Marstons Dart Charge

Stop or Suspend Enforcement. Appeal the PCN. Claim Damages for Unlawful Interference with Vehicles.
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All4One
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#1 Marstons Dart Charge

Post by All4One » 13 Dec 2017 00:53

Apologies for my arguably over detailed 1st time rant !! ;)

Around 3 months ago (Oct 2017) I received a Notice of Enforcement (Compliance Stage) informing me that on the 4th Dec 2016 I had allegedly make a Dartford crossing that I had not paid the £2.50 charge for. I spoke with my wife and neither of us could account for the trip so I contacted Marstons and after numerous +40 min on hold calls, eventually spoke to their "customer service". I explained the situation and requested further information relating to the alleged incident and any associated proof that we indeed made the journey in question. I also asked that NFA would take place until this was received.

A couple of weeks later I was literally about to leave my house to catch a flight for a business trip (suitcase by the door) when one of Marstons finest knocked on my door. After the customary pleasantries he revealed, to my surprise, that he was attending for this very matter. As the vehicles registered owner was not I but my wife, he said that he could not discuss any details with me, yet still aggressively pushed the message that he was here to collect payment or distrain upon our goods. I explained that I had spoken with their office and was awaiting a response and re-iterated the doubt that we had even made the journey in the first place (we live 70 miles away and have no reason to ever make that trip). He then EXPRESSLY STATED that they had records of us making payment for one way and not the other!! Now this was new information and whilst I was sure that I still had not made this journey, maybe my wife had.... She was unavailable at the time as she was in regional meetings and I had a flight to catch so we should have been at an impasse at this point. Unfortunately I had told the Enforcement Officer to wait outside whilst I retrieved the original Notice of Enforcement to try and get him to deal with me in my wife's absence. Yep... you guessed it, when I returned he was in my living room (which I admit I did not respond very well to!!). This now changed matters as he had gained entry (despite my requesting him to remain outside). I should have known better, especially as I have advised many before me. Unable to speak with my wife to present hthis new evidence of us making payment for one crossing and not the other (and also running the risk of missing my flight) I was forced to make payment of just under £450 GBP to get him out of my house. Yes, thats £450 for a missed payment of £450!!!

Bear with me because the best part is yet to come....

Suffice to say, this payment was only considered and then made, due to the time restraints I was under, the fact I could neither confirm nor deny my wife's involvement given the new statement made by the Marstons officer that "they had proof that we had paid for one crossing but not the other, so we were evidently in that place at that time", despite neither of us having any recollection and lastly the fact that he had gained entry and was not leaving until settlement was made.

Here is the best bit....... I have now just had through (28th Nov 2017 & received on 2nd Dec) a 2nd Notice of Enforcement for the same day!!!!! This is surely impossible, given the statement by the EO that "Marstons had proof that we had paid for one crossing already" and that a few weeks previously we had paid under duress nearly £450 for a missed payment on that day? Given that the statement made on my doorstep was the only reason I had even considered our potential liability in the first place, I will be damned if I fork out for a 2nd extortionate claim.

I immediately rang their "Customer Care" number, which strangely enough returns a "number not recognised" at the weekend? When I rang it again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I was met with 40+ minutes of hold and "we are experiencing a larger than usual number of calls" (unsurprising given their "invention" of offences). I requested automated call backs, only for the phone to ring a day later and then the line go dead when I answer. Eventually I spoke to one of their "Customer Care" reps who told me to submit my response in an email. I then sent 5 emails, all of them resulting in a bounceback from Marstons servers. I eventually saved my initial email as a word doc and attached it to a basic email header that would fool their filters. This resulted in an automated "thank you for your email" response and that is all I have had to date.

On the 2nd letter it stated that unless payment was received by 23.59 hrs on 11th Dec 2017, additional fees (£235) would be added to the existing £190.25 and a visit by an EO will be made to make claim upon my property. The automated response to my email stated that proceedings would not be put on hold should I contact them.

Advice?

I have requested in my initial email a copy of the bodycam video from the first officers visit which will show them claiming to have evidence of us making payment for one of the crossings on the day in question. I have also requested any and evidence used to obtain the initial warrant and a copy of the original warrant served by the court.

