This Is What Happens When You Try To Pay A Parking Fine In Loose Change [Video]

This Is What Happens When You Try To Pay A Parking Fine In Loose Change [Video]

Most of us have copped a parking fine at one point or another — whether guilty or innocent, it usually leaves you simmering with impotent rage. One disgruntled Adelaide man has attempted to exact some petty revenge on his council by paying a parking fine in five and 10 cent coins. He also recorded the entire incident on video…

As you can see from the above footage, things didn’t really go according to plan for the shrapnel crusader. His payment was staunchly refused and no receipt was given — he basically threw away $60 and still has an unpaid fine on his record.

A lot of the comments on the YouTube page claim that the council is being unlawful and that any Australian currency must be accepted. This is actually untrue, however. 

In fact, businesses aren’t even obliged to accept Australian banknotes, let alone loose change. Simply put, refusing to accept a payment using legal tender status is not against the law.

Here’s what the Reserve Bank of Australia’s website has to say on the topic of using coins as legal tender:

A payment of coins is a legal tender throughout Australia if it is made in Australian coins, but this is subject to some restrictions about how much can be paid in coin. According to the Currency Act 1965 (section 16) coins are legal tender for payment of amounts which are limited as follows: [clear] [clear]

  • not exceeding 20c if 1c and/or 2c coins are offered (these coins have been withdrawn from circulation, but are still legal tender);
  • not exceeding $5 if any combination of 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins are offered; and
  • not exceeding 10 times the face value of the coin if $1 or $2 coins are offered.

[clear] [clear] For example, if someone wants to pay a merchant with five cent coins, they can only pay up to $5 worth of five cent coins and any more than that will not be considered legal tender.

On the other hand, the RBA notes that refusing to accept legal tender to pay off an existing debt can cause consequences in legal proceedings — especially if no other means of payment/settlement was specified in advance. The guy in the video could conceivably find a loophole here, depending on how rigorous the council was in explaining his payment options.

That said, it’s extremely unlikely that a judge would rule in his favour given his obviously spiteful intentions. Plus, if the video was secretly recorded (as appears to be the case) he could find himself in additional hot water due to Australian privacy laws.

The reality is that businesses and councils can set themselves up to accept whatever payment methods they desire. If you want to launch a hollow protest against your parking fine, paying in silver coins isn’t the way to go.


  • As a kid a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) when working for Kmart. Once had a guy buy some stuff with well over $100 in 50c pieces. It was stated that we didn’t have to accept this method, but we did as ‘good customer service’. He wasn’t being a dick like this guy in the vid. He just had bags of coins he’d only be double handling should he take it to the bank (and pay a fee to change over)… I did need a bit more than a usual register change clean out. 🙂

    Keep in mind the person on the receiving end is only doing their job and it’s just them your inconveniencing (And others potentially waiting in a queue). If a point was being made it’s showing people how to be a jerk. Bit like someone with a full trolly in peak time uses the 8 items or less line.

    • Same thing when i used to deliver pizza, you can spot the people who are doing it to be jerks and the people that are legitimately trying to get rid of spare change.

      Say “sorry we don’t accept payment in bulk change, do you have any notes”
      50% of the time: here you go, sorry about that
      10% of the time: accept their sob story, lug 2kg of shrapnel back to the store
      40% of the time, start walking away with the pizza – almost every single one of these people will suddenly find some notes to pay you with. The other ones will be jerks and complain to your manager – who will tell them to fuck off.

      • What?! Most of the time when I’m buying pizza the guy doesn’t have enough change for my (probably unreasonably large) notes.. So I spend 5 minutes scrounging behind couch cushions and in few day old jacket pockets… Different sides to the same story I guess! Most days I would love change! In fact, I’m in South America right now and trying to pay with anything bigger than a $20 is almost like you’ve just asked them to run drugs internationally.. Nobody wants your 50-100 bills!

        • When I was a pizza boy we were only allowed to carry 20 in cash. That included not keeping cash in our wallet. The customers would complain, but the fact is I got rolled half a dozen times over the six months I worked there. It would have been more if we were carrying enough money to make it worth while.

