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Private companies issuing fines?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Bogus69, May 16, 2007.

  1. I read recently that only the government can issue a fine and that anyone receiving a parking fine in a private carpark should contest it.
    What private operators can do is sue you for lost earnings etc.
    So if you overstay in the carpark building for 2 hours they should only be able to claim 2 hrs parking + administration costs ( I guess).

    This, of course does not apply to council parks.

    Now this got me thinking. I know it doesn't apply (right now) to bikes in Vic but what about toll ways?



    If I am not registered with citylink, then they should not be able to fine me when using their system. The best they could do is calculate how much me using their road has cost them in lost revenue, add a bit for administration and claim that. Surely?

    Any legal minds out there know if my theory is right or not?
     
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  2. If you were right then that'd make most speeding fines invalid too - since they're also issued by a private company. It's a nice idea but somehow I don't think it'd work that way in court. There's probably some fine print about companies operating on behalf of the Government being allowed to do what the Government does (ie pretty much anything it feels like).
     
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  3. There is special legislation covering contract operated speed cameras and City link.

    And what you say about private carparks is legaly correct (i think) i personaly wouldnt push it for the few $$$ they hit you with as the option is then they can charge you with trespass which could turn out to be a costly pain in the ass.
     
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  4. The information you are no doubt refering to is the current dispute between Moreland council and the operators of the shopping centres in their area. The council is challenging the validity of the fines only because the local council act requires such an operator to apply for a special bylaw allowing them to issue such a fine. Under normal circumstances the penalty fine usually goes to the council.
    In this case the operator did not apply for the issuing of a bylaw, did not seek council approval for the erection of signs, and is intending to keep the penalty money itself.
    I think you will find that in most situations, if procedures are followed properly, private operators CAN issue fines. Its just that in this recent case, the operators have not followed the law (or so the council is claiming).
     
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  5. I heard about that particular dispute more recently, after already reading something else in The Melbourne Times.

    In TMT they didn't refer to the moreland council dispute, but was a bit more general in its description. (could still have been bourne from the same dispute though).
    The article was saying that private operators simply can not issue a fine.

    I would have thought with speed cameras, that it is actually Vicroads or the police that issue the fine? The private operator simply does the "leg work" (I mean arse work) and forwards that to the govt for processing??

    I can totally imagine Citylink having special dispensation to issue fines, but I wonder if they do.
     
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  6. I am not sure where the limits are on this...

    I know that in NSW there was some talk of shopping centres such as Westfield doing peppercorn lease arrangements with local councils so that they can issue parking fines... and IMHO a good thing it would be too... the council can I believe issue fines for parking in disabled parking on private property, but no other offences...

    it seems that the big orange sticker on the window isn't enough of a deterrent for some...

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     
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  7. Private entities cannot issue fines. Only statutory authorities can. However, there are arrangments in place in specific areas such as Melbourne airport, where a private security firm handles the parking side of things. But this is legislated under a federal act relating to Airports. I still have a fine here somewhere that the missus copped for incorrect parking outside of Qantas Domestic a year ago.

    Citilink cameras are administered by government departments. Ditto for privately operated speed cameras. They, as said earlier "do the leg work", and we receive the letter from Snr Sgt Richie.

    With respect to tresspass, Woodsie, the carpark operator can't charge you with tresspass. They have to get the cops to do that. It only becomes an issue if you refuse to vacate the premises (carpark, person's house, etc.). Then you're charged with being illegally on the premises.

    There's a difference between the term or concept of "tresspass" and being illegally on the premises. Forget the detail, but there is a difference.

    The police make the final decision as to whether a person is charged, not the complainent (carpark operator, etc.).

    Kennett, a few years back, banned the practice of private security firms wheel clamping cars parked on private property. All they (property owners) can do is to ring the cops or council who'll then arrange for the vehicle to be towed.
     
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  8. WTF? This dude must get around, because he's been the officer on patrol in EVERY notice I ever received, wherever it occured in Victoria!
    Or does he just examine the photos and issue the penalty notice?
     
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  9. That sounds about what I was reading!

    thanks. :)

    So what you are saying is that there is a deal between citylink and the govt such that the govt has agreed to operate camera's on citylink's road?
    so any fine coming from citylink, is infact coming from the govt, yeah?
     
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  10. Not exactly.

    A private entity may issue a fine providing it applies to the local authority for the right of its appointed officers to do so.

    They do not however have access to the personal details of the offender.

    e.g. When I worked at NMIT, we applied to the Local Council for the ability to issue PIN's in the car parks. We were told that in order to do so, we would need to contract Connell Wagner, an Engineering Firm, to make all of hte signs in our carparks comply with the local ByLaws. $16,000 thank you very much for 3 days work.

    Once the carpark was signed and all of my staff trained as authorised persons, they were then able to issue fines.

    If the PIN was not paid, it was forwarded onto Melb. City Council for them to enforce.
    They then collected the money and forwarded on to us the fine less admin costs.

    Werribee Plaza is a private carpark without signs that make it comply to the local ByLaws therefore no one can be fined in that carpark for parking contrary to any ByLaws.

    Melbourne Airport is a similar set up. Wilson Group Services (Wilson Security) are the Authorised party by the Melbourne Airport Corporation to issue fines on its behalf.
    A Government body is the only one that can send out Courtesy letters.

    HTH
     
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  11. Thanks for the explanation. Probably better written than mine. Should've deleted the above quoted text though. I did, to my defence, mention MEL airport though as I developed my long and highly interesting to read parable...

    As for Titus, in case you're serious and not speaking T-I-C, Snr Sgt R Ritchie if the orificer in charge of the Traffic Camera Office. While there may be civilian staff working there, the collection of evidence, collation and issuing of speed/red light camera fines is overseen by Victoria Police. Thus all fines are authorised by him, may the Road Gods curse his tread patterns...
     
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  12. I got a ticket for parking on the footpath outside the Airport Hilton some years ago while I was at a conference there. It turns out that they are subject to the VicRoads parking rules - not the federal act - and parking where I did was quite legal. Glen Roberts had been through this earlier and had a go at them about it and I used his experience and told them to get stuffed - it was never followed up.

    Now they have specific motorcycle parking areas signed.
     
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  13. Actually depending upon the circumstances they can also lock the property, but not specifically to hold a particular vehicle inside.

    That is to say if it is normal closing hours for that private car park then they are able to close (even if that restricts access to the illegally parked vehicle)... as long as they aren't _specifically_ closing to lock off access to that particular vehicle.

    There are some caveats about allowing access upon request, but in practice they mean that you can require them to wait until normal hours of operation.

    This is useful on friday nights :twisted:
     
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  14. All the above is correct.
    They can also remove a vehicle from the premises under certain conditions, and also charge a "reasonable" fee to allow access.....
     
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  15. When I was doing Patrols, the Elwood Carpark was always locked at 1am.

    Quite often trapping vehicles inside. There was a number that they called, the patrol mobile, for us to let them out. The fee was $65 payable before the release of the vehicle.

    I never once did charge people, I let all of them out for free. Nothing worse than getting locked in somewhere.
     
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  16. Only if it is obstructing your use of the property or the obstructions causes an OH&S issue.
     
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  17. In Perth there is hybrid system where the owner of a private car park can 'register' spaces with the Perth City Council. The council then provides signage, polices them, and levies fines on illegal users. The Council however gets to keep the fines in their entirety. My own office underground car park is privately owned and Council policed.
     
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