Penalty Charge Notice procedures

These are the stages of the enforcement process of a Penalty Charge Notice.

Penalty Charge Notice

This is issued by the Civil Enforcement Officer when a vehicle is parked against the regulations. The PCN can be attached to the vehicle or handed to the driver (if the driver returns to the vehicle). The cost of the PCN will depend on the contravention. The driver of the vehicle now has two options- to appeal the PCN or pay the PCN. If the driver wishes to pay the PCN it will be a reduced price for the first 14 days before the price will increase to the full amount. For information on how to pay your PCN please see the How to Pay section. If the driver wishes to appeal against the ticket, at this stage it is making informal representations.

Making informal representations

When making informal representations against a ticket, this must be done in writing, in the form of a letter or email. An informal appeal can be accepted from anyone regarding a PCN, whether it be the driver of the vehicle or the registered keeper of the vehicle. When appealing against a PCN, please quote your PCN number or vehicle registration number on any correspondence. An appeal must be received within 14 days of the ticket being issued. Once correspondence regarding the ticket has been received in the office, the case will be place on hold at the reduced price while the case is being assessed. All points raised in an appeal are assessed and considered in full, the photographs and pocket book notes that the CEO has taken at the time of issuing the ticket will also be considered. Once a decision has been made on the outcome of your appeal, a written response will be given. If the PCN is to be cancelled this will be detailed in the response, if the PCN remains to be paid, then the discount time will be extended for a further 14 days.

If no payment or representations are received within 28 days of the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice, then the Council request the name and address of the registered keeper of the vehicle from the DVLA and a Notice to Owner is sent.

We have discretionary powers to cancel a penalty charge notice at any point of the Civil Parking Enforcement Process. The document below provides guidance about how this discretionary power is exercised.

Guidance on the excercise of discretion when considering representations.

Notice to Owner

The Notice to Owner is issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle, in accordance with the Traffic Management Act, 2004. Although the registered keeper of the vehicle may have not been driving the vehicle at the time, they still remain liable for the charge. The Notice to Owner gives the registered keeper details on how to pay the PCN or alternatively make formal representations. The grounds to make representations include:

  • The contravention did not occur.
  • You were not the owner of the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued.
  • The vehicle was parked by someone in control of it without the owners consent.
  • The vehicle is owned by a hire firm who have supplied the name and address of the hirer.
  • The penalty exceeded the amount applicable in this case
  • There has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the Enforcement Authority.
  • The Traffic Order concerned is invalid.
  • The Penalty Charge has already been paid.

Making formal representations

When making formal representations to the Council, it must be in writing. This can be done by completing page 4 of the Notice to Owner or alternatively via a letter or email. The representations should include the reasons for the appeal explained fully and clearly, and should include copies of any relevant documents or additional evidence (e.g. if you have sold the vehicle, include proof of sale). Your representations must be received within 28 days of the issue of the Notice to Owner. The Council will consider all appeals received and will issue a Notice of Acceptance or a Notice of Rejection in response to your appeal.

Notice of Acceptance

A Notice of Acceptance states that the representations have been accepted by the Council, the Penalty Charge Notice will be cancelled and no further action will be taken.

Notice of Rejection

A Notice of Rejection is issued when the representations have been rejected by the Council, the registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a formal letter explaining why the representations have been rejected and this letter also gives details on how to pay the Penalty Charge Notice or appeal to the Independent Parking Adjudicator. If the registered keeper of the vehicle wants to appeal to the adjudicator this can be done by completing the form which will be enclosed with the Notice of Rejection or can be done online using the individual pin code detailed within the Notice of Rejection. The appeal to the adjudicator must be made within 28 days of the service of the Notice of Rejection.

Independent Parking Adjudicator

The Independent Parking Adjudicator is based at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

The Adjudicator decides on cases issued by Civil Enforcement Authorities.

The appeals procedure is a statutory process by virtue of the Traffic Management Act 2004 and must be followed by all parties concerned.

To appeal to the adjudicator you must have been issued with a Notice to Owner and sent formal representations to the council. Only when a Notice of Rejection is issued, is a case able to be logged with the Adjudicator.

The final stage of appealing against a Penalty Charge Notice is an appeal to the Independent Adjudicator. The Adjudicator is the highest authority to appeal to. The Adjudicator is your equivalent to a day in court. It allows the registered keeper of the vehicle to put their case forward to an independent body.

