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SA Parking Fines - Fight Them in Court?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Les Laub, 26 August 2014.

  1. Les Laub

    Les Laub Well-Known Member

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    I am a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) War Veteran and a member of the TPI Association (SA). Our Association has agreements with many local government bodies, including the Adelaide City Council to allow members to park free of charge under "Green Plated" signs of 30 minutes or longer and then for an additional 90 minutes over the allotted time, again at no cost.
    The City of Victor Harbor is a signatory to this agreement with the TPI Association.
    A while ago I was given a parking ticket for non-payment of a parking fee in Victor Harbor in a green-plated zone. I stopped there to use the toilet and was gone from my vehicle for about 5 minutes.
    I have written to the Mayor and the shire manager and asked to have the matter withdrewn but have not received a reply and I am now tempted to let the matter go to court.
    I suspect that I would win the case as the TPI Association has a written agreement with Victor Harbor and I am clearly a member - If I win, can I ask the court to award expenses as I have expended a good deal of time and energy on this matter.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Les,

    Parking fines issued by councils generally have an option to review. They may then add costs on top of this and finally pursue it in the Magistrates' Court. You will be asked to appear, during which, you may defend your actions and object to the fine.

    Court will unlikely award you compensation for time and energy spent defending the fine. In any case, it should not be costly to present your objection. They will likely waive the fine and any extra charges imposed on the debt.
     
  3. Les Laub

    Les Laub Well-Known Member

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    Seems a bit unfair that the defendant cops the costs whether they are guilty or not. I have not had a reply to any correspondence and there is no information about an option for review on the ticket. Is it worth sending the details to the Ombudsman?
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Les,

    There should be some information about reviewing/disputing a parking fine on your council's website. You could also try going to council personally and asking them about the review process.

    There would be no harm in enquiring with the ombudsman about the situation. They will generally be a help in setting expectations and pointing you to alternative options.

    In terms of compensation, it may be worth speaking with your local community legal centre about this possibility, as they should be experienced with settling parking fines, amongst other things. I do believe it would be difficult to obtain compensation outside of setting aside the ticket, unless you suffered substantial loss/damage as a result.
     
  5. Les Laub

    Les Laub Well-Known Member

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    A few weeks ago I asked for advice related to a parking fine from the Victor Harvor Council. I am a TPI Veteran and it appears that the council has renegged on an agreement to allow TPI Veterans to park for free in their carparks. I wrote a letter to the Senior General Inspector explaining that I was a TPI Veteran and my parking permit was clearly displayed. He write back and and said "Pay up as the council had designated this area outside the agreement with the TPI Association"
    I then put the issue before this forum. I followed the forum advice and wrote to the Mayor and the Council Senior General Inspector in protest, and asked for a review of the matter. I have not received a reply from either and the date is coming due to pay the fine. Should I just pay the fine and put it down to a greedy council squeezing every cent they can out of unsuspecting visitors or is there an avenue to go via the ombudsman or to put a stay on the fine?
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    If your organization says you are not covered by the agreement then you do not have a valid excuse and so are probably best off just paying the fine.
     

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