in by email to customerservice.tec@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk It will be dealt with very quickly, usually before the end of the next business day. You must only tick one box or your application will be rejected. The first box "I did not receive the Notice to Owner/Penalty Charge Notice" could be misunderstood. In this context the form is referring only to a Regulation 10 PCN which was sent to you by post and acts as the Notice to Owner. You can tick this box if you did not get the Notice to Owner. If you wrote to the council in response to a Notice to Owner then this box does not apply. If you did nothing then you might not have received the Notice to Owner and as they are sent by normal post they can easily go astray. The next box "I made representations..." is used when you did write to or email the council in response to the Notice to Owner and did not receive the response (whether or not the council sent it does not matter). This sometimes happens because your representations get put on the wrong file or were lost in the post. Always keep a copy of what you send. The next box "I appealed against the ..." is saying that you sent your Appeal form in to PATAS and then heard nothing. PATAS are efficient and you can look up your PCN on their website at this link here. I don’t expect this to be the case very often. If you send an appeal in to PATAS and don’t get a letter from them within 7 days give them a call on 020 7520 7200. The final box "The penalty charge has been paid..." shouldn’t see much use either. If you pay a PCN and keep getting letters from the council try and sort it out with the council on the phone before this stage and save a lot of bother. If you do tick this box you will be asked to prove payment. If you tick the first box the procedure will be wound back and you will be sent a fresh Notice to Owner and then you will be able to make your formal representations. The opportunity to pay at the 50% rate will have gone but with a good challenge you might not have to pay at all. If you tick the second or third boxes PATAS will ask you to produce the copies of your representations or completed PATAS form (you did keep a copy I hope and proof of posting them would be handy) and then an adjudicator will decide what to do. If you can produce copies of what you sent in then more than likely you will get a chance for a PATAS hearing and will receive the council’s evidence pack to respond to. If you don’t respond to PATAS or can’t produce any evidence of what you say you did you will probably receive a decision without further ado that you have to pay the PCN. If you are out of time (i.e. late) and miss the date on the TE3 you are entering a nightmare land. You will also have to fill in form TE7 (to go with the TE9) explaining why you are late. Saying you forgot will not be acceptable. You need a good reason to explain why you appear to have done nothing. Perhaps the council have your address slightly wrong, or your post goes to a communal area and is regularly stolen or you were in hospital or out of the country for a long time. Whatever the reason it needs to be good and the truth. What happens next is rather one-sided. Your application to be allowed to contest your PCN out of time is sent to the council to consider. They get 19 days to accept or reject and so far I have only ever seen them rejected. If the council decide to reject your application they (NSL on behalf of the council) file a witness statement which from the ones that I have seen completely fail to deal with any issues raised by the motorist. An employee at the TEC, not a Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014

judge, will look at the application, of which there must be hundreds every day, and simply rubber stamp the council’s decision (is what the process appears to be). If the council and TEC turn you down, you can appeal to your local County Court for a District Judge to review the decision. All they are deciding is whether you have a good reason for being late, although on the one Court case that I have attended they started by pointing out the photo of the PCN on the car. That was not in dispute, the receipt of the paperwork was. You can opt for a review of the papers or a hearing in front of a District Judge. It costs more to stand in front of the judge, £80 (at March 14) but is well worth it as your honesty will show through better and you can direct the District Judge to the salient points. The hearing will most likely just be you and the District Judge so isn’t intimidating at all; you can take a friend with you for moral support. If the first that you heard of the PCN was that a bailiff clamped your car you are possibly in for a long wait without any transport as in one case of this kind, that Mr Mustard dealt with, the clamp was applied in June and we only got in front of a District Judge in the November. The car was left to rot in a car pound for 5 months. Seriously, don’t miss any council deadlines, use either barnet@nslservices.co.uk or the online service (a webform which I detest and avoid) or send by post to the address on the council document currently: Barnet Parking PO Box 197 Lowton Way Hellaby Sheffield S98 1LW and use a signed for service as documents have been to be "lost". Don’t misuse the TE9 procedure. If you have missed a deadline, pay that PCN and fight the next one all the way.

Mr Mustard’s guide to contesting a parking ticket - V2.0 - April 2014