10 August 2015

Haringey play Hardball, then No ball

A Charge Certificate is a serious document. You cannot challenge a PCN at that stage, you can only pay up or await the court registration and then try to send the PCN back down the line once you are holding an Order for Recovery.

Sending a Charge Certificate when you are not entitled to is an unlawful demand for payment by a local authority (Adjudicators are quick to cancel PCNs in such circumstances) and would be seen by the man in the street as a Hardball tactic. However Mr Mustard's alter ego has been a debt collector for 28 years and has handled over 500 PCN in 2 years so knows the process inside out and upside down and isn't fazed by Haringey Council playing hardball as he is more than their equal.

Let us run quickly through this case of Miss H.

Postal PCN issued for a no right turn (please don't do this in Highgate High St when you have travelled about 100m south from the double mini roundabout, the camera will get you) on 29 June 2015.

Mr Mustard submitted formal representations (there are no other kind for a postal PCN as you only challenge the local authority once before getting the opportunity to Appeal to an independent adjudicator) by the Signed For service on 8 July 15. They were signed for in Lancing (where the scanner lives) on 9 July.

Going slightly back in the time line, on 6 July representations Mr Mustard had made on another PCN for this client were point blank refused even though Haringey Council had a signed authority letter from the client in both cases.

On 21 July Mr Mustard asked a more senior officer to stop the stupidity of refusing representations by a suitably authorised and experienced representative. This was for a different client, a Miss B, but he asked that representations for this client, Miss H, also be checked. The more senior officer "had a word" with the junior clerk on the Miss B case and doubtless repeated himself clearly on this case. Mr Mustard would have loved to have heard what the more senior officer had to say.

On 4 August Mr Mustard checked the balance on Haringey's computer. It was £65.

Imagine Mr Mustard's surprise when his client sent him a Charge Certificate dated 6 August for £195 which is absolutely impossible.

A procedural impropriety is committed by a council which sends a document it is not entitled to send.

It certainly doesn't make it any better if they can't decide if £130 plus 50% is £195 or £130?

Mr Mustard checked the balance on the council computer again on 9 August and the PCN amount due was by then £0.00 so either the council computer has a mind of its own (or two minds by the looks of it) or an officer with some sense has got hold of the file and tried to quieten Mr Mustard down by cancelling the PCN. There are two more PCN he needs in all fairness to cancel.

Presumably there is a letter of apology and bunch of flowers already on their way to Miss H? There should be after sending such a worrying missive as an illegal Charge Certificate but parking seem to have their own moral code which doesn't include much in the way of morals.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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