24 October 2013

Unconscionable delay but a conscious decision to pursue

Unconscionable - definition: not right or reasonable. 
(and if wholly unreasonable a good ground for claiming costs)

Yet another old PCN given the kiss of life but simply a waste of the motorist's time and the £40 fee that Barnet Council have to pay to PATAS at which the adjudicator wasted no further time:
The allegation in this case is that the vehicle was parked without payment of the parking charge. In her Notice of Appeal submitted in September 2013 and subsequent correspondence Miss T. does not dispute this but says that she has only recently been asked for payment, despite the allegation dating back to 21.05.11. She says that the matter has been considered by Northampton County Court which ordered that the penalty charge be cancelled. The PCN had the serial number 'AG630038621'.

The correct serial number for the PCN in this case is 'AG63003862'. I do not know why the order of Northampton County Court refers to AG63003862 1' but I am not satisfied this is of any significance (Mr Mustard has seen this on another case, perhaps a 1 is put on the end of all references). As the order itself made clear it 'does NOT cancel the original Penalty Charge Notice'. (Indeed, filing a witness statement TE9 puts the PCN back to the beginning).

However, I am concerned at the delay in prosecuting this matter. The Enforcement Authority have provided a chronology which shows that a Charge Certificate was requested by the Enforcement Authority's system on 06.09.11 but that no further step was taken until 16.01.13. The Enforcement Authority have not explained the delay which I am satisfied is unconscionable and accordingly I allow the appeal.
The 2011 PCN still being pursued are the subject of an objection by Mr Mustard to the signing off of the Annual Accounts of Barnet Council by the external auditor. With a continuing number of decisions like this one let's hope that the auditor comes to a sensible decision or the Ombudsman will have to also consider the matter.
Yours frugally
Mr Mustard 

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