The first instance I was made aware of any alleged infraction was vian the 1st Notice of enforcement from Marstons, received in Oct 2017 and relating to a penalty incurred in December 2016 (the previous year).

I am dissapointed in myself that due to circumstances at the time I was effectively bullied into making the first payment but I CANNOT make the second...

Any assistance with this is greatly appreciated...

Best,

R

All4One
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#2 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by All4One » 13 Dec 2017 01:09

I forgot to add that DVLA had failed to update our change of address TWICE ( the 3rd attempt is now in progress!) which may have resulted in us not receiving any initial communications from Dart Charge or the court.

Thanks,

R

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#3 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Pote Snitkin » 13 Dec 2017 09:17

Don't bother contacting Marston's as all they're interested in is making you pay. They can't investigate anything and they wouldn't have info on a journey you've supposedly paid for. The only ones who can assist are those that run Dart Charge - Highways England. Their contact details are:

High­ways Eng­land
National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre
3 Ridge­way
Quin­ton Busi­ness Park
Birm­ing­ham
B32 1AF

info@highwaysengland.co.uk

General enquiries 0300 123 5000

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#4 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by All4One » 13 Dec 2017 13:22

Thanks for your reply Pote,

Is it worth me filing an Out of Time Notice with Highways England, to put a halt on proceedings?

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#5 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Pote Snitkin » 13 Dec 2017 13:34

It's always worth a shot. Doesn't cost anything. You'd need forms TE7 and TE9.

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#6 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by delta157 » 13 Dec 2017 15:54

A lot of people don't switch off the google locate on their mobile you can find out if either of you made the crossing by checking it out.

It could be that there is a clone vehicle as well ask to see the evidence the crossing camera it may show the driver?

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose in your case get the forms in with proof from the DVLA notice asap...

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#7 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 13 Dec 2017 16:59

All4One wrote:
13 Dec 2017 13:22

Is it worth me filing an Out of Time Notice with Highways England, to put a halt on proceedings?
Yes, because the bailiff had a document with your old address but was able to find your new address and failed to give a notice of enforcement (NOE).


On your appeal forms, make it clear that the enforcement address is an old address and you were not given a Notice to Owner (NTO). Provide evidence of the date you moved to your current address. The PCN will be rolled back to the pre-NTO stage and you can pay the original penalty without the bailiff's fees.

Enforcement stops in real time when you return the completed forms to tec@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
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#8 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 13 Dec 2017 17:04

delta157 wrote:
13 Dec 2017 15:54
A lot of people don't switch off the google locate on their mobile you can find out if either of you made the crossing by checking it out.
The driver gets a text message saying when a crossing is made and how much balance you have on the account.

It could be that there is a clone vehicle as well ask to see the evidence the crossing camera it may show the driver?
If I recall, the Dartford crossing cameras only capture the back number plate. I have clients whose cars on a tow truck and the car registration is captured instead of the truck. The photo was a rear facing picture.

Numberplate cloning is quite rare now.
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#9 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Pote Snitkin » 13 Dec 2017 17:22

Schedule 12 wrote:
13 Dec 2017 17:04
The driver gets a text message saying when a crossing is made and how much balance you have on the account.
Only if they have an account set up.

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#10 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Amy » 13 Dec 2017 17:24

Schedule 12 wrote:
13 Dec 2017 17:04
delta157 wrote:
13 Dec 2017 15:54
A lot of people don't switch off the google locate on their mobile you can find out if either of you made the crossing by checking it out.
The driver gets a text message saying when a crossing is made and how much balance you have on the account.
I have an account with several vehicles on it and I don't get a text.
Schedule 12 wrote:
13 Dec 2017 17:04
It could be that there is a clone vehicle as well ask to see the evidence the crossing camera it may show the driver?
If I recall, the Dartford crossing cameras only capture the back number plate. I have clients whose cars on a tow truck and the car registration is captured instead of the truck. The photo was a rear facing picture.

Numberplate cloning is quite rare now.
I received one in the post not so long ago when I had a private plate fitted to my car. I forgot to update the account with the new registration and I received a photo of the car taken from the front.

