Penalty charge notices - appeals

Public notice

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After you have received a penalty charge notice (PCN) you may:

If you object to your PCN but the objection is not successful, or if we receive no contact or payment, we may then issue a Notice to Owner (NTO).

On receipt of an NTO, you then have the option to submit a formal representation to us, if you feel that the PCN should be cancelled.

If we reject your representation, we will issue a Notice of Rejection (NOR). You then have 28 days from when we issued the NOR to make an appeal.

We do not deal with appeals. They will be considered by the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT).

To make an appeal, you must complete the form that is included with your NOR and send it to the TPT.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal

The TPT is a legal tribunal that gives motorists an opportunity to appeal to an independent body against the issue of a PCN.

The independent adjudicator (experienced lawyers whose appointment has to be approved by the Lord Chancellor) will consider your appeal and make a decision that is binding on both you and us.

Impartial lawyers consider appeals by people who:

  • have been issued with penalty charge notices
  • have had their vehicles removed or clamped

They look at evidence provided by all parties and make a fair and reasonable decision on whether the PCN should be enforced.

The service is free to you, funded by councils who each contribute towards running costs.

Grounds for appeal

An appeal can be made on one or more of 8 statutory grounds:

  • the contravention did not occur
  • the vehicle was taken without my consent
  • I was not the owner at the time the contravention occurred
  • we are the hire firm and have supplied the name of the hirer
  • the penalty exceeded the relevant amount
  • the Traffic Regulation Order was not valid
  • there has been a procedural impropriety
  • the penalty charge has already been paid

An adjudicator may only allow an appeal if one of these statutory grounds applies.

Where a contravention has taken place but the adjudicator considers that we should have used our discretion to cancel the PCN, the adjudicator may refer the case back for us to reconsider. Such cases are directed to the office of our Chief Executive to ensure that the case is given proper consideration on the facts presented and without any preconceptions.

We must reach a decision within 35 days from the adjudicator's decision. If we do not reach a decision within this period, we are deemed to have accepted the adjudicator's recommendation and must cancel the PCN.

We must consider the reasons given by the adjudicator for their recommendation. If we do not accept the recommendation we must notify the adjudicator and you of the reasons for our decision.

What happens when you appeal

When they receive your appeal, the TPT staff will make some basic checks. If everything is in order it will be registered as a formal appeal. After this, a number of things will happen:

  • you will be sent formal acknowledgement that your appeal has been received and registered
  • if you have asked for a postal decision, you will be notified of when your appeal is due to be decided
  • we will be notified that an appeal has been lodged
  • we will be given 21 days to submit our evidence
  • we will also submit a copy of this evidence to you

If you have asked for a personal appeal, the TPT staff will schedule it for the next appropriate hearing at the venue of your choice. They will give you at least 21 days notice of the date, time and venue location.

Postal hearings

In a postal appeal the adjudicator will consider the appeal based solely on the written evidence supplied by all parties.

A written decision will be sent to both parties, normally within a week of the case being decided.

Personal hearings

Personal hearings normally last about 20 minutes and are held in an independent premises. There are many different venues throughout England and Wales and you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

In common with most other legal proceedings, parking appeals are open to the public. Anyone may attend as an observer, although this is rare. We may choose to send a representative although we may instead rely on their written submission alone.

Personal appeals are relatively informal. They are normally attended just by the adjudicator and our representative. You will have the opportunity to put your case to the adjudicator and answer any questions they ask you. Although you are not required to give evidence under oath, all parties are reminded of their duty to tell the truth at all times.

You may choose to bring a relative or supporter with you to a personal appeal. Witnesses may also attend. Due to the informality of the proceedings, legal representation is rarely necessary.

Receiving a decision

The adjudicator will notify you of the decision and the reasons for it. If the case has been decided by postal evidence all parties will receive a written decision, normally within 7 days of the decision being made.

At the end of a personal hearing, the adjudicator will usually give their decision there and then. This decision is confirmed in writing to all parties, normally within 7 days.

If you lose your appeal, you must pay the charge within 28 days of the adjudicator's written decision. If you fail to do so, we may continue enforcement proceedings against you.

Challenging the adjudicator's decision

The grounds on which an adjudicator's decision may be challenged are limited. Simply feeling unhappy with the decision is not grounds for a challenge.

A review of the decision may be granted if, for example, it is believed that an adjudicator may have wrongly interpreted or applied the law, or new evidence has come to light.

Such instances are extremely rare and either party must apply for a review within 14 days of the adjudicator's decision.

The only other challenge to an adjudicator's decision would be by application for judicial review in the High Court.

Claiming costs

The adjudicator has the power to consider an application for costs from either party. However this is extremely rare and if costs are ever awarded, the sums involved are modest.

Parking and Traffic Regulations outside London (PATROL)

We are a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee which publishes an annual statement of accounts which is subject to external audit.

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