          • :0(
            Who robs a pizza delivery guy? I guess if you’re low life scum who thinks robbing someone is a reasonable way to earn an income then your target probably doesn’t matter…still pretty sad though.

    • Wow, are you an apologist for the government?

      That so called lady didn’t appear to very hard at work and neither did that little wanker with his walker talkie. Identify your self if your going to work for the government.

        • Wow. How can you say the lady wasn’t hard at work. She did nothing wrong, and was professional throughout. Same goes for the Duty Officer. He clearly identified himself as a duty officer. He identified the issue and stepped in to provide the staff member due security. He attempted to provide and explanation and warning to the guy, but the guy clearly knew better.

          Bravo to both staff members. Well handled.

          • to provide due security? the guy was in no ways threatening or posing any danger to the lady.

            it was not for security it was for intimidation

          • The guy was clearly emotional, unreasonable, and was there to cause issues. He was also dumping unwanted items (the coins) on the premises and spilling them all over the ladies desk.

            Apart from that, the guy was swell.

          • Actually he looked emotionally unstable. I’ve done training to recognise that in people, and when we should call in security to reduce the threat of them becoming violent and injuring innocents.

      • Are you the guy in the video trying be wanker and making others peoples lives hard just to get a little bit of Internet fame? FYI – I’ve never seen a post with so many downvotes on any gawker media site

    • We had a woman at my workplace reject a customer who tried to buy something with a bunch of coins. Although she was well within her right to do this, and was quite polite to the customer, she got in a lot of trouble with the management.

      • Good! She doesn’t own the business, and in the absence of a clear policy, perhaps escalating this decision to her manager in the first place would be the right thing to do.

        Or how about a good old-fashioned “I don’t think we normally accept this many coins for purchase. I’m happy to help you today, but please keep that in mind for next time.”

    • I wouldn’t mind betting that you could go in there with the same amount of coins and get them to accept them if you had the right attitude. The guy in this video was deliberately being a prick in order to make them not want to take the coins so that he could “prove” to the world that he was in the right.

  • Here’s a few pointers for people like the guy in the vid.

    – The poor woman in the video is only doing her job, was she the one that handed you the parking ticket? No, so why give her grief for something that she has not done.

    – having a retail background I can tell you that 70% of customers will blame you for things that you have no control over.


    • So true. I used to work at Myer. There was a printing error in a catalogue and a $2495 TV was accidentally advertised for $24.95 . I had someone come in wanting it for that price (he wanted 20 of them actually), and after I told them “No, it’s a printing mistake”. His response “Why didn’t you proofread it?” as though I was the one who designed the catalogue..

  • Also people should keep in mind that the Reserve Bank of Australia is also just another Corporation and while it shows itself as being a part of the government its actually not. It’s a separate entity.

    • You are technically correct (except for the “just” part), but very misleading. For example Apple Pty Ltd in Australia is a separate entity from Apple Inc in the USA. Would you say that Apple Australia ever acts outside the auspices of Apple USA?

      Similarly, the RBA came into existence at the government’s whim, continues to exist because the government has not repealed the Act that created it, and will only cease to exist when the government says so. Its chairperson and the majorities of its governing boards are appointed by the Treasurer of the government. So, it’s technically correct to say that it’s separate from the government – but that doesn’t mean much.

    • Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Team America, and then Team America goes out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money.

    • Correct. And this was setup to keep people who can’t count (for example Joe Hockey) from doing any _real_ damage to the economy.

      The RBA is packed with people who have like, studied economics and stuff. People who know two-word phrases like “marginal utility”, “comparative advantage”, “trade balance” rather than three-word phrases like “stop the boats”.

      But unlike a “just another Corporation” they don’t exist to return money to their shareholders (that would be to easy, they’d just stay at home and tell the mint to print more). They exist to provide stability to the economy.

      Yes, the whole system leaves you in debt to them. Yes, they get it wrong too (relatively often these days). No, there isn’t a better system that we know of.

      Would you prefer to have the RBA board do as Tony Abbot directs? If so, would you be equally comfortable for them to have done what Kevin Rudd wished? What about if Clive Palmer got to power?

  • The guy’s a dick. Regardless of the legalities of paying with coins, he was just plain rude. He could’ve just given the cashier the bag, but instead he chose to be an arse about it and poured it all over her desk. I would’ve refused his payment too.