An appeal to the Independent Parking Adjudicator is not a continuation of previous correspondence with the Council but a new process.

When an appeal is logged with the Adjudicator, it must be the registered keeper of the vehicle who logs the appeal (called the appellant).

The adjudicator’s decision is final and both parties must adhere to the decision which is made.

The Adjudicator will consider evidence which is submitted by both the Council and the appellant.

An Adjudication hearing can be via:

  • Post: the Adjudicator will base their decision on evidence submitted by the appellant and the Council and will make a decision- both parties will be informed by post.
  • Telephone: both parties will submit evidence to the adjudicator. Then on a pre arranged day the Adjudicator will hold a telephone conference call with both parties and allow them to put their case forward. The Adjudicator will make a decision and inform both parties. The Adjudicator will then confirm the decision via post.
  • Personal: the appellant will attend a hearing on a pre arranged day at the location of the appellants choice (given from a list of selected locations from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal cannot guarantee your selection will be available, but will take them into account when arranging the hearing). The council can send a representative if they wish, however it is important to note that it is unusual for a Civil Enforcement Officer to attend a hearing. Once the Adjudicator has made a decision, this will be communicated at the end of the hearing, a confirmation of the decision will also be sent in the post.

The adjudication hearing is informal and you do not need a lawyer to represent you.

For further information please visit the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.

The Council is a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication and Joint Committee.

Charge Certificate

A Charge Certificate is issued, if the Council do not receive payment within 28 days of the Notice to Owner being issued, or if no correspondence is received within these 28 days. A Charge Certificate will also be issued when no appeal is logged with the Adjudicator or payment received within 28 days of the Notice of Rejection, or where no payment has been received within 28 days after an adjudicator has decided to uphold the PCN. A Charge Certificate is issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The cost of the PCN will increase by 50%. When the Charge Certificate is issued the registered keeper has lost the right to appeal.

Order for Recovery

If after 28 days of the issue of the Charge Certificate payment has not been made to the Council, the Council will register it as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre, which is based at Northampton County Court. The County Court will authorise for the Council to draw up an Order for Recovery, this will be served to the registered keeper of the vehicle, along with a Witness Statement. These forms are also known as TE3/TE9 forms. The price of the Penalty Charge will increase by £8.00. If the Penalty Charge Notice is not paid, then the Council can apply to the court for a Warrant of Execution to transfer the debt to a Bailiff. The registered keeper of the vehicle can choose to make a Witness Statement to the Traffic Enforcement Centre on limited grounds.

Witness Statement

There are limited grounds in which a registered keeper of a vehicle can make a Witness Statement to the Traffic Enforcement Centre, these are:

  • You did not receive the Penalty Charge Notice or the Notice to Owner
  • You made representations to the Enforcement Authority concerned within 28 days of the Notice to Owner and didn’t receive a Notice of Rejection.
  • You appealed to the adjudicator against the Enforcement Authorities decision but have had no response.
  • You had paid the Penalty Charge in full

A Witness Statement can only be made against one of the reasons outlined. The completed Witness Statement must be sent to the Traffic Enforcement Centre within 21 days of the issue of the Order for Recovery. It is a criminal offence to make a false Witness Statement. The Council will then receive directions from the Traffic Enforcement Centre on how to proceed with the enforcement of the Penalty Charge Notice.

If a Witness Statement is submitted based on not receiving the Penalty Charge Notice or the Notice to Owner, the Charge Certificate and Notice to Owner are then cancelled and a new Notice to Owner is issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle to allow representations to be made. For any other grounds, the Witness Statement is referred to an Adjudicator who will decide the appropriate way to proceed.

PLEASE NOTE: THE ORIGINAL PENALTY CHARGE IS NOT CANCELLED.

 

Bailiffs

If no payment is received or a Witness Statement accepted within 28 days of the issue of the Order for Recovery, the Council can apply to the Traffic Enforcement Centre for a Warrant of Execution. This will give the Council the authority to transfer the debt to a Bailiff.

At this stage the debt no longer belongs to the Council and is a debt with the Bailiff, and the Bailiff should be contacted directly for any information regarding the Penalty Charge Notice. The cost of the PCN will increase as the Bailiff adds on extra charges.

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