The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Been There, Done That

Apart from blog comments I get quite a few emails, which are always welcome. I had one today, which deserves a wider audience:

Dear Bystander,

Another tedious parking query I'm afraid! I will keep it quick,

1) Do Magistrates Courts hear council parking offences?
2) If so do you think I should consider going for a hearing based on the following:
--- I parked in a residents only bay opposite a pay and display bay in Barnet. Signing was not clear but I accept I was at fault. I obtained a pay and display ticket at 1705 and a parking attendant gave me a fixed penalty ticket at 1707 (both times can be proven). I feel I should be able to appeal becase the warden should have warned me rather than give me a ticket seing as I must have still been in sight. In fact I can state that I walked past two wardens when going from my car to the machine to get the ticket and then walked past them again to go about my business having displayed my ticket.

I would much appreciate your input

Best regards


Dear M H

1) No.
2) No.

For what it's worth, parking has been decriminalised. There is all the detail you will ever need here

If it makes you feel better, I got a ticket in Westminster last month when I was driving a passenger who legitimately holds a Blue Badge. We parked in a marked bay, set the timer wheel and went about our business. We came back to a £100 ticket (cut by half if paid in 14 days). Apparently Westminster has its own rules, and blue badge holders must pay, but get an extra hour free. Nowhere in the area was there any notice to this effect - I am careful about these things and I checked the plates and the ticket machine. I appealed, and having had no reply before 14 days I paid up to avoid the £100 horror. When I finally got a reply, it more or less said 'bugger off'. The phrase 'hard cheese' was implicit.

If magistrates still had power in these cases I should have appeared before the bench and told my tale. I am sure that they would have given me a fair hearing. As it is I have no legal leg to stand on and it isn't worth starting a scrap for £50.

The Government plans to transfer more power to these kangaroo courts - this may be 'efficient' but there is no justice in it.