    • To be fair, his adrenaline would’ve been up pretty high during that confrontation. So his dickishness was partly a defense mechanism beyond his control. (Although he consciously put himself in the situation, so he’s still a dick, I guess.)

      • Yep. He put himself in that position. If he was given the run around and this was the end result, then maybe that would be understandable, but we’re not aware of any distress caused to this person. We’re just aware of the distress he’s caused to others.

    • You ever had to deal with ACC in regards to expiation fees? His behaviour is more polite than some of their customer service. I get they have to deal with crazies on a regular basis, but they really have a terrible attitude problem at ACC. I’m not condoning the guy, because he is a douche for dumping the coins they way he did. But, I don’t feel much sympathy for the ACC either…

    • Exactly. Act like a dick, get treated like a dick. He deliberately went out of his way to obtain the coin in the first place; what’s the point of that?

      He could have simply placed the bag on the counter, but instead he chose to tip it out and push it over the lip of the upper portion of the counter and into the lady’s workspace. She looked a bit intimidated, and I felt sorry for her.

  • All of this was a waste of time and money. I remember a Dick Smith staff guy got pissed at me paying for a $20 keyboard in $2 coins. I even stacked them by 5s so it would be easier but still gave me a dirty.

    • Wierd. I used to work for DSE Carindale/Brisbane City/Coorparoo and occasionally Buranda (Casual, got rotated around these stores regularly), I always APPRECIATED when people paid in small change like that. Why? Because in busy periods registers can run out of coins very quickly. It pays to have a lot of bulk change built up in the til!

  • How are we supposed to sympathise with the guy?

    How are we to know that he did not fully deserve the fine?

    And my gosh, a $60 fine? I had parking fines a decade ago that were triple that amount.

    Was he so angry because he had to wait so long to get served? No. Was it the lack of professionalism of the people handling his issue? No.

    What is this guys problem?

    It was clear that the guy was a buffoon as soon as we saw his dayglo pantaloons. My guess is that he was also wearing a beanie. Hardly a good tactic to get people on-side.

    And what’s his solution?

    I’ll show them. I’ll inconvenience myself by going to the bank to fulfil some needless task just so that I can walk into an inevitable argument. Genius.

    And, more importantly, how did this guy get to record people (audio and visual) whilst their doing their jobs. Isn’t that illegal? I really hope it is.

    Are we all allowed to video people whenever we want, and none of us need permission before posting such video on a public forum?

    I think it would be hard to argue that a bank or council property were deemed public property. Scratch that, impossible.

    • its symbolism

      sticking it to the man so to speak

      the staff didnt do anything wrong but they are representatives of an institution that issued a fine

      I know where this vid originated from. i think it was from a motorcycle facebook group
      and as a fellow rider, i can tell you that if the councils bothered to count all his coins, they would actually be more productive in a day than they are in a year

      the rangers are taught to be overzealous to fining motorcyclists whom provide more benefits than they do annoyances

      • Still doesn’t give him a licence to be a c—. I used to be a rider so I know what you mean about fines, but still. Parking inspectors are not the same people that work behind the counter.

        • he wasnt really doing anything to the staff…if anything it made me cringe

          because he was going for the Chaser style confrontation and they just flatout rejected him

          • Yeah he was being deliberately confrontational and invading the personal space of the woman at the counter. He didn’t want them to accept it just so he could “prove” his point.

            I wouldn’t mind betting someone else could go in there and get them to accept the coins with the right attitude.

  • Adelaide City Council… You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. They have some of the most obnoxious parking inspectors I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting and they’ve a long history of dubious or frivolous expiation claims backed up by aggressive and or defensive attitudes towards any suggestion of error on the ACC’s part. They’ve earned their poor reputation with their terrible service and even worse attitude towards the public. Fuck them, they deserve all the misfortune they get.

    • And of course you know that it was this exact woman who was being rude who is the sole fount of all unpleasantness in ACC.

      The only one I saw being nasty in the video was the guy making it, who went out of his way to make things difficult for the counter staff. It would have been quicker for him to just pay the cash he turned in to the bank in order to get the change. It would have been quicker if he had left the money in the baggies that the bank issued them in.

