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(page created 2 July 2019)
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MERSEY GATEWAY PENALTIES - STAGE 6 - AFTER "BAILIFFS"

This page describes what you might do if either your TE forms have been refused by Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) and / or if you have been forced to pay money to the people who say that they work for Marston.

  • Submitted TE7 And TE9 Forms But They Have Been refused
  • Claiming Money Back That You Have Paid To Marston

    Submitted TE7 and TE9 forms but they have been refused

  • When you submit TE9 'witness statement' forms to the Traffic Enforcement Centre this will normally stop recovery action. But if you do this past the deadline (which is quite common because many people are unaware that a TE3 recovery order has been issued till they are being chased by bailiffs) then you also have to submit a TE7 'out of time application'.

    Until around the end of April 2019 all of the late applications seem to have been accepted. But from early May 2019, Merseyflow started asking the TEC to turn down many of the out of time applications, apparently at random. This meant that recovery action was not stopped.

  • If the late application is refused then the driver has the following choices-
  • Pay.

  • Do not pay and try and fend off the bailiffs as per our stage five advice.

  • Consult a solicitor and get them to demand that Merseyflow cease their action on the grounds that it is all illegal. As far as we know almost no one has done this even though Merseyflow seem to give in if there is a solicitor involved.

  • We do not know what the effect of this next option will be will be till a number of people have done it.

    The refusal letter says that "The response from the local authority with regards to your out of time application should already have been served to you." This is a deception as referring to the 'local authority' is the TEC maintaining the fiction that Halton Borough Council applied for the Recovery Order. The truth is that Merseyflow applies for the Order. And up to early July 2019 no one had received a response from either the Council or Merseyflow.

    So call their bluff. Email Halton Council and demand that they give you a copy of the Council's response. The Council's email address is - hdl@halton.gov.uk .
    Copy the email to Merseyflow - info@merseyflow.co.uk .

  • Ask for a review of the TEC decision:-
  • Review of a rejection by Traffic Enforcement Centre

  • Just querying the decision with the TEC will produce no result. They will say that they will not and can not tell you why the application was refused - as they do not record the reason why they refused the application.

  • So you will have to formally apply for a review of the TEC decision by submitting a N244 application notice-
  • Before you start to complete the form, email Halton Council and demand that they give you a copy of the Council's response that was mentioned in the refusal letter from the TEC, but which you will not have received. Tell them that you need this in order to complete the N244 application. The Council's email address is - hdl@halton.gov.uk .
    Copy the email to Merseyflow - info@merseyflow.co.uk .

  • The N244 application (including a large print version) and the guidance notes are on this link.

  • Unfortunately there is a prohibitive cost and no indication of whether the costs will be returned if you win.
    The cost is £100 if you opt to have your case decided "Without hearing by a district judge" or £255 "With hearing at your local county court".
    If you opt for the less expensive option then the decision will not be an independent one and you can expect to lose. Though it seems that even if you do opt for the cheaper option, you may be told that there will be a hearing and you have to pay another £150.

  • You may be able to get help with the fee if you are on low income or on benefits- 'Get help paying court and tribunal fees'.

  • You will have to consider what you will say. At at beginning of July 2019 there have been almost no N244 applications and NO decisions. So we do not know what to expect.
    But it is likely that the court will not be interested in whether the penalty really was payable. It is likely that there will be only two issues-

  • Was a good enough reason given for the a late application? Was it at all possible that you could have submitted the application earlier. Is there some particular resaon why you might not have got earlier notices? Have you submitted more than one application and they accepted some but refused others even though you gave the same reasons for being late?

  • Is the process legally valid? We will be giving further advice on this issue, but in brief we are sure that the process is not valid.
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    Claiming money back that you have paid to Marston

  • You may have paid money to Marston because either you were unaware how to challenge the actions of Merseyflow and Marston, or were unable to challenge them for some reason, or you were too scared by their letters and the people that they sent to your home, or you submitted TE forms but they were refused by the Traffic Enforcement Centre acting for Merseyflow.

  • IF THE MONEY THAT YOU PAID TO MARSTON WAS WHOLLY OR PARTLY FOR PCNs THAT YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED TE FORMS FOR, THEN SUBMIT THEM NOW-
  • You will of course be submitting the forms late, so you will need to submit TE7 out of time application as well as the TE9 witness statement.

  • Be aware that Merseyflow are bound to oppose the forms, so you will have to give a very good reason for the late application. The most common reason will be that you were not aware of the recovery action till you had Marston chasing you, so you never received the TE3 Recovery Order or TE9 witness statement forms.

    You will also have to say that you have only just become aware that it was possible to do anything about the money that you were intimidated to pay.

    It is not strictly relevant but you can also mention any special circumstances. Such as you may dispute that there was any penalty payable and that you would have challenged it if you had received the PCN. Or it may be that you were vulnerable but either you were unaware that this should stop any recovery action by Marston, or that you told Merseyflow and / or Marston that you were vulnerable but they ignored it.

  • Our general guide to filling in the TE9 and TE7 forms is here 'Dealing With Recovery Orders - FILLING IN THE TE9'.
    (The bit about the TE7 forms is immediately below that at 'If you are returning the TE9 form late, then you will need to do TE7s'.

  • IF your TE forms are accepted (it may be that they are accepted for some PCNs but not others), then you can claim refund of all the monies that you have paid to Marston.
    You should claim this by an email to Merseyflow- info@merseyflow.co.uk .
    (Note that you may automatically get a refund.) (Also note that Merseyflow will probably reissue the PCNs, but you can either pay them at £ 22 or as we suggest - challenge them.)
  • IF THE MONEY THAT YOU PAID TO MARSTON WAS FOR PCNs THAT YOU SUBMITTED TE FORMS FOR, BUT THEY WERE REFUSED
  • The refusal letter that you got from the TEC will have said that "The response from the local authority with regards to your out of time application should already have been served to you." Email Halton Council and demand that they give you a copy of the Council's response. The Council's email address is - hdl@halton.gov.uk .
    Copy the email to Merseyflow - info@merseyflow.co.uk .

  • Assuming that they do not give you a copy of the response (it will be difficult for them to give you a copy as what the TEC refusal letter said is a fiction), then say that you will sue them if they either do not give you the letter or refund what is due.
    We are unsure what effect this will have. It mainly depends on there being at least one person who follows through with the threat.
  • THERE MAY BE OTHER WAYS TO GET YOUR MONEY BACK AND WE WILL ADD SUGGESTIONS TO THIS PAGE.

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