13 December 2013

Incredible (but true - only the fact of writing it)

The City Hall of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Mr Mustard has read numerous Case Summaries in Evidence Packs sent to PATAS and copied to the people who are appealing their parking tickets. They often contain the phrase "The Civil Enforcement Officer is a credible witness" which usually gets a hollow laugh from Mr Mustard who has found some cheating by CEOs in his time. Everything written in the case summary must be borne out by actual supporting evidence and it would be quite difficult to prove a CEO was credible without him or her turning up at PATAS and proving it, which never happens. It is a waste of ink to write it.

Unfortunately for Barnet Council, NSL, who write these works of fiction Case Summaries went one further recently when they made the unsubstantiated suggestion that the motorist was not to be believed, which is more or less the same as saying he is a liar. Unfortunately, and rather stupidly, they chose to try this new line out on a man of the cloth with disastrous consequences. Here is what the PATAS adjudicator, Mamta Parekh said (Mr Mustard has not had the pleasure of appearing in front of this adjudicator and looks forward to it happening one day):

Rabbi L. attended the personal hearing listed for today. I found him to be a very honest and credible witness.

He said that it was a very dark and rainy night and he and his passengers parked in Brent Street where he was aware that there were no restrictions on a Saturday evening. He stated that he had not noticed any suspension signs but had nevertheless been willing to pay at the discounted rate, but was unable to do so as he had not received the original penalty charge notice. It must have blown / been washed away in the heavy downpour which may not have happened had the CEO placed the same under the windscreen (wiper?)

He was therefore very aggrieved at the manner in which the local authority failed to take into account his representations and the insulting tone of their correspondence, and which I will refer to further below.

I accept the appellant's evidence that he had not received the original penalty charge notice and that it must have somehow become removed from the vehicle. However this would not affect the appellant's liability for the penalty charge if found to be validly issued.

I have considered the evidence carefully. I am not satisfied that the suspension sign was adequate. It would appear that the contents of the suspension sign were written in pen which writing also appears to have washed away in the rain so that the contents are no longer legible. I am therefore not satisfied that the contravention did occur and allow this appeal.

I would add that I am somewhat shocked at the local authority's correspondence where they say that the appellant is not a credible witness without any foundation whatsoever to make such a comment, and which has caused considerable offense (sic) to the appellant who is a Minister of Religion. The Adjudicator has the opportunity to hear live evidence upon which to make judgments as to credibility. It is not for the local authority to make such comments and I do not expect to see such language or conduct from the local authority again.

This is a sign of desperation creeping in. Barnet Council (NSL) are obliged to consider your representations fully & fairly, with an open mind, even handedly and without thinking about the money they won't collect if they cancel. Instead they write letters which are designed to put you off from appealing.

Let's hope that the above Barnet Council / NSL letter was indeed a one-off. If however you, dear reader, have such a letter then Mr Mustard would be pleased to see it and to assist you with your appeal to PATAS and he would suggest that we specifically ask for the case to be listed in front of the same adjudicator. Won't that be fun apart from the fact that you have been called a liar and a cheat. Together, we can make the council eat their words and some humble pie.

That washed away suspension sign argument might be one you could use as well, if it happens to you.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

No comments:

Post a Comment

I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.