The parking adjudication service is the last stage of appeal against a penalty charge notice in the United Kingdom. The service is established by law, is impartial, independent of civil control and its decisions are final and binding on both parties. Latest records in the UK show that almost 70% of all parking appeals taken to the adjudicator are decided in favour of the motorist.
What is the UK Adjudication Service
An appeal to the parking adjudicator is only permitted after a formal representation (response to a Notice to Owner) against a penalty charge notice has been rejected by a local authority via a Notice of Rejection. Rejection of an informal appeal (pre-Notice to Owner) does not confer a right of appeal to the adjudication service. There are two separate adjudication services in England and Wales. They are –
- The Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (Serving the Greater London Region)
- The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (serving England, outside London, and also Wales)
Both bodies are judicial entities staffed by qualified lawyers with at least 5 years post qualification experience. Their legal authority is derived from Part IV of The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007 and The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) Representations and Appeals Regulations 2007.
A parking adjudicator will consider evidence from both the motorist and local authority and the verdict will be determined by what is known in legal parlance as the balance of probabilities.This is a less stringent test than the criteria used in criminal courts – beyond reasonable doubt. The balance of probabilities means the adjudicator having considered the evidence of both parties makes a finding of fact. This is a presumption by the adjudicator of what actually happened, determined by the evidence available and the relative weight of the opposing possibilities.
How do you Appeal to the Adjudicator
Formal representations against parking tickets are made by the registered keeper of a vehicle (Owner as registered at the DVLA) upon receipt of a Notice to Owner (NtO). A Notice to Owner is a formal charge sent to the registered keeper of a vehicle 28 days after it incurs a penalty charge notice or parking ticket if the ticket remains unpaid. For tickets issued by CCTV, the penalty charge notice, sent by post, serves as the Notice to Owner. If a formal representation is rejected by a local authority an adjudication appeal form is enclosed with the Notice of Rejection offering the Registered Keeper an opportunity to appeal to the independent adjudicator. Details of how to appeal will be included on the form and the Notice of Rejection.
Tips when Appealing to the UK Parking Adjudicator
Postal or personal hearing
You will be given a choice when you will fill in the adjudication form, between a postal or personal review by the adjudicator. A postal hearing considers the evidence you submit without your being present at the hearing. The final decision including reasons behind it will be communicated to both parties in writing. Council officials do not attend the hearings except on the rare occasion they are summoned by an adjudicator to substantiate or clarify their evidence. If you choose a personal hearing, the written evidence will also be considered but this will be done in your presence at an open hearing. at which council officials will not necessarily be present. While no privileges are attached to either type of hearing, appearing in person before the adjudicator offers the appellant a powerful advantage through an opportunity to complement written evidence with oral arguments delivered before a neutral third party. If you can afford to, its advisable to choose a personal hearing.
Explain your case fully
Provide a comprehensive explanation of your case, carefully setting out the facts and your arguments. Remember this is your last chance to get the incorrectly issued parking ticket cancelled. Using properly referenced paragraphs and sub-headings will enable the logical and presentation of your arguments, laid out in a clear and coherent manner.
Send in as much evidence as possible
If you do have evidence to back up your case, such as pictures, loading invoices, pay and display tickets, enclose them (copies) with your appeal even if you’ve sent them to the council before. The adjudicator determines what is a civil case on the balanced of probabilities, any supporting evidence that can tilt the balance in your favour should be sent in with your appeal
Avoid emotive, abusive or sensationalist language
The adjudicators are trained and experienced lawyers. They will consider the facts and won’t be swayed by sentiment, populist innuendo or angry denunciations. What might look good on a pro-motor lobby blog might not necessarily impress a lawyer. State the facts, don’t embellish the evidence, present your case in a clear, simple and concise manner. Be objective and keep the tone clean and coherent. Do point out inconsistencies, discrepancies and contradictions in the council’s evidence
Pick out holes in the Council’s earlier letters and case
You’re arguing a case. Picking holes in the arguments of the opposing parties when appealing a wrongly issued penalty charge notice strengthens your own and tilts the balance of probabilities in your favour. If earlier letters from the local authority contradict each other, then point that out. Where earlier responses to your appeals especially the Notice of Rejection appear not to have addressed your concerns or come across as standard computer generated letters this should also be highlighted in your appeal to the adjudicator. If incorrect statements, contradicting laid down laws have been made by the authority then these should also be pointed out in your case summary. Any evidence that the local authority has not shown due diligence in investigating your case, or has ignored or disregarded evidence you have submitted to it represent strong points in your favour and should be clearly emphasised in your appeal Structure and format Appeals to the adjudicator can be typed or handwritten. However typed letters are, clearer, easier to edit and tend to be more convincing..
Also refer where relevant to government guidance, traffic legislation and standard stipulations on road markings where this is relevant to the case.