23 June 2017

Seven to One

OK, this is 15 but you get the idea
It is the norm for new Appeals to be listed at the tribunal 4 weeks after you submit the Notice of Appeal form. For administrative convenience all of Mr Mustard's cases are listed together so that they can be disposed of with the minimum amount of the tribunal's, and Mr Mustard's time, being taken. It is Mr Mustard's duty, as a professional lay representative (an oxymoron) to assist the tribunal to come to the just decision. Of course, both sides will stress the positive parts of their case and play down the negative aspects but the adjudicator knows and levels up the playing field. If the enforcement authority do not appear he tests arguments they would have made.

Four weeks ago Mr Mustard submitted 7 new Appeals all together in a batch, 2 for TfL and 5 for Barnet Council. A week before if he hasn't received an evidence bundle Mr Mustard goes looking for it and checks the balance on the council computer to see if it has gone to zero. Usually one or two cases get discontinued by enforcement authorities who are either too busy to prepare their case or recognise that it is hopeless, although if that is the reason they should have thrown in the towel at an earlier stage rather than incur a £30 tribunal fee.

Although Mr Mustard had two evidence packs to hand, he ended up with only one live hearing (and a Review, i.e. a second go at the cherry which Mr Mustard had asked for so was always going to go ahead, although he did not get granted a Review in the end, but that is a story for another day).

So here are Mr Mustard's thoughts on the 7 cases.


Barnet Council had forgotten to re-offer the 50% discount in response to a challenge made to the PCN on day 14. That was a nailed on win so the council sensibly cancelled the PCN. Just so you know, if a PCN is issued on 10 June, day 14 is 23 June i.e. add 13 not 14 as the day of issue is day 1.


The motorist had driven away the instant he saw the traffic warden and had been sent a PCN in the post. It was fairly certain that the traffic warden would have been held to have only observed and not to have started preparing a PCN. The council cancelled.


The motorist had paid but not displayed. The alleged contravention was that he had failed to pay. That was an arguable point but the council decided to cancel.


TfL issued a PCN which had a poor description of the location where the PCN was issued. If you do not get the PCN and have to rely on a document which comes in the post then the PCN falls at the first hurdle for lack of clarity. TfL sensibly cancelled when the Appeal was logged. They often do. They have of course tried it on earlier by rejecting the identical representations.


TfL had probably had the PCN back in the post undelivered, a fact which they didn't want aired in public, so they cancelled.


In this case Barnet Council had made a blunder within their evidence pack, no wonder when they can run to 100 pages, and once that was pointed out to management they cancelled the PCN. Fair play to them.


The only case to actually have a hearing. It concerned a motorist turning right out of Oak Grove into Cricklewood Lane. The analysis of the actual Regulations about when you can turn right into a box junction are interesting and Mr Mustard did not have his copy of them to hand so couldn't argue the point, he will have another go on another day:

The PCN was cancelled though because within the Notice of Rejection it does not (currently) say that the tribunal may allow more than 28 days to make your Appeal if there is a good reason (like being hospitalised perhaps) even though it does say that in the notes which come with the letter. Mr Mustard still recommends that you make your Appeal in good time and if you use the on line system it only takes 5 minutes. 

Within the 28 days either pay up or Appeal, do not do nothing as that costs you 50%

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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