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#11 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Pote Snitkin » 13 Dec 2017 18:53


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#12 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Amy » 13 Dec 2017 19:18

Pote Snitkin wrote:
13 Dec 2017 18:53
Interesting reading.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/ ... ncorrectly
I had that happen to me also, the idiots inputting the registration numbers mistyped a digit and came up with my car, which allegedly overstayed its welcome in a car park in Devon.

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#13 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Dec 2017 00:02

I have a client who input a wrong registration digit on a parking app, and because the info was reused each time the car was parked, the driver got a PCN, a total of 17 of them. All going through TEC, but the car was ANPR lifted off private land (<don't ask!!) and the council was told of a new address, but ignored it and the bailiff ANPR lifted the car and all the warrants have the wrong address. Someone will have a problem.
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#14 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Dec 2017 00:08

Amy wrote:
13 Dec 2017 19:18

I had that happen to me also, the idiots inputting the registration numbers mistyped a digit and came up with my car, which allegedly overstayed its welcome in a car park in Devon.
Speaking of Devon, I had a client in Devon whose agricultural tractor received C-Charge penalties, but his tractor had never left his farm in 10 years. The bailiff, Equita was unable to tow away the tractor because its 8-ton bulk was too much for any street car recovery truck. Client appealed all the PCN's because the warrant was in his name. The C-Charge contravention photos showed a Volvo with the same registration as his tractor. I don't know what came of it.
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#15 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 14 Dec 2017 00:10

Amy wrote:
13 Dec 2017 19:18


I had that happen to me also, the idiots inputting the registration numbers mistyped a digit and came up with my car, which allegedly overstayed its welcome in a car park in Devon.
Look at that a 2nd time, I am not sure how a parking company could have done that. Entering your car reg into a parking app wouldn't cause you a PCN if you overstayed. The camera would capture the car that overstayed, not the car registration that was entered into the app.
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#16 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Amy » 14 Dec 2017 10:30

Schedule 12 wrote:
14 Dec 2017 00:10
Amy wrote:
13 Dec 2017 19:18


I had that happen to me also, the idiots inputting the registration numbers mistyped a digit and came up with my car, which allegedly overstayed its welcome in a car park in Devon.
Look at that a 2nd time, I am not sure how a parking company could have done that. Entering your car reg into a parking app wouldn't cause you a PCN if you overstayed. The camera would capture the car that overstayed, not the car registration that was entered into the app.
The camera did capture the car registration that overstayed. Since I had not been to Devon and knew it was not me, I requested the photographs and I received them showing a car that was the same make and model Audi as mine, but that’s it.

I used my BHF email to contact them and did not point out there error to them. Instead I invited them to look more carefully and when they spotted their error I expected an apology from them and a promise that they would not bother me again.

I got both.

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#17 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by All4One » 14 Dec 2017 21:29

Thank you for all your advice and comments, I have still not received an official response to my email dated 7th Dec and have called several times but been placed on hold with no answer.

Quick question.... In the course of enforcement for the original penalty, the EO claimed to have gained "peaceful entry" to my home. That fine was settled in full (albeit under duress). Does that now count for the second warrant, in the sense they can claim to have entered the property peacefully on a previous occasion, or did that right end when I paid the notice?

Thanks,

R

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#18 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by All4One » 14 Dec 2017 23:02

This forum is excellent :) I can't stop reading posts, relevant or not...

Just adding a couple of thoughts regarding my current situation.

FACT - Due to incorrect address details (we had moved house) I never received any notifications from either Dart Charge, the courts or any third party company involved, up until Marstons made contact at my current address by means of a Notice of Enforcement for the first incident in October 2017. Circumstances detailed in my opening post resulted in an "under duress" settlement of this initial charge (although this has now riled me up sufficiently to consider re-compensatory action against Marstons). They then made contact 28th Nov 2017 for the 2nd alleged infraction which occurred on the same day, 4th Dec 2016 , for which they had already stated I had paid.

As far as I am aware, a "Warrant of Execution" can only be issued to enforce an existing CCJ, correct?
It can also only be issued where willful ignorance of the original CCJ notification can be proved?
In turn, the CCJ itself can only be issued when the court is satisfied that willful ignorance of the initial penalty notice has occurred?

