A lawyer's advice on how to fight your parking fine

A SUNSHINE Coast lawyer says drivers stung with private car park tickets have a strong legal base to fight fines.

Schultz Toomey O'Brien practice group leader Travis Schultz said there was perhaps good reason for people's resistance to parking penalties demanded by private contractors.

"Generally speaking, private car-park operators cannot impose 'fines' because they have no authority to do so," he said.

"They may use legalese such as 'binding contracts' or refer to penalties as being 'liquidated damages', but that doesn't change the legal nature of the demand."

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Mr Schultz said he had not investigated the restrictions of any Sunshine Coast shopping centre's private parking enforcement but did have advice for those who had breached.

He said if a penalty was grossly exorbitant it would more likely be successfully challenged.

"The lower the number, the more likely it is to be enforceable."

He said if a private contractor wanted to recover fines they would have to go through civil proceedings which was a time-consuming process that would damage goodwill.

"If you weren't given reasonable notice and you didn't know about the imposition of penalty or parking charge then take it up with the centre management and there's a good chance they'll agree not to pursue it."


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