A report published by the Local Government Ombudsman has criticised the London Borough of Redbridge over it’s handling of a PCN, and subsequent treatment of the vehicle keeper.
It appears that the driver received a PCN the day before she moved, and due to her address not changing with the DVLA immediately, the notices were sent to her old address and she didn’t receive any of them. Eventually bailiffs were called in, who then located and clamped the vehicle and demanded over £700 to release it. It was later found that the bailiffs had checked her address with the DVLA and had been aware that she had indeed moved, but the court papers were still issued to her old address.
Despite being able to prove that she had notified the DVLA in a timely manner, the council dismissed her complaints entirely, and continued to place the blame on her even as the Ombudsman was investigating. The Ombudsman found a catalogue of errors, and complete indifference by the council to the driver’s plight (where they refused to ask the bailiff to refund their charges). They also found that the warrants issued for bailiff enforcement were not even valid due to having the wrong address.
The Ombudsman ruled that the council’s actions amounted to Maladministration and Injustice, and recommended that all of the driver’s costs and fees were paid, as well as an additional £150 for her time and effort in appealing.
More information can also be found over at the Consumer Action Group forums.