As I never received any communications prior to Marstons involvement, for the reason explained above, surely the Warrant of Execution is unlawfully issued, as they cannot possibly have proved to a court my receipt of the notification and subsequent ignorance, both of which are required in order to issue said warrant?

In addition the CCJ was therefore unlawfully issued, for the exact same reasons?

Given the above, should I now submit the TE7 & TE9 (Dart Charge) pdf's to transfer ownership of this claim away from Marstons and into the care of the TEC?

All advice gratefully received :)

R

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#19 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Pote Snitkin » 15 Dec 2017 00:26

All4One wrote:
14 Dec 2017 21:29
Quick question.... In the course of enforcement for the original penalty, the EO claimed to have gained "peaceful entry" to my home. That fine was settled in full (albeit under duress). Does that now count for the second warrant, in the sense they can claim to have entered the property peacefully on a previous occasion, or did that right end when I paid the notice?
No it does not count for the second warrant if they were not enforcing it at the time they entered.
As I never received any communications prior to Marstons involvement, for the reason explained above, surely the Warrant of Execution is unlawfully issued, as they cannot possibly have proved to a court my receipt of the notification and subsequent ignorance, both of which are required in order to issue said warrant?
They issued the paperwork to the address they had for you provided by the DVLA. In the absence of contradictory evidence the court would have been satisfied the information was correct. This however can be used when filling in your appeal.

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#20 Re: Marstons Dart Charge

Post by Schedule 12 » 15 Dec 2017 00:35

All4One wrote:
14 Dec 2017 23:02
This forum is excellent :) I can't stop reading posts, relevant or not...

Just adding a couple of thoughts regarding my current situation.

FACT - Due to incorrect address details (we had moved house) I never received any notifications from either Dart Charge, the courts or any third party company involved, up until Marstons made contact at my current address by means of a Notice of Enforcement for the first incident in October 2017.
You can appeal the charge because the address is wrong. Provided you moved AFTER the sate of enforcement and BEFORE the date of the warrant was issued, you can appeal. Here is how it is done: http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/St ... ailiff.htm



Circumstances detailed in my opening post resulted in an "under duress" settlement of this initial charge (although this has now riled me up sufficiently to consider re-compensatory action against Marstons). They then made contact 28th Nov 2017 for the 2nd alleged infraction which occurred on the same day, 4th Dec 2016 , for which they had already stated I had paid.

As far as I am aware, a "Warrant of Execution" can only be issued to enforce an existing CCJ, correct?
No. County court judgments are nothing to do with traffic penalties. A warrant of execution can be issued for unpaid court fines, traffic debts and judgments. The application procedure for each debt type is different. In the case of a traffic debt, the rules for applying for a warrant of execution are set out in practice direction 75.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/proced ... /pd_part75



It can also only be issued where willful ignorance of the original CCJ notification can be proved?
In turn, the CCJ itself can only be issued when the court is satisfied that willful ignorance of the initial penalty notice has occurred?

Nothing to do wit CCJ's those are for debts between people and companies. Rarely a statutory body.



As I never received any communications prior to Marstons involvement, for the reason explained above, surely the Warrant of Execution is unlawfully issued, as they cannot possibly have proved to a court my receipt of the notification and subsequent ignorance, both of which are required in order to issue said warrant?

In addition the CCJ was therefore unlawfully issued, for the exact same reasons?

Given the above, should I now submit the TE7 & TE9 (Dart Charge) pdf's to transfer ownership of this claim away from Marstons and into the care of the TEC?
Form TE9 is nothing to do with transferring ownership of a debt. Its a form of appeal, called a "witness statement" and once this has been lodged with the TEC to their email address tec@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk, the enforcement is suspended in real time until the TEC has decided the outcome of your appeal. If you are late making the appeal, complete a form TE7.

The suspension of the enforcement is provided under Paragraph 8.1 of Practice Direction 75. If your appeal is unsuccessful, it is normal practice not to tell you. You only find out when you got the bailiff on your back again, so you might want to pay the PCN (minus the bailiffs fees) before the appeal is allowed to kill off the enforcement power permanently.






All advice gratefully received :)

R
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