How to appeal
If you wish to challenge the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice, your appeal must be put in writing and can be sent either via post or email.
If your appeal is received within 14 days beginning with the date of issue and is unsuccessful the council will generally reinstate the discount payment terms. If your appeal is received after that time the opportunity to pay the reduced charge will be lost.
The appeals process
Following the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) the driver of the vehicle can make an informal challenge to the Council if they believe they have grounds for appeal. The Council will consider the appeal and will either:
- accept the appeal and cancel the PCN. In this case, no payment will be required
- reject the appeal and advise the motorist of the reason why the appeal has been rejected.
If the informal challenge has been rejected by the Council, full details of how the registered keeper can make a formal representation will be stated in the letter. This is the last point at which the 50% prompt payment discount will be accepted.
If payment is not received (either following the issue of the penalty charge notice or after the rejection of an informal challenge) a Notice to Owner will be issued to the person registered at the DVLA as being the keeper of the vehicle.
Following the issue of the Notice to Owner the registered keeper has 28 days to either pay the charge or make formal representations to the council.
The Traffic Management Act 2004 sets out the grounds on which you can make representations. These are the legal grounds for claiming that the PCN was incorrectly issued:
- that the alleged contravention did not occur
- that the recipient:
- (i) never was the owner of the vehicle in question
- (ii) had ceased to be its owner before the date on which the alleged contravention occurred; or
- (iii) became its owner after that date
- that the vehicle had been permitted to remain at rest in the place in question by a person who was in control of the vehicle without the consent of the owner
- that the recipient is a vehicle-hire firm and:
- (i) the vehicle in question was at the material time hired from that firm under a hiring agreement; and
- (ii) the person hiring it had signed a statement of liability acknowledging his liability in respect of any penalty charge notice served in respect of any parking contravention involving the vehicle during the currency of the hiring agreement;
- that the penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case;
- that there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority;
- that the order which is alleged to have been contravened in relation to the vehicle concerned, except where it is an order to which Part VI of Schedule 9 to the 1984 Act(1) applies, is invalid;
- in a case where a penalty charge notice was served by post on the basis that a civil enforcement officer was prevented by some person from fixing it to the vehicle concerned or handing it to the owner or person in charge of the vehicle, that no civil enforcement officer was so prevented;
- that the notice to owner should not have been served because:
- (i) the penalty charge had already been paid in full;
- (ii) the penalty charge had been paid, reduced by the amount of any discount set in accordance with Schedule 9 to the 2004 Act, within the period specified in paragraph 1(h) of the Schedule to the General Regulations.
- (iii) that, whether or not any of those grounds apply, there are compelling reasons why, in the particular circumstances of the case, the enforcement authority should cancel the penalty charge and refund any sum paid to it on account of the penalty charge.
It is the council’s policy to consider all representations received on their own merits, whether or not any of the statutory grounds apply. If you have sufficient grounds - or have presented compelling reasons in the particular circumstances of the case which the council consider merit the exercise of discretion – the Council will cancel the penalty charge notice and no payment will be required.
If the Council rejects the representation and the registered keeper is still not satisfied, they can appeal against the decision to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Service where appeals are heard by an independent adjudicator.
A notice of rejection of representation will be issued by post and only after that has been issued can they appeal to Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
The adjudicator deals with the appeals by post or, if the owner requests, at a personal hearing. The adjudicator's ruling is final and binding on the appellant and the Council. Details of the Adjudication Appeals procedure will be included in the letter of rejection.
Information regarding the appeals process is available on the website for the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for England and Wales.
An order for recovery notice informs the debtor that the penalty charge notice has been registered as a debt at County Court (the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court). Registering the debt incurs court costs and increases the charge by £8.
If you believe you have grounds to file a witness statement a TE9 form should be completed and sent to the Traffic Enforcement Centre. Do not send those forms to the Council.
Out of Time Witness Statements
There may be an occasion when the person named on the warrant of execution is unaware of the penalty charge.
After the issue of the warrant the person named can still file a witness statement but in order to do so they would need to complete an Application to file a Statement Out of Time (form TE7) and a witness statement (form TE9). Both forms can be obtained from the Traffic Enforcement Centre website.
Before filing a witness statement it should be noted that if an applicant makes, or causes to be made, a false statement proceedings for contempt of court may be brought.