      They guy in the video didn’t make things any harder for ACC. If anything ACC probably profited from this in the end, since the guy walked out without getting a receipt after paying in a form the cashier was not inclined to take. Instead he just made life tough for some poor woman being paid an award wage to put up with cr*p from customers every day. “Chris” even made the eminently sensible suggestion that the guy take the money to the bank to be changed to notes.

      The guy making the video is not a hero. He’s not even an antihero. He’s just a self-justifying idiotic jerk.

      • Absolutely not, she’s simply the point of first contact– they get dicked over on a daily basis by having to deal with repercussions of decisions made elsewhere in the organisation. And I know she’s not getting a great hourly rate to deal with that crap. But The second I watched this, all the resentment I felt for the ACC wasting my time and putting me through their bullshit came bubbling to the service. I mean FFS, I wasn’t even in the country the last time ‘I’ got nailed!

  • Ironically, local government currently has no legal ability to issue such fines. It directly contravenes the constitution (if you read nothing else, read the link at the bottom!). It doesn’t make you a dick just to try and stand up for your rights, just because it requires some less than civil tone..

    I am myself engaged in a very similar situation currently, with 2-3 tickets which I had no notice of (probably due to being during winter – tickets blowing away, and moving frequently) – and found out about this rather nicely when I was pulled over for a licence check, and was nearly arrested for them, and for driving under a suspended licence due to the fines going to fines enforcement.

    I contacted them about it and was told that the ban on my licence was “indefinite” until I paid it.. What sense that makes, given that even a murderer serves their time (in this case, a time without being able to drive) and are then released to be free citizens, is beyond me.

    Oh, and when trying to query why the fines were nearly $800 now due to late fee’s, I got told by the council worker “I don’t have time for this, I have real calls to take” and was hung up on. Currently this issue is sitting with the mayor, after trying to follow it up with no less than 5 councilors simply told me they would reply, but never did, by phone, sms, and email.

    There was going to be a referrendum on this topic; but it has been put on hold while they poll what federal politicians actually think about it first, which will almost definitely fail thankfully.

    Local councils are greedy as hell.. I pay nearly a grand a year in parking, and there was a pothole literally half the size of a car bay right in the entrance to the car park we used, which I know for a fact damaged some coworkers cars bumpers… No money for repairs, but money for the inspectors that come by every 20 minutes?

    To me it simply comes down to ‘why are local councils parking services making PROFIT *EVERY YEAR*’. The answer is obvious, as this guy says – they represent a public corporation (the local government) NOT a government agency.

    The absolutely worst part for me, worse than being treated like a criminal and human garbage over perhaps one day not buying a ticket to pay for parking (in a lot my taxes already pay for, no less) – is that after contacting every registered constitutional lawyer in the state, nobody would even talk to me or give me general advice on if I SHOULD retain their services, without an upfront retainer of at least $5000.

    It seems in this country, only the very rich are able to fight for their rights, while I am unable to drive to my job every day now, unless I comply with their unlawful, unrelenting, and exceptionally rudely handled demands.


    Some further reading on this topic (mainly related to WA):
    Local Government Act of 1995

    K.M. Corke & Associates; Constitutional recognition for local governments

    Independent Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government Report

    • It doesn’t make you a dick just to try and stand up for your rights, just because it requires some less than civil tone..

      1. This guy was not standing up for his “rights”.
      2. Doing so does not “require some less than civil tone”. Ghandi and MLK managed it, yet some dick from Adelaide needs to be a prick to get his point across?

      • The thing is.. They don’t care. They have all the power, and are fully aware of this.. Especially in this case as per my post above, where at least until i’m shown otherwise in any format, an entirely illegal and unconstitutional fine.

        The main thing that does make him a bit of a dick as @chrisjager said above is that he obviously went there just with the intention of doing this to the cashier, and to film it. That said, we really don’t know the backstory. I doubt he acted this way without in any way trying to resolve it. More likely he called them and they told him he has no choice but to pay it, whatever the circumstance is.

        For all we know this guy was in the exact same circumstance I am (above), and he’s a tradie and suddenly cannot get himself to work due to a potentially unconstitutional fine.

        If someone is trying to violate your rights, you should NOT just say ‘well sir I disagree with you’ and go on your way, especially when it comes to the government. At least in my view. If you want to dedicate your life to peacefully protesting a parking ticket, go right ahead.

        • Civil disobedience and peaceful protests have nothing to do with intentionally intimidating people who are not directly related to your grievance.

          You say “I doubt he acted this way without in any way trying to resolve it.” There is nothing whatsoever to suggest that is the case.

          If you think parking tickets are nonsense, that’s your business. Being deliberately condescending and abusive has nothing to do with “rights”.

          If you want to defend your rights, take them to court, complain to the ombudsman, your local member, talkback radio, or anyone who will listen. Kick up as much fuss as you like, but pretending that abusing individuals is OK is ridiculous.

          What that guy did was the equivalent of kicking the newspaper delivery boy in the nuts because you don’t like what was written in the paper.

          • I agree with that to an extent, she was just doing her job..
            .. But then, so were the Nazi SS. *cue wild hyperbole lol*

            And while as you say there’s nothing to suggest that WAS the case.. There’s also nothing to suggest he’s a psycho who gets a thrill out of intimidating council employee’s.. You’re making as many assumptions as anyone.

            To me, given that I know for a fact at least in our local council (directly from the parking and fines enforcement officer in writing) that out of order machines is the number one cause of such issues. Personally, I called them and they said that there was nothing they could do and I would have to take it to court to dispute ti in any format.

            Perhaps not the case everywhere, but statistically I would say its far more likely they “fucked” with him than that they did not, and I find some sarcastic shoving of coins quite a decent way to make his point… Though perhaps not to anyone who will listen, given they were council employees who do not actually give a fuck about people… but still.

            All he really did after all was demand they accept coin payment in a condescending tone.. To me it’s like the civil war in the USA.. It wasn’t 100% essential to their survival, and they didn’t just sit down and talk pretty to each other.. They were unable to come to any resolution, so in the end a war broke out. In this case, perhaps no bloodshed, but some perhaps very assertive/slightly aggressive tone..

            I just don’t know how will society deal with this renegade using tone of voice and light movement of coins on a surface as a weapon against an apathetic government. I’m sure a nice letter to them will resolve it all though as long as it doesn’t have any condescention in the tone, god forbid! . /sarcasm

            I literally weep for the day when there’s any kind of REAL conflict in a society such as ours, when people view it the way you do.

          • But its all relative.. People speak in serious tones all the time, if you’ve never had a disagreement with anyone you dont personally that required you to speak in an authoritive way (versus aggressive which would be more like ‘FUCK YOU WOMAN ILL FUCKING PAY MY FINE HOWEVER I WANT’) then you are either a saint, or probably as tolerant as ghandi.. Or lying to yourself.

            beyond that all he did realistically was make a mess of her desk with coins lol.. And you’ll note he never even raised his hands or even threw one in her general direction, he slid them off the counter with most seemingly going behind her computer.

            if that genuinely intimidates her, then she probably has much bigger problems, like with riding public transport with some of the lovely people who like to frequent there on say, a Friday evening (at least in perth).

            dont get me wrong i’m not stupid, and I completely see where your coming from.. People have a reasonable right to feel safe at work.. I just dont think harsh words and a gradual sliding motion really undermine that too severely heh.. I’ve had much more heated discussions with customers while working at a fuel station as a kid for not having any ice coffee for a trucker in the morning.

          • No matter which way you spin it, he was in the wrong. Did you feel that the trucker’s reaction was completely justified, and that you were a bad employee for not having his iced coffee? I doubt it.

            If you can’t distinguish between an appropriate and a condescending tone with physical intimidation on top of that, then perhaps you need some interpersonal training.

          • No, I didn’t feel bad, but also realized it could have been avoided if we had done what was expected by having the iced coffee..

            as I say in this case I very highly doubt he did this for absolutely no reason, since if he did, he probably wouldn’t have been so tongue in cheek about it and more outright aggressive… But we will never know I guess.

    • It’s not really that clear. In the end it’s very subjective, as @chrisjager says above – I think it would be a difficult situation if they ended up in court, since they have essentially refused payment.

    • According to the Currency Act 1965 (section 16) coins are legal tender for payment of amounts which are limited as follows:

      not exceeding 20c if 1c and/or 2c coins are offered (these coins have been withdrawn from circulation, but are still legal tender);
      not exceeding $5 if any combination of 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins are offered; and
      not exceeding 10 times the face value of the coin if $1 or $2 coins are offered.

    • You are allowed to film in a public space with intent to broadcast without seeking permission.

      Have you ever been driving home and been stopped in a massive traffic jam because the local news did a piece with a road in the background, then stopped every single car further down the road to get permission?

      • It varies by state. It’s generally O.K. to record video in a public place (which this wasn’t – it was an office building and as such the “reasonable expectation of privacy” would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but I think it’d be all right here), but in NSW recording the audio is a clear breach of law – sections 10-12 of the Surveillance Devices Act (2007). Your state’s mileage may vary.

      • Those were definitely not public spaces. I would imagine filming in a bank would be particularly problematic from a legal standpoint, as well as doing so without people’s knowledge or permission.

  • I don’t know about anyone else, but I felt as if I was watching a scene from The Chasers War On Everything, which I personally dislike as I find it to be lowbrow… I want my three minutes and twenty nine seconds back… you can pay it back in seconds if need be.

    On the bright side, at least this man made sure to record this important lesson – Don’t go out of your way to be an ass, it’s just going to cost you more in the end… or something along those lines.

    • What really gets me is that the idiot still posted this as if it was some sort of proof as to how rad he is. I would say he was hoisted by his own petard, but the dickhead just stabbed himself in his foot with his own bayonet.

  • Maybe he should run for the senate and try to fix the system rather than abusing the poor workers who just have to go by their company/council policy like everyone else.

  • Administrative Receptionist DOES NOT EQUAL parking inspector. Why make her life difficult? What a total dick move. i’d return it even if its legal tender and if they threatened to take me to court claiming “its legal tender” i’d say as the article states “yes, i’m sure a judge will favour your spiteful attitude to breaking the law and making peoples life difficult”

  • The blatant ignorance is absolutely astounding coming from majority of the comment. I recall 3 comments that actual showed any form of intelligence and some kind of comprehension of what this young man was attempting to do. You all missed to point! Taking into consideration he made a couple fundamental mistakes, however his message was very clear and even A Current Affair I believe aired this story, claiming he was a nuisance. Yes, Section 16 of the Currency Act 1965, clearly defines “payment” of particular denominations of no more than 10 times the face value of the coin. I believe sub-section (c) defines any denomination more than 50 cent and less than 10 dollars, can only make a “payment” of 10 times its face value. That would be a AUD$1 and AUD$2. No? If the AUD$2 is the largest denomination and you can only make a “payment” with no more than 10 times AUD$2, that would equal $20.00 in 2 dollar coins. THAT’S what he should of put on the counter to make “PAYMENT” of the invalid parking fine. Because the Council does not state on their terms and conditions on the parking fine, that all fines are to be paid in Federal Reserve Notes, which is a condition of any contract, that payment terms is agreed before entering into a contract (YES a parking fine is a CONTRACT. Everything we do with these criminal corporations is a CONTRACT – Problems the People are too fucking retarded to realize what it is and they could discharge within 72 hours and there is nothing the council or any corporation do) So, if he just walked in and place 10 x $2.00 coins on the counter and quoted the Currency Act 1965, while holding a copy. He could of made is PAYMENT and settle the fine there and then. If they didn’t accept payment, even after he insisted to make a “payment” for the third time he could put forward a notice for her to sign, stating he tried to make payment and they refused. Once you refuse to accept payment, they have lost the option to ever recover the alleged debt.

    • Correct to @John Milton. However, please note carefully also sections 9, 11 and 22 of the CA 1965. Sections 9 and 11 set the context, where ALL payments, contracts, bills, etc MUST be in terms of the currency as defined in the Act; that is, coins as described in the Act and Regulations. Section 22 says that ANYTHING other than a coin is not only NOT legal tender, but ILLEGAL.

      So the Reserve Bank has a lot of answering to do, especially as the Reserve Bank Act 1959 gives NO value to the notes in your wallet! The only value is given to pound notes in section 36! Bizarre, but evidence that they have stuffed up our monetary system with DEBT money since 1933.

  • Rude, arrogant boorish, intimidating…and ignorant. That amount of cash is not legal tender anyway. Both the cashier and the security person were polite and professional neither quality apparent in the guy trying to but completely failing to make some point (I guess).

  • hehehe thats awesome! avoiding the nuisance factor is i think the number one reason people pay these stupid fines in the first place
    making it a nuisance is an ironic and very satisfying way of stopping these reverse robin hoods

  • I hate parking fines, especially as it makes a precedent for people to charge unjustifiable amounts of money to decent hardworking people whom patronise local shopping establishments.

    VCAT finds Care Park $88 “fine” a penalty and unenforceable

    On 2 May 2014, the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ordered that Care Park’s claim of $88 of “liquidated damages” in relation to breach of a car park contract was a penalty and therefore unenforceable. In the case of Vico v Care Park Pty Ltd (Civil Claims) [2014] VCAT 565, Member Wilson therefore ordered that the consumer, Mr John Vico, did not have to pay the $88 amount to Care Park. Member Wilson did not accept Care Park’s evidence in relation to how it justified the $88 amount, and found that its claim for loss was “overstated”. The Member also found the $88 amount was “wholly unexplained”, with “no forensic veracity” and “no legal or factual providence”.

    Key points:

    Private car parks cannot ‘fine’ consumers
    Carefully consider your options if you get a demand for payment from a private car park
    A number of car parks operated by private companies operate in Victoria, usually attached to shopping centres. Generally they allow consumers to park for free for up to a certain time period, for example two hours, if they display a ticket on the car. They normally charge for extra time in the car park, at around $3 per hour.

    These companies have been issuing demands to consumers who fail to display a ticket on their car. The amount of the demand is usually around $66. This amount increases $88 if the consumer fails to pay within 14 days. Should the consumer continue to ignore the requests for payment, the companies instruct solicitors and/or debt collectors and further sums are demanded. Eventually court action is threatened for a sum in the region of $300.

    No statutory authority to issue fines

    Private car park operators do not generally have a statutory authority to ‘fine’ consumers.

    Private car park operators base their demands for payment on an alleged breach of contract. That is, these companies say that a consumer enters into a contract to park their car in a company’s car park, where it is a term of the contract to display a ticket. The company alleges that the consumer breaches the contract by not displaying a ticket and the demand for payment represents the loss suffered by the company.

    While the legal position is unsettled, we take the view that if there is a binding contract – which may or may not be the case – the certain terms of that contract are arguably unfair and the amount demanded is a penalty rather than a genuine assessment of the company’s loss.

    What to do?

    Consumers who are being pursued for payment of ‘liquidated damages’ as a result of allegedly breaching the terms of operation of a private car park have a number of options:

    1) Do nothing.

    If you do nothing and do not write and provide your personal contact details to the company, it will need to apply to the Magistrates Court to obtain your details from Vic Roads.

    It may be that this extra step will deter the private car park operator from taking action against you. However, we are aware that some companies have taken such steps and obtained details of drivers in this manner.
    In our experience, it is unlikely that a private car parking company will sue you in Victoria for one off parking fines, despite their threats to do so.

    However, we have been contacted by consumers who have been sued for racking up hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of fines. In the event that you are sued, you should contact us for help.

    2) Write to the company.

    If you were not the driver when the fine was allegedly incurred, you can write to the company claiming the ‘fine’ and disclose this fact and identify the driver of the vehicle at the time. The company will then pursue that person for payment. Denying liability on this ground is of course not likely to be successful unless you identify the other driver. Use a template to fight a parking fine from as a starting point
    3) Issue legal proceedings in VCAT.

    If you want to get on the front foot, you can issue proceedings in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). By taking your dispute to VCAT, you allow the matter to be litigated in a less formal and lower cost jurisdiction. However, this also has the disadvantage of bringing the dispute to a determination, when you may never have been sued. Consumer Action has taken one test case to VCAT, which settled before hearing by the car park operator refunding the entire amount of the ‘fine’ paid.

    Every fine should be fought, at least before it gets to court, you can always reneg and then pay the fine if initial correspondence is unfruitful.

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